Little Common’s footballers won a seven-goal thriller in extra-time last night (Tuesday) to reach the quarter-finals of a league knockout competition.
Common twice came from behind to triumph 4-3 at home to Oakwood in a thoroughly entertaining Macron Store Southern Combination Football League Peter Bentley Challenge Cup third round tie.
Oakwood made the brighter start, but Common opened the scoring against the run of play with a well-worked goal in the 14th minute. Jamie Crone crossed from the left-hand side of the box for strike partner Lewis Hole to head home.
The visitors deservedly levelled the all-Division One affair in the 24th minute. Darren Tidey stepped inside a couple of defenders before picking out the far bottom corner with an excellent finish from just outside the box.
There were no more goals during the remainder of the first half, but that’s not to say there weren’t chances. For Oakwood, Jack McNab fired over when well placed, James Wanstall lobbed just wide of the far post from a tight angle, and home goalkeeper Matt Cruttwell saved from McNab and Tidey.
At the other end, Dan Estherby’s shot was blocked on the line by Glen Woodburn, Hole blazed over following a scramble at the resulting corner and Crone was just off target at the end of a solo run.
Crone was denied by Oakwood goalkeeper Brendan Milborrow early in the second half and Oakwood went ahead just before the hour. A dangerous cross from the away right bounced up for Tidey to head in at the far post.
That was the first of four goals in a hectic 15-minute spell. Common got back on level terms in the 67th minute when a well-delivered Russell Eldridge free kick ricocheted up in the air and Dave Ammoun scored with a good header into the roof of the net.
McNab put Oakwood back in front in the 71st minute by volleying home a good cross from the right, but again Common hit straight back. Estherby’s corner from the right was delightfully flicked in off the underside of the crossbar by Steve Mote at the near post.
Both sides pushed for a winner during the remainder of normal time and both goalkeepers made saves within seconds of each other late on. Aiden Cawte then blazed over the top when well placed to win it for Oakwood.
Common started on the front foot in extra-time, Crone blasting over after receiving an Estherby pass and cutting inside the last man. The winner came in the 97th minute when Hole won a challenge with Milborrow following Jared Lusted’s cross before tapping home.
Cawte wasn’t far away with a speculative lob from just inside Common’s half. Common survived a few nervy moments, but no clearcut Oakwood chances, in the second additional period and Crone was denied by Milborrow after being played in by the impressive Estherby.
It was Common’s third victory in the Peter Bentley Challenge Cup this term and fifth win out of six in the various knockout competitions. Their reward is a last eight trip to Premier Division outfit Broadbridge Heath on a date to be announced.
Common: Cruttwell, R. Mote, S. Mote, Brown, Ammoun, Eldridge, Denny (Lusted), Feakins (Trickett), Hole, Crone, Estherby (Sherwood). Subs not used: Wells, MacDonald.
Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.
Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.
1 Make this website your homepage
2 Like our Facebook page at facebook.com/pages/Sport-Sussex
3 Follow us on Twitter @SportSussex
4 Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.
And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!