Little Common sign familiar face to help survival bid

Little Common Football Club has signed a defender/forward to help with its battle against relegation.

Saturday, 6th April 2019, 9:15 am
Action from Little Common's 3-0 defeat away to Loxwood last weekend. Picture by Steve Robards

The Commoners have brought in Zack McEniry on a dual registration basis with East Sussex League title hopefuls Sidley United.

McEniry, who has also turned out for Bexhill United this season, will play for Common when Sidley don’t have a game.

See also: * Little Common slide into relegation zone after rivals win* Little Common suffer fifth straight loss* Two big decisions go against Little Common in home defeat* Bexhill United sign ex-Eastbourne Borough aceHe should therefore be available for three of Common’s last four Southern Combination League Premier Division encounters, including today’s (Saturday’s) key clash at home to Pagham, for which defender Ryan Alexander is unavailable. Kick-off at The Oval is 3pm.

Common picked up a useful 2-2 draw in January’s reverse fixture and Pagham have taken just one point from their last six outings.

“Saturday becomes a massive game,” said Common player-manager Russell Eldridge, who admitted his team’s performance in last weekend’s 3-0 loss at Loxwood was ‘poor’. “It’s an even playing field now (all teams have played the same number of matches) and it’s down to us.

“We’ve got to make sure we make it as difficult for them as we can, put up a really good fight and find a way of getting the three points that we desperately need.

“It’s an opportunity. The onus is on us. We have to take advantage of being at home. In the position we’re in, we have to come away with three points. We haven’t been good enough for a number of weeks and that has to change.”

Eldridge says the football club ‘must be better’ during the final four games of the season.

The Commoners have fallen into the two relegation places on the back of five consecutive defeats.

Eldridge said: “It’s very clear what the picture is now. It must and needs to be better for the remaining four games.

“We’ve been very fortunate other teams also haven’t been winning as well. Now we find ourselves in the bottom two we need to show that bit more urgency and a bit more fight to get the wins that we need. There’s no sugar-coating it; we need the points.”

Eastbourne United AFC went above Common after a late goal earned them a 2-1 win at home to Peacehaven & Telscombe in their game in hand on Tuesday night.

“I guess it doesn’t really change that much,” continued Eldridge. “We know we need to win games of football.

“With four games left, we’re going to need to secure a couple of wins at least. It’s in our hands and it’s about taking responsibility for ourselves.

“Maybe it will work in our favour. Now we’re in that bottom two, we need to show that little bit more.”

Common are now a point below Eastbourne - who occupy the final safe spot of third-from-bottom - and fourth-from-bottom Arundel, but have a better goal difference than both.

On paper they have a more favourable run-in than their rivals, with none of the top seven to play, and three of their matches are at home.

“If you were to look at the games, yes I would argue ours is more favourable,” Eldridge went on. “But football isn’t played on paper; it’s played on grass.

“We have to take each game as it comes really. If we can get a result this week, then we have a break for a week before we come back with two games in three days (over Easter). Anything can happen playing that Saturday and Monday.”

Southern Combination League Premier Division bottom six (played-points): 15 Langney Wanderers 34-34 (-27 goal difference), 16 Loxwood 34-30 (-27), 17 Arundel 34-24 (-45), 18 Eastbourne United AFC 34-24 (-46), 19 LITTLE COMMON 34-23 (-38), 20 Shoreham 34-21 (-50).

Remaining fixtures - Little Common: April 6 Pagham (h), April 20 AFC Uckfield Town (h), April 22 Langney Wanderers (a), April 27 Crawley Down Gatwick (h).

Arundel: April 6 Newhaven (h), April 20 Chichester City (h), April 23 East Preston (a), April 27 Broadbridge Heath (h).

Eastbourne United: April 6 Broadbridge Heath (a), April 20 Newhaven (a), April 22 Eastbourne Town (h), April 27 Pagham (a).

Shoreham: April 6 AFC Uckfield Town (a), April 20 Hassocks (a), April 22 Saltdean United (h), April 27 Newhaven (a).