Common knocked off top after being hit for six

Little Common player-manager Russell Eldridge returned from injury against Lingfield.
Little Common player-manager Russell Eldridge returned from injury against Lingfield.

Little Common Football Club was knocked off the top of the table after crashing to only its second league defeat of the season.

The Commoners, who had won 12 of their previous 14 Macron Store Southern Combination Football League Division One matches, were on the receiving end of a 6-0 drubbing at Lingfield on Saturday.

Common made one change to their starting line-up, with player-manager Russell Eldridge returning to action after a three-week lay-off in place of the recently departed Jamie Fielding.

Neither team really tested the opposition goalkeeper in a relatively even opening quarter, although the hosts did see an effort clear the crossbar and an Eldridge free kick was comfortably dealt with by the home stopper.

Lingfield opened the scoring with a Scott Johnson header from a corner. They almost doubled their lead minutes later, but Nicky Dembele hit the post when he looked certain to score after rounding Matt Cruttwell.

Wes Tate did fashion a chance to equalise following some good work by Jamie Crone, but his effort failed to trouble the home goalkeeper.

Dembele did double Lingfield’s lead on the stroke of half time after superbly flicking the ball over Cruttwell from a pinpoint cross.

The Commoners began the second period with a bit more urgency. Lewis Hole saw a header tipped over the crossbar and Tate’s effort from a Crone cross was well held from close range.

Lingfield increased their lead, however, when Dan Summers rifled home at the far post following a ball across the Common area.

Three soon became four when an unmarked Richard Wetton headed home a free kick and the same player got the fifth goal seven minutes from time after Common lost possession from a goal kick.

Dembele completed Common’s misery almost straight from the restart on what was an afternoon to forget.

Common: Cruttwell, Carey, Walker (Smith), Ward, Parsons, Eldridge, Saville, Tate, Hole, Crone, Ellis (Maynard).

Southern Combination League Division One top half (played-points): 1 Wick 15-38 (+35 goal difference), 2 LITTLE COMMON 15-37 (+37), 3 Langney Wanderers 14-34 (+31), 4 Lingfield 15-31 (+23), 5 BEXHILL UNITED 15-25 (+18), 6 Steyning Town 14-24 (+15), 7 Mile Oak 14-23 (+4), 8 Selsey 13-22 (+10), 9 Ringmer 15-21 (+9).