Little Common Football Club is determined to hit straight back from what player-manager Russell Eldridge called an ‘embarrassing’ defeat.
The Commoners were knocked off the top of Macron Store Southern Combination Football League Division One after being hammered 6-0 at Lingfield last weekend.
Eldridge said: “They were a decent team, I didn’t under-estimate them. But to be honest we got what we deserved, we were poor all round the pitch. We had no energy, we lacked quality and maybe we didn’t get the selection quite right.
“It was an embarrassing performance, and I know the boys were all upset and embarrassed by it. It’s given us some food for thought and we need to rectify it quickly.”
Although fourth-placed Lingfield have been in fine form lately, the result would have raised eyebrows across the county as Common had won 12 and drawn one of their previous 14 league fixtures this season.
“The last month we’ve not played particularly well,” continued Eldridge. “We’ve been picking up points and maybe some of those results have papered over the cracks. Maybe it’s a wake-up call we need.
“It’s a heavy defeat and it hurts, but we have to be men - we can’t sulk about it. I will be expecting a reaction moving forward.”
Common responded to their previous league loss this term, away to new leaders Wick last month, with three successive victories and they will be hoping for something similar this time.
Approaching the midway point in their league campaign, Common are still in a great position and they could cement that with three points away to Billingshurst today (Saturday) - on a day when Wick and third-placed Langney Wanderers are playing each other.
Billingshurst, incidentally, are fourth-from-bottom with 11 points from 14 matches - 26 fewer than Common have amassed.
“We have to fight back and put it right, and ultimately that’s all we can do,” added Eldridge. “At the end of the day we’ve lost three points and we have to try to rectify that next time out.
“It’s a test of character, it’s a test of the boys and their desire as well to see how much we really want to be where we are.”
Louis Walker is away this weekend, but Common should otherwise be close to full strength.
Southern Combination League Division One top half (played-points): 1 Wick 15-38 (+35 goal difference), 2 LITTLE COMMON 15-37 (+37), 3 Langney Wanderers 14-34 (+31), 4 Lingfield 15-31 (+23), 5 BEXHILL UNITED 15-25 (+18), 6 Steyning Town 14-24 (+15), 7 Mile Oak 14-23 (+4), 8 Selsey 13-22 (+10), 9 Ringmer 15-21 (+9).