Little Common’s footballers finally won away to crosstown rivals Bexhill United after triumphing in an extraordinary game this morning (Monday).
First half goals from Lewis Hole and Nick Richardson gave 10-man Common a 2-0 victory over seven-man Bexhill in Macron Store Southern Combination Football League Division One.
In sunny and mild conditions at The Polegrove, Common were the better side during the opening period. Common defender Jerome Smith had the game’s first chance with a far post header from a Russell Eldridge free kick which he couldn’t quite direct on target.
Hole headed a long Steve Morris free kick just over and Eldridge flashed a free kick from near the byeline on the right just beyond the far post, while at the other end, Andy Garman had a couple of sights of goal and Jack Aston headed over.
Common had a confident penalty appeal waved away when Richardson went to ground under the challenge of Dan Cruikshank as he sought to get on the end of a long kick by goalkeeper Matt Cruttwell.
A Morris free kick was beaten out by Bexhill goalkeeper Elliot Stokes and Eldridge drilled the follow-up just over from inside the D. Josh Elliott-Noye drove just wide at the other end moments later.
The goal Common had been threatening arrived in the 37th minute. Hole controlled an Eldridge pass perfectly on his chest to put himself through on goal and duly slotted past Stokes for his 18th of the season.
Common were reduced to 10 men almost straight away, however. Young full-back Dave Ammoun was shown a second yellow card for a tackle not far from the away dugout.
After Elliott-Noye was denied by Cruttwell, Common doubled their lead in the 42nd minute. Richardson - who was only playing because leading scorer Jamie Crone was out injured - met Eldridge’s long ball over the top with a delightful first time finish over Stokes on the half-volley.
Bexhill pushed Sam Cooper forward for the second half and started strongly. Bexhill were convinced they should’ve been awarded a penalty when Morris was adjudged to have bundled over Kevin Barden, but a free kick on the edge of the box was given instead and Cooper’s low drive was scrambled aside by Cruttwell.
The numbers were levelled up on the hour when Garman was shown a second yellow card for a foul on Dan Estherby, although Bexhill had a chance to equalise soon afterwards as Cooper missed the target having got away from Smith.
Both sides hit the post within a minute of each other. Barden’s shot squirmed through Cruttwell and against the post with Elliott-Noye just unable to turn home the rebound, while at the other end, Estherby’s lob struck the upright with Stokes off his line having punched clear under pressure from Hole.
Stokes made a good save with his feet to keep out Richardson’s shot after good work from Estherby and Barden was denied by Cruttwell when invitingly placed inside the box.
It all went wrong for Bexhill thereafter. Cooper was shown his second yellow card in the 79th minute for a tug on Liam Foster and just a minute later Nathan Tudor was given his marching orders, apparently for a somewhat out-of-character stamp.
Bexhill went down to seven men in the 83rd minute when Aston saw red for lashing out at Estherby, an act unlike the Bexhill captain. To make matters worse still, Bexhill assistant manager Marc Gall was sent to the stand following his angry reaction to the decision.
Bexhill: Stokes, A. Cooper, N. Tudor, Elliott-Noye, Cruikshank, Aston, Garman, S. Cooper, Barden, Munday, Pestana. Subs not used: A. Tudor, Ottley, Roberts, Burgon.
Common: Cruttwell, Ammoun, S. Mote, Eldridge, Morris, Smith, Foster, Holden (Trickett HT), Hole (Brown 82), Richardson, Estherby (Bristow 85). Subs not used: Lusted, Denny.
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