Winning start ends as Common suffer first league loss

Russell Eldridge hit the woodwork during Little Common's 1-0 defeat at East Preston.
Russell Eldridge hit the woodwork during Little Common's 1-0 defeat at East Preston.

Little Common Football Club tasted defeat in the league for the first time this season following a 1-0 loss away to East Preston.

A solitary first half goal at The Lashmar on Saturday ended Common’s two-match winning start to the 2018/19 Southern Combination League Premier Division campaign.

Playing their third match in seven days, Common player-manager Russell Eldridge made three changes to his starting line-up. Sam Ellis, James Maynard and Chris Cumming-Bart came in to replace Jamie Crone, Ryan Paul and the unavailable Lewis Parsons.

Common made a bright start and almost took the lead from the kick-off. Cumming-Bart’s delivery into the box just eluded Lewis Hole and the onrushing Adam Smith.

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Eldridge then saw a free kick cannon back off the crossbar before the hosts got themselves into match and enjoyed a good spell of pressure of their own. Common goalkeeper Matt Cruttwell scrambled across his goal to palm away a long range effort before twice saving well with his feet.

East Preston scored what proved to be the game’s only goal after 23 minutes at the end of a move down the Common left. Cruttwell once again denied the East Preston forward with his feet, but was unable to prevent the rebound being lashed into the roof of the net.

The Commoners found it difficult to create any clearcut chances against a resolute home defence, but almost found an opening on the stroke of half time when Hole saw his effort blocked.

Common went on to dictate play in the second period, enjoying long spells of possession but without making the home goalkeeper work too hard.

A lovely build-up ended with Ellis laying the ball off for Cumming-Bart on the edge of the area, but his well-struck shot was palmed away by the home stopper.

The hosts’ lively forwards continued to look dangerous on the counter-attack. East Preston should have added a second following a misplaced Liam Ward pass, but the home forward hit his effort the wrong side of the post with only Cruttwell to beat.

The Commoners continued to put deliveries into the box, but deflections and miskicks didn’t fall kindly and they were unable to find an equaliser.

Common: Cruttwell, Cumming-Bart, Maynard, Ward (Clifford), Willett, Eldridge, Tate, Penn (Saville), Hole (Crone), Ellis, Smith.

Common will be back in action tomorrow (Tuesday) night away to Newhaven.

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