Common relief at staying up

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Little Common are set to remain in senior football.

A vote was held at the Sussex County League’s annual general meeting on Wednesday night which came down in favour of increasing Division One from 20 clubs to 22.

The knock-on effect of that was no relegation from Division Two. Had Division One remained at 20 teams, Common may well have gone down from Division Two for failing to meet the ground grading criteria by the March 31 deadline.

Common player-manager Russell Eldridge said: “I’m massively relieved. It’s paramount for us to remain a senior club and we’re happy that it has been finally sorted out because it has been dragging on a little bit now.”

The Commoners finished the 2011/12 season in the final safe spot of third-from-bottom after winning two and drawing one of their last three games, albeit knowing that relegation was likely to be decided by facilities.

The bottom two teams, Oakwood and Seaford Town, met the ground grading requirements which left Common as the lowest placed club which didn’t.

That said, a new 50-seat spectator stand is now in place at the Recreation Ground and floodlights are due to be delivered next Friday so Common expect to be fully compliant by the time the season kicks-off in August.

“I can’t really understand why there are people, especially Division Two teams, that would be against it and to a certain degree Division One teams because it’s an extra four games and two home games, and last season it was more or less finished by Easter,” continued Eldridge.

See tomorrow’s Bexhill Observer for the full article.