Late winner puts Common two points clear

Adam Smith's second goal of the season earned Little Common a last gasp 2-1 victory away to Selsey.
Adam Smith's second goal of the season earned Little Common a last gasp 2-1 victory away to Selsey.

An injury time header from Adam Smith saw Little Common Football Club return from Selsey with all three points yesterday (Saturday).

The Macron Store Southern Combination Football League Division One leaders overturned a half time deficit to clinch what could turn out to be a precious 2-1 victory.

The result lifted Common two points clear of second-placed Wick, who conceded a 93rd minute goal to draw 1-1 away to Common’s local rivals Bexhill United.

The Commoners made the long trek west with a similar squad to that which triumphed 1-0 over Steyning Town the previous weekend, although it did include new signing Lee Carey in the starting line-up.

Common player-manager Russell Eldridge was still sidelined through injury, while Harry Saville replaced Smith in midfield.

It was the home side who made the brighter start to the match and Common goalkeeper Matt Cruttwell blocked well with his legs when a home forward was well placed.

The Commoners failed to create too many chances of their own, but Saville saw an effort hit the side-netting and a flick from a Carey free kick was easily gathered by the home goalkeeper.

Selsey opened the scoring in the 25th minute when a delivery into the box was met by the unmarked Robert Madden at the far post and he fired beyond Cruttwell.

Selsey could have extended their lead, but Cruttwell was on hand to make the save before Lewis Parsons effected an important block in the area.

The Commoners looked more a threat at the beginning of the second half and almost equalised immediately, but Jamie Fielding was unable to get enough purchase on his close range header.

Selsey then missed a glorious opportunity to double their lead when a ricochet fell kindly at the feet of a home forward, but he fired wide with only Cruttwell to beat.

At the other end, Sam Ellis fired an effort across the goal and Saville failed to trouble the goalkeeper from 30 yards.

With 20 minutes remaining, Selsey were reduced to 10 men and the Commoners reshuffled with Carey moving into midfield. It was his delivery which led to equaliser, Lewis Hole heading home from eight yards.

Despite their numerical disadvantage, the hosts continued to press forward, but were once again thwarted by Cruttwell when well placed.

Common had the final say. When a half cleared corner was lifted back into the area by Parsons, Smith rose highest to head home and clinch the points.

Common: Cruttwell, Carey, Walker (Maynard), Ward (Bachellier), Fielding, Parsons, Savillle, Tate, Hole, Crone (Smith), Ellis.

Southern Combination League Division One top half (played-points): 1 LITTLE COMMON 14-37 (+43 goal difference), 2 Wick 14-35 (+33), 3 Langney Wanderers 13-31 (+29), 4 Lingfield 14-28 (+17), 5 Steyning Town 13-24 (+16), 6 Mile Oak 13-23 (+6), 7 BEXHILL UNITED 14-22 (+17), 8 Selsey 13-22 (+10), 9 Hailsham Town 12-20 (-1).