Eastwood CFC were dumped out of the CMFL League Challenge Cup 2-0 by Westella VIP, but the scoreline only told half the story.
Both teams shared possession for the opening 15 minutes with very little happenings to take note of as they looked to craft chances without any real penetration.
It took until the 17th minute for the first real opportunity as Westella’s Alex Wood saw his header fly wide of the post.
Shortly afterwards, Chris Spinks found himself one-on-one with Eastwood’s keeper but Andy Fretwell did enough to sweep up the ball before Spinks had chance to fashion out any real chance for himself.
Eastwood immediately showed the sort of spirit seen in the past few games to give themselves a kick-start.
Two corners in two minutes sent out a warning to Westella, the second of which provided a header that came close to putting them ahead.
The first-half continued to grind along without much action until Lewis Sparkes broke into Eastwood’s penalty area through a quick counter attack, however Eastwood’s defence stood strong and forced him out wide to miscue his shot past the post.
Eastwood soon grabbed a real hold of the game and began keeping possession of the ball and passing it around well, they looked out wide to make progress but were thwarted before creating any noteworthy chances.
Whilst Eastwood continued their possession game at the start of the second-half, it proved to be another slow burner.
Westella had the first bit of action ten minutes into the half when a bouncing ball appeared to strike the hand of an Eastwood defender, but the referee deemed it to be an unavoidable ricochet and waved away the protests.
Six minutes later, Westella were afforded the first dangerous set-piece with a free kick outside the penalty area. Spinks stepped up to take it but Fretwell was equal to it and quelled the danger, diving to his left.
It was another set-piece that proved to be a game changer when Westella were awarded a penalty in the 70th minute, Spinks again took it upon himself to step up and this time he found the net, sending the keeper the wrong way.
The home side stuck to their guns and kept their possession play going, finding some luck down the wings through Jordan Leeming’s accurate passing and Tom Budd’s tenaciousness on the right.
They eventually began to find their way into Westella’s area and when Nick Hewer took down a high ball in a crowded box, his second touch let him down and he couldn’t get off a shot to trouble the keeper.
Westella secured the win on 80 minutes when Wood was allowed too much time outside the box to let off a speculative effort, the ball floating into the top right hand corner almost in slow motion.
Eastwood’s heads dropped as Westella saw out the last few minutes with ease, securing their passage through to play Swanwick PR in the next round.