Little Common’s footballers clinched an impressive win in the first round of the Peter Bentley League Cup on Saturday.
Goals from Lewis Hole and Dan Estherby gave Common a 2-0 victory away to a Haywards Heath Town side which is widely fancied to win the division in which the two clubs play.
Estherby looked to be Common’s danger man in the early exchanges and the wide left player was the architect of the opening goal in the 16th minute.
Estherby danced round the opposing full-back before racing into the area and delivering a delightful ball to the feet of Hole, who made no mistake from eight yards.
The home side responded by enjoying longer spells of possession, although the well-organised Common side was happy to let Heath pass the ball around their own half and force errors as they came forward.
Heath saw two free kicks clear the crossbar before Matt Cruttwell, in the Common goal, was called upon to make a superb save from a dipping effort that was heading towards the roof of the net.
Liam Foster almost snuck in to make it two for Common when he ran unmarked across the Heath area, but the tight angle made it difficult for him to get his shot away.
Five minutes before the interval Heath were reduced to 10 men when Tom Graves was dismissed for pushing his head towards Hole following an altercation as the pair tussled for the ball on the ground.
Foster almost doubled Common’s lead on the stroke of half time, but his goalbound effort was pushed around the post by the home goalkeeper.
The home side came out for the second half the brighter of the two teams, however the Common defence held firm with Jake Sherwood particularly impressive.
Heath were restricted to long range efforts which never really troubled Cruttwell and Common continued to look dangerous on the break. Foster once again saw a low effort pushed away.
The match was effectively sealed in the 70th minute when Dom Haward’s crossfield pass found Estherby, who raced into the area before calmly slotting the ball past the advancing goalkeeper to grab a well-deserved goal and Common’s second.
The home side continued to push forward in an attempt to get back into the match and Foster hooked an effort off the goal-line before Cruttwell made another fine save as the ball headed towards the top corner following a set-piece.
Two further efforts were blasted over the crossbar as Common held firm for a well- deserved victory, setting up a home tie with local rivals Bexhill United in the second round.
Common: Cruttwell, Sherwood, Mote, Brown, Eldridge, McEniry, Foster, Feakins, Hole (Denny), Haward (Lusted), Estherby (Collier).
Video highlights compiled by Football CSM
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