Badgers beat Wrens to make quarter-finals

Eastwood midfielder Paolo Piliero (left) challenges against Rainworth.
Eastwood midfielder Paolo Piliero (left) challenges against Rainworth.

Eastwood Town 2 Rainworth MW 0

Eastwood Town progressed to the quarter-finals of the Doodson Sport League Cup with a victory over Nottinghamshire rivals Rainworth Miners Welfare on Tuesday night.

The Badgers led by a single goal from veteran Gary Breach at the break despite the visitors having dominated play, but an inept second-half display from Rainworth ultimately resulted in Eastwood wrapping up a worthy victory.

Indeed, their winning margin would have been greater but for a fabulous penalty save by Alessandro Barcherini.

Most in the sparse crowd may have wondered why referee Duncan Street awarded it, but Paolo Piliero’s spot kick was brilliantly turned over the bar and onto the roof of the net by the Wrens’ keeper.

But it was to be a former Wren, Lavell White, who finished off his old club in the 77th minute when he turned home Jake Green’s driven cross at the far post.

The Badgers’ opening goal had come against the run of play in the 18th minute from their first corner, which was not adequately defended, leaving Breach’s outstretched leg to apply the finish.

The Achilles’ heel which dogged Rainworth was their inability to put the ball in the net and round off what in the first-half had been vastly superior approach play which should have seen them in a commanding lead at the turn round.

Ryan Goward brought a great save out of home keeper Richard Stainsby in only the fourth minute, but that was the only time they looked likely to turn their more enterprising approach into goals before Breach struck.

The returning Danny Bacon was at the heart of much of the visitors’ neat build-up play, but time after time it faltered in the final third of the field, although how Dan White’s header onto Goward’s free-kick stayed out of the net in the 29th minute was anyone’s guess.

Conor Higginson then contrived to stand on the ball when well placed to provide the finish to another Goward cross just before half-time.

Any belief that Rainworth would up the pace with the favourable conditions for the second-half were quickly dispelled as the Badgers poured forward and had their visitors constantly on the back foot.

Gone was the Wrens’ earlier fluency as they became increasingly sloppy and prone to returning possession to their hosts.

Barcherini’s penalty save kept Rainworth in it, but even facing torrential and almost horizontal rain it was Eastwood who were now pulling the strings.

The storm appeared to have been ridden as Rainworth came more into the picture , but they continued to scorn what chances came their way.

And White — one of two ex-Wrens in the Badgers’ side, the other being Romaine Graham — put the tie beyond his former club in the 77th minute, leaving Rainworth to huff and puff for the rest of the match without ever looking likely to blow the Eastwood house down.

It was only Eastwood’s second win under player/manager Chris Shaw, the other also having been in this competition against Ilkeston FC.

Tuesday, January 28, 2013

Eastwood: 1 Richard Stainsby 2 Gary Breach (Jake Green 55) 3 Chris Shaw 4 Danny Roberts 5 Romaine Graham (c) 6 Paolo Piliero 7 Josh Raven (Adam Campbell 87) 8 Mitch Hanson 9 Matt Harris 10 Lavell White 11 Scott Rogers. Subs not used: Vijay Selvam, Petter Aaser, Bradley Munn

Scorers: Breach 18, White 77

Rainworth: 1 Alessandro Barcherini 2 Kieran Walker 3 Ricky Hanson 4 Mark Camm (c) 5 Ashley Kitchen 6 Dan White (Justin Jenkins 71) 7 Callum Lloyd 8 Danny Bacon (Stephen Akers 46) 9 Conor Higginson 10 Jared Holmes 11 Ryan Goward. Subs not used: Jordan Claxton

Att: 91

Ref: Duncan Street (Normanton)

by Gordon Foster