Little Common Football Club was beaten by its landlords last night (Friday).
The Commoners lost 2-0 against an Eastbourne United AFC team which celebrated its first win of the Southern Combination League Premier Division season in its first game under new manager Arron Hopkinson.
Eastbourne fielded just four players in their starting XI who began their previous match and one of their new arrivals, Sam Schaaf, scored both their second half goals.
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Kane Penn and Sam Willett, both of whom were part of the Common side which won 4-0 in August’s reverse fixture, featured in central midfield for Eastbourne, while Common gave a debut to dual registered Hastings United youngster Panashe Makwiramiti at right-back.
On a bobbly and fairly slippery surface, Eastbourne came closest to scoring during a first half of few goalscoring opportunities. Alberto Lubango’s half-hit shot in the 12th minute beat Common goalkeeper Matt Cruttwell, but was cleared off the line by defender Lewis Parsons.
Later in the half, Schaaf headed wide of the far post via a slight touch from team-mate Tyler O’Callaghan. At the other end, a low shot from just inside the box by Sam Ellis was safely gathered by new Eastbourne goalkeeper Jordan Hawkins.
The second period - in which Common had their wind at their backs - began in similarly uneventful fashion before the contest started to liven up a bit approaching the hour mark.
Eastbourne substitute Hallum Cousins got his foot to a great cross from the home left, but couldn’t direct his effort on target.
At the other end, Common captain Lewis Hole had a goalbound shot blocked after Parsons headed Russell Eldridge’s corner back across goal and moments later another Eldridge corner sailed straight in only to be ruled out for an infringement.
Eastbourne drew first blood in the 66th minute. Schaaf, who had looked a threat for much of the evening, controlled Dale Penn’s cross with his back to goal before hitting a shot on the turn into the far bottom corner.
Schaaf’s shot at the far post from a Cousins ball across goal was blocked by Eldridge shortly before Eastbourne doubled their advantage in the 84th minute.
Schaaf flicked on a corner from the left at the near post and Dan Rogers was sent sprawling in the six-yard box. The referee pointed to the spot and Schaaf made no mistake with the resulting penalty, which he struck straight down the middle.
Common had a couple of decent efforts in added time, firstly when James Pool’s well-struck shot was blocked near the line and then when Eldridge’s 25-yard free kick was pushed wide by Hawkins, but the result was a fair one.
Eastbourne: Hawkins, D. Penn, Euba, Willett, Rogers, Jones, Lubango (Cousins 55), K. Penn, Schaaf (Whitley 90+5), Pearson (Baldwin 88), O’Callaghan.
Common: Cruttwell, Makwiramiti, Feakins (Ryan 90+2), Ward (Weeks 85), Parsons, Eldridge, Tate, Pool, Hole, Crone, Ellis (Astell 85).