Common surge back into top three

The referee has a word with the two number 10s, Wes Tate and Paul Weatherby. Pictures by Simon Newstead
The referee has a word with the two number 10s, Wes Tate and Paul Weatherby. Pictures by Simon Newstead

Little Common’s footballers moved back into the top three courtesy of a good away win last night (Tuesday).

Goals from Wes Tate, Lewis Hole and Bradley Pritchard gave the Commoners a 3-1 victory over Langney Wanderers in Macron Store Southern Combination Football League Division One.

On a chilly night and a very firm pitch at The Oval, Langney had more of the possession and territory during the first half but Common were one-up at the break.

The goal came in the 21st minute. Langney full-back Luke Satchell couldn’t cut out a forward pass and Tate pounced, stepping inside Shane Saunders before driving low past Adam Sargent in the home goal for his 25th Common goal this season.

Other than that, Hole saw a well-struck volley parried by Sargent early on, while at the other end, Paul Weatherby’s 25-yard strike was saved by the feet of away goalkeeper Matt Cruttwell and Jamie Salvidge put the rebound over the top with the offside flag up.

Cruttwell got a touch to divert the ball wide as Nathan Crabb tried to lift it over him and towards the end of half Wayne Wilkinson shot wide of the near post.

Little Common player-manager Russell Eldridge keeps a close eye on Nathan Crabb.

Little Common player-manager Russell Eldridge keeps a close eye on Nathan Crabb.

Common started the second period strongly and fashioned two decent chances to double their lead. Hole was firstly denied by replacement goalkeeper Connor Saunders after getting on the end of a great throughball from Pritchard, who then delivered a cross which Tate headed wide of the far post.

Langney instead equalised in the 53rd minute. Weatherby skinned two Common defenders on the home left and although his angled shot was parried by Cruttwell, Wilkinson drove the ball back into the danger area and Salvidge touched it home.

Weatherby shot just wide and a lovely hit from Wilkinson was held by Cruttwell either side of Pritchard’s sweet strike from range being well held by Saunders.

Common went back in front on the hour. Adam Smith drove forward from a central position midway inside the home half and slipped a neat ball through for Hole to poke past the goalkeeper, taking his tally for the season to 29.

Pritchard drilled a long range effort narrowly over, but Common then endured a couple of very close shaves at the other end as Langney built up a head of steam.

Weatherby rattled the underside of the crossbar with a terrific strike after Common failed to clear a Tristan Jarvis free kick and Dominic Clarke put the rebound over. Two minutes later, Cruttwell did enough to thwart Salvidge as he tried to round him.

Common wrapped up the points with a third goal in the 82nd minute. Pritchard received the ball in plenty of space just outside the area and drove a terrific shot into the bottom corner, possibly with the aid of a slight deflection, for his first Common goal.

After that Tate’s glancing header from a Pritchard free kick went just wide of the far post and Hole volleyed narrowly off target from Dom Bristow’s cross. Weatherby’s fiercely struck shot at the other end was straight at Cruttwell.

Having lost twice to Langney in cup competitions in the early part of the season, Common got their own back by winning both league meetings between the clubs and scoring 10 goals to boot.

Common: Cruttwell, Bristow, Mote, Saville, Cruikshank, Eldridge, Smith (Walker 90), Pritchard, Hole (McEniry 90), Tate, Lusted (Wells 87).

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