Little Common end perfect week with win at East Preston
Little Common made it back-to-back 3-1 victories and six points in a week with a hard working win at East Preston on Saturday.
Common were far from at their best but that will be of no concern to manager Russell Eldridge who continues to get the best out of his depleted squad. Adam Smith and Nick Richardson came into the starting XI to replace Ryan Alexander and Will Brown as Common made a slow start on what has been a less than happy hunting ground in recent seasons.
Despite yet to taste victory in the league, the hosts started brightly and it was the Common defence which had to deal with the early pressure. Matt Cruttwell was forced into two saves, tipping one effort over the bar before pushing another around the post. Common only had one notable effort of their own when Lewis Hole saw an effort bobble in front of the home keeper and Matt MacLean was unable to hook in the rebound.
With the game heading to towards a half time stalemate, it was Common who took the lead on the stroke of half-time when Eldridge delivered a ball into the box and an unmarked Hole headed beyond the home keeper from six yards. East Preston almost equalised early in the second period and after a rounding Cruttwell a goal bound effort from the East Preston forward was blocked on the line by Eldridge.
It was the Common player manager who doubled the advantage in the 50th minute when a foul on Harry Saville was punished in emphatic style with a curling left footed free-kick into the top corner of the net. Common now looked particularly dangerous on the break and went in search of a third goal, Smith being unable to connect fully with Richardson’s ball across the box and the same player seeing a long range effort easily gathered by the home keeper.
It was East Preston who struck next though from the spot when a very soft penalty was awarded for what appeared to be a coming together between Richardson and the home forward. Common introduced Sam Cruttwell and he saw an effort pushed to safety before Common regained their two-goal advantage, Richardson delivering a ball into the area for Hole to head his second and Common’s third.
MacLean almost added a fourth but his header hit the outside of the post and Common saw out the remaining minutes without too many scares to clinch another valuable three points which edge Common into the premier division top six.
Little Common: M.Cruttwell, Harris, Miriam-Batchelor, Saville (Cruttwell), Bunn, Eldridge, MacLean, Smith, Hole (Crone), Richardson, Ellis (Brown).