Badgers fall to opening day loss

Marine 2 Eastwood Town 0

Eastwood Town’s season began with a promising display but a disappointing result on Saturday as they fell to a 2-0 defeat on Merseyside.

The Badgers hit the woodwork twice in an open and entertaining game, but the hosts ultimately succeeded through better delivery of the ball in to the box and some clinical finishing.

Home keeper Ryan McMahon had to be alert within the first 30 seconds, racing off his line to challenge TJ Nightingale after the Town striker had chased a ball over the top.

Gregg Simmons then collected the ball and turned to shoot over, but Marine had the first real sight of goal after Jon Goulding’s shot was blocked, Karl Noon following up with a powerful drive which Ian Deakin pushed away at full stretch.

A goal did arrive after 27 minutes and it put the hosts in front, Michael Ordish’s early cross being thumped in to the roof of the net from close range by debutant Marcus Carver.

The Badgers responded well, Gregg Simmons sending a thunderous 25-yard drive against the bar with McMahon a spectator.

Paolo Piliero should probably have scored when heading Fabian Smith’s tasty cross over the top from inside the six yard box, but it was the Mariners who grabbed the crucial second goal of the game two minutes before the interval.

Shaun Dowling did well to pinch the ball off Piliero, releasing Fowler to maraud down the right and completely ignore Carver in yards of space in the middle before rifling the ball across Deakin in to the bottom corner.

Carver saw a half volley whistle narrowly wide of Deakin’s near post at the start of the second-half, before nodding a corner over the top as the sides started to suffer in the heat.

Gregg Simmons hit the woodwork again for the Badgers, his rising drive looking destined for the top corner but finding the outside of a post.

Fowler might well have had a hat-trick late on as the game stretched, cutting in from near the goal line with Deakin equal to the challenge, the Town keeper then denying the striker as he attempted to slide the ball home from the left of the box after Carver had played him in.

Eastwood sub Alex Troke fired in a strong drive from the left which brought an excellent save from McMahon to turn the ball away, before Fowler had another chance in the dying minutes which brought another fine stop from Deakin.

The action was pretty much end to end by now, Anthony Griffith Jnr flashing a shot very close to the far post, but that was that as the Mariners prevailed.

Marine: 1 Ryan McMahon 2 Shaun Dowling 3 John Shaw 4 Matty Brown 5 Danny Grannon 6 Robbie Lawton 7 Andy Fowler 8 Jonathan Goulding (Thomas Moore 68) 9 Marcus Carver 10 Karl Noon (Liam Dawson 76) 11 Michael Ordish (Paul Lundon 76). Subs not used: Liam Duff, Callum Willams

Scorers: Carver 27, Fowler 43
Eastwood: 1 Ian Deakin 2 Fabian Smith 3 Paul Riley 4 Danny Elliott 5 Romaine Graham (Alex Troke 83) 6 Deon Meikle 7 Gregg Simmons 8 Anthony Gregory (Curtis Shaw 65) 9 TJ Nightingale 10 Paris Simmons (Anthony Griffiths Jnr 49) 11 Paolo Piliero. Subs not used: Jermaine Hollis, Sam Andrew

Att: 268 Ref: Danny Gratton (Stone)