Telford are cornered as Eastwood dent title hopes

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SP89133 football

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Saturday, April 2, 2011

Blue Square Bet North

EASTWOOD TOWN 3

Mat Bailey 24

Adie Hawes 34

Lee Stevenson 47

AFC TELFORD UNITED 0

THREE goals from corners were enough to send Telford back to Shropshire with nothing in what was an overall impressive display from the Badgers on Saturday.

The result dented Telford’s title aspirations but equally kept Eastwood’s late burst for a play-off spot well on track.

The visitors had only conceded six away goals all season but both teams looked cagey in the first 20 minutes, which produced only three half-hearted penalty appeals.

But Telford nearly opened the scoring against the run of play in the 19th minute when James Laurie got through on goal but keeper John Danby managed to take the sting out of his shot allowing Mat Bailey to half clear from in front of goal before Jon Adams fired over.

Eastwood’s defender then Bailey turned from goal saver to goal scorer five minutes later when he put his side in front.

Michael Simpson’s corner was perfect for Bailey to volley through a ruck of players to open the scoring, though the ball may have struck Russell Cooke on its way in.

Shaun Newton’s free-kick in the 33rd minute had Danby back peddling and the Eastwood custodian caught the ball under his crossbar with his feet landing behind the line, however the linesman was well placed to make the call.

The Badgers doubled their lead just a minute later.

Simpson again was the architect from a corner and this time the ball was flicked on at the near post and Adie Hawes stooped to head home.

Minutes later, Phil Trainer was lucky to escape a red card after bringing down Meikle as the last man, before Matt Rhead’s header from Simpson’s corner was well saved by Ryan Young.

Telford’s leading scorer Andy Brown had been kept relatively quiet up to this point but he escaped his marker to head wide from a corner as the first-half drew to a close.

Buoyed by two half-time changes Telford came out looking to get back into the game as quickly as possible.

However, it was the Badgers that were celebrating as they increased their lead within three minutes of the restart.

Newton conceded a corner on the left and this time it was Lee Stevenson, arriving late in the six-yard box, who applied the finishing touch to Simpson’s delivery for his 30th goal of a remarkable season for the midfielder.

Substitute Yannick Salem, created a shooting chance with his persistence but Danby was down well to save, before Eastwood produced the best move of the game as Stevenson hit a 40-yard cross field ball to find Rhead who advanced to the edge of the box before picking out Stevenson who headed just wide.

Although Telford enjoyed territorial advantage for the remainder of the game, they failed to trouble Danby and the Badgers looked the most likely team to score again.

Rhead fired over after Meikle and Stevenson combined to create the shooting chance, while Bailey headed over from a Simpson free-kick.

Salem and Brown both had headers off target for the Bucks and at the other end Stevenson and Andy Todd also went close, but 3-0 was how it stayed for an excellent home win.

Eastwood: 1 John Danby 2 Mat Bailey 3 Paul Riley 4 Michael Simpson 5 Russell Cooke 6 Adie Hawes (David Haggerty 63) 7 Jon D’Laryea 8 Lee Stevenson 9 Lindon Meikle 10 Matt Rhead 11 Andy Todd

Subs not used: Peter Knox, Anton Foster, Adam Muller, Chris Shaw. Att: 668 Ref: G Stretton.

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