Little Common make it six wins from seven - Sidley back on top in Mid Sussex League
Little Common recorded their sixth league win in seven games to maintain their impressive run of form with a 1-0 win over Alfold on Saturday.
Common manager Russell Eldridge made two changes to the team that took to the field in the abandoned game at Broadbridge Heath the week before with Harry Saville and Hastings United dual signing JJ Walker replacing Eldridge himself and Matt MacLean.
In an even opening to the match both teams looked to keep the ball on the ground and play out from the back and chances were at a premium. Common came closest to opening the scoring when Ollie Weeks fizzed a ball across the area but a last ditch tackle prevented Sam Ellis from slotting home. Jamie Bunn saw an effort clear the crossbar after a neat pull back from Ellis and Ryan Paul was unable to hit the target when the ball fell kindly to him from a corner.
The visitors did create a couple of chances of their own but neither failed to trouble Common keeper Matt Cruttwell as they drifted wide of the post. Common made a dominant start to the second half and spent long spells in their opposition half with Paul heading over the bar from a Bunn corner before Sammy Bunn saw a goal bound effort blocked.
Common’s pressure finally paid off in the 65th minute when Ellis’ pullback found Jamie Bunn on the edge of the area and when his initial effort was spilled by the visiting keeper, Lewis Hole was on hand to poke home the loose ball. Common remained in the ascendancy and could have added to their lead with Hole miskicking a pull back from Ellis and then Ellis being unable to connect properly with Jack McLean’s pass.
Sensing the chance of getting something out of the match, the visitors enjoyed a spell of pressure of their own as the match entered the final ten minutes, a volley from the edge of the area was saved comfortably by Cruttwell and Paul was called upon to make a goal line clearance with five minutes remaining. The Common defence remained firm to clinch their third consecutive clean sheet and add another three points to their tally.
Common: Cruttwell, Harris, Weeks, J.Bunn, Paul, Walker, Saville (Smith), S.Bunn, Hole (Brown), Ellis (Eldridge), McLean.
Rotherfield 0 Sidley United 4
MSFL Premier Division
Sidley United returned to the top of the MSFL with a comfortable victory over Rotherfield.
After the frustration of the weather denying them a victory over Ringmer last weekend when the game was abandoned at half time with the Blues 2 - 0 up, they were determined to put this game to bed as early as possible.
The game started somewhat controversially as Sidley thought they scored after 2 minutes when Paul Rogers ran onto a cross from the right to finish neatly past the keeper. However, the Rotherfield assistant referee raised his flag for offside; much to the surprise and annoyance of the Sidley players. The Referee went over to the assistant and, after a brief discussion, the goal was disallowed and a free kick awarded to Rotherfield.
Rogers, clearly incensed by what he saw as a wrong and unfair decision, carried his protests to the referee too far and was sin-binned as a result.
However, his absence did not stop Sidley from continuing to attack and in the eighth minute they were rewarded with the opening goal. Chris Cumming-Bart found himself unmarked in the Rotherfield half, when the ball ran through to him and he calmly slotted it home. Although clearly in an offside position, the ball had come off a Rotherfield player which meant he was free to play it. Again, the Rotherfield assistant referee raised his flag, and again the Referee went over to speak to him. This time however, the goal was given, as the Referee had clearly seen the sequence of events.
Once back on the pitch, Paul Rogers wasted no time in getting amongst the goals as he scored his first goal on 16 minutes which was then followed by his second from the penalty spot just 3 minutes later, following a rash kick out from a Rotherfield defender inside the area.
Rotherfield offered very little in the way of attack, and when they did, the Sidley defence dealt confidently with any threat, leaving debutant Sidley goalkeeper Dan Hutchins little to do.
The second half continued in the same vein, with Sidley on the front foot and dominating the game. However, despite creating chance after chance, they had to wait until the 77th minute to score their fourth goal. Charli Cornford, held off 2 defenders and suppllied the perfect cross for substitute Lee Carey to head across the keeper and into the net for his first goal of the season.
A dominant display this from Sidley who went top after rivals Ringmer were held to a draw. Next week the Blues are at home to Balcombe.
Sidley: Hutchins, McEniry, Featherstone, Elliott-Noye, Hickman Smith, McCue, Ellis, N Crabb, Cumming-Bart, Cornford, Rogers. Subs: Carey. Walker, Trickett, Thompson.