Sunday, 13 November 2016

Little Common 3 v 1 AFC Uckfield Town

Tuesday 8th November 2016
Sussex Senior Cup Second Round
Recreation Ground, Little Common
Admission including programme: £4.00
Attendance: 78
Match Rating: 4

This evening I decided to make my first visit of the season to Little Common, to see if they could claim yet another scalp against higher league opposition.

There have been no improvements to the Recreation Ground since last season, and the sheeting enclosing two sides of the ground was now only present along the lengt, with the area behind the far goal now open to the surrounding recreation ground. However, entry remains excellent value, all the more so as it includes a very good (for this level) programme.

Little Common were in fifth place in Division One of the Southern Combination league Division One. They had beaten Selsey 5-0 in the previous round of this competition, and have beaten higher league opposition in two other cup competitions at home. AFC Uckfield Town were in 13th place in the Premier Division of the same league, and had beaten fellow Premier Division outfit 0-7 away in the previous round of this competition.

On a cold evening  with the occasional drizzly rain shower, this was very much a game of two halves, which the home side dominated during the first half before they struggled to contain the visitors after the half time interval. Little Common took the lead with just 8 minutes on the clock. A low ball through the defence presented Lewis Hole with a great chance running through on goal, but his heavy touch seemed to take it too close to the keeper, but the keeper misjudged  as he slid out, leaving Hole with the easy task of tapping into an empty net. The home side were awarded a penalty on 24 minutes when Jamie Crone was bundled over as he ran towards goal, and Wes Tate sent the keeper the wrong way, shooting into the right side of the net. Little Common thoroughly deserved their lead as they dominated the opening half hour as higher grade AFC Uckfield played surprisingly poorly. They did however then come back into the game and on 41 minutes were gifted a lifeline. The keeper tried to claim the ball following a corner, but he contrived the fumble the ball into his own net.

That really gave the visitors a lift, and they were to completely dominate long periods of the second half as Little Common struggled to get out of their own half. It seemed just a matter of time until the scores would be levelled in terms of their possession, but the home defence stood firm and the keeper went a long way towards redeeming himself with some good saves. But the visitors were made to pay for not converting the superiority into goals when Little Common scored to seal their passage to the next round six minutes from time. Player manager Russell Eldridge floated the ball from a free kick into the area, and Crone lashed the ball home from a central position. And so it was Little Common who would wait to see if they would draw one of Sussex’s big boys in the next round when the draw is made. They do have an outstanding record at home in midweek cup games, and no side would relish a trip to the Recreation Ground.

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