Common pegged back in league opener

Lewis Hole opened the scoring in Little Common's 2-2 draw at Southwick.
Lewis Hole opened the scoring in Little Common's 2-2 draw at Southwick.

Little Common Football Club began its league campaign with a 2-2 draw away to Southwick on Saturday.

The hosts battled back from two-goal half time deficit to claim a share of the spoils on the opening day of the Macron Store Southern Combination Football League Division One season.

The Commoners were much changed from their FA Cup fixture the previous weekend, with Jerome Smith, Lewis Parsons, Wes Tate and Jared Lusted all missing.

But they began the match in the best manner possible, taking just 27 seconds to open the scoring. Lewis Hole netted at the second attempt following a good delivery across the box from Jamie Crone.

Neither team really threatened to add to the goal tally in the first half on an afternoon when passing wasn’t at its premium.

Crone did force a smart save from the home goalkeeper after racing into the box and Hole was unable to direct a volley goalwards.

At the other end, the only real noteworthy chance came just before half time when, following some neat footwork, an effort was hooked just wide of the post.

Common doubled their lead through a Russell Eldridge penalty on the stroke of half time after Sam Ellis was upended as he drove into the area.

Common controlled the opening exchanges of the second period and looked the most likely to add to their tally, with Crone guiding an effort just wide before Hole saw a shot blocked.

A double substitution with 15 minutes remaining seemed to spark the hosts into life and it was one of the substitutes who set up the first Wickers goal, pulling the ball back from the byeline for a simple finish.

Common appeared to have seen off the Wickers pressure before Eldridge was harshly penalised for a shirt pull with a minute remaining and Southwick converted the resulting penalty.

The Commoners still had chances to win the match, with Crone striking a post before Rosh Wells just cleared the crossbar with seconds remaining.

Common: Cruttwell, Harley (Ryan), Bristow, Ward, Walker, Eldridge, Saville (Smith), Wells, Hole, Crone, Ellis (McEniry).