Eastwood Town won the Notts Senior Cup for the seventh time in nine years with a 2-0 win over Clifton on Tuesday.
EASTWOOD TOWN 2
Gregg Simmons 53
Danny Elliott 64
by Mark Duffy
EASTWOOD’S miserable season finally produced a glimmer of joy on Tuesday night as the club’s annual pilgrimage to the Notts Senior Cup final saw them bring home the trophy once again.
It was the ninth year in a row the Badgers had contested the final, with the seventh victory in that run coming at the expense of Central Midlands League side Clifton All Whites.
The game was far from a classic but Clifton gave as good as they got for long spells, two second-half goals ultimately proving enough for Eastwood to claim victory.
Clifton striker Michael Evans has scored 45 goals this season and it was he who provided the early threat.
First he hit a free-kick straight at Sam Andrew in the third minute and then had another effort from the edge of the box on 14 minutes but saw his shot come back off a post with Andrew stranded.
A couple of Eastwood corners then caused havoc, as did a Markel Bailey free-kick on 28 minutes as the ball twice fell to Alex Troke eight yards out but his shots were blocked by a combination of defenders.
Troke came even closer minutes later when Bailey’s fine cross from the right was headed down and against the post by the Badgers midfielder.
Evans hit a dipping volley too high in first-half injury-time, ensuring it was goalless at the break.
Luke Edwards’ header from a Bailey free-kick was the first opening of the second period, keeper Joe Parlatt able to gather with ease.
The woodwork then took another rattling when a Bailey volley came back off Parlatt’s right-hand post on 49, seconds after the keeper had pushed Gregg Simmons’ cross-come-shot away from danger.
But the deadlock was broken on 53 when Bailey again caused problems by cutting in from the left, and when his shot was deflected as far as Simmons the youngster rifled high into the net from eight yards out.
The second goal came on 64 minutes and it was a fine solo effort.
Danny Elliott picked the ball up on the right-hand edge of the area and beat a couple of challenges before finding the far corner of the net with the outside of his right foot.
Simmons hooked a volley wide on 72 as the Badgers sought to seal the match, while sub Will Heath was just too high for Clifton with a header four minutes later.
Bailey then hit the post yet again with a low shot from which Edwards couldn’t convert the rebound.
But the Badgers saw out the rest of the encounter without too much worry, perhaps except for a looping effort from Craig Anderson in stoppage time which landed on top of the net, and ensured some reward for the hard work of their young squad of players.
Eastwood: 1 Sam Andrew 2 Kallum Keane 3 Sam Benjamin 4 Danny Elliott 5 Gavin Caines 6 David Haggerty 7 Gregg Simmons 8 Mitch Hanson 9 Luke Edwards 10 Alex Troke 11 Markel Bailey
Subs not used: Wes Henry, Josh Raven, Perry Marriott, Nelson Burgess, Ian Deakin
Ref: Howard Rowbotham
Best Badger: Danny Elliott