Little Common Football Club chalked up its 15th league win of the season with a 4-1 victory away to AFC Varndeanians yesterday (Saturday).
Goals from Lewis Hole (2), Russell Eldridge and Jamie Crone ensured table-topping Common began the second half of their Macron Store Southern Combination League Division One programme with three more points.
The Commoners arrived at Withdean Stadium without suspended duo Charlie Bachellier and Liam Ward, as well as an unwell Harry Saville. Sam Winter came in for his first start since his switch from Westfield and Adam Smith returned to the starting line-up.
Common made a bright start to the game and Hole was presented with the first chance, but was unable to adjust his feet and saw his effort blocked on the goal-line following a ball into the six yard box from Smith.
A well-worked corner between Wes Tate and Sam Ellis led to the latter firing over from just outside the box. Common took the lead in the 22nd minute thanks to Hole’s header from an Eldridge free kick.
Common almost doubled their advantage, but after rounding the goalkeeper, Crone looked to have been impeded and was unable to make full connection with the ball and his goalbound shot was cleared to safety.
The same player also found the side netting from a tight angle, while at the other end, a speculative long range effort was comfortably dealt with by Matt Cruttwell.
Varndeanians equalised after half an hour when a delivery into the area was rifled beyond Cruttwell and into the bottom corner of the net by James Waters.
The visitors were back in front on the stroke of half time, however, as Eldridge’s sweetly-struck free kick found the top corner of the net.
The Commoners began the second half positively and played some nice football as they looked for a third goal. Crone saw an effort clear the crossbar following Hole’s cut-back before a well-struck Smith shot was gathered by the home goalkeeper.
Common’s third goal arrived following a neat interchange between Ryan Paul and Tate, whose goalbound effort was poked in from close range by Hole.
At the other end, Cruttwell was only called upon to deal with long range efforts which he did comfortably. Common added a fourth goal a minute from time when Eldridge saw a free kick palmed away and Crone pounced to complete the scoring.
Common: Cruttwell, Paul, Maynard (Walker), Winter (Feakins), Parsons, R. Eldridge, Tate, Smith, Hole (C. Eldridge), Crone, Ellis.
Southern Combination League Division One top half (played-points): 1 LITTLE COMMON 18-46 (+43 goal difference), 2 Langney Wanderers 17-40 (+33), 3 Wick 18-39 (+32), 4 Lingfield 18-38 (+32), 5 BEXHILL UNITED 18-31 (+20), 6 Mile Oak 17-29 (+5), 7 Steyning Town 17-28 (+19), 8 Ringmer 18-27 (+11), 9 Selsey 16-26 (+10).