Little Common dreaming of big glory in the FA Cup

Little Common caused an upset by knocking Staines out of the FA Cup – and now are dreaming of further glory.

Saturday, 14th August 2021, 7:57 am
Updated Saturday, 14th August 2021, 7:58 am
Little Common defend at Staines - successfully so / Picture: Graeme Wilcockson

They overcame the odds to win 2-1 in last Saturday’s extra preliminary round tie, continuing their excellent start to the season.

Little Common manager Russell Eldridge praised the effort and attitude of his players following the tremendous victory, which made them one of eight Sussex teams to get through the first stage of this year’s competition.

Common will now travel to Ashford-based South East Counties League side Kennington in the preliminary round on August 21.

Eldridge said: “The effort, attitude and application of the group was fantastic and we deserved the win and to be in the next round.

“We had a plan and executed this, we defended our box with a purpose and looked dangerous when attacking.

“We were solid and compact off the ball, working hard to restrict them, and in possession we used the ball to create opportunities.

“Jack McClean and Paul Feakins combined well down the left hand side and caused them problems all afternoon, the whole group were outstanding.”

The opening goal arrived in the 28th minute when Common keeper Matt Cruttwell released McClean and, after cutting into the penalty area, he unleashed a unstoppable curling effort into the top corner.

Just before half-time, Staines levelled when a quickly taken corner was delivered into the box and guided home.

The winner came on 72 minutes when the ball fell to Sam Cruttwell who rifled an effort into the bottom corner from the edge of the area.

Eldridge has been pleased with the manner in which his squad has started the season.

They had picked up four SCFL premier division points out of six before the Cup tie, beating Pagham 4-0 and drawing 0-0 with AFC Uckfield.

Eldridge said: “It’s been a good start to the season, picking up two wins and a draw and only conceding one goal.

“We have a good group of players that show togetherness and work hard for one another.

“We also have great quality on the ball and this has been evident in our attacking play so far.”

This weekend Common make the long trek to Loxwood looking to build on their solid start to the league season.

They then visit The Saffrons on Tuesday night to take on Eastbourne Town.

Sadly there was no FA Cup joy for Bexhill – they lost 1-0 in their extra preliminary round tie against Peacehaven, played at The Pilot Field in Hastings.

The Pirates were back in action on Friday evening when they took on Lingfield in an SCFL premier clash at Hailsham - but floodlight failure caused it to be abandoned.

Bexhill are in mid-table having won one and lost one so far in the league.