EASTWOOD Town conceded five first-half goals as they slipped into the bottom two of the Blue Square North on Tuesday.
Blue Square Bet North
EASTWOOD TOWN 1
Jarrod Westcarr 25
GAINSBOROUGH TRINITY 6
Lewis McMahon 5pen, 69pen
Craig Nelthorpe 7
Ryan Kendall 21, 31, 40
by Mark Duffy
ANYONE witnessing this encounter could have been forgiven for thinking Halloween had come early to Eastwood.
But the reality was that the Badgers’ season reached a new low as high-flying Gainsborough put a side lacking leadership and organisation to the sword, and stretched the hosts’ winless run to 12 games.
Once again they had to endure the majority of the game with just ten men as Mitch Hanson, who was sent off after 12 minutes of the match with Histon on Saturday for a two-footed lunge, clearly felt he’d spent more than long enough on the pitch this time around too as he mindlessly went in with studs showing on Luke Waterfall after quarter-of-an-hour, and once again got early use of the showers as referee Mr Bristow showed him a sraight red card.
But the game was arguably already beyond Eastwood at the point.
Gainsborough took the lead in the fifth minute and it stemmed from their first real attack.
Two or three of Eastwood’s defenders froze in panic when none of them could bring themselves to clear the ball on the edge of the penalty area, and in stepped Ryan Kendall who burst into the area only to be brought to ground for a penalty. Lewis McMahon did the honours from the spot.
Ninety seconds later things got even worse for the Badgers. A ball into the box was cleared as far as winger Craig Nelthorpe in space and he volleyed a fine effort past James Severn and into the top corner of the net.
Hanson’s kamikaze moment of déjà vu soon followed, and within six minutes the visitors were essentially home and dry without breaking sweat.
Ex-Badger Jon D’Laryea swung in a cross from the right and Kendall had most of Nottinghamshire to himself in the middle as he headed past the hopelessly unprotected Severn for 3-0.
But lo and behold it was Eastwood who would strike next on 25 minutes. A long ball forward was flicked on by Jason Bradley to Jarrod Westcarr, and he fired in a low shot from 25 yards out which was along the floor and went in off Andrew Pettinger’s left-hand post.
Every chance seemed to be bringing a goal and so it continued on 31. Kendall found space 25 yards out and progressed forward a few yards before stroking the ball into the far corner of the net.
And Kendall was to have his hat-trick before half-time. Running onto a through ball he saw off Gavin Caines who knew any foul would see him dispatched to the dressing rooms early as well, and ran through to slide home the fifth on 40 minutes.
Westcarr was first to show in the second-half, a long-range strike flying wide of the post on 47 minutes.
Severn then did well to push away an effort from Ryan Paczkowski on 53 minutes and D’Laryea had another crack which was too high.
Caines got forward to curl a shot just over the top on 63 minutes, and sub Lavell White made contact with a Sam Benjamin cross moments later but the ball dropped over the top.
Trinity’s Jonathan Williams warmed the gloves of Severn with a long-range strike which was parried away, but normal service was to be resumed on 69 minutes and again it was from the penalty spot.
Sub Leon Mettam was only slightly assisted to the floor by Caines ten yards out - the referee opting for the sympathy vote by keeping his cards in his pocket this time - and McMahon again beat Severn who went the right way and got a touch on the ball but couldn’t keep it out.
Mettam and Dominic Roma both went close to a seventh and Aaron Mitchell had to produce an excellent tackle to deny Paczkowski a certain goal with six minutes to go, but the torture was soon over for the unfortunate Badgers, seemingly beaten more by circumstance than much else on a tough night.
Eastwood: 1 James Severn 2 Connor Brown 3 Paul Riley (c) 4 Sam Benjamin 5 Aaron Mitchell 6 Gavin Caines 7 Josh Burge (Alex Troke 79) 8 Mitch Hanson 9 Jason Bradley (Jevaise Christie 69) 10 Jarrod Westcarr (Lavell White 61) 11 Jake Sheridan
Subs not used: Jake Want (GK), Danny Elliott
Ref: M Bristow
Best Badger: James Severn