Four-star Common net impressive victory

Liam Foster tussles for possession during Little Common's 4-1 win at home to Oakwood. Picture by Simon Newstead
Liam Foster tussles for possession during Little Common's 4-1 win at home to Oakwood. Picture by Simon Newstead

Little Common's footballers struck twice in either half to clinch an impressive victory yesterday (Saturday).

Lewis Hole's double, and one apiece from Jamie Crone and Martin Denny gave Common a 4-1 win at home to Oakwood in Macron Store Southern Combination Football League Division One.

Playing with the breeze during the first half, Common took less than five minutes to open the scoring. Hole latched on to Russell Eldridge's ball over the top and executed a superb lob over advancing goalkeeper Jess Grimstone from 30 yards.

With Common playing some good football, Jake Sherwood fired wide at the end of a good move down the left and Liam Foster - who made a discernible difference on his return from injury - drove into the side-netting at the near post.

Oakwood started to enjoy a lot of the play approaching the midway point of the first half. Gerald Manville headed over from corner before the visitors conjured up a well-worked 22nd minute equaliser, Darren Tidey heading home Aiden Cawte's right wing cross at the near post.

With the game very open and watchable, Cawte's low drive was saved by Common goalkeeper Matt Cruttwell, while at the other end, Hole flicked an Eldridge cross into the side-netting at the near post and Foster's 25-yard strike was saved by Grimstone low to his right.

Jamie Crone closes down an Oakwood opponent. Picture by Simon Newstead

Jamie Crone closes down an Oakwood opponent. Picture by Simon Newstead

Common hit the front in the 40th minute. Crone ran at the Oakwood defence and used his pace to get clear on goal before slotting through the legs of Grimstone with his left foot.

Manville headed just over at a free kick during a rather scrappy start to the second half before Common established a two-goal cushion with a lovely goal in the 64th minute. Foster delivered an inviting cross from the left, which Hole met with a splendid header past Grimstone at the near post.

Oakwood enjoyed plenty of possession thereafter, but Common remained solid in defence - with Dan Cruikshank enjoying another good game - and their pace and energy going forward caused plenty of problems when they broke.

Eldridge sent a free kick just over the crossbar and Sherwood was denied by Grimstone at the end of a good Common break, either side of Cruttwell making a fine save to tip over Clive Pillar's header following a long throw.

Harry Saville on the ball for Little Common against Oakwood. Picture by Simon Newstead

Harry Saville on the ball for Little Common against Oakwood. Picture by Simon Newstead

Common completed the scoring with another nicely executed goal in the first minute of added time. Denny received an Eldridge pass and skipped past his man before rolling the ball beyond Grimstone.

Common should have added a fifth a minute later, but Dom Bristow blazed over from two yards with the goal at his mercy following Eldridge's ball across goal.

Common: Cruttwell, Cooper (Aston HT), Curteis, Eldridge, Ammoun, Cruikshank, Foster, Sherwood, Hole (Bristow 88), Crone (Denny 83), Saville. Sub not used: Wells.

Standings (played-points): 1 Mile Oak 6-15, 2 Saltdean United 6-13, 3 Langney Wanderers 5-12, 4 East Preston 4-10, 5 LITTLE COMMON 5-10, 6 BEXHILL UNITED 6-10, 7 Lingfield 4-9, 8 Steyning Town 5-9, 9 Storrington 6-9, 10 Midhurst & Easebourne 5-5, 11 Oakwood 6-5, 12 Selsey 4-4, 13 Ringmer 5-4, 14 Southwick 6-4, 15 AFC Varndeanians 5-4, 16 Billingshurst 5-4, 17 Seaford Town 4-1, 18 St Francis Rangers 5-1.

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