Little Common Football Club saw its perfect home league record come to an end with a 3-2 defeat against Ringmer yesterday (Saturday).
Two Sam Ellis goals weren’t enough for a Common side which had won all of its 10 previous Macron Store Southern Combination League Division One games at The Oval this season.
Common player-manager Russell Eldridge was forced into a number of changes, with Ryan Paul, Harry Saville and Charlie Bachellier all missing through illness, and Lewis Hole and Louis Walker unavailable.
It was a relatively even opening to the match, with Ringmer having a goal direct from a corner ruled out following a push on Common goalkeeper Matt Cruttwell and a last ditch tackle prevented Jamie Crone getting a strike away at the other end.
A well-timed Eldridge tackle stopped a Ringmer attack on the edge of Common’s penalty area and Wes Tate drew a save from the Ringmer goalkeeper following a neat Common attack.
Ringmer took the lead 10 minutes before the interval when a first time effort from the right-hand side of the penalty area squirmed past Cruttwell and into the corner of the net.
The Commoners found it difficult to keep possession at the beginning of the second half before enjoying a good spell of pressure without really troubling the visiting goalkeeper.
Ringmer extended their lead following a swift attack which saw a near post header nestle in the back of the net.
The Commoners pulled a goal back with 20 minutes remaining when Ellis finished off a Tate delivery across the area which the assistant signalled had crossed the line despite the protests of the Ringmer players.
Common changed their formation as they looked for an equaliser, but chances were at a premium and Ringmer extended their lead as the Commoners pushed forward.
Tate was then unable to get a good connection to a long Cruttwell kick which cleared the Ringmer back line before Ellis scored the goal of the game, finding the top corner of the net from just inside the area with two minutes left.
Common continued to press, but it wasn’t to be as Ringmer - who have improved markedly since losing 5-0 in August’s reverse fixture - held firm.
Common: Cruttwell, Feakins, Maynard (Collier), Ward, Parsons, Eldridge, Smith, Winter (Harley), Crone, Tate, Ellis.
Southern Combination League Division One top half (played-points): 1 LITTLE COMMON 22-55 (+52 goal difference), 2 Langney Wanderers 22-53 (+40), 3 Wick 21-44 (+34), 4 Lingfield 20-42 (+34), 5 Mile Oak 21-38 (+14), 6 BEXHILL UNITED 22-37 (+19), 7 Selsey 20-34 (+13), 8 Ringmer 22-33 (+10), 9 Steyning Town 22-31 (+16).