Gregory’s double sees off Eastwood

Eastwood's goalscorer Jarrod Westcarr (left) tries to shake off former Eastwood defender David Haggerty. Photo: Halifax Courier.
Eastwood's goalscorer Jarrod Westcarr (left) tries to shake off former Eastwood defender David Haggerty. Photo: Halifax Courier.

EASTWOOD fell to yet another league defeat but there were encouraging signs from the trip to Yorkshire to face FC Halifax Town.

Blue Square Bet North

FC HALIFAX TOWN 2

Lee Gregory 5, 53

EASTWOOD TOWN 1

Jarrod Westcarr 65

by Andy Cope

EASTWOOD fell to yet another league defeat but there were encouraging signs from the trip to Yorkshire to face FC Halifax Town.

Once Jarrod Westcarr had scored his first Badgers goal in the second-half his side created enough chances to have won the game, but Lee Gregory’s first-half double proved vital for the hosts.

Eastwood got off to the worst possible start when on five minutes Gregory ran onto Ryan Toulson’s long ball downfield, cut inside and curled a beautiful shot just inside the far post.

The Badgers weren’t at the races in the first-half and only managed one shot when debutant Aaron Mitchell headed debutant Graeme Mathewson’s free-kick on goal in the 44th minute.

With non-stop rain all day, the playing surface was tricky and coupled with some tasty challenges from both sides, it made for a stop start first-half.

When play did flow, Eastwood never got to grips with James Marwood, who only joined the Shaymen from Gateshead on Friday, and the winger provided all of Halifax’s best moments.

First he fired a shot straight at James Severn under pressure from Gavin Caines and then delivered a telling cross that former Eastwood defender David Haggerty headed back across goal only to see Halifax centre-half Brett Renshaw collide with Severn, the latter coming off worse.

The Badgers lived a charmed life early in the second-half as their hosts should have put the game to bed.

Toulson delivered an excellent ball into the box which Gregory miscued to inadvertently set up Jason St Juste, and when he slipped as he went for the loose ball it fell kindly to Simon Garner but Caines produced an excellent block and Severn cleared the danger.

Sam Benjamin cleared a dangerous cross from in front of goal and when Danny Lowe crossed from the byline Gregory was close to getting his second.

Gregory fired too high and Harry Winter hit a screaming 35 yarder just over, and the Town fans were starting to get a little edgy.

But the comfort of the second goal finally arrived on 53 minutes when Tom Baker crossed for Gregory to head home.

The striker should have scored his hat-trick moments later when Severn failed to hold Winter’s shot, Gregory taking the ball around the keeper but Caines producing a superb covering block to deny him.

Eastwood’s goal came on 65 minutes, when Caines did well to bring the ball out of defence before sliding substitute Westcarr through on goal and he slid the ball under the onrushing keeper.

Westcarr skewed a chance wide and Alex Troke went close with a dangerous free-kick late on, however the best chance fell to striker Jason Bradley who put a free header wide from six yards out with the keeper beaten.

There was a very late shout for a penalty when Westcarr was grabbed around the neck in a chase for a loose ball, but the referee waved away all appeals.

Eastwood: 1 James Severn 2 Alex Troke 3 Paul Riley (c) 4 Sam Benjamin 5 Gavin Caines 6 Aaron Mitchell 7 Josh Burge 8 Graeme Mathewson (Steve Istead 81) 9 Jason Bradley 10 Jevaise Christie (Craig Westcarr 61) 11 Danny Elliott

Subs not used: Jake Want (GK), Anthony Gregory

Att: 1,320

Best Badger: Gavin Caines