Video: Perfect send-off, says Common boss

  • Little Common triumph in first home game after passing of chairman
  • Commoners win 5-1 against higher grade Arundel
  • Player-manager Eldridge dedicates goal to late grandad
  • Common travel to Worthing in Sussex Senior Cup quarter-finals next Tuesday
  • Commoners are only senior club in Sussex to reach three cup quarter-finals
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Little Common’s footballers gave their late chairman and founder the perfect send-off with a tremendous cup victory on Tuesday night.

That was the view of player-manager Russell Eldridge after Common won 5-1 against higher grade Arundel in their first home game since the passing of Ken Cherry on Thursday January 7.

“It was a magnificent effort from all the boys and as you might want to put the perfect send-off for him,” said Eldridge, Ken’s grandson. “I think we certainly did him proud tonight. He will be looking down and be over the moon that we got the victory.

“We’ve always been a close-knit group, and this has obviously brought everyone together and given us that bit more determination to strive and be successful in the future.

“You could see that within the boys in terms of wanting to try that little bit more because of obviously what’s happened, and the respect they have for Ken and the club. I think all the boys are really determined to push on.”

Eldridge converted a penalty for Common’s fourth goal and dedicated it to his grandad.

Little Common player-manager Russell Eldridge closes down an Arundel opponent. Picture by Simon Newstead (SUS-160120-095656002)

Little Common player-manager Russell Eldridge closes down an Arundel opponent. Picture by Simon Newstead (SUS-160120-095656002)

He said: “Before the game I thought to myself I want to score for grandad. I’ve obviously been a bit nervous at penalties this year, especially at this end (it was the first penalty Common have scored at the western end of their ground this season).

“I had a few tears in my eyes before I took the penalty, and I managed to hold it together and went over to where grandad used to stand to celebrate. He would’ve been cheering me on and cheering us on, and that was for grandad. I’m absolutely over the moon.”

Eldridge, who said last week that Ken is the reason he is playing football, again praised the support of his players at such a difficult time.

“It’s been extremely tough for myself and the family, and the group have been absolutely fantastic in their support,” he added.

He will be looking down and be over the moon that we got the victory.

Russell Eldridge

The result put Macron Store Southern Combination League Division One side Common through to the quarter-finals of the Parafix Sussex Senior Challenge Cup and set up a trip to Ryman League Division One South high-flyers Worthing next Tuesday night.

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