Positives in defeat for Common against leaders

Little Common full-back Paul Feakins attempts to block the path of a Chichester City opponent. Pictures by Simon Newstead
Little Common full-back Paul Feakins attempts to block the path of a Chichester City opponent. Pictures by Simon Newstead

Little Common Football Club could certainly take some positives from its defeat to table-topping opposition.

A goal in either half condemned the Commoners to a 2-0 loss at home to Southern Combination League Premier Division leaders Chichester City yesterday (Saturday).

But all in all it was a pretty decent effort from a Common side now in the bottom three against a Chichester team which has scored more goals than anybody else in the division and conceded less.

Although they created next to nothing in the way of goalscoring opportunities, Common restricted Chichester to relatively few chances either and passed the ball nicely at times.

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On a dull and chilly afternoon at The Oval, Common operated with Lewis Hole up-front on his own and got bodies behind the ball - a cautious but totally understandable approach against high-flying opposition, particularly after conceding eight against Lancing the previous weekend.

The tactic worked pretty well during the first half as Common did a good containing job. For all Chichester’s possession, they created little - an early shot from the edge of the box went wide, a 30-yard free kick was just off target and a low drive from 25 yards was safely gathered by Common goalkeeper Matt Cruttwell.

Chris Cumming-Bart tussles for possession.

Chris Cumming-Bart tussles for possession.

Just as Common looked like they’d make it to the break on level terms, Chichester struck in the second minute of added time. A header by Common defender Lewis Parsons was picked up by Gicu Lordache, who took a touch to control before unleashing a terrific strike into the far corner of the net from the left-hand side of the area.

Common sought to impose themselves higher up the pitch during the second period and initially competed pretty well until conceding a killer second goal around the hour mark.

Scott Jones’s header from a right wing corner was heading towards the right-hand side of the goal as he looked at it and ended up nestling in the left-hand bottom corner after taking at least one deflection on its way in.

As the rain which had long since threatened finally arrived, a game of unusually little incident rather drifted to a predictable conclusion thereafter.

James Pool keeps a close eye on a Chichester opponent.

James Pool keeps a close eye on a Chichester opponent.

Cruttwell held a low drive and fingertipped over a shot from just outside the area. Late on, Parsons blocked a shot which looked to be heading for the bottom corner and Cruttwell saved an effort from the same player seconds later.

Jordan Astell looked bright after coming on a substitute for Common and showed an ability to go past opponents, and there was a welcome return to Common colours for popular defender Jerome Smith, also as a substitute.

Liam Ward was Common’s man of the match for a solid display in midfield, Cumming-Bart tried his best to make something happen and Paul Feakins did a decent job out of position at left-back.

Common: Cruttwell, Paul (Smith), Feakins, Ward, Parsons, Eldridge, Tate, Pool, Hole, Cumming-Bart, Ellis (Astell).