Common undone by controversial late goal in FA Vase

Sam Ellis came close to giving Little Common the lead in their 1-0 defeat to Newhaven.
Sam Ellis came close to giving Little Common the lead in their 1-0 defeat to Newhaven.

A controversial goal five minutes from time saw Little Common Football Club exit the Buildbase FA Vase.

The Commoners lost 1-0 away to Newhaven in second round qualifying on Saturday, with the only goal coming direct from a free kick which Common were convinced shouldn’t have been awarded.

Having conceded 10 goals against fellow Southern Combination League Premier Division side Newhaven already this season, the Commoners adopted a more cautious approach which frustrated their hosts for long periods and were unfortunate not to at least force extra-time.

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Liam Ward, Ryan Paul and Nick Richardson all returned to Common’s starting line-up, with Wes Tate, who was carrying a slight knock, named on the bench.

Newhaven enjoyed the majority of the possession in the early stages, with Common happy to allow their hosts to try and break them down.

There were not too many scares for the visitors, although two headers did flash wide of the Common goal and prolific marksman Lee Robinson fired over from a tight angle following a slip in the away defence.

Common goalkeeper Matt Cruttwell dealt with any crosses into the area and although the Common attacks were limited, they did force a couple of corners towards the end of the first half.

Common began the second period a lot more adventurously and Lewis Hole dragged an effort wide of the post before a Russell Eldridge free kick was comfortably saved.

Newhaven continued to pose their own threat and one effort hit the side-netting before another was blasted high over the crossbar from the edge of the area.

Sam Ellis almost gave Common the lead when he managed to nick a ball over the top beyond the home goalkeeper, but as it rolled towards goal, a defender got back to clear the danger.

With the game heading towards extra-time, Common were dealt a cruel blow five minutes from time. Kane Penn was incorrectly penalised for a tackle on the edge of the Common area and Callum Connor found the top corner with the resulting free kick.

The Commoners pressed for a late equaliser and Eldridge had another free kick saved, although Newhaven missed two glorious opportunities to wrap the game up as Cruttwell saved with his feet from Robinson before getting down low to push a shot around the post.

Common: Cruttwell, Paul (Clifford), Willett, Ward (Francis), Parsons, Eldridge, Richardson, Penn, Hole, Crone (Ellis), Cumming-Bart.

Common will be back in action tomorrow (Tuesday) night when they travel to Division One side Steyning Town in round one of the Sussex RUR Charity Cup.