Ten-man Little Common can't hang on against leaders Littlehampton
Little Common saw a two goal lead slip as they went down 4-2 to league leaders Littlehampton Town.
The Commoners were once again missing a number of players and Fin Jack, Ryan Paul and manager Russell Eldridge all came into the starting eleven. The hosts stated brightly and despite pressurising the Common defence the visitors passed the ball nicely and looked to use the pace of Jack McLean and Sam Ellis out wide.
The first real chance of the game came for Town but a ball across the area was completely mis-kicked and the ball went out for a throw in. It was Common who opened the scoring with their first attack, Jamie Bunn got to the by-line and sent a delivery across the box which was bundled into the net by a Town defender.
Whilst Town continued to press forward Common looked dangerous on the break and it was no surprise when a second goal was added in the 19th minute, McLean beating the Town left back with ease before finding Ellis on the edge of the area who guided the ball past the home keeper. Common continued to frustrate the home side as they pushed forward looking to get themselves back into the match although they rarely troubled the Common keeper Matt Cruttwell.
The turning point of the match came eight minutes before the interval when Common were reduced to ten men following the dismissal of Ryan Paul following a brawl in the middle of the pitch. Common held firm for the remainder of the half despite the hosts hitting the cross bar and took their two goal advantage into the interval.
Ten-man Common knew that they were going to be in for a tough second half and held out for eight minutes before Town pulled a goal back through Pattenden who tapped home after Cruttwell was wrong footed following Eldridge’s attempted chest back to him. Common sub Will Brown volleyed wide before the hosts drew level when a loose ball in midfield saw a quick break and Pattenden fired in his second to make it 2-2.
Despite battling bravely the third goal soon followed when neat footwork from Joe Benn allowed him to slide the ball across to George Gaskin to fire home. Benn grabbed Town’s fourth with a neat lob to put the game beyond doubt and Common were left to rue what might have been.
Common: Cruttwell, Smith, Weeks, Bunn, Paul, Eldridge, Jack, Walker, Hole (Crone), Ellis, McLean (Brown).