Common beaten by runaway leaders

Little Common Football Club became the latest victims on Haywards Heath Town's seemingly unstoppable march towards the league title.

Wednesday, 9th March 2016, 10:00 am
Updated Thursday, 7th June 2018, 10:00 pm
Little Common wide midfielder Jared Lusted tries to take on Haywards Heath Town defender Bailie Rogers. Picture by Simon Newstead

Runaway leaders Heath made it 21 consecutive Macron Store Southern Combination Football League Division One wins with a 3-0 victory away to Common last night (Tuesday).

Common started well on a breezy and showery night at the Recreation Ground, and might well have gone ahead early on. Lewis Hole was denied by Nathan Cooper’s goal-saving tackle after Jamie Crone’s cross-shot was pushed out by goalkeeper Simon Lehkyj.

Hole then had a great chance to give Common the lead when he latched on to a Jared Lusted pass, but was denied by Lehkyj in a one on one situation and Heath went straight down the other end to draw first blood themselves. Danny Turner’s shot was saved by Common goalkeeper Matt Cruttwell and Rob O’Toole tapped in the rebound.

Heath then started to dominate. Matt Geard’s deflected shot from distance flew just over, and from the resulting corner, Heath’s first effort was blocked on the line by Sam Brown and the follow-up hit the post.

Jamie Weston was whiskers away from doubling Heath’s lead with a shot from outside the area before an effort from another corner was kept out by a combination of Cruttwell and Russell Eldridge.

Dan Estherby’s angled shot following an excellent ball from Eldridge was saved by Lehkyj, while at the other end, Cruttwell pulled off a superb stop to repel Carl Dunk’s powerful drive from outside the area.

Common started to spend a bit more time in Heath territory towards the end of the half only to concede a second goal on the counter-attack in the 42nd minute. Turner’s initial shot was saved by Cruttwell, but he promptly crossed for O’Toole to score his 32nd goal in as many matches with a simple header.

The second half was largely uneventful as Heath saw the game out comfortably. Dunk ballooned a shot well over from inside the box, but the same player made it 3-0 with a shot on the turn after Weston’s free kick ricocheted off the Common defensive wall.

Hole went just wide with a well-struck long range effort in Common’s best moment of the second half, but the usually freescoring Commoners have now failed to score in three successive league matches and have lost all of them.

Common: Cruttwell, Maynard, Mote (Wells 78), Eldridge, Morris, Sherwood (Curteis 74), Lusted (Aston 33), Brown, Hole, Crone, Estherby.

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