Depleted Badgers no match for Albion

Eastwood defender Romaine Graham (left) gets involved at Witton Albion on Saturday. (Photo: Northwich Guardian)
Eastwood defender Romaine Graham (left) gets involved at Witton Albion on Saturday. (Photo: Northwich Guardian)

Witton Albion 3 Eastwood Town 0

A severely depleted Eastwood side fell to their second defeat to Witton Albion in the space of a fortnight to remain rooted to the bottom of the table.

Several key players in an already thin Badgers squad were either suspended or injured, with captain Mitch Hanson, midfielder Danny Elliott, player/manager Chris Shaw and striker Greg Simmons among the absentees.

Eastwood were, therefore, always up against it and set out to frustrate the home side.

That was a ploy that initially worked well.

Shaun Tuck went close in the fifth minute but put a free header wide, before the same player was denied by Badgers skipper Romaine Graham soon afterwards as a fine recovering tackle diverted the ball away from goal.

Josh Hancock then wasted a good opportunity on 24 when his shot was weakly struck despite a clear sight of goal.

But the opening goal finally arrived on 39 minutes and Tuck, who had scored a hat-trick at Coronation Park in Albion’s 4-3 win on November 10, again had joy in front of the Badgers goal as he powered an effort home after Hancock had been released out wide by Steve Foster’s flick..

And the second goal came just two minutes later, as Foster reacted quickly to an error by goalkeeper Richard Stainsby who let the ball squirm from his grasp, the Witton man gratefully accepting his gift.

Stainsby then made amends for his error by blocking full-back Mathew Wood’s low drive before the half was up, as Eastwood suddenly found themselves in something of a damage limitation exercise.

That resulted in precious little threat going forward, Hancock first to show for Albion in the second-half when he beat two players but flashed a shot just past the post after 51 minutes.

The domination continued from the home side and Tuck added his second goal on 67 minutes when he netted at the far post.

Tuck nearly had another hat-trick but Stainsby blocked his next effort on 72, before Travis Munn’s brave block denied sub Jamie Harrison following Anthony Gardner’s cross.

But the damage was done and Eastwood were once again left licking their wounds as they found themselves four points from safety at the bottom of the Evo-Stik Premier Division ahead of the visit of Stafford Rangers to Coronation Park on Saturday.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Witton: 1 Matthew Cooper 2 Anthony Gardner 3 Mathew Wood 4 Daniel Andrews 5 Paul Booth 6 Ben Harrison (Josh Glover 79) 7 Anthony Sheehan 8 Olly James 9 Shaun Tuck 10 Steve Foster (Joe Shaw 71) 11 Josh Hancock (Jamie Harrison 71) Subs not used: Mike Moseley, Adam Clayton

Scorers: Tuck 39, 67, Foster 41

Eastwood: 1 Richard Stainsby 2 Josh Raven 3 Romaine Graham 4 Travis Munn 5 Paolo Piliero 6 Jake Green 7 Scott Rogers 8 Petter Aaser (Tyler Witton 79) 9 Joel Holland 10 Matt Harris 11 Bradley Munn (Vijay Selvam 46).

Att: 408

Ref: Paul Hodkinson (Preston)