Quickfire double defeats Badgers

Eastwood's Paul Riley (right) keeps a close eye on Gloucester's Will Morford, scorer of his side's first goal on Saturday. Photo - Gloucester Citizen
Eastwood's Paul Riley (right) keeps a close eye on Gloucester's Will Morford, scorer of his side's first goal on Saturday. Photo - Gloucester Citizen

Two goals in three minutes broke Eastwood hearts after some stubborn defending had kept the home side at bay at Gloucester on Saturday.

Blue Square Bet North

GLOUCESTER CITY 2

Will Morford 56

Adam Mann 59

EASTWOOD TOWN

by Andy Cope

Two goals in three minutes broke Eastwood hearts after some stubborn defending had kept the home side at bay at Gloucester on Saturday.

Overall, the Badgers were completely out-muscled by their hosts in a match played at Cheltenham Town’s Whaddon Road stadium.

Eastwood lined up with just one change from the side that came so close to beating Droylsden. Steve Istead replaced Josh Burge with teenager Ashley Noble keeping his place on the bench.

In a cagey opening it was Gloucester that threatened first through a Jack Harris header.

Eastwood were forced into an early change with Sam Benjamin being forced off through injury in the 16th minute and Noble making his debut.

The Badgers then enjoyed their best spell with Gregg Simmons a constant threat, and nearly took the lead in the 19th minute when a good run down the left saw the youngster cut inside and force Lewis Carey in the Gloucester goal into conceding a corner.

Midweek two-goal hero David Haggerty met the corner and although his header was heading well wide Francis Green met it sweetly, forcing Carey into making a fine save.

Slowly Gloucester started to get a foothold on the game and started to create chances.

Ian Deakin got caught in no-man’s land allowing Mike Edwards to cross. Kallum Keane cleared as far as Istead but the midfielder lost the ball on the edge of the box to Darren Mullings whose shot went too close for comfort.

Mullings went close again a few minutes later before Edwards chipped wide after outpacing Noble to a through ball.

As the half came to an end Mullings had a shot easily saved by Deakin and Harris blazed wide under pressure from Keane.

The final action of the half saw Deakin spill Adam Mann’s corner but Will Morford lifted the ball over the bar.

Deakin atoned for his late mistake as the home side started the second-half in the ascendancy. A well-worked move saw Morford’s shot well saved by the Eastwood custodian.

Gloucester’s woeful finishing meant the Badgers were looking comfortable so when the opening goal came there was a touch of controversy about it.

Noble allowed the ball to go out for what he thought was a goal kick, however the referee and linesman disagreed and awarded a corner.

The kick was only half cleared to Morford whose volley was top drawer giving Deakin no chance as the ball flew into the top corner.

All the Badgers’ good work was totally undone just three minutes later when Mann was allowed to turn his marker inside the box and hit a sliderule shot past Deakin and into the corner of the goal.

The Badgers almost forced a way back into the game when Paul Riley hit a 40-yard ball to release substitute Josh Burge who cut inside his marker but put his shot just wide.

Matt Lock fired wide from a short corner and Steve Davis curled a shot narrowly wide as the home side reasserted their dominance.

However it was Edwards who should have extended their lead, firing wide after the ball had been pulled back to him.

A final flourish by the Badgers saw a good run and cross by Markel Bailey which the keeper spilled but the ball was just out of the lurking Green’s reach.

Eastwood: 1 Ian Deakin 2 Kallum Keane (Josh Burge 64) 3 Chris Shaw 4 Ross Gardner 5 David Haggerty 6 Sam Benjamin (Ashley Noble 16) 7 Steve Istead 8 Mitch Hanson 9 Francis Green 10 Gregg Simmons (Markel Bailey 73) 11 Paul Riley Subs not used: Danny Elliott, Alex Troke Att: 289

Best Badger: David Haggerty