Badgers up to sixth with first-half double

NEAALM110406B1 - Eastwood Town v Droylsden
NEAALM110406B1 - Eastwood Town v Droylsden

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Blue Square Bet North


Lindon Meikle 33

Matt Rhead 45+2


THE Badgers claimed another three points to extend their unbeaten run at the expense of Droylsden on Wednesday night.

Two first-half goals were enough, and despite Droylsden posing an attacking threat in the second-half the points were rarely in doubt.

Eastwood had the first opening when following a short corner, Lee Stevenson pulled the ball back for Andy Todd who blazed high over the bar.

Matt Rhead drove a low shot at keeper Paul Phillips moments later, and Todd then saw a shot from the edge of the area blocked as the hosts began the game well.

On 15 minutes Todd knocked the ball inside for Lindon Meikle but he rushed his shot and the ball sliced off his shin and went well wide.

And a minute later Adie Hawes’ first long throw of the evening resulted in head tennis around the penalty area and the ball eventually being flicked over the top by Meikle from eight yards out, though it was a difficult chance to convert.

Eastwood nearly had a goal scored for them on 21 when Stevenson couldn’t reach a cross but when Mark Boyd tried to clear the ball he could only slam it straight into fellow centre-back Paul Jones, and Phillips had to be alert to gather the ball which was travelling at some pace but directly towards him.

Stevenson tried his luck from 25 yards six minutes later but the ball comfortably found Phillips, and Rhead saw a volley on the turn deflected over after good work from Todd.

But the deadlock was broken on the stroke of the 33rd minute. Chris Shaw’s cross was nodded down for Meikle to volley into the corner leaving Phillips standing.

Stevenson then saw Phillips save another effort a minute later as the Badgers continued to strengthen their grip.

Jon D’Laryea doesn’t get many goals but he nearly registered a beauty on 40 minutes when Simpson’s free-kick was headed out to him 25 yards from goal. His well executed volley was heading for the top corner but Phillips flew to his right to palm the ball over the crossbar.

And Stevenson was next to go close just before the break when Meikle headed into his path but from eight yards out his first-time half volley was well blocked by Phillips for a corner.

But the second goal was to arrive before the break and it came after a lovely one touch move between Simpson, Stevenson and finally Rhead who volleyed low into the far corner seconds before the half-time whistle.

Droylsden threatened first in the second-half when the ball broke to Aaron Chalmers on the edge of the box but his half volley flew over the angle of post and bar.

Moments later it was Rhead again causing havoc when his powerful header from Simpson’s corner was well saved by Phillips, and it was deja vu seconds later when another corner was headed powerfully by the big striker from six yards out but the ball rattled the crossbar and was cleared.

Meikle was then released through the middle but instead of lobbing Phillips from distance he opted to bring the ball down and cut inside but his eventual effort was high and wide.

Luke Holden drilled wide on 54 minutes for the visitors who were still struggling to make much of an impact up front but were nevertheless still a threat on the occasions they did get into the final third.

That was proved again on the hour when good work from sub Dan Gardner saw him beat two players and feed Holden whose low left foot shot was saved well by Danby with his legs.

Droylsden’s Gardner was proving a tricky customer and he unleashed an effort from 25 yards on 67 minutes which was deflected but Danby held well.

Stevenson headed Simpson’s corner straight at Phillips before Droylsden sub John Miles’ first action was to volley wide from distance.

Simpson’s corners, as you’d expect with players the size of some of Eastwood’s, were a constant threat and it was Mat Bailey who got his head to another on 78 minutes but the ball dropped just wide.

Rhead then knocked even more paintwork off the goal frame with a fine half volley against the far post with six minutes left.

The Bloods still sniffed blood and full-back James Vaughan brought another good save out of Danby with two minutes of normal time left, his half volley tipped over the bar, and moments later Nat Kerr let fly from distance but Danby got a touch past the post.

Rhead tested Phillips again before the end with after being teed up by sub Peter Knox, but the points were safe and the march toward a possible play-off spot continued.

Eastwood: 1 John Danby 2 Mat Bailey 3 Chris Shaw 4 Michael Simpson (c) 5 Russell Cooke 6 Adie Hawes 7 Jon D’Laryea 8 Lee Stevenson 9 Lindon Meikle (Peter Knox 86) 10 Matt Rhead 11 Andy Todd

Subs not used: Anton Foster, David Haggerty, Adam Muller, Emeka Nwadike.

Att: 340 Ref: J Whiteley.

Best Badger: Matt Rhead