Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Little Common 5 v 0 Saltdean United

Tuesday 1st April 2014
Sussex County League Division Two
Little Common Recreation Ground
Admission and Programme: £4.00
Attendance: 76
Match Rating: 4

For this week’s midweek action, I headed to the south coast for a game in the Sussex County League, to visit a club that has provoked a fair amount of controversy in recent weeks.

I last visited the Little Common Recreation Ground just under a year ago, and the venue has not seen any noticeable changes since then, so the temporary, flimsy sheeting perimeter fence lining one length and behind one goal still exists. This is what prevented the club from taking their place in Division One this season having finished in third place in Division Two and a promotion position last season, and when the club queried why Rye United were allowed to remain in Division One with a similar arrangement, the FA responded that Rye would be relegated on ground grading, a decision which contributed to Rye suddenly withdrawing from the Sussex League a couple of weeks ago.

On a mild evening, it was clear from early on that the hosts would dominate this game, and it was no surprise when they took the lead with nine minutes on the clock. The ball fell to Steve Morris deep inside the penalty area, and he swiveled before picking his shot to fire the ball across the keeper and into the net. Saltdean did have a great opportunity to equalise on 12 minutes when their striker latched onto a low throughball, but the eventual shot hit the keeper and bounced wide. It was to prove a very rare attack on goal by the visitors. Little Common doubled their advantage on 38 minutes when player manager Russell Eldridge took possession of the ball about 20 yards out, and fired in a vicious shot which the keeper got an arm to, but not firmly enough to prevent the ball hitting the back of the net. They almost scored a third on 43 minutes, when a shot from a corner was blocked on the line, but as the teams went in at half time, the result did not seem in any real doubt.

Indeed, Little Common had their best spell of the game when they played some really delightful football, and on 51 minutes James Vaughan scored their third goal with a free kick, curled in right footed from about 25 yards. Barely two minutes later and the hosts scored their fourth. A ball forward was hooked over the defence quite brilliantly, into the path of the onrushing Lewis Hole, who slotted the ball low past the keeper. On 66 minutes, the score became 5-0, Hole stealing possession in midfield before striding forward and eventually placing the ball past the advancing keeper. The game rather settled after that, as Saltdean belatedly showed some fight to keep the score remotely respectable, although Little Common certainly took their foot off the gas, and although they still had a couple of chances to extend their lead, a convincing five goal victory sees Little Common consolidate their position in fifth in the table, with fourth very much in their sights.


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