Saltdean sink Little Common with late goal - Westfield overcome AFC Southwick

A goal nine minutes from time condemned Little Common to a 2-1 defeat against title chasing Saltdean United on Saturday.
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The Commoners were without a trio of players from the previous weekend’s win at Steyning Town with Sam Ellis, Freddie Warren and Ollie Weeks all missing through injury. It was the visitors who enjoyed the better of the early exchanges with the Commoners pinned back in their own half and Matt Cruttwell making a good save from close range.

The Commoners fashioned the best opportunity to open the scoring when Jamie Bunn released Jack McLean through on goal but a heavy touch just inside the area allowed the visiting keeper to claim the ball. United who opened the scoring in the tenth minute when a Common free kick was intercepted and Jack Langford was released down the left, after cutting into the area his first effort was saved before he clipped a cross to the back post for Kieron Pamment to head home.

Little Common scorer Jamie BunnLittle Common scorer Jamie Bunn
Little Common scorer Jamie Bunn
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Common began to enjoy more of the ball and show attacking intent of their own with Lewis Hole heading just over the bar from a corner and Jack McLean dragging an effort wide. At the other end Cruttwell was once again on hand to deny the visitors doubling their lead with fine stop from point blank range.

The second half saw Common begin on the front foot as they looked to force an equaliser but United remained a constant threat and almost doubled their lead when the ball was delivered in from the right but Cruttwell tipped the goal bound effort over the bar. In the 71st minute Common did get the reward that their efforts deserved when a ball into Bunn in the area saw him turn neatly before firing an effort past the United keeper.

Cruttwell was once again on hand to tip a looping effort over the bar before United grabbed the winner in the 81st minute when a shot from the edge of the area looked to be heading into the hands of Cruttwell before deflecting off the head of Callum Saunders and nestling in the opposite corner.

Westfield 2 AFC Southwick 1

Westfield went into their game with AFC Southwick knowing that nothing but a win would be enough.

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The teams were evenly matched in the first twenty minutes. Southwick created a couple of chances, as did Westfield. Dom Whittaker volleyed over from the edge of the box and Josh Pickering was agonisingly close to getting on the end of a George King cross from the left. Steffan Davies’s cross come shot was tipped over the bar by Southwick’s goalkeeper and Martyn Durrant had a stinging shot blocked by two Southwick defenders.

Midway through the first half Southwick struck first in spectacular fashion. The ball was played into Westfield’s box, before Southwick’s Rickie Mitchell teed himself up for an overhead kick. The ball nestled into the bottom corner of Westfield’s net. Westfield Manager Mark Stapley will have felt frustrated that Mitchell was allowed so much time in the penalty area.

The remaining minutes of the first half were scrappy, with both teams flying into tackles. Westfield’s Joey Dicken and Ronnie Austin were on the receiving end of two very strong challenges, with Austin carried off with what seemed like a serious knee injury.

Westfield began to show their quality in the second half, Ben Ferguson was unlucky when his shot from twenty yards was pushed past the post. George King was also unfortunate when he attempted his own overhead kick. King’s influence grew as the game went on and he ultimately helped provide Westfield’s equaliser. His through ball to Dom Whittaker was inch perfect and Whittaker finished at the second time of asking.

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Both teams pushed for the winner and at times it could have gone either way. Westfield however struck the all important second, with George King firing in a superb individual effort on his trusted left foot.

Westfield’s remaining fixtures in March are all away from home and they will need the same quality, commitment and confidence that was shown in this well deserved victory for the Westies.

Westfield: Holmwood, Radley, Dicken, Durrant Davies, Austin Farrance Ferguson Whittaker, King Pickering.

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