Ten man Little Common earn goalless draw after battling performance

Ryan Paul was dismissed
Ryan Paul was dismissed

A severely depleted Little Common produced a battling performance to clinch a 0-0 draw with Steyning Town on Saturday despite having to play over half the match with ten men.

Injury and illness had left the Commoners with just a bare 11 players but they were able to give a debut to dual signed Hastings United youngster James Hull.

It was the visitors who started the brighter of the two teams and should have taken the lead with barely a minute on the clock but after beating the Common offside trap, Jamie Brotherton’s weak effort was easily saved by the returning Matt Cruttwell.

Matt Hards then had an opportunity to open the scoring but after setting himself well in the Common area he dragged his effort wide with just Cruttwell to beat.

At the other end the impressive Hull’s chest and volley whistled over the bar before Sam Ellis saw an effort blocked after bursting into the area. Town almost took the lead from a header but Cruttwell was on hand to make a superb save.

What looked like the turning point of the game arrived just before the interval when Ryan Paul was harshly dismissed for a mistimed tackle having been judged by the referee to have been the last defender despite the Steyning forward heading away from goal and Russell Eldridge covering behind him.

The Commoners regrouped at half time and Hull slotted in at right back. As expected the visitors enjoyed more of the possession as the second half got underway but an onslaught on the Common goal never materialised and Cruttwell and the Common defence dealt comfortably with the Steyning threat.

Cruttwell was called upon to make one save with his legs but it was Common who created the more clear cut chances with Lewis Hole twice going close, the second effort bringing a save out of the visiting keeper. Eldridge saw a late free kick hit the wall but the Commoners were happy to clinch a well earned point in difficult circumstances.

Squad: M.Cruttwell, Paul, Parsons, Ward, Eldridge, S.Cruttwell, Moynes, Brister, Hole, Hull, Ellis.