Little Common Football Club earned a comfortable victory in a replayed cup fixture tonight (Tuesday).
The Commoners won 3-0 at home to Ringmer in an often feisty Macron Store Southern Combination League Division One Challenge Cup first round tie.
Common got through at the second time of asking - more than four months after being 3-1 down when the original match was abandoned after 87 minutes due to a floodlight failure.
On a cold night at The Oval, Common were gifted the opening goal after barely 80 seconds. Ringmer goalkeeper Alex Harris sent an attempted kick downfield straight to Common forward Jamie Crone, who coolly lobbed the ball into the net.
Lewis Hole shot wide from a fairly inviting position for Common before home goalkeeper Matt Cruttwell was forced into his only real save of the night, diving to his right to push aside Brad Tighe’s near post header from a Steve Jackson free kick.
With the stiff breeze at their backs, Common seemed to have things under control for much of the first half. Hole forced Harris into a backpeddling save with a chip from a tight angle and Ryan Paul headed wide from Wes Tate’s right wing corner.
Sam Ellis shot just wide from outside the Ringmer box, while at the other end, Noah Dudok Van Heel miscued his volley from eight yards following a good ball in from the away right.
A decent strike by Ellis from outside the area at the end of a terrific sequence of passes was well saved, but the resulting Russell Eldridge corner was glanced in at the near post by Paul to crucially put Common two-up on the stroke of half time.
There was little incident of note during the second period until just before the hour when Crone escaped with a yellow card for a wild challenge 10 yards inside Ringmer’s half.
Ringmer defender Tom Shelley was also booked for a foul on Crone four minutes later, but Ringmer never fully cleared the subsequent Tate free kick and Hole drove into the bottom corner with his trusty left foot to make it 3-0.
That effectively put the outcome beyond doubt and Common came close to a fourth goal four minutes later as an Ellis shot was well tipped over at the end of a delightful move.
The game rather petered out thereafter, although Ringmer were whiskers away from pulling one back when a tremendous 30-yard free kick by Steve Jackson struck the angle of post and crossbar.
Things got heated again late on as Paul was booked for a foul which sparked a big melee in front of the dugouts and moments later Van Heel was also cautioned for a heavy challenge on Cruttwell.
League leaders Common will advance to a second round tie away to Storrington next Tuesday night for the right to host Selsey in the quarter-finals.
Common: Cruttwell, Paul, Parsons, Ward, Maynard, Eldridge, Tate, Winter (Feakins 86), Hole (Saville 77), Crone (Smith 65), Ellis. Sub not used: Walker.