FA Cup special report: Little Common, Newhaven, Saltdean and Peacehaven among teams through
It was a super-busy day of FA Cup extra preliminary round football on Saturday and we have a round-up featuring news of Little Common, Newhaven, Saltdean, Peacehaven, AFC Uckfield, Bexhill, Eastbourne Town, Eastbourne United, Mile Oak, Steyning, Littlehampton, Broadbridge Heath and Pagham.
Staines 1 Little Common 2
A superb performance saw Little Common cause an FA Cup upset with a 2-1 win at Staines Town on Saturday afternoon. The Commoners made the journey to Surrey with a depleted squad but still proved too strong for their Isthmian League hosts to progress into the preliminary round of world’s most famous cup competition.
Manager Russell Eldridge was forced into a number of changes despite having been able to field the same starting eleven for the previous two matches with Lewis Hole, Will Brown and Ollie Weeks all coming into the starting line-up. It was the hosts who began the match on the front foot, enjoying some early possession without really threatening the Common goal. A long range effort flashed across the goal and a driving run and ball across the box fell to safety.
The Commoners began to get more of a foothold in the game and the trickery of Jack McClean on the Common left was a constant threat to the home defence. The hosts almost took the lead courtesy of Eldridge when his clearance rebounded off the post but he did well to react quickly and block two goal bound efforts. The opening goal arrived in the 28th minute when Common keeper Matt Cruttwell released McClean and after cutting into the penalty area he unleashed a unstoppable curling effort into the top corner of the net to give Common the lead.
McClean almost made it two when he once again cut inside and curled an effort towards the far post but it agonisingly fell just the wrong side of the upright. A sweeping Common move saw a chance fall to Hole but he was unable to make full contact and his effort did not trouble the home stopper. With half time approaching Staines found an equaliser when a quickly taken corner was delivered into the box and guided home to ensure the scores remained level at the interval.
In an even start to the second half it was Common who created the better chances with Jamie Bunn seeing an effort palmed to safety and Jamie Crone and Lewis Parsons both firing efforts wide. The home side were reliant on long range efforts which rarely troubled Cruttwell but he did have to be alert to divert a heavily deflected effort over the bar with twenty minutes remaining.
The winning goal came eighteen minutes from time when Bunn’s timely interception saw the ball fall to the feet of Sam Cruttwell who rifled an effort into the bottom corner of the net from the edge of the area. The hosts pushed for an equaliser but the Common defence, once again well marshalled by Eldridge and Parsons, held firm and the only effort of note came in injury time when Cruttwell pushed a free kick away to safety. Common will now travel to Ashford based, South East Counties side, Kennington in the preliminary round on the 21 August.
Little Common: M.Cruttwell, Weeks, Feakins, Bunn, Parsons, Eldridge, Brown, S.Cruttwell, Hole, Crone, McClean.
* Lee Robinson scored twice as Newhaven thrashed Camberley Town 6-1 at the Trafalgar Ground in the Extra Preliminary Round of the FA Cup on Saturday.
Prolific marksman 'Robbo' netted after only three minutes and doubled his tally 20 minutes from time after left back Lee Robinson fired a rocket for the second goal and right back Rob Malia headed in to make it 3-0 at the interval.
Dockers' substitutes Lukas Franzen-Jones and Alfie Rogers added impressive late strikes after Patrick Cox pulled one back for the outclassed visitors.
Newhaven will now host the powerful Jersey Bulls, 10-1 conquerors of Horsham YMCA , a week on Saturday - the next of TWELVE more stages they will need to negotiate to reach the Wembley Final!
Newhaven's Southern Combination League local rivals Saltdean United also had a convincing home cup victory over Surrey opposition, beating Frimley Green 4-0 with Callum Saunders, Reece Hallard and Trevor McCreadie all on target before an own-goal to qualify for another home tie with Sheppey United.
In this, the 150th season of football's most famous knockout competition, Newhaven and Saltdean will also be accompanied into the next round by Peacehaven and Telscombe who won 1-0 at Bexhill United thanks to Liam Benson's first-half goal and now receive Crawley Down Gatwick.
However, AFC Uckfield lost 2-1 in Middlesex against Ashford Town despite Tyler Pearson's stunning equaliser while two Eastbourne clubs also perished on the cup trail with United crashing 6-2 at Chatham and Town tumbling out 4-2 at home to Guildford City.
Mile Oak were beaten 2-0 by visiting Punjab United while Broadbridge Heath were crushed 6-2 by Littlehampton.
Steyning Town 2 Pagham 2
Steyning Town twice came from behind to earn a replay in the FA Cup against managerless Pagham FC on Saturday. In a see saw game it was the Barrowmen who could have snatched the tie late on spurning a number of good chances in the last quarter of the game to win the tie.
On a blustery afternoon Steyning were forced in to a few changes with skipper Gathern and centre-backs Younger and Murphy all unavailable. Murphy failing a late fitness test. Darby and Sparkes were both unavailable too due to isolating.
The Shooting Field cup tie was end to end almost from the first whistle with chances at both ends in the first 15 minutes. Bennett missed towns best chance after going through one-on-one and at the other end Hawkins kept the game goalless with a couple of really good saves.
The deadlock was broken by the visitors midway through the first half when Chalmers headed home totally unmarked after a Radmore free-kick was delivered onto the penalty spot. The visitors just about worthy of their lead at the interval based on the balance of play.
The second-half was quite different as Town attacked with the wind behind them and it wasn’t too long before they were level. Cousins much more of a threat in this half was upended after twisting in the box and Bold made no mistake calmly firing the spot kick home. Towns front three of Bennett, Cousins and Bradley were now looking really sharp and causing the Pagham defence all sorts of problems as Town spurned some good half chances.
However there was a sucker punch at the other end as Pagham swung in a corner right under the crossbar and Clarke powered a header home with real determination. 1-2.
However Steyning did not let this affect them and continued their dominance of the half and they got their reward on 80 minuteswhen Bennett got on the end of a Howell cross deep from the right and managed to volley home with his left foot off the underside of the bar. 2-2.
There was more drama late on in the final minutes, firstly Hawkins made another save down low to keep the visitors at bay. Then right at the death Steyning won a corner which was swung in from the right and Fitzpatrick was there with a header that crashed off the underside of the bar from merely a yard out. So close to snatching the tie and progress to the next round.
Overall 2-2 was a pretty fair result and the teams should be commended on playing out a cracking cup tie, which they can now do again on Tuesday night. A special mention for Scott Faber dropping in to centre back putting in an excellent performance. Good to see some players getting more minutes and getting closer to full match fitness after a disrupted pre season.
Steyning: Hawkins, Clarke, Faber, Fitzpatrick, Sabino, Bold, Howell, McGrath, Bennett, Cousins, Bradley. Subs used: Spano, Oloko, Not used: Ruiz, Simpkin
* Steyning report by Richard Woodbridge