Little Common Football Club’s victory last weekend was a reward for its perseverance, according to player-manager Russell Eldridge.
The Commoners ended a run of one point from eight Southern Combination League Premier Division matches with a 4-2 win at home to Hassocks.
Eldridge said: “We needed the points and I thought the performance, especially for the first hour, was excellent. We kind of lost our way a bit, but we were extremely pleased with the three points and it was well-deserved.
“It’s a reward really for the perseverance of the group over the last few weeks when things haven’t been great.
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“The previous weeks in the league there’s been some good performances, and maybe we haven’t been getting the rewards we wanted and probably deserved in some of the games. Hopefully that will be a boost for us moving into the next few games.
“As a team we’ve stayed positive, and I think that’s been reflected in the performances and the result on Saturday.
Common were 2-0 up in the first 17 minutes. They added a third before half time and a fourth in the 55th minute before conceding twice in the last half-an-hour.
“We wanted to be positive from the outset and we started brightly,” continued Eldridge. “We were on the front foot and I thought we looked dangerous when we went forward.
“We wanted to get ourselves in front and we haven’t done that too often this season. I think the third goal was key for us because it came at a time when we were just under a bit of pressure. It took that momentum away from them, as did the fourth goal.
“(In the last half-hour) we struggled to get out, but we stood up to the challenge, especially the last 15 minutes when we were down to 10 men.
“Ryan Paul was excellent at the back, the midfield three were good again and the wide boys worked hard as well.”
The one downside for Common was having captain and leading scorer Lewis Hole sent-off during the second half. Hole will be suspended for Common’s next three games, although fellow forward Jamie Crone has now completed an identical ban.
“He was upset and was adamant he didn’t do anything, and I trust him on that,” Eldridge went on. “It was six of one and half-a-dozen of the other, and unfortunately Lewis came off worse.”
Common remain third-from-bottom of the table, but are only two points behind 12th-placed AFC Uckfield Town heading into a key game away to fourth-from-bottom Arundel tomorrow (Saturday).
“With the result we’ve had, that’s going to buoy us with a bit of confidence,” added Eldridge. “It’s one of those games we have to get something out of.
“We have to go there and get something out of the game otherwise the result we had at the weekend is lost. We spoke about putting back-to-back results together and that’s what we need to do.”
Sam Ellis hopes to be fit after coming off at half time with a tight hamstring last weekend. Lewis Parsons should be back, but Nick Richardson and Chris Cumming-Bart are likely to remain sidelined for another week or two. James Maynard looks to be out long-term.
“We’ve had a couple of seven-day approaches which haven’t been successful,” said Eldridge. “It’s difficult because there are teams in the league with very good budgets and that’s not how we work. But I’m happy with the group and they’re working hard. The togetherness and spirit are the most important things at the moment.”