Common tackle home opener tonight
Little Common player-manager Russell Eldridge is hoping that playing home games away from the Rec won't adversely affect the football club's results.
The Commoners have a groundshare arrangement with Eastbourne United AFC for the 2017/18 season as their own ground doesn’t meet the requirements for Macron Store Southern Combination League Division One.
Common’s first home league game at The Oval will take place tonight (Friday) against AFC Varndeanians. Kick-off is 7.45pm.
Eldridge said: “It probably will have relevance. Any team’s home ground is their home, which is probably why a lot of teams perform better at home than away.
“It’s hard to tell at this stage. We’ve got a group (of players) who are focused and understand the reasons why we are where we are.
“Hopefully it won’t have too much of an impact. That’s our home ground and we’ve got to make sure it’s as difficult for other teams as possible.”
Last season’s runners-up Common drew 2-2 away to Southwick in their first league fixture of this term having been edged out 2-1 by their higher grade landlords in the FA Cup 13 days ago.
“The first two games we’ve not probably got to the level we want to,” Eldridge continued. “Because we’ve got a few new players maybe it’s taking a little bit of extra time to bed in. The group know what’s expected, we need to perform better and we’ll be looking to put that right this Friday.”
Tonight’s fixture was originally scheduled for tomorrow afternoon, but with the popular Airbourne show taking place, it was brought forward to make travelling to the ground easier.
“Airbourne is a big event and when you’re trying to get into Eastbourne it’s a nightmare so we tried to use a bit of common sense and asked them about moving it to the Friday, not just for us, but for them as well.
“Hopefully it might attract a few more people as well being a Friday night. It’s something different, but I think it makes more sense and is more convenient for everyone.”
Wes Tate is expected to return and Jared Lusted should be available, but Liam Ward is away and Lewis Parsons is likely to be out for two or three weeks after rolling his ankle in training last week.
Varndeanians finished bottom last term and lost 2-0 at Selsey last weekend.
Common will also be in action on Tuesday night, at home to Langney Wanderers in round two of the Peter Bentley Challenge Cup.