Eastbourne United pegged back by late Little Common leveller
A 92nd minute James Miriam-Batchelor equaliser saw Little Common begin 2022 with a with a well earned point in a 1-1 draw at Eastbourne United.
It was somewhat fitting that Common began the year at the ground which they had shared with their hosts for the previous four and a half years but once again Common remained below full strength due to illness, injuries and suspensions.
After a fairly even opening, it was the hosts who began to enjoy more possession but the Common defence, well marshalled by player manager Russell Eldridge, dealt comfortably with a sustained spell of United pressure. Matt Cruttwell was called upon to make a good stop with his legs before making a more routine save from an effort on the edge of the area.
Common did fashion a chance of their own when the hard-working Lewis Hole laid the ball through to Miriam-Batchelor but a bobble took the ball away from him as his bore down on goal.
It was Common who started the second half the brighter of the two teams, forcing a succession of corners before Hole saw an effort whistle past the post. However, it was United who took the lead following a break down the right and delivery into the box was prodded home at the near post by Cooper.
Common went in search of an equaliser and Eldridge saw a free kick turned round the post by the home keeper before Adam Smith saw his effort saved having travelled through a crowded area. With ninety minutes almost on the clock, Common had a glorious chance to equalise when Hole was released by Sam Ellis in the area but his well struck effort clipped the outside of the post and fell to safety.
Two minutes into injury time the equaliser did arrive when a corner was almost met by the head of Common keeper Cruttwell but as the ball bounced in the six yard box it fell kindly to Miriam-Batchelor who fired the ball into the net.
Common Cruttwell, Harris (Simmons), Weeks, J.Bunn, Walker, Eldridge, Miriam-Batchelor, Ward, Hole, Smith (Jack), Ellis.