EASTWOOD Town’s frustrating season continued this week as goalkeeper Ian Deakin opted for a move to Staveley Miners Welfare.
Deakin, a fans’ favourite at Coronation Park during three spells with the club, has taken the option to return to where he started the season, with the Derbyshire side aiming for a Wembley appearance in the FA Vase.
And with the Badgers still 12 points adrift of safety in the Blue Square Bet North, manager John Ramshaw admitted losing Deakin was a blow.
He said: “I think Staveley have a chairman who is putting quite a bit of money in and with a potential Wembley final at stake they offered Deaks a financial package he couldn’t really refuse.
“When you’ve got players being offered big signing on fees and higher wages it’s hard for us to compete at the moment.
“Deaks came to me and Richard Cooper and sought advice on what to do, but ultimately it was up to him and it’s understandable that he went for an offer which financially was good for him and his family.”
Deakin’s departure means back-up goalkeeper Jake Want could now be given a run in the side having been sat on the substitutes’ bench for much of the season so far.
Ramshaw added: “Jake has been patient and deserves a chance to come in and show what he can do.
“He’s young and obviously not as experienced as Ian Deakin but playing games should help him a lot. We’re always looking ahead to next season too and if Jake can stake a claim then there’s no reason why he can’t make the number one shirt his own.”
Last Saturday saw the Badgers lose 2-0 at Gloucester City in a match where two goals in three second-half minutes were enough to give the home side three points.
Ramshaw was again disappointed with the result but felt there were still positives to be taken from the performance.
He said: “I felt for most of the game there wasn’t a great deal between the sides, but in the end they just had that extra bit of quality up front which made the difference.
“Losing Sam Benjamin early on was a blow although young Ashley Noble came on and did his job well. We had lots of possession but struggled to penetrate them at times and were then undone by an absolute screamer for the first goal and then a deflection for the second.
“After the goals the game had a different image to it but I was disappointed with the outcome as I didn’t feel there was much between us overall.”
Weather permitting, Eastwood host Vauxhall Motors in the league on Saturday before heading to Sutton Town next Tuesday for a Notts Senior Cup tie, and Ramshaw is confident his side can take something from both games.
He said: “Vauxhall are down there with us and will have their main striker Leighton McGivern suspended so hopefully we can capitalise on that.
“I still feel a win could galvanise us as it’s been very difficult recently, but the players are continuing to work hard and deserve more.
“Tuesday’s game is important because the competition is one I’ve always enjoyed success in and will offer a good distraction from the league.
“But Sutton will be up for it and will make things very difficult for us.”
Striker Peter Knox could return to the squad this weekend after a hamstring injury. He made an appearance for Frickley Athletic last weekend in an attempt to improve his match fitness.