Eastwood Town 2 Rushall Olympic 1
Eastwood Town secured their first win at home since August 23, 2011 as they overcame league leaders Rushall Olympic at Coronation Park on Tuesday night.
The victory extended the Badgers’ unbeaten run to four matches, and showed that confidence is on the increase among John Ramshaw’s squad.
It was Eastwood that threatened first as Danny Elliott burst through the middle but could only steer his shot wide from outside the box.
As Rushall settled, Michael Clarke had the ball in the net on ten minutes but the linesman had already raised his flag.
Then the ever-dangerous Dave Walker saw a header, from Lei Brown’s cross, well saved by Sam Andrew.
It took the Badgers a while to get a foothold in the game but as the half wore on they grew in confidence and half chances arrived.
Anthony Griffith Jnr and Paolo Piliero both headed wide and Mitch Hanson had a shot saved low down to the keeper’s left.
Rushall, marshalled by former Eastwood defender Gavin Caines, were restricting the Badgers to crosses and long range shots.
Looking to hit the home side on the break they nearly took the lead as the half-time whistle approached.
Walker cut inside and shot from the edge of the box but Andrew was equal to it and saved well, while Josh Craddock had a long range shot easily saved.
Against the run of play Eastwood took the lead with a well-constructed goal on 63 minutes.
A good passing movement ended with Piliero delivering a superb cross that begged to be headed home and TJ Nightingale obliged.
The goal stung the opposition into action but the Badgers had something to hang onto and stood firm.
Although Romone Stephens fired wide from a half chance, it was the Badgers who extended their lead from another Piliero cross. This time Hanson left the header which bounced invitingly for Griffith Jnr who smashed the ball into the back of the goal.
Walker ensured there was to be a nervy last few minutes by heading home in the 86th minute but Eastwood held on to lift the enormous millstone from around their necks.
Eastwood: 1 Sam Andrew 2 Alex Troke 3 Paolo Piliero 4 Romaine Graham 5 Deon Meikle 6 Perry Marriott 7 Jermaine Hollis 8 Mitch Hanson 9 TJ Nightingale (Gregg Simmons 90) 10 Anthony Griffith Jnr 11 Danny Elliott. Subs not used: Paris Simmons, Elliott Green, Travis Munn Scorers: Nightingale 63, Griffith Jnr 82
Rushall: 1 Chris Gemmell 2 Martyn Naylor 3 Jonny Haynes (Kyle Haynes 73) 4 Josh Tolley 5 Gavin Caines 6 Grant Beckett 7 Decio Gomes 8 Josh Craddock 9 Michael Clarke (Abu Islam 59) 10 Dave Walker 11 Lei Brown (Ramone Stephens 59). Subs not used: Wayne Daniel, Lucan Spittle
by Andy Cope