Little Common Football Club forward Jamie Crone was ‘unplayable’ according to player-manager Russell Eldridge in a splendid cup victory on Tuesday night.
Crone struck twice and Sam Ellis once as the Commoners won 3-1 away to fellow Southern Combination League Premier Division side Horsham YMCA in round two of the Sussex Senior Challenge Cup.
Eldridge said: “Jamie was unplayable, his hold-up play was good and he looked dangerous. But it was another good team performance - the back four defended well, especially Lewis (Parsons) and Ryan (Paul).”
See also: * Tate scores from centre spot as Little Common draw 3-3
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Common would’ve gone into the match as underdogs against a Horsham side lying second in the table, but they counter-attacked very well during an even first half and opened up a two-goal lead.
Crone opened the scoring by lifting the ball over the outcoming goalkeeper having made a great run to get on the end of Adam Smith’s pass.
Dan Ryan and Wes Tate combined for Ellis to make it 2-0 with a fine finish from the right-hand side of the area into the far corner after Common kept the ball alive at a corner.
Horsham halved their deficit before the break through a decent strike by Dean Bown into the top corner from outside the box, although Eldridge felt Common could have closed him down better.
The hosts enjoyed a lot of possession after half time, but Common did a good job of frustrating them and restricting them to few clearcut opportunities. Stand-in goalkeeper James Firman made a couple of saves too.
Crone had a chance at the other end and substitute Will Spice struck the crossbar from just inside the area. Crone wrapped the game up with a late third goal, punishing a mix-up in the home defence by running through, rounding the goalkeeper and slotting into the empty net.
“We thoroughly deserved the win, the boys were excellent,” added Eldridge, who pushed himself forward into midfield from defence.
“Second half we had to defend a bit more than we would’ve liked to have done, but we showed there were no weak links in us and everyone was committed to the cause. We defended resolutely, nicked a goal at the end and could’ve had a couple of others.
After seven successive away games in the various cup competitions, Eldridge is hoping for an elusive home tie in the last 16 draw.
Common: Firman; Harris, Paul, Parsons, Ryan; Ward, Eldridge, Tate (Morgan); Smith (Spice), Crone, Ellis (Astell).