Little Common’s footballers won 2-1 at home to Haywards Heath Town in their penultimate match of the season yesterday (Saturday).
The result didn’t really reflect Common’s dominance and a late rally by the visitors almost made them pay for a host of missed chances.
With goalkeeper Matt Cruttwell serving a one-match suspension, Common player-manager Russell Eldridge took the gloves, and Steve Mote, Ricky Mote and Sam Brown all returned to the starting line-up.
Despite kicking against a stiff breeze, Common started brightly and enjoyed long spells of possession before carving out the first opportunities of the Macron Store Sussex County Football League Division Two match.
Steve Morris headed over from a corner and Martin Denny saw a goalbound effort blocked in the area. Jared Lusted blazed over the crossbar before rounding the goalkeeper only to find the side-netting from a tight angle.
It was no surprise when the deadlock was finally broken in the 25th minute. Ricky Mote’s delivery into the box was met by Lewis Hole, who steered the ball beyond the helpless goalkeeper.
Common could have extended their lead before the interval. Lusted’s dangerous ball across the box eluded Hole and Denny saw an effort just clear the crossbar.
Common’s dominance showed no sign of letting up at the beginning of the second half and the second goal duly arrived when a Lusted corner was met by the head of Zack McEniry for his first senior goal of the season.
Common had numerous opportunities to kill the contest off, but their wastefulness in front of goal looked as though it may come back and haunt them late on.
Morris saw two efforts palmed away by the visiting goalkeeper before substitute Jack Woodward saw a header hit the underside of the crossbar. Hole dragged an effort wide before seeing a lob just clear the crossbar.
Despite having a quiet afternoon, Eldridge was given no chance when Heath mustered their first shot of the match in the 78th minute, a perfectly executed lob by Lee Wragg, to give themselves hope of an unlikely point.
Buoyed on by their goal, the visitors grew in confidence and enjoyed their best spell of the afternoon without really troubling Eldridge, although he would have been happy to see an effort in the last minute blasted over the crossbar.
Common: Eldridge, R. Mote, S. Mote (Woodward), Brown, McEniry, Smith, Denny (Crathern), Sherwood, Hole, Morris, Lusted.