Tate scores from centre spot as Little Common draw 3-3

Wes Tate scored twice, including a stunning strike from the centre spot, during Little Common's 3-3 draw away to Crawley Down Gatwick
Wes Tate scored twice, including a stunning strike from the centre spot, during Little Common's 3-3 draw away to Crawley Down Gatwick

Wes Tate scored straight from a kick-off before Little Common Football Club conceded two goals in the final seven minutes to draw 3-3 away to Crawley Down Gatwick.

Tate’s stunning strike put the Commoners 2-1 up immediately after Crawley Down had equalised in an entertaining Southern Combination League Premier Division game on Saturday.

The Commoners were once again severely depleted, missing six players, including goalkeeper Matt Cruttwell. Dan Ryan once again donned the gloves, with Adam Smith coming in to the starting line-up as Common went in search of a third successive win.

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The Commoners began the match positively, keeping the ball well and looking to exploit the pace of Sam Ellis on the left. Jamie Crone had the first opening of the game, but was unable to connect following a neat pull-back from Smith.

The hosts soon found their way into the match and looked to hit their big target man Oli Leslie, but the Common defence dealt well with the aerial presence despite seeing two headers flash across the goal.

Common took the lead in the 35th minute when an early ball to Ellis saw him burst into the area before being bundled to the ground. Russell Eldridge stepped up to slot home the resultant penalty.

The hosts looked for an immediate response and their persistence paid off three minutes later. A ball through the Common defence led to Michael Spence poking past Ryan to make it 1-1.

The Commoners wasted no time in regaining the lead with. Tate attempted an audacious effort straight from the kick-off and found the top corner of the net as the home goalkeeper desperately backpeddled.

Moments later, good hold up play and a lay-off from Crone set up Ellis, but his effort was saved by the feet of the home goalkeeper.

At the other end, Ryan pushed an effort round the post and another header landed the wrong side of the upright.

The home team dominated the early exchanges in the second half, forcing a succession of corners as they looked to draw level.

Common extended their lead, however, when a quick break ended with Tate curling a fine left-footed shot into the bottom corner from the edge of the area.

The Commoners almost made it 4-1 when Ellis raced into the area, but his pull-back to Crone was gathered by the home goalkeeper.

Crawley Down continued to press and blazed an effort over the crossbar from the edge of the area while numerous deliveries into the box were cleared to safety.

With seven minutes remaining, the hosts were thrown a lifeline with a dubious-looking penalty, which was dispatched by Nick Sullivan. Leslie then slotted home the equaliser a minute from time.

Gatwick pushed forward in search of a winner, but the Commoners held firm to clinch another valuable point. They remain 15th in the table with 14 points from 13 games.

Common: Ryan, Harris, Feakins, Ward, Parsons, Eldridge, Tate, Pool, Crone, Ellis, Smith (Collier).