Badgers recover from two down to earn a draw

Eastwood's Danny Elliott (right) tackles a Halifax opponent during Saturday's 2-2 draw.
Eastwood's Danny Elliott (right) tackles a Halifax opponent during Saturday's 2-2 draw.

The Badgers secured a point to take them off the bottom of the league but it took a dogged and determined performance coupled with a little luck and a controversial goal to lift them off the basement.

Blue Square Bet North

EASTWOOD TOWN 2

Francis Green 45+3pen

Jevaise Christie 64

FC HALIFAX TOWN 2

Hogan 5

Danny Holland 8

by Andy Cope

The Badgers secured a point to take them off the bottom of the league but it took a dogged and determined performance coupled with a little luck and a controversial goal to lift them off the basement.

Even before some fans had entered the ground, Halifax, searching for their ninth successive away victory, were two goals to the good and cruising.

However, Cameron Dawkwah’s moment of indiscretion in the 41st minute reduced the Shaymen to ten men and the fightback was on.

Having signed on loan late on Friday night, goalkeeper Sam Andrew made his debut for the Badgers but he must have wondered what he had let himself in for ten minutes later.

Halifax were quickly out the traps and took the lead with their first real attack.

Dawkwah fed former Badger Danny Holland who won a corner off Gavin Caines. Simon Garner’s deep corner fell fortuitously to Eastwood skipper Mitch Hanson but he failed to clear and Gavin Hogan rifled into the top corner.

Worse was to follow for the Badgers as another quick break saw Holland ghosting in between two defenders to head home Dawkwah’s cross to double the Shaymen’s advantage with only eight minutes on the clock.

Eastwood heads visibly dropped and Liam Needham went close to adding a third a couple of minutes later, and Sam Benjamin did well to block Holland’s goalbound drive from the edge of the box.

Slowly the Badgers started to get a foothold in the game and the majority of play was fought out in midfield.

However, Halifax were still creating the better of the chances with Jamie Rainford and Holland both going close to adding to the scoreline.

All that changed after Dawkwah’s two-footed tackle on Kallum Keane that left the referee no option but to show the winger a straight red in the 40th minute.

Worse was to follow for Halifax as manager Neil Aspinall was then sent to the stands for a petulant outburst.

Eastwood were thrown a lifeline in injury-time at the end of the first half, when Luke Ashworth’s ill-advised tackle brought down Jevaise Christie in the box.

While arguments remain over the validity of the contact, Francis Green stepped up to confidently to score from the spot.

Eastwood introduced Gregg Simmons at the start of the second-half and the young striker started to ask questions of the Halifax defence.

Halifax keeper Simon Eastwood had to react quickly, racing out of his box to beat Christie to a through ball after the striker had sprung the Shaymen’s offside trap.

Christie wasn’t to be denied though with a real ‘did it, didn’t it?’ goal in the 63rd minute.

He met Simmon’s cross perfectly but the ball appeared to flick the side netting before hitting the concrete pitch surround and then nestling at the back of the goal.

This necessitated the intervention of the assistant referee to re-peg the back of the goal and Badgers fans remain divided as to whether the ball entered the goal or not. Halifax players didn’t argue so they must have thought it did.

Keeper Eastwood did well to block Alex Troke’s volley from the edge of the box as both sides pushed for a winner.

Hogan volleyed over following a corner and substitute Dean went closest to securing three points for the Yorkshire side, but his header went wide.

Eastwood then had Chris Shaw red-carded in the 89th minute, but the Badgers held on to secure a point.

Eastwood: 1 Sam Andrew 2 Kallum Keane (Steve Istead 58) 3 Chris Shaw 4 Danny Elliott 5 Gavin Caines 6 Sam Benjamin 7 Alex Troke 8 Mitch Hanson (Markel Bailey 75) 9 Jevaise Christie 10 Francis Green 11 Paul Riley (Gregg Simmons 45) Subs not used: Ashley Noble, Jake Want Att: 579 Ref: Darren England