Three early goals see Little Common crash out of Peter Bentley Challenge Cup

Little Common boss Russell Eldridge
Little Common boss Russell Eldridge

Three goals in the opening 20 minutes saw Little Common crash out of the Peter Bentley Cup with a 3-1 defeat at AFC Uckfield on Saturday.

On a dismal afternoon and on a pitch which deteriorated rapidly as the match progressed the Commoners made one change to their starting line up with Joe Brister coming in for Jamie Crone who was missing through illness.

It was the hosts who began on the front foot, taking the lead after just three minutes when Liam Baitup nipped in front of the Common defence to prod home a cross. The lead should have been doubled on two occasions but Matt Cruttwell saved well with his feet before tipping another effort over the bar. The second goal did arrive in the ninth minute when Common were punished for losing possession and the ball fell invitingly for Antony Storey to slot home.

Cruttwell was again on hand to deny Baitup from close range before the Commoners created their first opportunities of the match when Lewis Hole dragged an effort wide and Sam Ellis saw his low effort turned round the post. Uckfield added their third in the nineteenth minute when Baitup rose unmarked from a corner to guide the ball into the roof of the net.

Trailing 3-0 at half time, Common’s misery increased when they were reduced to ten men for an incident outside the changing rooms as the teams retreated for the interval.

In a much improved second period, the Commoners reduced the deficit just before the hour mark when Hole swept home an Ellis cross. Wes Tate blazed over when well set whilst at the other end Cruttwell was once again on hand to deny the hosts with two smart saves.

Common saw a penalty appeal waved away for a blatant hand ball and Sam Cruttwell saw a free kick blocked by the Uckfield wall. The hosts should have been reduced to ten men themselves in the dying minutes when a dreadful challenge on Jordan Harley saw the referee only produce a yellow card to cap a dismal day all round for the Commoners.

Squad: Cruttwell, Paul, Weeks, Ward (Feakins), Parsons, Alexander, Tate (Richardson), Cruttwell, Hole, Brister (Harley), Ellis.