Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Little Common 2 v 0 Bexhill United

Tuesday 11th November 2014
Sussex Senior Cup Second Round
Recreation Ground, Little Common
Admission including programme: £4.00
Attendance: 143
Match Rating: 2

For this week's midweek action, I decided on another visit to Little Common, for a tasty looking fixture in the Sussex Senior Cup, a crosstown derby, with the possible reward of a tie against the likes of the Brighton and Hove Albion Development Squad, Crawley Town, Eastbourne Borough and other in the next round.

Both teams have had reasonable campaigns so far in the Sussex County League Division Two, with Little Common in sixth place, with 20 points from 13 games, and Bexhill United five points and two places better off, having played the same number of games. Bexhill came into this game off the back of three straight league wins, all at home, and unbeaten in their last five league games. Little Common have had a strange season, winning six of their seven games in September, before losing five of their six games in October. In their last game on Saturday, they impressively dispatched second placed Wick and Barnham United 4-0 at home. This evening's team have not yet met in the league this season, but in the League Cup tie in August, Little Common was 4-3 at home. To reach this stage of the competition, Little Common emphatically won 0-7 at fellow Sussex League Division Two outfit Seaford, whilst Bexhill caused a minor shock in beating Division One outfit Hassocks 2-1 at home.

After heavy rain had fallen in recent days, the pitch appeared in surprisingly good condition at kick-off, with the game never in doubt, although the pitch unsurprisingly was very heavy and slippery, and was cutting up badly as the game progressed. Frequent rain showers and a very strong gusty wind made conditions rather difficult for spectators too, and perhaps all of these factors led to a disappointingly low-key match that never really caught fire as local derbies usually do. Few chances were created, although Bexhill probably had the better of the opening half hour, and were awarded a penalty on 32 minutes when Paul Feakins brought down Kevin Barden. Scott McDonald fired the penalty high over the left hand side of the goal to keep the scores level, and they were made to pay for that miss on 41 minutes. A low diagonal ball into the left corner of the six yard box by Feakins found Lewis Hole, who showed good footwork in getting to a more central position before firing the ball home.

The second half was similar to the first, another even affair, if anything even duller, as Bexhill looked less threatening seemingly rather deflated by the penalty miss, falling behind and the tricky playing conditions. On 81 minutes, Martin Denny almost doubled the home side's advantage with his vicious shot from 25 yards crashed against the underside of the bar, but they did make the game safe three minutes from time. Nothing unusual that it was player-manager Russell Eldridge who scored with a free-kick, however this one was rather strange. He took a free kick close to the right wing, and the goalkeeper and defence completely misjudged the flight of the ball, diverted by a strong gust of wind, and the ball gently took a bounce before went into the unguarded net. Little Common comfortably saw out the remaining minutes, and they claimed the local bragging rights for the second time this season, and will hope for that big tie in the next round - although Brighton and Hove Albion were removed from the equation, after they were dumped out of the competition at Lewes the following evening. 

No comments: