Eastwood boss: ‘Stick with us as we find our way’

James Taylor of Eastwood CFC (in red) is pictured in possession against Pinxton on Saturday.
James Taylor of Eastwood CFC (in red) is pictured in possession against Pinxton on Saturday.

Eastwood Community FC manager Tony Clarke has urged the town’s football fans to keep getting behind his side despite a tough start to life at Coronation Park.

The new team has suffered three heavy defeats in its opening three games, including a 9-0 loss to Pinxton on Saturday as competitive football returned to the ground vacated by Eastwood Town FC.

A healthy crowd of 280 watched Saturday’s game, and Clarke is keen to see people continue to come through the gate as the team settles down and begins to find its way.

He said: “I initially wasn’t too scathing after Saturday but when I watched the DVD back of the game I realised the display really wasn’t acceptable and certainly not the kind of quality we need to be showing if we’re going to keep fans behind us.

“Everything off the pitch is fantastic at the moment and I can’t fault the support we’ve had, but obviously it’s work in progress on the pitch.

“I was disappointed though because we had good players back in the team who hadn’t played in the opener at Swanwick and yet as a team we still didn’t compete and the game ran away from us inside 25 minutes.

“We improved in the second-half, the opposite to what had happened at Swanwick, but there’s a degree of trial and error at this stage.”

Clarke was speaking before Wednesday night’s 5-0 loss at Mickleover Royals, with reports from that game suggesting a much better performance at a side with a 100 per cent record so far.

And with Real United the visitors on Saturday, Clarke is keen to see the improvements continue.

He said: “Real lost 10-2 on Tuesday night so they’ve had a shock or two as well.

“I’m aiming to bring in new players this week, including more with experience at a higher level, so we should get more competitive as time goes on and I’d like fans to keep coming down and see how we improve.

“Fitness levels shouldn’t be a problem as most lads played at this level last year so are used to playing 90 minutes.

“We’re also keen to continue with our philosophy of giving local youngsters a chance for a few games, rather than just turfing them out after a couple of tough matches.

“We just need to up our work rate and find a system that suits us. If we want to maintain the support we need the performances to be better.”

The fixture list wasn’t kind to Eastwood with their early fixtures all being against sides in the higher echelons of the table, with Clarke adding: “It’s been a baptism of fire but we’ve learned a great deal which can only be a good thing as we aim to improve.”

Following Saturday’s visit of Real United, Eastwood will be at home again on September 13 against Belper United.