Badgers no match for league leaders

Scorer against Hyde, Luke Edwards (left), challenges during the 5-0 defeat to Nuneaton on Saturday.
Scorer against Hyde, Luke Edwards (left), challenges during the 5-0 defeat to Nuneaton on Saturday.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Blue Square Bet North

HYDE 4

Chris Worsley 32, 71

David Poole 51

Scott Spencer 53

EASTWOOD TOWN 1

Luke Edwards 90+1

by Paddy Farrell

EASTWOOD’S dismal season continued as league leaders Hyde eased to victory on Monday night.

Even a first goal in over 200 minutes of football offered no relief to the Badgers, Luke Edwards’ strike in second-half stoppage time scant consolation.

In dismally cold conditions the Ewen Fields pitch looked a picture but proved treacherously fast.

After conceding 12 goals in their previous two outings, Eastwood had the early chances and Jason Bradley might have done so much better with two badly-mistimed headers.

The tall striker then produced a good combination with Sam Benjamin down the right which released Josh Burge. An ambitious attempt to catch David Carnell off his line proved fairly comfortable for the home keeper.

Scott Spencer, David Poole and Chris Worsley had all looked dangerous as Hyde dominated midfield and James Severn somehow managed to parry or divert a succession of close-range shots.

But the glaring weakness in the visitors’ midfield area was emphasised in 32 minutes when Worsley literally ran away from his opponents and scored with ease.

As Hyde forced play Eastwood conceded a series of corners. From such a set-piece on the left, Gavin Caines, obviously injured, missed his header. Totally unprepared, Aaron Mitchell was struck by the loose ball and Severn brought off a fine reflex save.

Minutes after half-time Caines was replaced by Paul Riley and, almost immediately, the home side contrived a remarkable miss.

With absolute chaos reigning in Eastwood’s box, both Spencer and Poole had goal-line chances but got in each other’s way.

No harm done as within seconds a half-hit clearance was knocked back in and David Poole scored Hyde’s second in 50 minutes.

Two minutes later, Spencer, an obvious crowd favourite, scored probably the game’s best goal with a really special solo run.

Another rout seemed assured when Worsley notched his second and his club’s fourth goal but a combination of foul weather worsening by the minute, Hyde easing off and Eastwood finding more spirit evened things out.

Edwards and Jevaise Christie replaced Bradley and Markel Bailey respectively and Christie had two clear chances.

Firstly he ran clear but allowed Carnell comfortably to divert his shot behind. From the corner, his leap was impressive, the direction of his header less so.

Edwards went one better with a goal back in injury-time, but the damage had been done.

Nobody could possible envy Eastwood Town’s management their task.

Averaging less than a goal per game all season and conceding at a rate of 2.5 per game, weaknesses in attack and defence are self-evident but, on recent outings, the midfield – the so-called ‘engine-room’ is a disaster.

One can scarcely blame players brought in by would-be managers at inflated wages for choosing to stay put, but some evidence of professional pride or even just the occasional bead of sweat would be welcome.

Eastwood: 1 James Severn 2 Sam Wood 3 Sam Benjamin 4 Aaron Mitchell 5 Gavin Caines (Paul Riley 48) 6 Liam Francis 7 Steve Istead 8 Josh Burge 9 Jason Bradley (Luke Edwards 60) 10 Markel Bailey (Jevaise Christie 63) 11 Danny Elliott

Subs not used: Alex Troke, Richard Cooper.

Att: 302