In-form Eastwood set for home run

Lee Stevenson's cross shot gives Eastwood the lead.
Lee Stevenson's cross shot gives Eastwood the lead.
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A 2-1 win at Vauxhall Motors on Saturday was followed by an excellent point at title-chasers Telford on Tuesday night and the Badgers now sit ninth in the Blue Square Bet North table.

And with 11 league games still to play, manager Paul Cox is fully expecting his side to remain in the top half, aided by what he hopes will be fruitful run of home matches.

He said: “We’re continuing to learn all the time and our belief and mentality is getting stronger with each good performance.

“The lads know they have to earn the right to win every game, whether it’s against a struggling side or a promotion-chasing team like Telford, and that’s something that was lacking a bit at the start of the season.”

Lindon Meikle scored twice in eight minutes to secure the points at Vauxhall, whilst on Tuesday night Eastwood took the lead at Telford but ended up having to come from behind to get a point.

That performance drew rave reviews from Telford boss Andy Sinton as well as the local Shropshire media, something which Cox is proud of.

“It’s really good to have had such great compliments from people and the fact Andy Sinton was happy with a point from Tuesday says a lot,” he said.

“I actually had mixed feelings about the game because we had two goals harshly disallowed and missed a great chance to win the match late on.

“We’ve come from behind to get points in all of the last three games and that says a lot about the resolve of the players at the moment and I’m really happy with their work.”

The first of the upcoming home games will see the Badgers host struggling Stafford Rangers on Saturday, currently managed by former Leicester City and Scotland defender Matt Elliott.

Hyde FC then visit next Wednesday night, another side battling against relegation.

Cox said: “We’re up against two of the bottom three and again people will be expecting us to win the games.

“But these are entirely different propositions to coming up against teams like Telford and, as we learned from the Redditch game a couple of weeks ago, we can’t sit back and expect the result to come.”

Asked about his side’s chances of a late push for a play-off spot, Cox refused to get carried away but admitted a top five spot is still something that could be achieved.

He said: “I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t at the back of our minds because it’s human nature in the position we’re in, but all we can do is keep plugging away and hopefully the results will continue to go for us.

“But we’ve got a shallow squad and a few what I call ‘tired injuries’ occuring at the moment what with so many games to take part in, so there’s that aspect which could play a role in the next few weeks, but there’s always one team that makes a late burst into the play-off positions and I see no reason why it can’t be us if we can keep a fully fit squad.”

Meanwhile, winger Sam Duncum has returned to Worksop for a second loan spell, this time until the end of the season.

Cox added: “With so many players performing well Sam’s not been able to force his way into the team, so it’s important for him to get some games under his belt at Worksop.”

- Saturday’s home clash with Stafford Rangers will kick-off at 1pm due to the Wales v England European Qualifier.