Eastwood CFC began the new Central Midlands League South season in style with a 4-0 win over Pinxton on Saturday.
A dominant first-half performance delighted home fans and secured victory in a repeat of last season’s first home fixture.
Eastwood were subject to a 9-0 drubbing on that occasion.
Since then there have been major changes at Coronation Park and a strong finish to last season, paired with an encouraging pre-season, was incentive enough for them to show the tide has turned.
New signing Elliott Pitt showed his lethal technique in the pre-season with an inch-perfect free-kick and had fans anticipating a repeat when he stepped up for the first chance of the game. However, this time it wasn’t to be and his effort was saved by Pinxton keeper Gareth Briggs.
Pinxton found their first opening from a corner when Eastwood allowed them a free header at the far post which they squandered, a miss they would come to rue.
Warren Hatfield recently put pen to paper at Coronation Park and has put in some great pre-season performances. He showed his quality to get into the area but Briggs was on top of his shot.
Eastwood were dominating possession and eventually their pressure told in the 25th minute. Timmy Adcock is another promising addition to the squad and he showed great strength for a smaller player to hold off two defenders and worm his way into the box, where he somehow managed to roll the ball home and open the scoring.
Adcock’s goal opened the floodgates and it took the home side just two more minutes to further the gap. Kye Hall found himself one-on-one with the keeper and lifted the ball perfectly over Briggs’ head and into the back of the net.
A quick-fire treble was completed by Hatfield when Pitt picked him out with a pin-point pass almost straight from the re-start and he finished well from inside the penalty area.
The assault didn’t end there and Dave Worger thought he had put away his first of the season when he cut inside from the left and found the top corner with a curled effort, only for it to be ruled out for an earlier infringement.
Hall compounded Pinxton’s misery before the half-time whistle, Pitt finding him with yet another fine pass and setting up Hall’s second of the game.
Things were looking bleak for the visitors when Eastwood picked up where they left off and a well worked free-kick was put wide by Worger.
Pinxton did begin to find a hold of the game but couldn’t make the most of two decent opportunities as a tame effort was collected by Eastwood keeper Andy Fretwell and another was skied out the park.
The away side had a much better second-half and could well have levelled the game if it weren’t for a sturdy Eastwood defence and a keeper determined to hang on to a clean sheet.
Fretwell was called into action and pulled off a number of good saves, blocking an effort with an outstretched leg and parrying a well struck free-kick.
Eastwood were happy to shut up shop after doing the damage in the first-half in a victory that puts them in unknown territory, top of the league.
Eastwood are next in action at Belper United on Wednesday night (August 12, 7.45pm) before hosting local rivals Selston on Saturday at 3pm.