Little Common top of the tree after flying start at Pagham
Little Common began their season with a resounding 4-0 win against Pagham following a solid all round team performance after their long journey to the west of the county - and the result put them top of the SCFL premier table at the end of the opening day.
Common gave debuts to four players, Sammy and Jamie Bunn and Jack McLean, all of whom signed from near neighbours Bexhill United, and Matt MacLean from AFC Uckfield Town, whiet the returning Jamie Crone and Jordan Harris also made the starting XI.
It was the hosts who went closest to opening the scoring in the opening minute when a well-delivered free kick into the box flashed across the goal before Matt Cruttwell was able to gather at the second attempt. Common’s best chance of the opening quarter came from Crone when he received a Sam Cruttwell pass in the Pagham area and created space for himself but was unable to apply the finish.
At the other end, Pagham saw a free kick hit the crossbar and fall to safety. McLean was beginning to cause havoc on the left hand side and it was his driving run and shot on goal which led to a pivotal moment in the match when a Pagham player, Jack Barnes, handled the ball on the line. The hosts were reduced to ten men and Cruttwell converted the resultant penalty to give Common the lead.
The Commoners now found themselves in the ascendancy and went in search of a second with Sammy Bunn’s ball across the box just eluding Crone and Cruttwell seeing a free kick clear the crossbar. The hosts almost equalised on the stroke of half time but Cruttwell was quick off his line and blocked the goal bound shot with his legs.
Common made the perfect start to the second half, doubling their lead within three minutes, Paul Feakins fed McLean and his pinpoint delivery found Sammy Bunn who slotted home. Common could have extended their lead with Cruttwell, McLean and MacLean all going close and the home keeper pulling off a number of good saves.
The home side rarely threatened the Common defence, although did create a chance to reduce the deficit with five minutes remaining but once again it was the feet of Cruttwell who denied them. Common made the game safe with two minutes remaining when Jamie Bunn jinked his way into the area before finding the bottom corner of the net. Lewis Parsons saw a goalbound header clawed away by the home keeper before Will Brown completed the scoring following a flowing move, volleying home after his initial shot was saved.
Little Common: M. Cruttwell, Harris, Feakins, J. Bunn, Parsons, Eldridge, MacLean, S. Cruttwell (Miriam-Batchelor), Crone (Brown), S. Bunn, McLean.