Tough start for local clubs

Matt Dadswell on the ball for Westfield against Wick & Barnham United. Picture by Simon Newstead (SUS-140908-204846002)
Matt Dadswell on the ball for Westfield against Wick & Barnham United. Picture by Simon Newstead (SUS-140908-204846002)
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Two of the area’s senior football clubs endured tough starts to the 2014/15 season.

Little Common lost 3-0 away to Worthing United and Westfield went down by the same score at home to Wick & Barnham United in Macron Store Sussex County League Division Two on Saturday.

Common player-manager Russell Eldridge was faced with a selection headache as no fewer than eight players were unavailable, although debuts were given to Matt Cruttwell and Ross Markham.

It was Common’s sloppy start to the second period which ultimately proved costly. The first opportunity for the hosts came from the penalty spot when Steve Mote was harshly adjudged to have handled, however the resultant kick was ballooned over.

The deadlock was soon broken when a high delivery into the box was misjudged by Cruttwell, who may well have been impeded, and Sam Blundell was on hand to fire past the two Common defenders on the line.

Common almost equalised immediately, but Eldridge saw his 25-yard free kick cannon off the crossbar and a further free kick parried with Sam Brown being unable to slot in the rebound.

United added a second in the 63rd minute when a fizzing cross into the box was met by an unmarked Jamie Stideford and completed the scoring five minutes from time when a ball was pulled back for Scott Hunt to fire into the bottom corner.

Westfield trailed 1-0 at half time in Jethro Warren’s first game as manager after Ashley Harper got away through the inside left channel and pulled the ball back for strike partner Kerry Hardwell to apply a simple finish.

Two further Wick goals in quick succession around the hour mark sealed Westfield’s fate. James Harris stole in unmarked at the far post to head home a left wing corner from close range before Westfield goalkeeper Connor Holland could only parry Nathan Parke’s angled shot into the path of Harper, who tapped home.

See Friday’s Observers for full reports on both matches. Bexhill United were fixtureless as a result of being the odd one out of the division’s 15 clubs.