Common all set for big kick-off

Little Common Football Club player-manager Russell Eldridge is hoping to continue the success of the last two seasons
Little Common Football Club player-manager Russell Eldridge is hoping to continue the success of the last two seasons

Little Common are hoping for another strong showing on the eve of the new football season.

Common are aiming to continue the good work after back-to-back top four finishes in Sussex County Football League Division Two. Their first game is away to Worthing United tomorrow (Saturday).

Player-manager Russell Eldridge said: “Our aim is to win games of football. If you set yourself too many targets, you set yourself up to fail.

“We’ll just take it one game at a time and try to win as many games as we can. We’ve had two solid seasons the last two seasons and we’re looking to continue that progress as much as we can.”

Common have brought in Matt Cruttwell and Ross Markham from Westfield, the former as a replacement for goalkeper Jon Saunders, who is unlikely to feature this term because of work.

Jimmy Elford has also signed, but the versatile former Hastings United player is away for most of August.

Jack Woodward and young prospect Wayne Giles have joined the ranks too, although Anthony Cooper, Josh Elliott-Noye and Allan McMinigal have gone to Bexhill United.

Dom Bristow, Adam Smith and Jerome Smith are long-term injury absentees, while James Vaughan is about to head off to the United States on a scholarship.

“I’m happy with the group of players we’ve got,” continued Eldridge. “We’ve got six or seven really experienced players at this level and above, and we’ll continue to bring through younger players into the senior team.”

Common wrapped up their friendlies with a 9-2 win away to Wateringbury Wanderers last weekend thanks to goals from Steve Morris (4), Lewis Hole (3), Martin Denny and Dom Howard.

“We’ve got the potential to score goals, and I think Lewis and Steve will be the key to us scoring goals, but we want to make sure we’re a bit stronger defensively - that’s as a group not individuals,” added Eldridge.

Bexhill United have to wait another week before beginning their competitive matches as the Pirates are the odd one out in the division’s 15 teams this weekend.

Although Bexhill lost 3-2 in a friendly away to Division One side Hailsham Town last weekend, manager Marc Munday was pleased with much of what he witnessed.

A brace of Linton Rogers goals gave Bexhill a 2-0 lead and they could have been out of sight by half time had other opportunities been taken.

But a lack of numbers caused by the absence of several players, plus a back injury to Rogers, resulted in Hailsham taking charge during the final half-hour and scoring three times.

Rogers, Luke Woodley and goalkeeper Yarni Camara have all signed, while Scott McDonald and Steve Johnson are expected to follow suit.

“It’s all going in the right direction,” said Munday. “I’ve got two (players) who I feel are first team players for every position now.”