Little Common miss penalty in home defeat

Little Common full-back Ryan Paul tracks back in pursuit of a Broadbridge Heath opponent. Pictures by Simon Newstead
Little Common full-back Ryan Paul tracks back in pursuit of a Broadbridge Heath opponent. Pictures by Simon Newstead

Little Common Football Club conceded three second half goals after missing a first half penalty as its return to home turf ended in defeat.

After six successive away matches, the Commoners were beaten 3-0 at home to Broadbridge Heath in the Southern Combination League Premier Division on Saturday.

On a wet afternoon at The Oval, Heath fashioned most of the chances but Common - who gave a debut to new loan signing James Pool in midfield - had the best one during a goalless first half.

Common won a penalty five minutes or so before the break when Sam Ellis was tripped in the corner of the box, but Wes Tate’s spot-kick was well saved by Heath goalkeeper Kieron Thorp, who got up quickly to repel Jamie Crone’s follow-up.

See also: * Common return home determined to get a result
* Common undone by controversial late goal in FA Vase
* Common sunk by three goals in seven minutes

Heath will feel they ought to have been a couple of goals up before that having carved out a handful of pretty decent opportunities.

Common defender Sam Willett made a crucial block as Devon Fender bore down on goal and Fender later headed against the crossbar from a good cross by Jamie Robinson.

Little Common forward Jamie Crone holds the ball up.

Little Common forward Jamie Crone holds the ball up.

Richard Wetton blazed over Common’s crossbar from inside the box following Fender’s neat back-heel and Fender’s angled effort having been picked out by Tim Cook’s ball over the top was saved by home goalkeeper Matt Cruttwell.

After Wetton drove forward and shot just wide from outside the area, Fender had a great chance to open the scoring when Liam Ward’s miskick put him on goal but he pulled his shot just wide of the far post.

Common’s only other attempt of note during the first 45 minutes came right at the end of the half when Tate’s well-struck 30-yard free kick was pushed away by Thorp diving to his right.

Common fell behind barely 30 seconds after half time. Cruttwell got a hand to Lee Carney’s swerving shot from outside the area, but could only push the ball into the bottom corner of the net.

Broadbridge Heath midfielder Tom Howard-Bold slides the ball past the outstretched leg of Little Common midfielder Wes Tate.

Broadbridge Heath midfielder Tom Howard-Bold slides the ball past the outstretched leg of Little Common midfielder Wes Tate.

Cruttwell held Max Howell’s angled effort and gathered Wetton’s low drive before Heath doubled their advantage with a simple yet well-worked goal in the 67th minute. Wetton’s long throw was deftly touched by big centre-half Martyn Flack into the path of Cook, who slotted past Cruttwell.

Heath completed the scoring 10 minutes later with a goal which rather summed up how things are going for Common at present. Fender’s shot from around the penalty spot was well saved by Cruttwell low to his right, but the ball rebounded against the legs of Common full-back Ryan Paul and rolled over the line.

To their credit, Common didn’t throw the towel in and fashioned their two best openings of the match, from open play, during the final 10 minutes.

Chris Cumming-Bart shot wide of the far post from an inviting position inside the box at the end of a nice move involving Tate and Lewis Hole, while Crone’s shot following a lovely pass from Tate was brilliantly blocked by Heath full-back Alfie Jones.

At the other end, Fender’s angled drive was well saved by Cruttwell in added time.

Common: Cruttwell, Paul, Clifford (Richardson 75), Ward, Willett, Eldridge (Penn 19), Tate, Pool, Hole, Crone, Ellis (Cumming-Bart 70).