Last-gasp Greaves sees Badgers denied again

Eastwood midfielder Paolo Piliero battles against FC United
Eastwood midfielder Paolo Piliero battles against FC United

Eastwood Town 2 FC United of Manchester 2

An 89th minute equaliser from substitute Tom Greaves denied Eastwood a shock victory over promotion-chasing FC United of Manchester on Saturday.

It was harsh on the Badgers who have led going into the final minutes of a game on several occasions this season only to be pegged back, but once again defensive lapses cost them dear.

United won the two sides’ previous encounter 4-1 earlier in the season, but there was never any danger of such an emphatic win being repeated.

Indeed, Eastwood started the stronger, with Jake Green close to turning in Sam Winch’s cross from close range but keeper Jon Worsnop saving well.

United defender Lewis Lacey then struck the bar on 12 minutes after Rhodri Giggs’ corner had found its way to him on the edge of the penalty area, but Eastwood were continuing to play with plenty of freedom and were rewarded just after half-hour mark.

Green, a danger man throughout, was the one to profit from a poor attempt at an offside trap from United, and after running through and seeing Worsnop block his first effort, the winger followed up to hammer home the rebound and stun the majority of the 600-plus crowd at Coronation Park.

But, just as would occur later on in the match, United would net to level the scores moments before a return to the dressing rooms was due.

A cross from the left found Matthew Wolfenden in the box and his header down found Oliver Banks who struck powerfully past Alex Malong to make it 1-1 right on half-time.

But having had the better of the first-half, it didn’t take long for Eastwood to re-establish their lead in the second, although Wright was close to putting United ahead just beforehand.

It was an FC player who got the credit for the Eastwood goal, however, as a cross made its way to Ashley Stott who inexplicably diverted the ball past his own goalkeeper.

United then began to look more threatening and opportunities for Mike Norton, Banks and Wright all gave Malong something to think about, albeit they were straight at the Cameroonian keeper.

And having put large amounts of pressure on the Badgers defence, United finally got their goal in the 90th minute.

Greaves collected a ball on the byline, beat a defender and then squeezed an effort past Malong from a narrow angle to seal what could be a crucial point in United’s pursuit of a play-off place, putting them third in the table.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Eastwood: 1 Alex Malong 2 Mitch Hanson (c) 3 Chris Shaw 4 Danny Roberts 5 Sam Craven 6 Scott Rogers 7 Jake Green 8 Kallum Keane 9 Sam Winch 10 Bradley Munn 11 Paolo Piliero

Unused subs: Wayne Diuk, Romaine Graham, Vijay Selvam, Dominic Allen, Richard Stainsby

FCUM: 1 Jon Worsnop 2 Dean Stott 3 Greg Daniels 4 Jake Cottrell 5 Adam Jones 6 Lewis Lacey 7 Matt Wolfenden (Dave Birch 73) 8 Oliver Banks 9 Rhodri Giggs (Mike Norton 62) 10 Jerome Wright 11 Matthew Walwyn (Tom Greaves 62)

Unused subs: Mitch Hanson, Vijay Selvam, Richard Stainsby.

Ref: David Plowright

Att: 607