Extra-time double fires Common into semi-finals

Little Common midfielder Adam Smith holds off a Selsey opponent. Pictures by Simon Newstead

Little Common Football Club needed extra-time before advancing to the semi-finals of its divisional cup competition.

A brace of Lewis Hole goals gave Common a 2-0 victory at home to Selsey in a scrappy Macron Store Southern Combination League Division One Challenge Cup quarter-final on Saturday.

Wes Tate on the ball for Little Common.

League leaders Common will face second-placed Langney Wanderers in the last four on a date and at a venue to be announced.

On a bobbly pitch and in a stiff wind, this was never likely to be classic and so it proved. But Common in the end did enough to get the result, even if their shivering supporters weren’t particularly grateful for an extra half-an-hour in the bitter cold.

Common played with the wind behind them during the first half of normal time and in truth didn’t make the most of it. Selsey were content to let Common have the ball at the back and get bodies behind the ball, and Common struggled to break them down.

Set-pieces and crosses into the box seemed Common’s best route to goal. Lewis Parsons headed just over at the far post from Russell Eldridge’s free kick on the right and later nodded wide from another Eldridge free kick, while Hole headed just wide of the far post from Liam Ward’s cross.

Charlie Bachellier gets his head to the ball.

Other than that, Hole’s angled drive following a lovely back heel from Wes Tate went narrowly wide of the far post and Jamie Crone had the ball in the net from Adam Smith’s cross-shot only for the offside flag to be raised.

Selsey’s best moment of the opening period came when Morgan Forry shook off Ryan Paul before firing just over with his left foot.

The visitors saw more of the ball and spent a bit more time in Common territory with the wind at their backs during a second period which developed into something of a stalemate.

If either side was going to score, you felt it would be Common, but goalscoring opportunities were very much in short supply at either end.

Ryan Paul closes down a Selsey opponent.

Hole had a shot pushed aside by Selsey goalkeeper Warren Boyt soon after the break and towards the end of the half Crone was denied by Boyd from an acute angle having latched on to Eldridge’s ball down the left and beaten his man.

With no goals in 90 minutes - for the first time in a Common game all season - the match went to extra-time. And with the wind behind them again, Common started strongly.

Crone clipped a decent effort from the edge of the box just over and Tate wasn’t far away with a shot from outside the area before Common made the breakthough in the 95th minute. Charlie Bachellier delivered a tremendous left wing cross and Hole touched the ball home from close in.

With Common goalkeeper Matt Cruttwell not forced into a genuine save throughout, from then on you felt there was only going to be one winner and Common saw the tie out comfortably.

They made sure of victory with a second goal five minutes into the second additional period. Crone unsuccessfully tried to turn home Smith’s low cross from the right-hand side of the area at the near post, but the ball ran through to Hole, who made no mistake.

Hole almost completed a hat-trick six minutes later, but this time was thwarted by Boyt as he went through on goal following Tate’s pass.

Common: Cruttwell, Paul, Bachellier (Collier), Ward, Parsons, Eldridge, Tate, Smith, Hole, Crone, Ellis (Walker 82).

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