Eastwood dip in form continues

Eastwood Community FC's Jack Smith in action.
Eastwood Community FC's Jack Smith in action.

Eastwood Community’s recent dip in form continued at the worst possible time for the club as they lost for the first time since October, crashing 2-1 at home to South Normanton on Saturday.

It left them seven points adrift of Central Midlands League South leaders Selston with a game in hand.

Eastwood recalled Rory Smith to the side and Kyle McDermott replaced Paddy Webb, who was too ill to feature.

South Normanton got off to a perfect start after three minutes when Simms deflected a shot from outside the area which completely wrong footed keeper Walker into the net.

Eastwood responded immediately but Greg Conn’s thunderous drive struck the upright with the keeper beaten.

The visiting keeper was called into action minutes later keeping out McDermott effort from close range with a stunning save.

The visitors should have increased their lead after 30 minutes but Lewis couldn’t direct his free header past Walker.

With both teams attacking at every opportunity it was Eastwood who created the next clear chance on 40 minutes, but Rory Smith’s downward header bounced over the bar from six yards after good work by Jack Smith.

The second half continued as the first with both sides creating chances.

Walker made a smart save, blocking Smith’s effort when the striker got clear of the Eastwood defence.

Eastwood introduced strikers Harry Allen and James Hallam midway through the half to try to get back into the game.

Hallam was immediately into the action with a powerful run and cross, which was volleyed just wide by Kane Mathews.

Eastwood’s other substitute Allen was also into the action but couldn’t direct his headed effort on target from Smith’s corner.

Eastwood keeper Walker was again called into action on 80 minutes to keep out Lewis’ strike on goal.

In the final five minutes of the game both sides were awarded soft penalties to say the least.

Lewis converted for South Normanton on 85 minutes while on 88 minutes Jack Smith put away Eastwood’s spot kick.

In injury time Eastwood carved out one last chance for a share of the points as the visiting keeper parried Jack Smith’s effort, and Harry Allen followed up but the keeper produced a fine blocking save.