Eastwood all set for derby day ahead of Vase tie

Dave Marlow says morale is high at Eastwood ahead of big league and cup fixtures.
Dave Marlow says morale is high at Eastwood ahead of big league and cup fixtures.

Eastwood CFC joint-boss Dave Marlow says the club will be going ‘all in’ for this weekend’s local derby with Heanor Town, despite a huge FA Vase clash being on the horizon.

The Red Badgers welcome the Lions to the Play Soccer USA Arena on Saturday looking to build on their current fifth place position in the East Midlands Counties League.

Eastwood haven’t played since a 1-0 win at Barrow on December 15, their game at Belper United having been postponed due to a waterlogged pitch last weekend, but Marlow says the enforced break hasn’t been a negative thing.

He said: “What it’s done is actually give a few lads the chance to recover from injuries, particularly some of our attacking players, so not having played last Saturday didn’t do us any harm at all, even though you obviously want to still get games on.

“It means we go into this weekend with pretty much a full strength squad which is a great position to be in.

“We have a very fit squad who will also have been very disciplined over the Christmas period so we’re not expecting any problems in that sense.

“We won’t be resting anyone ahead of the Vase game and will go ‘all in’ as it’s important we get league points too.

“It’s a big game locally and we’re hoping for 2-300 at least to come through the gate so we’re really looking forward to it.”

A week later, Eastwood will travel to face step five club Deeping Rangers in the fourth round of the FA Vase.

The Lincolnshire side are in good form but, having seen his side already dispatch Ilkeston Town in impressive fashion in the last round, Marlow says his side will have no fears going into the last 32 clash.

He said: “It’s a massive game for the club once again and if we can get to the last 16 that would be incredible.

“Deeping are on a good run but we will have someone watching them on Saturday so we have an idea as to what they’re about.

“What we do know is that if we are on our game then we can beat anyone, as was shown against Ilkeston. We have a really good defence and that’s a crucial foundation to any game.”

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Marlow added that overall, he and fellow joint-boss Jonathan Wass have been happy with the progress made this season - once a poor start had been overcome.

He said: “We are sixth and ten points off the leading pair but it’s a shame we lost four out of our first ten because had we started better, we could certainly have been a lot closer to the top sides.

“But there is a long way to go and if we maintain our form we can certainly push higher.

“We have the FA Vase and the Notts Senior Cup, the latter arguably being harder to win given we have Basford in the next round and other strong sides being in it, but overall it’s been good to see our form largely continue from last season.”