Video: Common boss hails ‘magnificent’ players

Little Common Football Club player-manager Russell Eldridge hailed his players as ‘magnificent’ after the festive derby victory over Bexhill United.

Common overturned a half time deficit to clinch a 2-1 win at The Polegrove on Boxing Day thanks to second half strikes by Wes Tate (penalty) and Dan Cruikshank.

Little Common striker Lewis Hole attempts to block Georges Gouet's ball forward

Little Common striker Lewis Hole attempts to block Georges Gouet's ball forward

Eldridge said: “I thought the boys did magnificently. Going in 1-0 down at half time wasn’t ideal, but after a few stern words and making the boys realise where we are and what we’ve got to do, they turned on the gas in the second half.

“Teams aren’t going to make it easy for us, but every time people keep questioning us, we keep on responding, and I’m absolutely delighted and made up for everyone.”

Eldridge, who delivered the corner which Cruikshank headed home for the winner, said patience was key to the turnaround after a number of first half chances went begging.

“I thought we were very poor at the start of the game, but after that we got ourselves back into it and I thought we dominated,” he continued. “In the first half especially we had some nice interchanges, and created some good opportunities with some good movement and good passing.

Little Common forward Jamie Crone tries to hold off Bexhill United defender Ashley Kidman

Little Common forward Jamie Crone tries to hold off Bexhill United defender Ashley Kidman

“We had some good possession on the ball and on another day we probably we probably would’ve scored a few more goals; we just lacked that little bit of quality in the final third. We did create the chances, but were unable to convert them.

“It’s just about being patient and second half we just lacked a little bit of control to start with, but once we got the goal, it just settled us down a bit. I thought Sav (Harry Saville) was excellent and it was a clear penalty.”

The result extended Common’s run to seven consecutive Macron Store Southern Combination Football League matches and the last time they failed to win in the league was on Bonfire Night.

“Two months unbeaten in the league I think is a massive achievement at any level of football,” Eldridge went on. “Seven wins on the spin has been magnificent.

Bexhill United captain Billy Trickett keeps a close eye on Wes Tate

Bexhill United captain Billy Trickett keeps a close eye on Wes Tate

“It’s important we don’t get too emotional when we win games and likewise when we lose games. It’s just about one game to the next, and I know I may sound boring and people may think differently, but that’s the way I look at it because if you look too far ahead of yourselves, that’s when you come undone. We will continue to focus from game to game.”

Common will end 2016 three points clear at the top of the table with 13 games remaining. They possess the best goal difference in the division, have scored more goals than anybody else and have lost the fewest matches.

“We’re in a good position,” Eldridge added. “Whether we like it or not, people are going to try a little bit harder against us. When we are where we are, it becomes a tougher challenge - people want to shoot us down.

“That’s the way football goes and we’ll be happy just to keep on churning out the wins where possible and keep on going.”

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!