Little Common's footballers celebrated their biggest win of the season with a resounding 7-1 victory over Langney Wanderers yesterday (Saturday).
Wes Tate netted a hat-trick, Jamie Crone bagged a brace, and there was one apiece for Lewis Hole and debutant Tom Climpson as Common hammered nine-man opposition on a cold afternoon at the Rec.
It was the perfect response to a first home league defeat of the season against Selsey in Common's previous outing two weeks earlier and emphatically avenged two cup defeats to Langney earlier in the campaign.
The Commoners therefore expected a tough Macron Store Southern Combination Football League Division One match, but ran out comfortable winners after surging into a 4-0 half time lead.
Common gave a debut to Hastings United youngster Climpson, while Jared Lusted and Dom Bristow also returned to the starting line-up.
The opening 15 minutes were relatively even, with both teams enjoying spells of possession. Terry Payne saw an effort palmed round the post by Common goalkeeper Matt Cruttwell before poking wide when well placed in the area. At the other end, a last ditch tackle prevented Crone from getting a shot away.
The deadlock was broken in the 17th minute when a Russell Eldridge free kick was met at the far post by Climpson, who rose to head beyond the visiting goalkeeper.
Five minutes later and it was 2-0. Tate opened his account from the penalty spot after Crone was clipped in the box.
Wanderers then found themselves reduced to 10 men following the dismissal of former Common and Bexhill United defender Josh Elliott-Noye for what the referee considered an elbow at a Langney corner.
Despite that, Paul Rogers squandered a decent opportunity to reduce Langney's deficit by shooting wide of the post when through on goal.
Common were now enjoying the majority of possession and it was no surprise when they added a third goal two minutes before the interval. Hole latched on to a Steve Mote pass before squaring for Crone to rifle home.
Crone made it four on the stroke of half time by rounding the goalkeeper and slotting home following a Climpson throughball.
The second half started as the first had finished with Common looking to add to their tally, Tate saw an effort blocked after weaving his way into the area before scoring the fifth in the 55th minute, racing into the area and drilling the ball into the far corner of the net.
The visitors pulled a goal back when a ball across the Common area was guided into the net by Paul Weatherby in the 58th minute.
But it was only a temporary respite. Hole was denied by the goalkeeper before Common made it 6-1 in the 70th minute. Shane Saunders was sent-off for upending Crone as he bore down on goal, and after the referee and linesman decided the foul was committed just inside the box, Tate buried the subsequent penalty into the bottom corner.
Common weren't finished there and added another five minutes later. Tate lifted the ball over Langney's defence and Hole stepped inside the last defender before rolling the ball home.
They could still have had more, but substitute Rosh Wells volleyed just wide from Hole's cross, Tate was thwarted by a fine save and another replacement, Harry Saville, had the ball in the net from Tate's pass only for the offside flag to be raised.
In amongst those near misses, Langney came close to a second goal when one of their substitutes couldn't quite hook the ball home following a left wing corner.
Common: Cruttwell, Bristow, Mote, Eldridge (Saville), Climpson, Cruikshank, Lusted (Wells), Tate, Hole, Crone (Walker), Smith.
Southern Combination League Division One top seven (played-points): 1 Saltdean United 26-59, 2 East Preston 25-58, 3 LITTLE COMMON 26-56, 4 Mile Oak 27-56, 5 Steyning Town 28-53, 6 Lingfield 25-45, 7 BEXHILL UNITED 28-37.
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