Common boss frustrated and gutted after defeat

Russell Eldridge admitted to feeling frustrated and gutted after Little Common Football Club failed to make absolutely sure of the league title yesterday (Saturday).

Sam Winter on the ball during Little Common's 3-2 defeat away to Langney Wanderers yesterday. Pictures by Simon Newstead
Sam Winter on the ball during Little Common's 3-2 defeat away to Langney Wanderers yesterday. Pictures by Simon Newstead

The Commoners were edged out 3-2 away to second-placed Langney Wanderers when a draw or better would have guaranteed them top spot in Macron Store Southern Combination League Division One.

They will still be crowned champions, however, as long as they avoid a six-goal defeat in their final game at home to Billingshurst next Saturday.

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Speaking after the Langney game, Common’s player-manager Eldridge said: “I’m very frustrated and gutted really; not just today, I think it’s the last two weeks (Common lost 2-1 at home to third-placed Lingfield the previous Saturday).

Liam Ward prepares to go in for a tackle with Langney Wanderers midfielder Simon Catt.

“We haven’t really been at our best since we played Langney in the semi-final (Common beat Langney 4-0 in a Division One Challenge Cup last four tie on April 11).

“Where we’ve been in such a good position, we wanted to get it done as quickly as we could.”

Eldridge was left to rue the manner of the goals Common conceded in the first hour of the match as they fell 2-0 and 3-1 behind - and the chances they failed to convert thereafter.

“Today we were very poor defensively,” he continued. “We gifted them two of their goals and after the goals we seemed to come alive.

“They sat off a little bit and gave us the ball. First half we had a lot of possession, but we weren’t brave enough on the ball. We didn’t get the ball high enough up the pitch to create panic amongst their back four.

“We gave away two cheap goals, but the goal (which Common scored) on half time gave us a lifeline, an opportunity to get back into it.

“Once we conceded the third goal we had a right go, but the ball wouldn’t go in. We had some good opportunities to at least get back on level terms, but unfortunately we were unable to convert them.

“We certainly didn’t deserve to win the game. You can’t concede three goals and expect to win the game.”

Southern Combination League Division One top half (played-points): 1 LITTLE COMMON 33-82 (+72 goal difference), 2 Langney Wanderers 34-82 (+66), 3 Lingfield 33-76 (+64), 4 Ringmer 34-64 (+31), 5 Wick 33-60 (+31), 6 Mile Oak 34-56 (+14), 7 BEXHILL UNITED 34-55 (+20), 8 St Francis Rangers 34-47 (-14), 9 Selsey 33-46 (+2).

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