Eastwood CFC’s title hopes hit by draw

Eastwood Community v Rolls Royce Leisure.  Eastwood's Kieran Heath and Hucknall's Chay Betteridge in action.
Eastwood Community v Rolls Royce Leisure. Eastwood's Kieran Heath and Hucknall's Chay Betteridge in action.

Eastwood’s title hopes suffered a dent on Saturday as they were held to a 1-1 draw at Southwell City.

Only time will tell if this was a point gained or two dropped, the Badgers being without regular midfielders Jack James and Rory Smith for this encounter.

Eastwood started the game on the front foot and created the first clear chance but Gregg Conn couldn’t direct his headed effort on target from eight yards.

Eastwood created several more chances in the opening minutes but were wasteful and much too often made the wrong decisions in and around the penalty area.

Eastwood had a let off on 25 minutes when Southwell were awarded a penalty after Brooks was harshly punished for a foul inside the area. The resulting penalty was dispatched sending keeper Walker the wrong way but the referee ordered a retake which was blazed over the bar.

The home side were now causing Eastwood more problems going forward with their two strikers who were a constant threat all game.

On 30 minutes Eastwood had a good shout for a penalty for a clear handball which was ignored by the officials, but five minutes later Eastwood were incredibly awarded a penalty for handball which this time seemed harsh on the home side.

Chay Betteridge’s penalty was blocked by the keeper but Betteridge was on hand to follow up and stab the rebound home to give Eastwood a half-time lead.

In a very scrappy second-half which wasn’t easy on the eye Eastwood struggled to gain any long periods of possession and when they did threaten the Southwell back line their final ball continually let them down.

With Eastwood unable to keep hold of the ball their defence became more and more under pressure and at times were left exposed as Southwell pushed for an equaliser, again with their strikers causing Eastwood problems.

Southwell’s equaliser duly came on 71 minutes when Moran’s strike was deflected pass Walker from the edge of the area.

In the final 15 minutes of the game both sides pushed for the winning goal. Jamie Thomas had a goal ruled out for offside while Stocks’ effort was well blocked by Walker.

In the dying minutes of the game Kane Mathews’ direct free kick for Eastwood went narrowly wide from 20 yards, before the Badgers were then awarded another penalty on 88 minutes.

With Betteridge and Jack Smith having been substituted, Paddy Webb took the responsibility for the spot kick but unfortunately for the young striker his effort was well saved by the keeper.