Late goal denies spirited Badgers a rare point

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MICHAEL Symons’ late goal was enough to secure an important win for Worcester and deny the young Badgers side a rare point.

Blue Square Bet North

WORCESTER CITY 1

Michael Symons 76

EASTWOOD TOWN 0

by Paddy Farrell

MICHAEL Symons’ late goal was enough to secure an important win for Worcester and deny the young Badgers side a rare point.

Eastwood, with only three goals to show for their efforts over six consecutive defeats, could point to a hugely improved defensive record having conceded just five goals in their previous four outings.

With John Ramshaw absent, Richard Cooper got the chance to fly solo but his already strained squad was further tested by injuries and illness ruling out Jevaise Christie and Ashley Noble.

Play-off chasing Worcester also made changes but Carl Heeley was rotating his squad rather than reacting to other factors.

Alex Troke had the first real sight of goal and did well to test Jimmy Dormand. The home keeper was troubled by a good shot but parried the ball out to a defender.

Kallum Keane then had a long-range effort headed on by Markel Bailey and Dormand reacted quickly to smother.

Against all expectations, Eastwood, with Wes Henry a lively replacement for Christie, were the more aggressive team and two successive corners had the vocal home support worried.

When Bailey bustled past two defenders, his shot was knocked straight back to him and an instinctive header was close enough to worry the stranded Dormand.

Leading scorer Symons was a powerful presence in the home attack and he set up Kevin O’Connor with an obvious chance, sliced harmlessly wide.

Despite being once almost caught out by a shot which thudded off his chest, Sam Andrew was confidently dealing with most calls and one corner-conceding dive from Greg Mills’ shot was top class.

After Henry had a speedy run blocked by a Rob Elvins tackle, play switched towards Andrew and Eastwood conceded a series of corners. Just before the interval O’Connor, Mills, Symons and Tom Thorley all tried their luck but only Mills had Andrew in any trouble

Worcester re-started with sustained pressure and Bailey, perhaps reacting to taunts from the crowd, was caught ‘show boating’. Dispossessed by a home defender, the Eastwood player’s reaction was dangerously over-aggressive, especially for someone on a yellow card.

Probably wisely, Cooper sent Gregg Simmons on for Bailey and Danny Elliott suddenly lit up the small Eastwood contingent with a solo run and low shot deflected past.

As the home team and their fans started falling out with each other, City took the lead.

Another poorly judged pass between two Eastwood attackers was intercepted by Elvins. The ball travelled via O’Connor to Symons and, at long last, a composed finish had the crowd roaring and the points were won.

Eastwood: 1 Sam Andrew 2 Kallum Keane 3 Sam Benjamin 4 Danny Elliott 5 David Haggerty 6 Gavin Caines 7 Jake Green 8 Mitch Hanson (Josh Raven 77) 9 Wes Henry 10 Alex Troke 11 Markel Bailey (Gregg Simmons 61)

Subs not used: Tyler Witton, Perry Marriott, Richard Cooper

Att: 857