Common pounce for late victory

Little Common defender Zack McEniry tries to stop the advances of a Mile Oak opponent. Picture by Simon Newstead (SUS-150214-222844002)
Little Common defender Zack McEniry tries to stop the advances of a Mile Oak opponent. Picture by Simon Newstead (SUS-150214-222844002)

For the second successive weekend, Little Common’s footballers overturned a half time deficit to record a 2-1 victory.

Alex Carey struck an added time winner to clinch a hard-earned, but deserved win at home to Mile Oak in Macron Store Sussex County Football League Division Two yesterday (Saturday).

Up against a Mile Oak side which had won away to table-topping Worthing United seven days previously, Common made life difficult for themselves by conceding in the opening 10 minutes for the fourth time in five games.

The contest was just three minutes old when Stuart Garrod’s cross from the left made its way through to Gary French, who bundled the ball home from close range.

On a heavy surface, Common had more of the attempts at goal during the remainder of the first half and would probably have felt hard done by to still be trailing at the break.

Jerome Smith headed a Russell Eldridge corner over the top and a decent effort by Steve Morris from a good ball by Eldridge was parried by Oak goalkeeper Aaron Stenning. In between times at the other end, Steve Mote got back to clear a shot from near the line after Matt Cruttwell miskicked when out of his goal.

Common midfielder Jake Sherwood saw an effort parried and moments later Jared Lusted set off on a great run through the Mile Oak defence only to lift his finish over the crossbar. Morris sliced well wide with his left foot when reasonably well-placed.

The game became a touch feisty towards the end of the first half and early in the second period when the Valentine’s Day yellow cards started to flow. Eldridge’s low drive from outside the box went wide during a third quarter containing little goalmouth incident.

Richard Hudson’s shot was awkwardly saved by Cruttwell and seconds later at the other end, a left-foot effort by Martin Denny following an Eldridge pass was kept out by Stenning.

Common got back on level terms in the 75th minute. Morris laid the ball off for Denny to fire a terrific drive into the bottom corner from outside the box for his third goal in two matches.

The hosts were certainly the more likely winners thereafter. Lusted shot just wide of the near post after good work from Dom Bristow and then had a penalty appeal turned down moments before Morris’s acrobatic volley was headed away from near the line.

Common also forced a succession of corners and Lusted headed straight at Stenning from one of them. Hudson toe-poked wide in a now rare Mile Oak break moments before Common won it in the 91st minute. Stenning spilled a half-hit Bristow shot at the end of a move started by a fine ball from Zack McEniry and Carey turned in the rebound.

Common: Cruttwell, R. Mote, S. Mote, Brown, McEniry, Smith, Denny, Sherwood, Morris, Eldridge, Lusted. Subs: Feakins, Bristow, Carey, Wells.

Standings (played-points): 1 Worthing United 21-45, 2 Wick & Barnham United 19-45, 3 AFC Uckfield Town 21-42, 4 BEXHILL UNITED 23-42, 5 Mile Oak 20-34, 6 LITTLE COMMON 23-33, 7 Midhurst & Easebourne 21-32, 8 Oakwood 16-30, 9 Haywards Heath Town 21-29, 10 Steyning Town 19-26, 11 Rustington 21-26, 12 WESTFIELD 23-25, 13 Saltdean United 21-19, 14 Storrington 23-16, 15 Seaford Town 24-0.