Common target cup final on special day

Little Common player-manager Russell Eldridge will be aiming to lead his team to the Peter Bentley Challenge Cup final tonight. Picture courtesy Jon Smalldon
Little Common player-manager Russell Eldridge will be aiming to lead his team to the Peter Bentley Challenge Cup final tonight. Picture courtesy Jon Smalldon
  • Little Common take on Lancing in Peter Bentley Cup semi-final tonight
  • Match will be played at Eastbourne United AFC (7.45pm kick-off)
  • Winners will face Newhaven in final
  • Common play in the division below Lancing
  • Commoners were reinstated in cup after quarter-final defeat to Broadbridge Heath

Little Common Football Club will be aiming to celebrate what would have been Ken Cherry’s birthday by reaching a cup final.

Club founder and chairman Ken, who passed away in January, would have turned 82 today (Tuesday) and Common will take on Lancing in a Macron Store Southern Combination Football League Peter Bentley Challenge Cup semi-final tonight.

The match will be played at Eastbourne United AFC with a 7.45pm kick-off and the winners will take on Newhaven in the final.

“For me personally and for the club, it would be a great achievement if we could make it through to the final on his birthday and it would be the best present ever,” said Common player-manager and Ken’s grandson Russell Eldridge.

Common were beaten 2-1 away to Broadbridge Heath in the quarter-finals at the start of last month, but were recently reinstated after Heath were discovered to have fielded an ineligible player.

Their second chance will see a Common side sitting seventh in Division One up against a Lancing team lying fourth in the Premier Division.

“We’re the underdogs, but we’ll certainly be going there looking to win the game,” continued Eldridge, whose team has won eight cup matches this season, three of them against higher level opposition.

“It’s a one-off game and we’ve got nothing to lose. We’ve shown that we can beat the higher teams and on our day we can beat anyone, but we know we’ve got to play better than we have done and be more consistent than we have been of late.

“I’m sure the boys will be really up for it because you’re 90 minutes away from a cup final and cup finals don’t come along very often when you get to senior football so this is an opportunity we’ll be looking to take.”

Hastings United, meanwhile, will be keeping a close eye on the result of their play-off rivals Faversham Town tonight. United currently occupy the final Ryman League Division One South play-off spot of fifth, but sixth-placed Faversham will overtake them if they avoid defeat in their game in hand away to Sittingbourne tonight.

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