Little Common continue unbeaten run after late Crone leveller

Little Common full-back Jordan Harris keeps a close eye on Shoreham wide player Martin Mutungi. Pictures by Simon Newstead
Little Common full-back Jordan Harris keeps a close eye on Shoreham wide player Martin Mutungi. Pictures by Simon Newstead

An 88th minute goal from Jamie Crone - his second of the afternoon - extended Little Common Football Club’s unbeaten run to six matches in all competitions.

Crone’s late strike earned the Commoners a 2-2 draw at home to Shoreham in the Southern Combination League Premier Division today (Saturday) after they’d led 1-0 and trailed 2-1.

Playing into the wind during the first half, Common - who marked remembrance weekend by wearing poppies on their shirts - started positively and opened the scoring with a fine goal in the 10th minute.

Russell Eldridge brought the ball out of defence and split the Shoreham back line with a delightful pass, which Crone ran on to before burying a splendid finish into the far bottom corner.

See also: * Little Common boss proud of much-improved form
* Little Common boss: Crone unplayable in splendid cup win
* Tate scores from centre spot as Little Common draw 3-3
* Ellis hat-trick fires Little Common to another four-goal win

Neil Watts’ angled drive was comfortably saved by returning Common goalkeeper Matt Cruttwell at his near post and Ryan McBride drove just wide of the home goal either side of Shoreham stopper James Broadbent blocking a terrific effort by Adam Smith from the tightest of angles.

Having passed the ball well early on, Common were just starting to lose possession a bit too easily at times when Shoreham equalised after half-an-hour.

Little Common midfielder Wes Tate is tackled by Shoreham's Scott Kirkwood

Little Common midfielder Wes Tate is tackled by Shoreham's Scott Kirkwood

Tom Fraser played a clever ball over the top of Common’s defence which Ross Myers got on the end of and went to ground under the challenge of Ryan Paul. With his assistant flagging, the referee pointed to the spot and McBride sent Cruttwell the wrong way with the penalty.

Common almost fell behind a minute later when the aerially strong McBride headed just over from Martin Mutungi’s cross, but gradually the home side settled again and Sam Ellis’ cross-shot was pushed behind by Broadbent on the stroke of half time.

Common did go behind barely 60 seconds after the restart. Eldridge uncharacteristically lost possession to McBride, who had a clear run on goal and slotted through the legs of Cruttwell.

The home goalkeeper later made an important tackle on Mutungi outside his area.

Little Common player-manager Russell Eldridge contests an aerial ball with two-goal Shoreham forward Ryan McBride

Little Common player-manager Russell Eldridge contests an aerial ball with two-goal Shoreham forward Ryan McBride

Common weren’t looking particularly threatening until fashioning three pretty decent chances in quick succession around the 70-minute mark.

Lewis Hole was firstly denied by Broadbent, who also kept out James Pool’s follow-up, after a lovely reverse pass from Wes Tate. Seconds later Pool shot just wide from Tate’s ball across the area and then Hole’s half-hit shot from Liam Ward’s pass was saved by Broadbent.

Ward later had a 25-yard drive well saved by Broadbent low to his right as Common continued to probe and press for an equaliser - and it came two minutes later.

Pool did well to win possession at the back and his subsequent ball down the Common left wasn’t cut out by a Shoreham player, allowing Crone to cut inside his man and place another confident finish past Broadbent for his fourth goal in two games.

In the several minutes that were played thereafter, Tate - Common’s man of the match - dragged a shot well wide from distance and McBride appeared to have a glorious chance at the other end only to be crowded out as Cruttwell was quick off his line.

Common: Cruttwell, Harris (Paul 83), Feakins, Ward, Paul, Eldridge, Tate, Pool, Crone, Ellis (Astell 77), A. Smith (Hole 58). Sub not used: J. Smith.