Little Common happy to take point from fancied Saltdean
Little Common produced a battling performance to clinch a 1-1 draw with title favourites Saltdean United on Saturday.
Common travelled to Hill Park without Jack McLean, Ryan Paul and Jamie Crone but manager Russell Eldridge restored himself, Matt MacLean and Adam Smith to the starting line-up. The Commoners made the perfect start by taking the lead with just four minutes on the clock, Sam Ellis cut in from the left before unleashing an effort which bounced just in front of the home keeper before nestling into the corner of the net.
Common almost doubled their lead in the 20th minute when a neat passage interchange between MacLean and Smith saw the latter hit the side netting. The hosts grew into the game as the half wore on and Matt Cruttwell was called upon to make a stunning point-blank save in the Common goal before tipping a resulting effort over the bar.
United also saw a deflected effort hit the bar but the Commoners stood firm to take a 1-0 lead into the interval. Not surprisingly the home team dominated the early exchanges of the second half but once again found Cruttwell in inspired form, with the Common keeper tipping an effort over the bar before saving another effort with his feet.
The equaliser did arrive in the 52nd minute when a delivery into the box just eluded Ollie Weeks and fell to the feet of Callum Saunders who drove an effort in off the post. Common continued to defend resolutely and frustrate their hosts and two deliveries flashed across the Common goal before Cruttwell saved a header with his foot.
Common almost snatched a goal of their own when a quick break saw Will Brown release MacLean and his ball across the area was met with an Ellis first time effort which fell the wrong side of the post. United continued to send deliveries into the Common area but Cruttwell and the Common defence were equal to them and saw out time to clinch a well-earned point.
Common: Cruttwell, Harris, Weeks, J.Bunn, Walker, Eldridge, Saville (Brown), S.Bunn (Hole), MacLean, Ellis, Smith (Miriam-Batchelor).