Last gasp wonder goal decides derby

Little Common midfielder Martin Denny tries to hold off Westfield captain Sam Willett. Picture by Simon Newstead (SUS-140612-211756002)
Little Common midfielder Martin Denny tries to hold off Westfield captain Sam Willett. Picture by Simon Newstead (SUS-140612-211756002)

An added time wonder goal from Sam Willett gave 10-man Westfield a 2-1 win at home to neighbours Little Common yesterday (Saturday).

The Westfield captain scored a spectacular long range effort in the 92nd minute to floor a Common side which had gone close at the other end just seconds earlier.

Westfield’s fourth Macron Store Sussex County Football League Division Two victory of the season would have been all the more satisfying given that they played the final 35 minutes a man down following the dismissal of full-back Ross Williams.

Common had the game’s first chance after just two minutes, but Dan Hill couldn’t get enough meat on his shot after a neat exchange of passes with Lewis Hole and Carl Morris made the save on his return to the home goal.

A dipping long range Andy Hales shot was tipped over by Matt Cruttwell, but the usually dependable Common goalkeeper gifted Westfield a 15th minute lead. Cruttwell came out of his area to clear a ball over the top, yet barely made contact with his kick and Curtis Coombes rolled the ball into an empty net.

Hill headed over from a cross by Alex Carey - making his Common debut after joining from Kent Invicta League side Rusthall - and Zack McEniry struck the underside of Westfield’s crossbar with a brilliant 25-yard free kick over the wall.

Cruttwell saved a Williams shot and David Pugh free kick either side of a mass confrontation of players caused by a bad tackle by Westfield manager Jethro Warren on Hill. Both men were booked.

Common equalised right on the stroke of half time through a superb strike by Lewis Hole, who hammered the ball into the top corner from outside the box.

The momentum appeared to have shifted in Common’s favour after Williams was shown a straight red card for a studs-up tackle on Carey in the 59th minute.

Although Common substitute Jared Lusted wasn’t far away with a shot from outside the box, the only meaningful effort on target in the next 25 minutes saw Pugh bring a smart save out of Cruttwell.

Common had a great chance to take the lead in the 85th minute. McEniry was in acres of space down the right having been found by Jake Sherwood, but Hole couldn’t make telling contact with his low cross and Niall MacDonald’s follow-up was blocked by Ashley Paine.

Morris retreated just in time to clutch a terrific lob by Hole from wide on the left and Westfield broke straight down the other end to score their winner. There was still time for Common duo Ricky Mote and Carey to try their luck from distance, but Morris was equal to their efforts.

Westfield: Morris, Williams, Bell (Henham 76), Archer, Warren, Dadswell, Brand, Willett, Hales, Pugh, Coombes (Paine 62). Sub not used: Whiteman.

Common: Cruttwell, Sherwood, R. Mote, Brown, McEniry, Smith, Denny (MacDonald 80), Bristow (Feakins 86), Hole, Hill (Lusted 63), Carey.