Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Blue Square Bet North
EASTWOOD TOWN 2
Jason Bradley 31
Lee Morris 68
GLOUCESTER CITY 1
Sam Rawlings 36
by Mark Duffy
PLAYER-COACH Lee Morris struck the winner midway through the second-half as Eastwood saw off ten-man Gloucester City at Coronation Park on Tuesday night.
It was a win the Badgers deserved after dominating much of the second period, albeit helped by the dismissal of City striker Darren Edwards four minutes after the half-time interval.
But it maintained the hosts’ unbeaten home start, and inflicted Gloucester’s first defeat of the campaign.
The opening half-an-hour wasn’t the most entertaining, as both sides sized each other up and only half chances were created, with Morris and Jason Bradley for Eastwood and Tom Hamblin and Edwards for City failing to convert difficult opportunities.
But things came to life on 31 minutes as Eastwood took the lead courtesy of a mistake by the City goalkeeper, one of two Gloucester players going by the name of Mike Green.
He failed to hold on to Jake Sheridan’s cross, and when the ball fell at the feet of Danny Elliott his shot was turned in by Bradley from close range.
And the hosts nearly made it two moments later when Jervaise Christie was set free on goal down the inside right channel but he fired over the top.
The hosts were to level against the run of play on 36 minutes. Will Morford’s powerful effort crashed back off the crossbar, but Sam Rawlings was on hand to control the rebound and side foot the ball into the net.
Morris fired an effort across goal after being fed by a fine long ball from Steve Istead four minutes before the interval, and Darren Mullings headed over the top from Adam Mann’s corner at the other end before the break.
The second-half began with controversy, as, following a Gloucester corner, Sheridan went down in a heap in the goalmouth with blood coming from his nose.
It transpired he had been on the end of an elbow from striker Edwards, and to that end the City man was sent for an early bath.
The man advantage nearly paid off on 55, when Sheridan’s corner fell to Christie at the far post but his half volley was well pushed away by the diving Green and Gloucester cleared.
Sheridan himself had the next chance, slicing a volley wide from an angle just short of the hour mark, and moments later Istead saw an effort deflected over the top for a corner.
City wasted a golden opportunity to level when Tyler Weir was sent through the middle one-on-one with Severn, but when the moment came to seemingly slide the ball home, he lost his footing and was unable to rectify his mistake before Eastwood had cleared their lines.
But the Badgers were to go back in front on 68 minutes courtesy of a fine breakaway goal. Istead took control of the ball inside the City half and broke away before feeding Morris down the left, and he ran on to drill a fine low shot into the far corner of the net.
The visitors still sniffed a goal and sub Jack Harris headed wide from a free-kick on 75 minutes, and five minutes later Morford flicked over the top when in more space than he realised following a corner.
Istead then fired a free-kick just wide in injury time for the Badgers but it mattered not as they held on to claim the points.
Eastwood: 1 James Severn 2 Craig Armstrong 3 Paul Riley 4 Steve Istead (c) 5 Gavin Caines 6 Aaron Mitchell 7 Jervaise Christie (Ben Fairclough 80) 8 Danny Elliott) 9 Jason Bradley 10 Lee Morris (Jarrod Westcarr 89) 11 Jake Sheridan (Sam Benjamin 77)
Subs not used: Jake Want (GK), Josh Burge
Ref: C Kavanagh