Little Common’s hopes of reaching the latter stages of a county knockout football competition were ended last night (Tuesday).
Macron Store Sussex County Football League Division Two side Common were beaten 3-1 in an entertaining Peter Bentley Challenge Cup third round tie at home to Division One strugglers Hailsham Town.
Common forward Lewis Hole struck the post in the first couple of minutes and how differently the game might have turned out had that gone in because the hosts then found themselves 2-0 down within 13 minutes.
Jack Divall gave Hailsham a sixth minute lead with a half-hit shot which took a significant deflection and wrong-footed the returning Matt Cruttwell in the Common goal.
Seven minutes later it was 2-0. A move which started from a throw-in midway inside Hailsham’s half ended with Jacob Adlam putting Sam Divall clear through the inside left channel and he squared for Danny Leach to shoot beyond Cruttwell.
Common responded quickly, though, by pulling one back just two minutes later. After Liam Hudson volleyed narrowly over, Steve Morris slipped the ball through for strike partner Hole to poke past goalkeeper James Firman.
The hosts were the better side for the remainder of the first half and were unfortunate to still be trailing at the break having caused plenty of problems for the away defence.
Martin Denny wasn’t far away with a shot from outside the box and Hole’s fierce drive was well saved by Firman, who then made a smothering stop at the feet of the same player following a good throughball by Russell Eldridge.
Morris glanced a header just wide of the far post from Eldridge’s corner, while Denny and Morris had strong penalty appeals turned down. At the other end, Denny blocked a goalbound shot from Leach and Hailsham had a claim for a spot-kick of their own waved away when Sam Divall went to ground.
Common didn’t carry the same threat after the break as Hailsham gained the upper hand. Sam Divall glanced a header just wide and then rounded Cruttwell only to stab wide under pressure from Jerome Smith. Morris had a shot saved by the feet of Firman from a cross by Denny, who minutes later saw a drive beaten out.
Jamie Salvidge shot just wide with only Cruttwell to beat and Sam Divall’s effort went beyond Common’s goalkeeper only to be cleared by Ricky Mote. Another penalty appeal was dismissed, this time for handball against Common captain Zack McEniry.
Hailsham put the result beyond doubt with a third goal in the 83rd minute. Sam Divall latched onto Adlam’s ball over the top of a very high Common defensive line and slotted past Cruttwell.
Hole had a shot beaten out by Firman, while Adlam seemed certain to add a fourth for Hailsham when he rounded Cruttwell only to shoot wide of the far post. Hailsham will host Division Two high-flyers Wick & Barnham United in the quarter-finals.
Common: Cruttwell, Sherwood, S. Mote (R. Mote 65), Eldridge, McEniry, Smith, Hudson (Ham 71), Feakins, Hole, Morris, Denny (Tudor 84). Sub not used: Burton.