Bexhill United manager Marc Munday has accused some of his senior players of ‘bottling’ the Easter derby clash against Little Common.
Munday expects to be without several players for Monday’s match at the Recreation Ground, which will kick-off at 11am, and says he feels ‘let down’.
He said: “Already I’m having people pull out for the Monday and I feel I’ve had senior players bottle out of the derby day.
“What happens is they’re seeing a few people not there for a game no-one wants to be humiliated in and maybe they don’t feel we’re going to be a force.
“I feel let down by a few, but I’ll stick with the youngsters, and against the odds and what I regard as a good Little Common outfit, we’ll see what we can do.
“I was gutted about missing that game last year through injury or suspension. You know there’s going to be a crowd down there, and that you’ve got the chance to upset the applecart and have the bragging rights.”
Matches between the crosstown rivals have been dominated by whichever team is at home in recent years, but Common bucked the trend with a 2-0 victory in the Christmas derby at The Polegrove when five players were sent-off, four of them from Bexhill.
And while Bexhill will be hoping for a slice of revenge, Common have the chance to complete a rare league ‘double’ over Bexhill, who they also beat in a Peter Bentley Challenge Cup tie at the Recreation Ground last September.
“I guess everyone will be looking forward to it,” said Common player-manager Russell Eldridge. “It’s another game of football, but you know it’s maybe got that that little bit of an edge to it and there’s obviously bragging rights.
“Obviously no-one wants to lose a derby game, but it will be no different to any other game where we want to be picking up three points.
“It’s going to be a difficult game. It will be tough, competitive and on a difficult surface so it will just be who can have that bit of quality on the day.”
Eighth-placed Common are one position and six points ahead of Bexhill with two games in hand. Both clubs will also be in action tomorrow (Saturday), against teams they’ve yet to play this season.
Bexhill will contest their fourth successive match at home to bottom four opposition when Sidlesham make the long journey to The Polegrove for a 3pm kick-off. Munday expects to field a similar squad to last weekend’s 1-0 defeat against Midhurst & Easebourne.
Common, who have this week brought in Cameron Burgon from Bexhill, will travel to sixth-placed Southwick tomorrow in the first of their three matches in five days.
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