Little Common boss praises ‘massively’ important win

Little Common player-manager Russell Eldridge praised a ‘massively’ important win in the football club’s quest to avoid relegation.

The Commoners triumphed 4-1 at home to Pagham on Saturday to climb out of the Southern Combination League Premier Division drop zone.

Little Common player-manager Russell Eldridge closes down a Pagham opponent. Picture by Simon Newstead

Little Common player-manager Russell Eldridge closes down a Pagham opponent. Picture by Simon Newstead

Eldridge said: “It was massively important. It’s the three points we’ve been after for a long time. Before the game it was highlighted as a real opportunity for us to get the three points. Their own form isn’t particularly great and we had to do everything we could to get the three points.

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“I asked the boys to show more than we have done previously and to a man everyone has done that. There was so much more fight, there was more hard work, there was such good spirit about us and we earned the win.

“The hard work was done in the first half with the three goals. That set the tone and we were able to manage the game in the second half.”

Common opened the scoring after just 34 seconds and went on to establish a decisive 3-0 half time lead.

“We’ve said we’re a much better team if we can get our noses in front,” continued Eldridge. “We were able to do that, which was massive, and it just gave everyone a bit of a boost.

“The first two goals weren’t particularly pretty, but at this stage of the season it’s not about getting pretty goals, it’s about getting the goals and we did that.

“Yes it was direct, but we used the conditions to our favour. Two good finishes from Lewis (Hole) and then a good goal from Sam (Ellis) as well.

“I think the third goal was the most important one for me at the end of the first half. At 2-0 it’s a precarious scoreline and the third goal just took it away from them a little bit.

“We’re disappointed to concede a goal, but other than that second half I think Matt (Cruttwell, Common’s goalkeeper) had a relatively easy afternoon and didn’t have to make too many saves, which is good from our point of view.

“I thought the back four defended very well. Ryan (Paul) and Lewis (Parsons) won their headers and did what was needed, and the two full-backs (Ollie Weeks and Paul Feakins) did their jobs as well.

“You could argue all round the pitch that we did our jobs. Lewis (Hole) and Jamie (Crone) did their graft again, and the work rate from Adam (Smith) in midfield and Wardy’s (Liam Ward’s) tenaciousness in there was fantastic.”