Local pride will be at stake when Bexhill United and Little Common go head-to-head on Monday (Boxing Day).
Just two places and five points separate the teams in the Sussex County Football League Division Two table so a cracking contest is on the cards at The Polegrove. Kick-off is 11am.
Bexhill joint manager Jamie Podmore said: “It was a big game anyway, but even more so coming off the back of two defeats. We need to have a reaction on Monday, but I’m confident that we will get a reaction because it’s a local derby and you shouldn’t have to say anything to get your players up for a local derby.”
The teams have met once already this season with Bexhill running out 2-0 winners in a Hastings & District FA Senior Cup semi-final at The Polegrove on Tuesday October 25.
That match turned out to be the last of Mark Linch’s five-year reign as Common boss. Russell Eldridge replaced him a week later, and Common have won three and drawn one of their seven league fixtures under the 28-year-old’s stewardship.
Eldridge said: “We’ve been in some good form lately, but we’ll probably start the game as underdogs because we’ve played them once and they’ve beaten us. We’ll be approaching the game as we do any other game. We’ll go there be professional, be disciplined, be organised and work hard.”
Matt Sellick has completed his suspension, while Bexhill are hopeful that Martin Denny, Josh Elliott-Noye and Andy Garman will be fit after missing the midweek defeat at Eastbourne United AFC through injury.
Common may be without Chas Lister and Graham Morris due to family commitments, while several players, including Jamie Crone (slight groin strain) and Eldridge himself (tight hamstring), are carrying knocks.