Commoners chopped down by Oak

Little Common’s footballers failed to build on back-to-back wins and clean sheets as they were beaten 2-0 away to Mile Oak on Saturday.

Little Common defender Jerome Smith keeps a close eye on Mile Oak's captain. Picture by Derek Martin (SUS-141117-100802002)
Little Common defender Jerome Smith keeps a close eye on Mile Oak's captain. Picture by Derek Martin (SUS-141117-100802002)

Two goals in the space of 10 minutes early in the second half did the damage as Common reached the midway point of their Macron Store Sussex County Football League Division Two programme with a defeat.

Common player-manager Russell Eldridge said: “We were extremely disappointed at the end of the game. It’s always a difficult place to go, but first half we played really well and were really comfortable. The game probably changed within a 10-minute spell.”

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The game only went ahead after the pitch passed a lunchtime inspection, although it probably wouldn’t have done had there been any more rain.

Common adapted pretty well to the heavy conditions and actually passed it quite decently at times. The visitors looked solid at the back and dangerous from set-pieces.

Although on another day they might have had a goal or two, Common were content enough with the 0-0 half time scoreline against a team which beat them 2-1 at the Recreation Ground in a Sussex RUR Charity Cup tie at the end of September.

The key moment of the contest came in the 55th minute. Eldridge felt that Common should’ve been awarded a ‘blatant penalty’ when Paul Feakins went down in the Mile Oak penalty box.

The referee waved away their appeals, though, and Mile Oak went straight down the other end to open the scoring. To rub salt in Common’s wound, the scorer, Jamie Watts, was probably Feakins’s man, but the teenager was still down from the tackle which prompted the penalty appeal.

At 1-0 Common still had a chance of getting back into it against sixth-placed opposition, but they were left with a huge task after conceding a second goal five minutes later - something they’ve had a tendency to do at times of late.

As Common’s defence stepped up, a Mile Oak attacker ran through and squared for Andrew McDowell to have a simple tap in.

Common huffed and puffed thereafter, but failed to score for the first time since their 3-0 loss away to leaders Worthing United on the opening day of the campaign.

Common: Cruttwell, Sherwood, R. Mote, R. Eldridge, McEniry, Smith, Feakins (Bristow), Brown, Hole, Denny (McDonald), Hill. Sub not used: C. Eldridge.