Little Common’s footballers fell to their first league defeat of the season with a 2-1 loss against Storrington on Saturday.
A two-goal half time deficit ultimately proved too much for Common to overturn, despite Lewis Hole pulling one back during the second half of the Macron Store Southern Combination Football League Division One fixture.
Despite dominating large spells of possession, Common’s inability to find a decisive final pass left them frustrated against a team they have now failed to beat in their last three meetings.
Common player-manager Russell Eldridge was forced into two changes following the previous weekend’s 7-2 win at St Francis Rangers, with Jake Sherwood and Liam Foster coming in for the unavailable Martin Denny and Anthony Cooper.
It was Common who started on the front foot and with the wind in their favour, they pinned their hosts in their own half during the early exchanges.
A goal almost arrived in the fifth minute following a goalmouth scramble, but the Commoners could not get a clean contact as the ball pin-balled around the area. Cameron Burgon saw a fierce drive pushed round the post and Hole had an effort saved by the home goalkeeper.
However, it was the home team who took the lead in the 21st minute when a delivery into the box was punched clear by Common goalkeeper Matt Cruttwell only for an unmarked Russell Shoebridge to smash the ball home.
The Commoners looked for an equaliser, and Sherwood blazed over the crossbar and Foster saw a shot drift wide after a mazy run into the area.
Storrington doubled their lead when a shot crashed off the post and fell to Oliver Setchell who, despite looking to be in an offside position, made no mistake from close range.
The Commoners halved their deficit early in the second half when Eldridge’s cross was met with the faintest of touches by Hole to give Common hope of a comeback.
The match turned somewhat scrappy as the referee appeared to lose control of proceedings, brandishing cards in all directions, much to the frustration of both sets of players.
Despite once again dominating possession, the Commoners were unable to find a pass to get in behind the home defence. Harry Saville and Sherwood saw driving runs cleared to safety as they looked to pull the ball back across the area.
Storrington continued to look dangerous on the break as Common pushed forward, but neither goalkeeper was called into action and the match ended 2-1.
Common: Cruttwell, Sherwood (Bristow), Aston (Wells), Eldridge, Ammoun, Cruikshank, Foster, Saville, Hole, Crone, Burgon (Curteis).
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