Common set for first versus third derby

Action from Little Common's 2-0 win over Langney Wanderers in a Peter Bentley Challenge Cup second round tie during August.
Action from Little Common's 2-0 win over Langney Wanderers in a Peter Bentley Challenge Cup second round tie during August.
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After three successive away matches, Little Common Football Club will return to home turf with a key game tomorrow (Saturday).

The Commoners will take on Langney Wanderers in a Macron Store Southern Combination League Division One first versus third derby encounter.

Common player-manager Russell Eldridge said: “The table for us at the moment is irrelevant. It’s about the next game and no doubt this week is going to be another tough challenge.

“We know what to expect from Langney. They’re a hard-working, combative team and we need to make sure we nullify their threat.”

Common are back on top of the table, but are only three points clear of third-placed Langney having played an extra game. Langney have won their last four league matches, scoring 18 goals and conceding just one.

“I expect a tough game against a very good Langney team who are in good form at the moment,” continued Eldridge. “They will be high on confidence, but I’m sure they’re as worried about us as we are about them.

“I expect a close game and I’m sure it will be the team who makes the least mistakes or is able to convert the chances that comes out on top. We’ll be looking to get a positive result to keep us ticking over.”

The teams have met once so far this season and Common ran out 2-0 winners in a Peter Bentley Challenge Cup second round tie during August, Sam Ellis scoring both goals.

Common expect to welcome back Louis Walker, Harry Saville and possibly Jordan Harley. Kick-off at The Oval is 3pm.

Lee Carey has joined Bostik League Division One South strugglers Shoreham after playing two games for Common earlier this month.

Eldridge said: “He’s a friend and it was an honest conversation with him. They offered him a deal he couldn’t refuse.

“He said he would never play for anyone else in the county league and if things don’t work out, I’m sure he will be back playing for us.”

Carey’s place at right-back against Billingshurst last weekend was taken by Ryan Paul and the new signing from Common’s landlords Eastbourne United AFC (who Paul played for against Common in the FA Cup at the start of the season) was Common’s man of the match on his debut.

Eldridge said: “He’s a player I spoke to at the start of the season and I’m very happy with that piece of business. He made an impressive debut at the weekend and gives us a bit of flexibility in the back line. He’s a big physical presence as well.”

Another player who looks set to join is Westfield defender/midfielder Sam Winter, who seems set to follow former team-mates Liam Ward and Sam Ellis to the Commoners.

Common have issued a seven-day approach for Winter and Westfield manager Jack Stapley this week conceded his club’s ‘best player’ was set to depart.

Southern Combination League Division One top half (played-points): 1 LITTLE COMMON 16-40 (+39 goal difference), 2 Wick 16-38 (+33), 3 Langney Wanderers 15-37 (+33), 4 Lingfield 16-34 (+29), 5 BEXHILL UNITED 16-28 (+20), 6 Mile Oak 15-26 (+5), 7 Steyning Town 15-24 (+14), 8 Seaford Town 15-24 (0), 9 Selsey 14-22 (+8).