Common up to second after late winner

Wes Tate struck twice in the second half to earn Little Common a come-from-behind 2-1 win away to Southwick.
Wes Tate struck twice in the second half to earn Little Common a come-from-behind 2-1 win away to Southwick.

A Wes Tate goal two minutes from time propelled Little Common's footballers up to second in the league table.

Tate's second of the afternoon clinched a come-from-behind 2-1 victory away to Southwick in Macron Store Southern Combination Football League Division One.

On a dreadful afternoon for football, with persistent heavy rain for the duration of the 90 minutes, the Commoners were once again missing a number of players.

There were just two changes to the starting line-up from the team which beat Ringmer 6-0 the previous weekend, with Dan Cruikshank and Lewis Hole coming in to replace Jamie Crone and George Aston.

In a fairly even opening quarter, both teams did well trying to adapt to the tricky conditions and neither goalkeeper was tested. The Commoners enjoyed more possession, but Hole was often isolated up-front against a very defensive-minded home side.

Southwick had the first real opportunity of the match after 25 minutes when the ball skidded through the Common defence, allowing the Wickers forward to race through one on one with Matt Cruttwell, but the Common goalkeeper did well to save with his legs.

At the other end, a long range Russell Eldridge effort was the closest that the Commoners came to breaking the deadlock and the score remained 0-0 at half time.

The home side enjoyed a spell of pressure early in the second half, forcing a number of corners. And it was a delivery into the Common box which led to the opening goal when Dean Smith rose to head home after 53 minutes.

The goal seemed to spring Common into life and they immediately went in search of an equaliser, with Hole seeing two efforts comfortably saved by the home stopper.

The equaliser did arrive after 58 minutes. Following a quick break on the left and some neat passing across the front of the box, the ball fell to Tate, whose drilled shot could only be palmed into the net by the goalkeeper.

With conditions worsening, chances were created at both ends. Cruttwell pushed a low effort round the post and Tate saw a shot flash across the area.

A winning goal did arrive when Tate received a throw in the corner of the pitch, and twisted and turned into the area before firing an effort which squirmed under the goalkeeper at his near post.

Common: Cruttwell, Walker (Denny), Mote, Eldridge, Cruikshank, McEniry, Bristow, Tate, Hole, Smith (Sloat), Wells.

Southern Combination League Division One top six (played-points): 1 Saltdean United 16-36, 2 LITTLE COMMON 16-32, 3 Steyning Town 17-32, 4 Mile Oak 16-31, 5 East Preston 14-30, 6 BEXHILL UNITED 17-27.

See our comprehensive sports coverage in the Observer every Friday.

Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.

Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.

1 Make this website your homepage

2 Like our Facebook page at facebook.com/pages/Sport-Sussex
3 Follow us on Twitter @SportSussex

4 Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.

And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!