Eastwood finally moved off the bottom of the Central Midlands League South with a fine 0-0 draw at home to runaway leaders Mickleover Royals on Saturday.
When these two came up against each other earlier in the season, Mickleover were clear winners by a five-goal margin, and they would have been hoping for a similar outcome again.
However, there have been some big changes at Eastwood since then and the visitors were up against a whole new animal this time around.
It a game that wasn’t the best spectacle for a neutral, the best of the action came from the dugout, but Eastwood won’t have too many complaints after a well-earned point.
Kye Hall was restored to the first team after missing the to Linby Colliery and immediately reminded everybody what they had missed when he took down a long pass and ran at the defence. He was held back and won the first free-kick of the game, an early indication of the trouble he can cause the opposition.
Eastwood continued the early pressure when Lee Bull had an opportunity to open the scoring but headed at the goalkeeper.
The second-half started much the same with both teams trading possession through sloppy passes and brave tackling.
Eastwood looked dangerous on the counter with Bull and Hall’s constant harrying of the defence and running after direct passes, but the Mickleover keeper was able to deal with most of the trouble.
In the latter stages of the game Mickleover started to get their passing game going and kept a hold of the ball much better than they had been doing, but Eastwood’s back line was resolute and put in a real shift closing down the opponents.
Eastwood keeper Andy Fretwell had looked very confident between the sticks dealing with a number of Micklover crosses and was on hand again when called upon.
Substitute Louis Menson finally found a way through and was one-on-one with Fretwell who spread himself well and turned his effort wide of the goal, securing the point and a clean sheet to boot.