Semi-final beckons after a narrow win

Eastwood's Danny Elliott (centre) holds off Hucknall's Anthony Gregory during Wednesday night's Senior Cup success.
Eastwood's Danny Elliott (centre) holds off Hucknall's Anthony Gregory during Wednesday night's Senior Cup success.

MARKEL Bailey’s slightly fortuitous goal early in the second-half was enough to win a dull Notts Senior Cup quarter-final on Wednesday night.

Nottinghamshire Senior Cup Quarter-Final

HUCKNALL TOWN 0

EASTWOOD TOWN 1

Markel Bailey 54

by Mark Duffy

MARKEL Bailey’s slightly fortuitous goal early in the second-half was enough to win a dull Notts Senior Cup quarter-final on Wednesday night.

On a misty night at Watnall Road there wasn’t a great deal between the sides despite them being two divisions apart, but the result brought a rare smile to Eastwood faces amid their torrid season.

Hucknall were first to threaten on seven minutes when Eastwood centre-halves Gavin Caines and David Haggerty couldn’t decide who should clear a long ball and ended up both missing it completely, but Grant Ryan’s chip from distance couldn’t beat keeper Sam Andrew who was off his line and the ball dropped wide.

The Badgers then nearly registered three minutes later as Josh Burge’s cross had Hucknall appealing for an offside that wasn’t given. Jevaise Christie carried on regardless and when he stretched and got a touch it took a good save by James Lindley’s feet to keep the scores level.

Ryan then showed great tenacity to break in from the left through several tackles but his shot from a reasonable position 12 yards out was screwed well wide of Andrew’s goal.

Moments later, Eastwood’s Danny Elliott won the ball in midfield with a crunching challenge, and when Burge fed Christie he powered forward and hit a shot from 25 yards out which was just too high.

Craig Reid then dinked a through ball into former Badger Anthony Gregory whose effort was well blocked by Andrew on 27 minutes as the game continued to be fairly even in terms of possession.

Lee McAnulty headed just wide from a left-wing corner on 35 and the same player drilled past the post five minutes later after a good passing move ended with the ball falling to him 25 yards out.

Hucknall came closest so far seven minutes into the second-half when Reid’s corner from the left was met by Gregory’s head but his effort looped onto the crossbar and the ball was cleared.

But the opening goal went to the hosts on 54 and there was an element of good fortune about it.

Bailey picked the ball up on the left-hand side and when he cut inside and put a low cross into the box searching out Gregg Simmons it missed his target entirely but as a consolation beat Lindley and ended up in the corner of the net.

Hucknall took a while to recover from that and it was Callum Lloyd who next threatened on 70 minutes when he headed a Reid cross straight at Andrew.

Gregory then had another pop, this time a stinging half-volley which would probably have severely damaged anyone who got in the way of it, so it was probably a good job it was just too high for heads and crossbar.

Aidan Brady blasted a shot hardly worthy of the name high, wide and not that handsome with 12 minutes left as the hosts continued to search an equaliser, a triple substitution soon following to inject some fresh legs into proceedings.

But it made little difference as despite late pressure from the hosts, Eastwood held on for a rare and welcome victory.

Eastwood: 1 Sam Andrew 2 Kallum Keane 3 Alex Troke 4 Richard Cooper 5 Gavin Caines 6 David Haggerty 7 Gregg Simmons (Ashley Noble 87) 8 Josh Burge 9 Jevaise Christie 10 Danny Elliott 11 Markel Bailey

Subs not used: Josh Raven, Tyler Witton, Luke Coxon, Jordan Fell

Ref: David Coote

Att: 196