Little Common set for two key games in four days

Action from Little Common's home game against Saltdean United earlier this month. Picture by Simon Newstead
Action from Little Common's home game against Saltdean United earlier this month. Picture by Simon Newstead

Little Common Football Club is gearing up for a key week in its survival quest.

The Commoners will contest two Southern Combination League Premier Division games in four days, both against teams in the bottom nine of the table.

Common player-manager Russell Eldridge said: “Six points up for grabs in the space of three or four days. We’ve got to be looking to get some points on the board out of those two games because the run that follows that is very difficult.”

See also: * Little Common slip into relegation zone despite battling draw
* Little Common set for ‘absolutely vital’ three games
* Little Common versus Saltdean United in pictures

Common slipped into the two relegation places after results went against them last weekend, but they are only a point behind Arundel, and two adrift of Loxwood and Shoreham - and they possess a better goal difference than all three.

“Obviously it’s not nice being in that position, but it still doesn’t change anything in terms of the amount of points we need to get,” said Eldridge.

Next up tomorrow (Saturday) is a trip to 12th-placed Hassocks, who they beat 4-2 in October’s reverse fixture.

“It’s normally a nice pitch and place to go,” Eldridge went on. “That may help us in the way we want to play. The effort, attitude and desire were fantastic, but we didn’t have that quality and we have to bring it all together this week.

“They will be confident, but we have to make sure we’re confident and do what we can to try to come away with a positive result.”

Common will then turn their attention to the visit from 14th-placed East Preston on Tuesday night, kick-off 7.45pm. That fixture has been postponed twice due to a waterlogged pitch, within an hour of the scheduled kick-off on both occasions.

“That game becomes key as well,” added Eldridge, who hopes to be at or close to full strength. “Being a home game, we have to make sure we’re positive, try to get on the front foot and try to get our noses in front because I think that will be important.”

Eldridge took the view that one point was better than none after last weekend’s six-pointer at home to Arundel ended in a 0-0 draw.

He said: “One point was better than none, although we desperately wanted the three, particularly considering how other results went around us with other teams winning, which doesn’t help our situation.

“Our first half performance was better than the second. First half we had a lot of the ball without really creating that clearcut opportunity. Second half was a bit too open and they had a few more chances than we would’ve liked them to.

“We asked the boys to keep a clean sheet and defend well, which we did, but we didn’t have enough quality in the final third. We didn’t do enough in the final third to fashion those good opportunities.

“It was a game we could’ve won, but a point’s a point and we have to try to use that to take into the next game.”

Southern Combination League Premier Division bottom six (played-points): 15 Langney Wanderers 28-24 (-26 goal difference), 16 Loxwood 27-21 (-28), 17 Shoreham 28-21 (-33), 18 Arundel 27-20 (-38), 19 LITTLE COMMON 27-19 (-25), 20 Eastbourne United AFC 27-18 (-42).