Bexhill and Common face FA Vase trips

Lewis Parsons on the ball during Little Common's 1-1 draw at home to Lingfield on Bank Holiday Monday. Picture by Simon Newstead
Lewis Parsons on the ball during Little Common's 1-1 draw at home to Lingfield on Bank Holiday Monday. Picture by Simon Newstead

Bexhill’s two senior football clubs will travel to Southern Counties East League Premier Division opposition in the FA Vase tomorrow (Saturday).

Southern Combination League Division One team Bexhill United are away to Bearsted and Premier Division side Little Common will head to Croydon in first round qualifying.

Bexhill have picked up six points from a possible 12 in the league, while Bearsted are 17th in their league with three points from four outings.

Bexhill manager Ryan Light said: “They’re from a higher grade. I don’t think they’ve had the best of starts in their league campaign, but they did have an eye-catching FA Cup win against Chichester.

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“It’s a real tough ask. For the first time this year we’re going to be massive underdogs so it will be interesting to see how we react to that. We certainly play with no fear and the pressure will be off. We can go and express ourselves and enjoy the occasion really.”

Common are 10th in their division with seven points from five games and Croydon are second-bottom of theirs having lost their first four league matches.

“If you look at those sort of stats, you’d say we’ve got a good chance,” said Common player-manager Russell Eldridge. “But we’re certainly not taking anything for granted.

“You want to try to progress into the next round and see where that gets you, but I’m sure they will be thinking the same thing.”

Sam Ellis is at a wedding, Ryan Paul is on holiday for a couple of weeks, and Lewis Parsons (hamstring) and Sam Willett (cracked cheekbone) are 50/50 with injury, but Common hope to welcome back Toby Clifford, Jamie Crone and possibly Nick Richardson.

Assuming there are no FA Vase replays, Bexhill and Common will both be in Peter Bentley Challenge Cup second round action on Tuesday night.

Bexhill will travel to Hassocks and Common are also away to Southern Combination League Premier Division opposition in Newhaven.

Bexhill won away to Hassocks at the same stage of the same competition last season in what Light said was probably one of the highlights of last term.

He added: “We’ve got good memories of going down there last year, and we’ll be hoping for a similar performance and a similar result. It might be an opportunity for a few of our players who haven’t had as many minutes to show what they can do.”

Common will be eager to improve on their 3-0 league defeat away to Newhaven last week and with another busy month ahead, Eldridge says it will be an opportunity to utilise the squad.

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