Five-goal Rye go five clear at the top
Rye Town Football Club achieved a five-star victory over in-form opposition in Saturday's top-of-the-table clash.
Town scored four goals during the second half to clinch a 5-3 victory in a high scoring Macron East Sussex Football League Division One second versus first affair away to Little Common II.
The result puts Rye five points ahead of second-placed Common and six above third-placed Bexhill Town, who have two games in hand.
Shane Ridgers returned in goal after Adam Hurley got into logistical difficulties, while Alex Cooke made his first start on the wing against a Common side which had scored 11 goals in both of its previous two games.
Dom Cruttenden and Charlie Stevens formed a very effective new strike partnership, with Cruttenden scoring one goal and providing three assists against his former club.
Rye had the better of the early exchanges and Stevens headed the first real chance narrowly over after Cruttenden chipped the ball through to him.
The visitors then drew first blood in the 22nd minute. Sammy Foulkes drove forward and Cruttenden played a great ball through to Stevens, who smashed his shot into the top corner.
Common caused a few problems with their pace up-front. Ridgers saved bravely in a one-on-one situation before Zack McEniry fired into the corner of the net from outside the box to make it 1-1 at half time.
Rye felt confident of coming out on top in the second half, though, and retook the lead in the 51st minute. Stevens was in the right place to slot into the empty net after Cruttenden’s cross came off the goalkeeper.
Rye went further ahead 11 minutes later. This time Stevens ran at the home defence and played in Cruttenden, who produced a lovely dinked finish over the onrushing goalkeeper.
Ollie Skinner broke through and shot narrowly wide on one occasion, but a similar foray not long afterwards ended with him scoring his first goal for the club to make it 4-1 in the 77th minute.
Ridgers dislocated his finger, but courageously carried on after Foulkes popped it back in place.
Rye had dealt well with Common’s pace in attack, but the hosts pulled one back in the 84th minute with a decent early strike.
Five minutes later Common made it 4-3 when a shot bounced awkwardly in front of Ridgers and went straight in.
Common’s tails were up, but Rye got their rewards for sticking together well and battling for one another with a match-clinching fifth goal in the 90th minute. Great workrate from Stevens pulled the goalkeeper out of position and young Joe Hanny lobbed the ball home from 25 yards.
The Pikes Cleaning-sponsored man of the match was Cruttenden and the match was sponsored by Will Gamble from Bosuns Bites.
Rye: Ridgers, Wilson, Henham, Willis, Cooke (Osborne), Ball (Hanny), Foulkes, Gould, Skinner, Stevens, Cruttenden. Sub not used: Earl.
Rye will take on Northiam 75 in their first home derby of the season tomorrow (Saturday). Kick-off at The Salts is 2pm. Ridgers is out, and Ben Heffernan and Rob Levett are still injured, while Luke Willis is on holiday.
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