Little Common FC
Little Common Recreation Ground
Ground Number: 1216
Monday 28th August 2023
Little Common 1-2 Eastbourne Town
Southern Counties Premier
LITTLE COMMON FC - A BRIEF HISTORY
The club was established by Ken Cherry in 1966 as a youth club under the name Albion United, initially fielding under-14 and under-16 teams. They later started an adult team, which entered the Hastings League. In 1970 the club joined Division Three of the East Sussex League, which they won at the first attempt, earning promotion to Division Two. They won Division Two the following season, resulting in promotion to Division One. A third successive league title in 1973 saw the club win Division One and earn promotion to the Premier Division. They were league champions in 1977 and moved up to the Sussex County League. A 5th place finish in Division 2 in their first season was a good start. They changed their name to Little Common Albion between 1986 and 2002, then Little Common thereafter. In 1995, the club were relegated to Division 3 and then into local football until they won the East Sussex League in 2005, winning promotion back to the Sussex League. In 2009 they were promoted from Sussex County D3 after finishing as runners-up behind Clymping. Promotion was almost achieved in 2013 after a 3rd place finish but then in 2018, Little Common won what in 2014 had been renamed the Southern Combination D1. They've been a steady Premier Division side since, finishing a best-ever 10th in 2022.
Little Common have had seven FA Cup campaigns since making their debut in 2017. Their best progress has been to the 1st Qualifying Round where they lost 1-0 to Hendon in 2019 and 3-0 to Corinthian Casuals a year later. They had their best run in the FA Vase last season, beating Steyning Town, Molesey, Milton United and Wallingford & Crowmarsh prior to a 4-0 defeat to eventual winners Ascot United in the 3rd Round. The club are based in the Little Common area of Bexhill-On-Sea to the west of the town.
Usually, Bank Holidays are unpleasant for me, trapped in work. But having booked this one off for the Welsh Hop which turned out not to go ahead, I was determined to make the most of it. The Southern Combination and Combined Counties Leagues always have early kickoffs on Bank Holidays, a real godsend for hoppers who fancy a double. For my morning game, I had two options - either Little Common or Eastbourne United. Seeing as the latter were still in the FA Cup and were a potential fixture for next weekend, I opted for Little Common. It was a shame that they didn't kick off at different times as they are so close together but never mind, it was an attractive local derby against Eastbourne Town who had good supporters.
I originally tried to persuade Colin to come, but he was busy with AFC Sudbury v Berkhamsted. Instead, Anwar agreed to come to Wycombe so I could pick him up after I said I'd do a revisit to Whitehawk in the afternoon. This was a bit out of the way but I'd not done it for ages and it would be a chance to update my blog. The previous evening had ended well with me home shortly after 9 and I had a couple of drinks whilst researching everything. It wasn't the greatest night's sleep as a car alarm kept going off. I got a few hours of sleep, even waking before my alarm went off at 7.45. After having some breakfast and getting dressed, I left at 8.25, and met Anwar at High Wycombe Station at 8.40. It was a bit tight for time but thankfully the roads were good. Some nice scenic places were passed through, including Battle. We were there at 10.35 with entrance a well priced £6.
Looking at the table, Little Common were riding high in 4th whilst Eastbourne Town were 12th. The hosts had won all three games, beating both Shoreham and Saltdean United 2-1 and winning 1-0 at AFC Uckfield. The visitors had opened with a 1-1 draw at Hassocks before losing 2-1 to Crowborough Athletic. They'd then lost 2-0 at Steyning Town before putting things right with a 2-1 win against AFC Varndeanians. Both sides had good spells of play in the early stages, but shots were wayward. An Eastbourne player got the ball in his face from point-blank range but it was Little Common dominating. The visitors came close twice around the 40th minute, firstly nearly profiting from a goalkeeping error and then having the ball in the net from the resulting corner, only for it to be ruled out. The half ended goalless after eight added minutes. Three minutes into the second half, we had a goal, Eastbourne taking the lead with a deflected shot by Tom Vickers. A home player tripped someone just inside the area. To make things worse, he was sin-binned for something he said to the referee and the penalty was put away by Evan Archibald on 52 minutes. An Eastbourne player was also sin-binned in what was becoming a very physical game. Little Common huffed and puffed but were shot shy and cross shy so they never really tested the keeper. A long ball forward going into injury time found Freddie Warren who finished well to make injury time meaningful. They then had a late rally and it was a shame they weren't more ambitious earlier.
Overall, two competitive sets of players and a whistle-happy referee meant this was never going to be a classic. It was a big attendance of 263 which was nice for a friendly, family-orientated club. With all the added time, it was well past 1 when we left. A swift getaway would have been nice but we got stuck behind a slow but lovely-looking old Ford pickup. Despite it being a 60 limit, the driver was barely able to get over half that speed. He turned off to Eastbourne so presumably had been part of their sizeable support. After stopping at a shop to stock up on snacks and drinks, we arrived at Whitehawk at 2.15, ready for a revisit in my case.
LITTLE COMMON RECREATION GROUND is a basic setup for step 5 although they've done well to fit it all in. The ground is three-sided owing to lack of space. All the covered areas are behind one goal comprising of two 50 seated stands and one 50 standing. The rest of the ground is open flat standing. The cricket pavilion provides food and drink at reasonable prices whilst the public toilets are in another building. Parking is plentiful whilst Collington train station is 40 minutes walk away.