Little Common win at Steyning - Sidley overcome Westfield in absorbing MSL premier derby

Little Common made it three wins in four games with a hard-fought 1-0 victory at Steyning Town on Saturday.
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

Steyning 0 Little Common 1 - SCFL premier

With the exception of the returning Matt Cruttwell in goal, Common named an otherwise unchanged starting line-up to that from their previous outing at Alfold a fortnight earlier. In a fairly even open quarter neither keeper was really tested with Sam Ellis seeing an effort blocked for Common whilst two long range efforts for the hosts failed to trouble Cruttwell.

Sam Ellis was Little Common's scorerSam Ellis was Little Common's scorer
Sam Ellis was Little Common's scorer

Common looked to make use of their wide players with Ellis and Freddie Warren proving a constant threat with the latter seeing a cut back cleared to safety after driving into the box. Lewis Hole, on his 550th appearance for the club, was inches away from getting his head on a Jamie Bunn through ball before the match was brought to a halt following an injury to the Steyning striker after a collision with Cruttwell just before half time.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Common started the second half looking a lot more threatening with Warren hitting the post from a tight angle before Hole saw an effort pushed onto the bar by the home keeper. The hosts best chance came courtesy of a free header in the six yard box but Cruttwell did well to turn the effort round the post. The deadlock was broken in the 67th minute when a Warren delivery from the right deceived the keeper and allowed Ellis to slot home at the far post.

Ellis almost doubled Common’s lead when his driving run and shot brought a smart low save from the home keeper. The hosts did have chances of their own with Cruttwell tipping a looping effort over the bar before a deflected effort from the edge of the area dropped to safety. Another injury to a Steyning player saw a further delay in proceedings but Common were able to see out the remainder of the game to clinch the points and stay on course for their highest league finish in the club’s history.

A minute's silence for Westfield and SidleyA minute's silence for Westfield and Sidley
A minute's silence for Westfield and Sidley

Common: Cruttwell, Smith, Weeks (Jack), Ward, Parsons, Eldridge, Bunn, Walker (Miriam-Batchelor), Hole (McLean), Ellis, Warren.

Sidley United 4 Westfield 1 - MSFL Premier Division

Sidley United produced a battling second half performance to claim what could turn out to be a huge three points in a potentially decisive afternoon in the MSFL title race.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Both teams observed an impeccable minute's silence before kick off in honour of Westfield's manager Mark Stapley's wife, who sadly passed away last week.

Westfield travelled to table topping near neighbours, Sidley, on the back of a morale boosting win over Sedlescombe.

The Westies started brightly and seemed to have caught Sidley cold. Sidley couldn’t get to grips with the trickery and pace shown by a determined Westfield side.

The Blues found the first half a struggle though and Westfield were well in the game. Eventually the Blues did take the lead when the ball came through to Josh Elliott-Noye who arrowed a low strike into the corner of the net to give Sidley the lead on 18 minutes.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

But Westfield dug in and had a great chance to level when Dan Hutchins had to make a smart one-on-one save from George King.

Westfield did eventually get their reward with the goal of the game. Kyle Young turned well in midfield, before laying it to debutant Reece Johnson to tee up Stefan Davies on the left. His inch perfect cross was headed home by Josh Pickering to leave the teams level at half-time.

With news coming through that title rivals Ringmer were also drawing away to AFC Southwick at half time, Sidley knew they couldn't afford to drop points.

The second half had started brightly again for Westfield. Quality however shone through with Sidley’s set piece deliveries causing problems. Sidley took the game to Westfield at the start of the second half. On 60 minutes, they took the lead as a corner was flicked on by Paul Rogers and headed home by Zac McEniry.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Only then did Sidley fully settle down and subsitute Tyler Capon made it 3 - 1 when he finished smartly on 73 minutes. Westfield rallied, Pickering and Johnson both could have added to the tally. Their shots ended up agonisingly the wrong side of the upright.

A number of stoppages for fouls from both sides disrupted the flow of the game and from one such foul on the edge of the area, Lee Carey struck Sidley's fourth with a direct free kick low into the far corner on 80 minutes.

A huge result this as Sidley earned three points from a game that at one stage could easily have got away from them. Their title advantage is boosted with Ringmer losing 2-1 to Southwick meaning the Blues now hold a four-point lead with a game in hand.

Next week they will try for the third time to get their final away league match at Hollington United played.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

As for Westfield 4-1 was harsh on the Westies, but with a massive month coming up against teams in and around the bottom, they will take heart from this performance, albeit not the result.

Westfield chairman Jack Stapley thought that the score line was harsh on his players ‘We played really well for 75 minutess, pressed and made it difficult. Had Reece or Josh’s chances fallen the right side of the post we would have been in for a grandstand finish. I’m not disheartened by that result and I am proud of the way the lads played today. We can take real positives into the next month of games, knowing we need 4 wins from 8 to make sure we stay in the division."

Sidley: Hutchins, Walker, Featherstone, McEniry, Elliott-Noye, Carey, Ellis, N Crabb, Cornford, S Crabb, Rogers. Subs: McCue, Capon, Clifford.

Westfield: Holmwood, May(Austen), Durrant, Dicken, Davies, Young(Lavocah), Ferguson, Farrance, King(Moir), Johnson, Pickering.