Little Common beat Lingfield, Hassocks leave it late at Saltdean, Wick edge past Arundel

Little Common made it four straight wins when they won 3-2 at home to Lingfield in the SCFL premier – and in the same division, Hassocks left it late but won 2-0 at Saltdean. In division one, promotion hopefuls Wick edged past Arundel. And Wittering United won a friendly at Selsey. All the reports follow here...
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Little Common 3 Lingfield 2

SCFL premier

Little Common made it four wins in five games with a 3-2 win against Lingfield on Saturday afternoon.

Eastbourne United find the net at home to Loxwood - it finished 2-2 | Picture: Joe KnightEastbourne United find the net at home to Loxwood - it finished 2-2 | Picture: Joe Knight
Eastbourne United find the net at home to Loxwood - it finished 2-2 | Picture: Joe Knight

Player-manager Russell Eldridge returned to the starting line up along with goalkeeper Matt Cruttwell as Common looked to continue their impressive home form. It was the visitors who started the brighter of the two teams and Richie Whetton almost gave them an early lead after getting in behind the Common defence before thumping an effort against the post.

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The Commoners grew into the game as the half progressed and Lewis Hole saw a header palmed to safety before Sam Cruttwell blazed an effort over the bar.

It was the Commoners who opened the scoring just after the half hour mark when Sam Ellis slid in Freddie Warren who calmly slotted beyond the advancing keeper. Five minutes later and Common were 2-0 ahead when Eldridge’s through ball to Warren saw the ball bounce off the keeper and into the path of Hole for a tap in.

The visitors reduced the deficit seven minutes into the second period when a ball clipped into the area was met by Deji Adeosun who turned and fired the ball past Cruttwell. With the visitors pushing for an equaliser it was Common who were able to break and extend their lead when Warren crossed for Hole and despite the keeper saving his header, Ellis was on hand to rifle in the rebound.

Jack Benham of Wittering United FC - saved two penaltiesJack Benham of Wittering United FC - saved two penalties
Jack Benham of Wittering United FC - saved two penalties

Within four minutes the visitors found themselves back in the game when a short corner routine found Nassem James on the edge of the area and he hit an unstoppable effort into the top corner of the net.

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The Lingers pushed forward looking for an equaliser and the Commoners were reduced to ten men with twenty minutes remaining when Louis Walker was dismissed having been adjudged to be the last man following a foul on the Lingfield forward as he raced towards goal.

The resultant free kick was hooked to safety and the reshuffle in formation seemed to benefit Common more than the visitors as they reorganised and saw out the game with relative ease. The visitors were also reduced to ten men in the dying minutes and Common went on to claim another three points.

Saltdean 0 Hassocks 2

SCFL premier

For 75 minutes at Hill Park, it looked like Hassocks were going to suffer from that dreaded word frustration against Saltdean United.

The score was locked at 0-0 despite the Robins being the dominant side, particularly in the second half following the introduction of livewire substitute Jack Troak.

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Countless opportunities had gone begging and the travelling support were beginning to wonder if this was to be another of those days - and there have been quite a few this season - where Hassocks were going to rue their wastefulness.

But then the Robins found two goals in the final quarter of an hour, both of which were the result of brilliant link up play down the left flank from Leon Turner and Troak to secure a first league double over Saltdean since the 1994-95 season.

The first arrived on 76 minutes, just as the Tigers and former Hassocks head coach Brad Sweetman must have thought their luck was in and they were going to claim a big point in their battle against relegation.

Turner fed the overlapping Troak to pull a pass back to Phil Johnson who fired past Josh James to finally open the scoring.

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Six minutes later and the Robins made the game safe. Again Turner released Troak to set up a second which appeared to have been turned in by a Saltdean defender.

The dubious goals panel will have to rule whether it goes down as an own goal or to Troak.

James Westlake’s team selection laid bare his intention to attack opponents who his side had stuck five goals past in 24 first half minutes at the Beacon in November.

Johnson, Liam Benson and Pat Harding all started together for just the second time this season.

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Westlake also introduced tall striker Jamie Wilkes into midfield. Bradley Tighe was unavailable as he and his partner had welcomed a baby girl into the world earlier in the morning.

Sam Smith took Tighe’s place alongside Alex Bygraves at centre back.

Saltdean meanwhile could count upon six ex-Robins in their line up with Sweetman having recruited heavily from Hassocks following his summer switch to Hill Park.

Arthur Rawlingson and Danny Reid have recently moved from the Beacon to Saltdean and they joined fellow former Hassocks players Alfie Edmeads, Josh Tuck, Lewis Beebee and Connor Ghosh in the Tigers XI.

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The Robins nearly made the perfect start when Joe Bull sported James off his line and went for goal from 35 yards inside of 60 seconds. James though recovered the situation well.

