MATCH REPORT: Eastwood 3-2 Pinxton

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Harry Allen struck a hat-trick as Eastwood earned a crucial win over table-toppers Pinxton in the CML South on Saturday.

It was Pinxton’s first defeat of the season, the three points seeing the Red Badgers move to within a point of Scott Rogers’ side.

In a match affected by a considerable wind, Pinxton looked to have battled back from being two goals down, looking favourites to win having got the scores level midway through the second-half.

But Allen secured the win seven minutes from time to send the home support home happy after a highly entertaining encounter.

Eastwood nearly led inside ten seconds when a mistake let Paddy Webb in but keeper Andrew Francis, signed on loan from Rainworth in the week, saved well.

Chay Betteridge blazed too high in a good position after a pull back from Harry Allen four minutes in, the hosts starting the game the better side.

Pinxton’s first threat came on six minutes as Danny Evans’ low free-kick from 30 yards was pushed wide of the post by keeper Jack Walker, then Jay Cooper was just off target following a pull back from Kieran Debrouwer.

Debrouwer himself missed the next opening, turning well but volleying high over the top as the game continued to entertain.

Webb was next to threaten, his powerful strike parried wide by Francis after a good ball from Joe Butler.

The deadlock was finally broken on 33 minutes, when Webb’s ball to the back post saw Evans try and chest it back to his goalkeeper, only for the ball to fall straight to the feet of Allen who had the easy task of firing it home from three yards out.

Allen could have made it 2-0 soon afterwards, but fired just wide of the far post after being fed by Butler, then Pete Stubley should perhaps have levelled at the other end but skied his shot on the turn from close range.

Right on half-time, it was Eastwood who got the second goal. Allen superbly pulled down a Rory Smith cross from the right hammered the ball into the roof of the net on the half volley.

The second-half needed just four minutes to produce a goal and it brought the visitors back into the game. A cross from the left was headed down to Jack Hawkins who had time to place his shot into the net.

Liam Green’s piledriver was pushed over by Walker soon afterwards, before the game fell into a lull that was ended by an unfortunate equaliser from the Eastwood point of view.

A long throw from the right was sent into the penalty area and Eastwood skipper Aaron Smart, in trying to head clear, diverted the ball past Walker to level the scores.

The considerable wind was behind Pinxton in more ways than one and Debrouwer nearly put his side in front on 79 when released in the penalty area but flicked the ball over Walker and the crossbar.

Somewhat against the run of play, Eastwood regained the lead on 84 minutes and it was Allen again who was the scorer. A long ball forward wasn’t dealt with properly by the defence and Allen had lots of time to slide the ball past Francis for his hat-trick.

Debrouwer volleyed just too high three minutes later as Pinxton battled to regain parity, but that would be the visitors’ last chance to take a share of the points.

Eastwood: 1 Jack Walker, 2 Billy Brooks, 3 Sam Meakin, 4 Ruban Mitchell, 5 Aaron Short, 6 Jack James (Jack Millward 90), 7 Rory Smith, 8 Harry Allen, 9 Paddy Webb (Jack Smith 84), 10 Joe Butler (Adam Hassall 58), 11 Chay Betteridge

Subs not used: Rian Charles

Pinxton: 1 Andrew Francis, 2 Liam Green, 3 Danny Evans, 4 Cameron Short, 5 Adie Whitmore, 6 Sam Weston, 7 Pete Stubley (Wayne Cooke 62), 8 Jack Hawkins, 9 Nathan Benger, 10 Kieran Debrouwer, 11 Jay Cooper

Subs not used: Ryan Seale, Ryan Bates