Common back on track with Bank Holiday draw

Little Common midfielder Kane Penn helps the ball forward against Lingfield. Pictures by Simon Newstead
Little Common midfielder Kane Penn helps the ball forward against Lingfield. Pictures by Simon Newstead

Little Common Football Club put a stop to back-to-back league losses with its first league draw of the season.

The Commoners drew 1-1 at home to Lingfield in the Southern Combination League Premier Division yesterday (Monday).

Both the goals came during the second half, with Lewis Hole putting Common ahead before Jake Connaris equalised for Lingfield.

See also: * Winning start ends as Common suffer first league loss
* Common edged out in FA Cup replay
* Common goalkeeper scores dramatic last gasp leveller

Having been beaten 3-0 at Newhaven the previous Tuesday, Common - who were missing Sam Willett, Jamie Crone and Toby Clifford - switched to a 4-4-2 formation with a view to making themselves more secure defensively.

Common seemed content to get bodies behind the ball and invite Lingfield to attempt to break them down for much of the first half as the visitors enjoyed most of the ball and the relatively few goalscoring opportunities.

Lingfield, who beat Eastbourne United AFC at the same ground two days earlier, came close in the first three minutes when captain Sammy Clements flashed an angled shot just wide of the near post.

Lewis Parsons closes down a Lingfield opponent.

Lewis Parsons closes down a Lingfield opponent.

The same player stabbed over when well placed inside the box after Common failed to cut out Jamie Bahkit’s cross from the away right. At the other end, Kane Penn shot straight at Lingfield goalkeeper Dan Barnett following a lovely Wes Tate lay-off.

Lingfield were playing some good football and a Clements shot following Chris Ransome’s clever flick was saved by Common goalkeeper Matt Cruttwell. Cruttwell then made a smart reflex save to prevent James Maynard turning Jake Horn’s low cross from the away right into his own net.

Common began the second period strongly and with most of the play now happening in Lingfield territory, Sam Ellis saw a shot blocked at the end of a remarkable solo run.

The home side broke the deadlock in the 63rd minute. Russell Eldridge floated a free kick from a central position into the box and Hole found the net with a sweetly-timed side-foot volley with his less favoured right foot.

Sam Ellis on the ball during the 1-1 draw at The Oval.

Sam Ellis on the ball during the 1-1 draw at The Oval.

Lingfield substitute Connaris turned the ball wide of the far post from a dangerous TJ Stead cross as the visitors started to get on top again. The visitors duly equalised in the 80th minute when Connaris got to a headed throughball just before Cruttwell and poked it past him into the net.

Lingfield then went in search of a winner and Ransome couldn’t quite turn the ball home after Stead’s deep free kick from the right was headed back across goal.

Common hit back with a spell of pressure of their own, during which Ryan Paul headed Tate’s left wing corner over the crossbar.

Lingfield, who won both meetings with Common in Division One last season, almost won it in freak fashion in the fourth minute of added time. Cruttwell’s attempted kick downfield hit Ransome and rebounded goalwards only to trickle agonisingly wide.

Little Common full-back Ryan Paul in possession.

Little Common full-back Ryan Paul in possession.

Common: Cruttwell, Paul, Parsons (Greig 68), Ward, Maynard, Eldridge, Tate, Penn, Hole, Ellis, Cumming-Bart (Smith 76).

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