Other than that, the opening exchanges were quite placid. It needed a Johnson half chance created by Harvey Blake down the right to spark things into life on 28 minutes, followed by Johnson heading a brilliant Westlake delivery over the bar from six yards.

The 35th minute saw Harding slide in Johnson to fire over. Turner then did everything right by beating two Saltdean defenders with his potent combination of pace and skill, only to drag his shot wide.

Given how Hassocks had finished the first half, Saltdean were relieved when the break arrived to bring them some respite.

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Any hopes that the 15 minute interval would derail the Robins’ momentum were quickly dashed as Hassocks were instantly on the front foot as soon as the action resumed.

Three minutes after the restart and Johnson headed a pinpoint Blake cross straight at James.

Saltdean were put even more under the cosh when the Robins replaced Bull with Troak on 54 minutes to overload the left side with attacking threat.

Just past the hour mark and Smith had a header cleared off the line, sparking pandemonium in the Saltdean box.

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No Hassocks player was able to capitalise and put the ball into the net.

Another big chance came the way of Johnson’s head from a Westlake free kick.

Two minutes later and a headed opportunity went to someone other than Johnson.

The outcome however was the same, this time Harding nodding straight at the thankful James.

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Hassocks finally opened the scoring six minutes after that missed Harding chance.

The relief in the away camp was obvious and even though you sensed one goal would be enough, the second was very welcome.

Scoring twice in quick succession seemed to push the Robins on to find more in the final 10.

A cleverly worked free kick put Westlake in one-on-one. For once, poor finishing was not to blame as James made an outstanding save to deny the Hassocks head coach.

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Saltdean mustered their best chance of the game with two minutes remaining.

It fell to Edmeads, denied a goal against his old club by James Shaw making a fine stop in what was the Hassocks goalkeepers only real action of the afternoon.

Hassocks: Shaw; Blake, S Smith, Bygraves, Troak; L Turner, Wilkes, J Westlake; Johnson, Benson, Harding. Subs: Troak (Bull 54), Gault (Benson 71), Loversidge (Harding 76), Rogers (Johnson 93), Broomfield (unused).


Elsewhere in the SCFL premier Eastbourne United drew 2-2 at home to Loxwood. You can see a picture of one of United’s goals above, taken by Joe Knight.

Wick 1 Arundel 0

SCFL Division 1

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Zac Harris slotted Wick back into the Division One play-off picture as the Dragons beat neighbours Arundel to celebrate their first win of 2023.

The striker pounced in the 19th minute, rounding Mullets goalkeeper Andy McCarthy after running onto a lovely pass from James Thurgar and rolling in his eighth goal of the campaign.

Harris nearly turned from poacher to provider moments later when he unselfishly set up Dave Crouch, only for the Ice Man to be denied by McCarthy’s acrobatic save.

Clear chances dried up after that with substitute Ollie Humphries hitting the bar from outside the area in the second half before former Wick winger Liam Brady sent his finish just wide when clean through.

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Wick always looked like taking the points in an untidy game and their first victory in five league matches was a relief to manager Lee Baldwin.

“There’s not a lot to say after that,” he said. “It was a scrappy match with neither side playing their best but we would have taken that result all day long before kick-off.

“We have certainly played much better than that without reward this season and the victory gives us a bit of breathing space over Arundel as we both chase a place in the play-offs.”

The match was played in front of 127 fans and Wick’s squad, decimated by injury and suspensions, had an average age of 22.

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Baldwin added: “I was happy to include some of our developing under-23 players in my plans and I thought Reece Hunt took his chance well starting in midfield.”

Selsey Reserves 0 Wittering United 2


Jack Benham saved two late penalties to secure Wittering a 2-0 win and stun Selsey Reserves at Seal Bay Stadium in a well-contested friendly.

Witterings' first attack saw James Brooks strike a low shot to the bottom left after just fou minuntes to put the visitors in to an unlikely lead. Lincoln Batchelor was unlucky with two glorious chances, narrowly shooting wide after getting in behind the Selsey back four. Selsey had a goal disallowed for offside at the far post.

Selsey made some changes and stepped up their tempo after the restart but still couldn't find an opening against a well organised Wittering side.

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On the hour Andre Almeida came on as sub and with his first touch slotted home with a deft finish with his left foot into the bottom corner to extend United's lead.

With ten minutes remaining Selsey were handed a lifeline but Jack Benham saved a weak penalty down to his right after a raised hand in the box.

MoM Rob Courtman's free-kick from 25 yards was pushed away for corner in the dying minutes.

However five minutes into added time a late challenge gave Selsey another opportunity from the spot, however Benham dived to his right saving again this time with his head!

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