Crisis club Eastwood Town sank to a new low after this sorry showing against a Loughborough Dynamo team beaten by the Badgers in the FA Cup only three weeks ago.
The only good news for the Badgers was the return of Captain Carl Slater only five weeks after he sustained such a terrible injury during the first game of the season.
In the visitors’ ranks were former Badgers Sam Wood and Anthony Griffith-Junior.
Goalkeeper Gary Hateley endured a nightmare home debut, struggling to hold any balls Loughborough threw into the box. Luckily he managed to recover to thwart Robert Norris from opening the scoring in the fifth minute.
Norris wasn’t too far away from the target moments later with a shot from the edge of the box.
Ryan Tinsley and Nathan Watson went close for the visitors before they opened the scoring in the 28th minute. Striker Bruno Holden headed Loughborough ahead and then within a minute he fired home a second from the edge of the box.
Watson should have scored a third within as main minutes but chipped just wide of the upright.
Richard Whyman had Eastwood’s first and only shot in the 40th minute but it was still an easy save for Kahil Mann Kier.
Loughborough extended their lead within the first ten seconds of the second half. Watson tried his luck directly from the half way line and Hateley managed to fumble the ball into the net.
Although the Badgers enjoyed the lion’s share of possession in the second-half Loughborough were the only side likely to add to the scoring.
Norris wasted two promising attacks and Hateley made a fine save to deny Holden his hat-trick.
Deep into injury time substitute Shannon Grant beat the offside trap to fire home his first goal for Eastwood and give the score-line an air of respectability, but it would be boss Nick Hawkins’ last game in charge as he handed in his resignation after the match.
Tuesday, September 24, 2013:
Eastwood: 1 Gary Hateley 2 Tyrone Burton 3 Paul Riley 4 Gav Hurren (c) 5 Sam Craven 6 Carl Slater (Ash Robinson 65) 7 Rich Whyman 8 Liam Garner 9 Kieran Wells (Shannon Grant 60) 10 Brad Munn 11 Tyrone Kirk (Tris Whitman 46). Subs not used: Josh Raven, Greg Simmons
Loughborough: 1 Kahil Mann Kier 2 Joe Pheasant 3 Dan Marshall 4 Carl Sibson 5 Jake Betts 6 Mitchell Williams 7 Rob Norris 8 Ryan Tinsley 9 Bruno Holden (Matt Langham 80) 10 Nathan Watson (Sam Wood 75) 11 Anthony Griffith-Jnr (Ashley Way 70). Subs not used: Kris Nurse, Kalvern Thomas Att: 114
Ref: Andrew Park Best Badger: Paul Riley
By Andy Cope