Common claim another higher level scalp

Lewis Hole in the thick of the action for Little Common against AFC Uckfield Town. Picture by Simon Newstead
Lewis Hole in the thick of the action for Little Common against AFC Uckfield Town. Picture by Simon Newstead

Little Common's footballers defeated higher grade opposition for the third time this season to reach the last 16 of the county's premier knockout competition.

Two goals in the first half and one in the second gave the Commoners a 3-1 victory at home to AFC Uckfield Town in round two of the Parafix Sussex Senior Challenge Cup last night (Tuesday).

Lewis Hole had already driven just wide before giving Macron Store Southern Combination Football League Division One side Common a 10th minute lead against Premier Division outfit Uckfield.

It looked like the chance had gone when Hole took a heavy touch, but away goalkeeper Matt Dann failed to gather the ball as he slid out, presenting the Common forward with a simple tap in.

A decent left-foot strike by Martin Denny was pushed away by Mann diving to his right and the same player then miscued when unmarked at the far post from a Russell Eldridge corner.

Common were in charge at this point and doubled their advantage in the 26th minute. Jamie Crone was bundled over by Victor Borode as he bore down on goal following a lovely flick by Wes Tate, who duly drilled home the resulting penalty.

Common celebrate their match-clinching third goal. Picture by Simon Newstead

Common celebrate their match-clinching third goal. Picture by Simon Newstead

Uckfield gradually started to gain more and more possession, and Common gifted them a route back into the match in the 42nd minute. A corner from the away left looked innocuous enough until squirming through the hands of home goalkeeper Matt Cruttwell and trickling over the line.

Common came under a lot of pressure in the second half as Uckfield enjoyed virtually all the play, but they defended resolutely to preserve their slender cushion, always seeming to get a body in the way when they needed to.

For all Uckfield's possession, they were largely restricted to shots from the edge of the box or outside it as they struggled to penetrate a Common rearguard well marshalled by Dan Cruikshank.

Cruttwell pulled off a trio of saves from Hassan Ibrahim, firstly beating out a thunderous drive and secondly acrobatically palming away another good strike.

Little Common midfielder Harry Saville on the charge. Picture by Simon Newstead

Little Common midfielder Harry Saville on the charge. Picture by Simon Newstead

Sam Cooper was just off target with an overhead kick for Uckfield, while Common full-back George Aston made a goal-line clearance at a corner within seconds of coming off the bench.

Common had barely ventured anywhere near Uckfield's penalty area during the second period, yet it was they who struck next to kill the game off in the 84th minute. An Eldridge free kick into the box dropped to Crone, who buried a well-struck shot into the corner of the net.

Common: Cruttwell, Ammoun (Aston 62), Mote, Eldridge, Cruikshank, McEniry, Saville (Burgon 58), Tate, Hole, Crone, Denny (Smith 80). Subs not used: Wells, Walker.

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