Little Common Football Club ended a run of four successive league defeats with their first goalless draw of the season.
The Commoners picked up a useful Southern Combination League Premier Division point from the stalemate at home to Langney Wanderers on Boxing Day.
Common player-manager Russell Eldridge said: “We asked for a better performance and that’s what we got. It was a hard-fought point. We would’ve liked to get three points, but it’s a point that stops the negative results and a platform to build on for the future games.”
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Common changed their formation slightly with the aim of carrying more attacking threat and although they failed to score, Eldridge felt that it seemed to work.
Wes Tate played in behind a front two of Jamie Crone and Lewis Hole. Eldridge moved himself from defence into midfield and Ollie Weeks made his first start at right-back with Ryan Paul returning from suspension to the centre of defence.
Eldridge felt the first half was a little bit frantic and rather like a basketball game given the frequent turning over of possession. At times Common failed to make the right choices and maybe tried to move the ball a bit too quickly, resulting in them losing possession.
Common controlled the game for much of the second half in the view of Eldridge before Langney put them under a bit of pressure during the last 10 minutes.
On a difficult surface, the Commoners fashioned a couple of chances but couldn’t quite get their strikes away and didn’t work the opposing goalkeeper as much as they would’ve liked.
But they remained solid defensively to keep their first clean sheet in the league since the opening week of the season, with Eldridge describing the back four of Weeks, Paul, Lewis Parsons and Paul Feakins as superb.
“In terms of territory it was a much more pleasing second half,” added Eldridge. “Maybe on another day we could’ve got all three points, but a point’s a point and we’re a point closer to our target.”
The result moved Common up a place to 16th in the table - two points and one position behind Langney with three games in hand.
Common: Cruttwell; Weeks, Parsons, Paul, Feakins; Ward (Smith), Eldridge, Pool (Tewkesbury); Tate; Crone (Ellis), Hole.