Little Common’s footballers had to settle for a thrilling 4-4 draw at home to Oakwood yesterday (Saturday) after conceding in the final minute of added time.
Common looked to have won a dramatic Macron Store Southern Combination Football League Division One fixture when they went ahead only a minute earlier, but Oakwood snatched a point right at the death.
Once again Common player-manager Russell Eldridge was forced into changes with Liam Foster and Billy Trickett coming in to replace Jerome Smith and Sam Brown.
The Commoners were unable to emulate their lightning start of the previous weekend and it was the visitors who enjoyed the early pressure. Oakwood broke the deadlock after 11 minutes when a scuffed clearance in the Common area fell to Jack McNab to stab home.
Three minutes later and the scores were level. Jared Lusted’s throughball found Jamie Crone, who was brought down as he rounded the goalkeeper. The visiting stopper was surprisingly only shown a yellow card and Eldridge dispatched his second penalty in as many weeks.
Common were now the more dominant of the two teams and it was no surprise when they took the lead in the 18th minute. Good link-up play between Crone and Lusted ended with the latter firing beyond the Oakwood goalkeeper.
Lewis Hole saw an effort pushed round the post and a succession of corners went unconverted as Common looked to extend their lead. The visitors got back on level terms 10 minutes before the interval, however, when a Jamal Sultan effort from just outside the area beat an unsighted Matt Cruttwell and nestled into the bottom corner.
Common should have regained the advantage on the stroke of half time when Lusted’s delivery across the box found Foster, but his effort was struck wide.
It was the Commoners who began the second period the brighter of the two teams with Dan Estherby causing havoc on the left-hand side. Three deliveries into the area went agonisingly wide.
Despite a bright spell from the Commoners, it was Oakwood who took a 3-2 lead. A quick counter-attack resulted in Aiden Cawte firing past Cruttwell after bursting into the area.
Common pressed for an equaliser and saw two further penalty appeals for handball waved away before another Estherby delivery into the box was prodded wide by an Oakwood defender.
With three minutes remaining, Common got back on level terms when a throughball by Eldridge found Crone, who raced clear of the defender before slotting home.
The drama was far from over and Common took a 4-3 lead deep into added time. The visitors were unable to clear an Estherby corner and Hole’s shot on the turn was deflected into the net.
Common’s lead lasted less than a minute, though. Oakwood forced a corner from the resulting kick-off and despite Common clearing the initial danger, a delivery back into the box was met by Marlon Maxwell to level the scores once again.
Common: Cruttwell, R. Mote (Holden), S. Mote (Bristow), Foster, Ammoun, Eldridge, Lusted, Trickett, Hole, Crone (Wells), Estherby.
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