Little Common’s footballers saw their poor run of league form continue with a 4-0 defeat at Steyning Town yesterday (Saturday).
It was another luckless afternoon for the Commoners, who were forced to play almost an hour of the Macron Store Southern Combination Football League Division One match without a recognised goalkeeper following a nasty head injury to debutant keeper Joe Turner.
Player-manager Russell Eldridge was once again forced to shuffle his pack with Steve and Ricky Mote, Matt Cruttwell and Billy Trickett all missing from the midweek cup win over Oakwood.
In an even opening quarter of the match, both teams had opportunities to open the scoring. Town blazed wide after Turner failed to collect a cross and Jamie Crone was unable to make full contact with Lewis Hole’s cross.
A clever dummy by Crone saw a chance fall to Paul Feakins, but his goalbound effort was blocked. Town missed a glorious opportunity to open the scoring after half-an-hour when a ball into the box was smashed against the underside of the crossbar from close range.
The deadlock was broken minutes later, though, when Lee Garnham worked his way into the area before shooting low beyond Turner.
The turning point came after 35 minutes when a ball over the top of the Common defence was met by the head of Turner, who collided with a Town forward, causing a nasty gash to his head. With Turner unable to continue, Eldridge took the gloves.
Town doubled their lead on the stroke of half time when Rob Clarke’s goalbound effort squirmed through the hands of Eldridge to leave the Commoners with a mountain to climb in the second period.
Common made the worst possible start to the second half. Zack McEniry was dispossessed on the edge of the Common area, allowing Craig Knowles to run through and slot Town’s third.
Common had opportunities to get themselves back into the game with Kyle Holden blasting two efforts over the crossbar and Crone seeing a volley go wide.
Common’s afternoon went from bad to worse when an injury to Jake Sherwood left the visitors with only 10 fit players and meant that Sherwood had to take over in goal.
Town soon added a fourth when another mistake in the Common defence allowed Kris Harding to fire past Sherwood. Four really should have been five when Knowles blasted over an open goal moments later.
At the other end, Dan Estherby saw a free kick saved and Liam Foster was unable to guide a cross from Hole on target.
Common: Turner (McEniry), Sherwood, Lusted, Brown, Ammoun, Eldridge, Feakins (Holden), Foster, Hole, Crone, Estherby.
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