FA VASE REPORT: Eastwood 3-2 Dunkirk

Paddy Webb scored twice for Eastwood
Paddy Webb scored twice for Eastwood

Eastwood CFC progressed into the second round of the FA Vase with victory over step six side Dunkirk on Saturday.

The fact Eastwood are a division below their opponents was never evident in what was a largely even encounter, the Red Badgers perhaps edging things in a second-half that saw all of the game’s goals.

The hosts were inspired by teenage star Paddy Webb who scored two of their goals and who looks like a player who would quite easily fit in at a higher level, but in front of a decent crowd as always at the PSUSA Stadium, there were few in the home line-up that didn’t impress.

Dunkirk opened well, Daryll Thomas shooting into the side netting on five minutes, before first Chay Betteridge and then Webb were denied by Dunkirk keeper Liam Mitchell, who also stopped a Harry Allen effort at point blank range.

Webb came even closer after showing good pace down the inside left flank but shot against the outside of the post when a pull-back to those in the penalty area may have served the hosts better.

Dunkirk created the better openings in the remainder of the half, Ben Gowing and Tim Berridge seeing shots gathered by Eastwood keeper Jack Walker.

Half-time arrived with the game goalless but it took just three minutes of the second-half for Eastwood to take the lead.

Rory Smith was released down the right and his ball into the six yard box was headed down and in by Webb at the far post.

Dunkirk got level ten minutes later in somewhat harsh circumstances as far as the hosts were concerned. Danny Hayes handled the ball in the penalty area, although it looked as if the ball had merely bounced up onto him rather than any deliberate action.

Thomas stepped up to slide home the spot kick.

The hosts then struck twice in three minutes just after the hour mark to effectively seal their passage through.

First, the otherwise excellent Mitchell dropped a header from Hayes after clattering into the post, the follow-up shot from Hayes being saved but Betteridge able to tap in on the line.

Then sub Joe Butler crossed from the right and Webb was again on hand six yards out to put the ball in the net.

The goal rush continued four minutes later as Dunkirk pulled one back, Thomas again the scorer after a free-kick from out right dropped to him in the penalty area.

Thomas then had the best chance of an equaliser when the ball again found him in the area but Walker produced a fine save to deny the experienced striker a hat-trick.

Late pressure from Dunkirk threatened to force extra-time, but the hosts held on well to secure their passage through.

Eastwood: Walker, Brooks, Thomas, Short, Hayes, Mitchell, Conn, R Smith (J Smith 82), Allen (Butler 63), Bettridge, Webb.