Common prevail in dramatic finish

Dominic Cruttenden scored an added time winner for Little Common, Picture by Bob Matthews

Dominic Cruttenden scored an added time winner for Little Common, Picture by Bob Matthews

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Little Common kept their top three hopes very much alive with a dramatic 3-2 win at home to Eastbourne United AFC tonight (Tuesday).

Dominic Cruttenden grabbed the winner in the third minute of added time, but United were left fuming at the end after the referee blew for full time when they thought they had been awarded a penalty.

Lewis Hole gave Common a ninth minute lead, but United reached half time on level terms after Liam Baitup equalised in the 28th minute with a long range effort that Common goalkeeper Jon Saunders might have done better with. To be fair to Saunders, though, he did pull off a couple of important saves.

United took the lead 25 seconds after the break through Jack McClean and looked in control for much of the second half, but Common always carried a threat going forward and equalised in the 86th minute when substitute Adam Smith latched onto Russell Eldridge’s ball forward and lobbed it over goalkeeper Adam Sargent.

Common striker Steve Morris hit the post with a 25-yard piledriver two minutes later. The hosts struck again in added time, though, as Sargent failed to get enough on his punch under pressure from Morris and Cruttenden superbly lobbed the ball home.

That wasn’t the end of the incident because United thought they had earned a penalty when Anthony Cooper challenged Jack Divall in the corner of the box more than seven minutes into added time only for the referee to blow for full time instead of a spot-kick.

Common are now three points behind third-placed United in Sussex County Football League Division Two with a game in hand and a vastly superior goal difference. See Friday’s Bexhill Observer for a full report and reaction.

Sussex Division Two top seven (played-points): Littlehampton Town 27-67, Newhaven 29-67, Eastbourne United AFC 30-58, LITTLE COMMON 29-55, Broadbridge Heath 29-49, Midhurst & Easebourne 28-47, WESTFIELD 29-46.

Tonight’s other results:

Sussex County League, Division 1: RYE UNITED 2 Redhill 2; SIDLEY UNITED 4 Arundel 2.