MacFarlane on fire for Eastwood Juniors

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Josh McFarlane netted four times and Diesel Rogers a brace as Eastwood Town Juniors U12s won 7-0 away against Lowdham Colts Black at Caythorpe Cricket Club.

The game began with plenty of endeavour from both sides in the early minutes, Eastwood’s Oliver Brown, Jacob Gregory and Diesel Rogers linking up well in midfield, with good play down the right hand side, mirrored by strong defending by the Lowdham defenders.

The first breakthrough came on 19 minutes, a goal for Rogers, after great work by Jacob Gregory found him in space.

Lowdham responded immediately, forcing a good save from Badgers’ Ben Ward on 20 minutes, and sustained a continued period of attack towards the Eastwood Town goal for the next five minutes.

On 25 minutes however, Eastwood turned the tables, breaking well down the left, with MacFarlane seeing the Lowdham keeper off his line, and netting a fantastic long range shot

Eastwood’s second goal was nearly followed immediately by yet another long range effort from Josh Richards which ended going just wide.

The subsequent goal kick from the Lowdham keeper fell straight to MacFarlane, but the keeper quickly redeemed himself, saving well from a close range shot by Eastwood.

The Badgers continued to pursue the third goal, with a chance for Rogers in the area just going over.

Just before the half hour mark, hard work again in midfield saw Oliver Brown winning the ball to give MacFarlane the opportunity for a lovely chip shot to give Eastwood their deserved third goal.

On the restart, Lowdham again made further attacks towards the Eastwood goal, going wide.

A powerful goal kick from defender Thomas Penney, was picked up well by the Eastwood midfield who threaded through an excellent ball to MacFarlane - whose excellent individual finish gave Eastwood a 4-0 lead on the stroke of half-time.

From the start of the second half, a bright opening by Lowdham immediately forced Eastwood to defend in numbers.

A swiftly taken goal kick from Eastwood was again worked well in midfield, moving the ball forward well and creating a chance, again falling to in-form MacFarlane, shooting from the edge of Lowdham’s box for Eastwood’s fifth goal on 40 minutes.

Again from the restart, Eastwood weren’t settling on their lead, and good work by midfielder Leo Parsons on the right side made approach towards the Lowdham goal, creating a good chance for Brown, his shot from distance narrowly going wide of the Lowdham goal.

Several long grange efforts from Rogers over the next five minutes, forced some excellent stops from the Lowdham goalkeeper, and some great defensive clearances from Lowdham stopped the danger from the oncoming Eastwood attack.

It was Lowdham’s turn to make inroads towards the opposite goal, with a great individual effort from the Lowdham No.9 who was unlucky not to score, the ball heading just over the Eastwood bar.

This gave Eastwood a wake-up call, and the Badgers then began another period of sustained pressure with some fine passing.

A free kick by MacFarlane was blocked well by Lowdham forced a corner and more great work around the edge of box set up Rogers to drive the ball home past the keeper.

Another break by MacFarlane saw a ‘one on one’ with the Lowdham keeper, MacFarlane finding himself very unlucky, hitting the Lowdham post and the ball rebounding.

Soon after, a shot from Eastwood’s Thomas Penney fell straight to the Lowdham keeper, quickly followed by a free kick for MacFarlane blocked forcing a corner.

But a scramble in the Lowdham area rebounded to Thomas Marshall, shooting well at the edge of the area for goal number seven.

Lowdham never gave up and a tackle by Thomas Penney gave them a late penalty, and a real opportunity. The resulting spot kick, however, was saved brilliantly by Eastwood keeper and man of the match Ben Ward.

The final attack of the match, came from Badgers’ defender Penney, making a rare attacking run from defence down the right hand side, his shot hitting the Lowdham keeper seconds before the final whistle.