Much-needed point starts the year well

Eastwood's captain Paul Riley (left) slides in to challenge a Boston player during the promising 2-2 draw on New Year's Day.
Eastwood's captain Paul Riley (left) slides in to challenge a Boston player during the promising 2-2 draw on New Year's Day.

MARC Newsham struck 19 minutes from time to earn Boston a point at Coronation Park on New Year’s Day.

Blue Square Bet North

EASTWOOD TOWN 2

Francis Green 12

Jevaise Christie 24

BOSTON UNITED 2

Ian Ross 19

Marc Newsham 71

by Andy Cope

MARC Newsham struck 19 minutes from time to earn Boston a point at Coronation Park on New Year’s Day.

Coming off the back of five straight league defeats, the Badgers earned their first point since the 2-2 draw with Guiseley on November 12, but remain eight points adrift of safety in the league table.

Goalkeeper Ian Deakin was the latest old boy to join the ever-increasing ranks of former players re-joining the club and it wasn’t long before he was in action, tipping over former Alfreton midfielder Ian Ross’s delightful chip in the fifth minute.

It was the Badgers that snatched the lead in the 12th minute. Jevaise Christie’s pace was causing problems for Jordan Fairclough down the Eastwood left and when the defence could only clear his dangerous cross to the edge of the box, Francis Green drove the ball low and hard, the shot taking a deflection to nestle in the Boston goal.

The goal fired Boston into action and they were level seven minutes later.

Christie was adjudged to have fouled a Boston player 35 yards out, and as Ross stood awaiting the whistle, everyone in the ground knew where his free-kick was going but Deakin could do nothing to prevent it sailing into the top corner.

The Badgers were handed the lead for a second time just five minutes later when a routine long ball forward should have been easily dealt with by Fairclough. However, under pressure from Christie he headed the ball past Bastock allowing the Eastwood striker to tap home.

Fairclough almost made up for the mistake by finding room down the right and his cross was deflected goalwards forcing Deakin to turn it around the post.

Eastwood captain Paul Riley tried to upstage Ross’s earlier goal with an audacious free-kick from further out which produced an equally fine save from Bastock.

The Badgers rode their luck in the 50th minute, surviving a goalbound header and resultant scramble in front of goal, but they soon started to get a foothold in the game and created chances of their own.

Josh Burge tried to curl a shot from the edge of the box which Bastock fumbled but he recovered to beat the advancing Christie.

Bastock then beat away a Christie shot but as the Badgers started to build a head of steam, it was Boston that drew next blood.

Ross swung over a left wing corner which was touched on at the near post and striker Newsham tapped the ball home from close range.

The Badgers’ response was almost instant as Ross Gardner’s corner somehow evaded everyone apart from Kevin Austin on the far post who cleared off the line.

Both teams had their chances to win the game.

Former Forest striker Jason Lee headed wide when well-placed and in the dying seconds Green evaded the Boston defence but could only fire into the side netting with the Eastwood fans ready to celebrate.

Eastwood: 1 Ian Deakin 2 Kallum Keane 3 Paul Riley 4 Josh Burge 5 David Haggerty 6 Gavin Caines (Sam Benjamin 45) 7 Markel Bailey (Alex Troke 64) 8 Mitch Hanson 9 Francis Green 10 Ross Gardner 11 Jevaise Christie (Jason Bradley 84) Subs not used: Danny Elliott, Jake Want Ref: S Bennett Att: 596

Best Badger: Ross Gardner