Little Common eager to build on strong display during key week

Little Common wide player Sam Ellis closes down a Pagham opponent during last weekend's 2-2 draw. Picture courtesy Roger Smith
Little Common wide player Sam Ellis closes down a Pagham opponent during last weekend's 2-2 draw. Picture courtesy Roger Smith

Little Common Football Club player-manager Russell Eldridge is determined to build on its best performance for a while as it enters an important week in its battle against relegation.

Weather permitting, the Commoners will contest two Southern Combination League Premier Division games in the next four days buoyed by last weekend’s very creditable 2-2 draw away to eighth-placed Pagham.

Eldridge said: “It was a pleasing performance. For the first time in a while we put a performance in as a group, whereas in recent times we’ve not shown that as a collective.

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“We made more tackles, created more opportunities, and in the end came away frustrated and disappointed because we felt on another day we could’ve won the game. But before the game if we’d been offered a point we would’ve bitten people’s hands off.

“It was pleasing, especially after going a goal behind after a minute. It could’ve quite easily been ‘here we go again’, but we showed some good mental strength and resilience, and the good thing was we created some good opportunities as well.

“I think it was the best we’ve played for a while. We probably did okay against Langney (in the 0-0 draw on Boxing Day) without really creating anything, but in this game we created some good opportunities.

“We could’ve made the goalkeeper work a little bit more, but we were getting shots off, which is something we’ve not really done in the last few games. All in all it was a pleasing point and something we have to build on moving forward.”

Common are fourth-from-bottom of the table, with two teams due to be relegated. They are three points above second-bottom Loxwood.

“I think the boys will have that bit more of a spring in the step,” continued Eldridge. “Okay we didn’t win the game, but the performance levels were there.

“Sometimes you need something just to spark you into life a bit and hopefully that game will give us the belief that we can get the results we need going forward.”

Common will travel to sixth-placed Broadbridge Heath tomorrow (Saturday) before hosting 12th-placed East Preston on Tuesday night, kick-off 7.45pm.

“It’s massively important we get some points on the board in those two games,” Eldridge went on. “I think that’s key moving forward into February.”

Common lost 3-0 at home to Broadbridge Heath in September’s reverse fixture after missing a penalty while the game was goalless late in the first half.

“We have to make sure first half we’re nice and resilient, make it difficult for them, and use our assets and pace going forward to cause them problems,” Eldridge added. “I expect a similar game to last weekend. Away from home I think sometimes suits us a little bit.

“We’ve got to try to use that midweek game to our advantage in terms of being at home.

“I don’t think there’s been many games where we’ve been outclassed by the opposition. I think we’ve generally competed very well and the games where we have lost heavily have sometimes been down to circumstances beyond our control.”

Defensive duo Ryan Paul and Lewis Parsons are expected to return.

Southern Combination League Premier Division bottom six (played-points): Shoreham 24-20, Langney Wanderers 24-18, Little Common 22-17, Arundel 23-16, Loxwood 23-14, Eastbourne United AFC 23-12.