Late double sinks Eastwood CFC at fancied Gresley Rovers
Two late goals condemned battling Eastwood CFC to a 3-1 defeat at fancied Gresley Rovers in Tuesday night's United Counties Premier Division North trip.
But boss Steve Kirkham believes this Saturday's home clash with Leicester Nirvana will a much better yardstick of where his side is at.
Having gone behind on 41 minutes, the Red Badgers levelled through McKenna Parton on 53 minutes before giving away goals on 73 and 78 minutes.
“No one expected us to go there and get anything - we know Gresley are a good side,” said Kirkham.
“But after an hour at 1-1, I think we were on top and gifted the game away which was frustrating. But there were plenty of positives to take.
“Gresley are a top three/top four side and we more than matched them. I felt we deserved something from the game over the 90 minutes, but that's not how football works.
“Ultimately, that's why they are up there. It just comes down to individual errors. That was the difference.
“Gresley are exactly where we need to be – it was the same when we played Loughborough. They know what the league is about and we are probably a little bit naïve at the minute.
“Now Saturday is a big one playing a team that is in and around us at home which we have earmarked for points.”
On Saturday Eastwood set up a tasty local derby at Heanor Town with a 2-0 win at Teversal in the FA Vase, Romello Nangle and Finn Hunter on target.
After a goalless first half, the opening 15 minutes of the second period produced the best football by the away team as they laid siege to Teversal’s goal, and it was only a matter of time before their attacking efforts brought their just rewards.
Skipper Jack Andrews sprayed out a beauty of a pass to the left flank which Liam Hearn controlled in a heartbeat and whipped in a cross which was eagerly snapped up by Nangle to volley home.
The home team were just about hanging on, but it was left until the dying embers of the game that the win was secured.
Hunter was only on the pitch for seconds before he raced onto a through ball from Parton.
The ball bounced awkwardly for Callum Milner and seeing the ball come over his shoulder, Hunter controlled the ball in a flash and shot home – five seconds, two touches and one goal.
Kirkham said: “It was a cup game so it was just about getting through, but it was a second win and a second clean sheet on the trot. It was progress.
“I thought we were probably better against Gresley then we were against Teversal, but that's football.
“Heanor away is now a big one for the fans being a local derby. We knew going into the game that we'd be playing Rainworth or Heanor. We knew the carrot was there.
“It will be a big day out at Heanor – a big game for the players and hopefully one that everyone can enjoy.”
He added: “We had three drop out on the day against Gresley with Covid so I am waiting to hear back about isolation before we know who we have for Saturday. We will have a few missing, but that's non-league football.”