Little Common’s footballers chalked up their seventh victory in nine cup matches last night (Tuesday).
The Commoners triumphed 3-1 at home to fellow Macron Store Southern Combination Football League Division One side Oakwood in round two of the Parafix Sussex Senior Challenge Cup.
Goals from Byron Nichol and Russell Eldridge put Common two-up at half time, and Jared Lusted extended their advantage before Oakwood grabbed what proved to be a consolation.
It was the third meeting between the clubs in the space of four weeks and the previous two had produced a massive 15 goals, so spectators would no doubt have arrived expecting a lively affair.
Common were without several players on a mild night at the Recreation Ground, but those who came in certainly didn’t look out of place and the team produced a decent performance featuring some good football at times.
The opening goal came in just the seventh minute via a couple of less familiar names in the Common starting line-up. After Jared Lusted’s shot was saved, the resulting Rosh Wells corner was bundled home at the far post by Byron Nichol.
Common doubled their advantage in the 28th minute. Lewis Hole, operating as a lone striker in the absence of Jamie Crone, latched on to a good ball from Eldridge and his goalbound shot was blocked by the arm of Gerald Manville, according to the referee, who pointed to the spot. Eldridge duly picked out the top corner with an emphatic penalty.
The home side had an opportunity to effectively put the tie to bed after barely half-an-hour, but Lusted blazed over having dispossessed the last defender.
Lusted then saw another effort from the tightest of angles at the end of a solo run beaten out by goalkeeper Jess Grimstone, while at the other end, Jaiden De-Meyer fired over from an inviting position in Oakwood’s only attempt of note during the first half.
In any game where the score is 2-0 at half time, the next goal is often key to the final outcome. Common got it on this occasion, Lusted scoring less than three minutes after the restart with a crisp low drive from around 20 yards.
That was just about that, although Common’s hopes of a clean sheet were dashed when Oakwood pulled one back in the 63rd minute. Manville came up from the back to head home a right wing corner.
Common twice came close to adding to their tally during the remaining half-an-hour. Billy Trickett couldn’t direct a close range effort on target after Martin Denny helped on an Eldridge free kick and Dan Estherby’s angled drive was kept out by the feet of Grimstone.
Oakwood had an appeal for an added time penalty turned down when Manville felt his shot was blocked by a Common arm, but Common would have been pleased at how few chances they restricted their opponents to on a very satisfying night.
Common: Cruttwell, S. Mote, Nichol, Brown, Ammoun, Eldridge, Wells (Denny 76), Curteis (Trickett 69), Hole (Sloat 90), Lusted, Estherby. Subs not used: Feakins, R. Mote.
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