Rangers rolled over as Badgers extend their run

Eastwood town v Stafford Rangers.
Eastwood town v Stafford Rangers.
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Saturday, March 26, 2011

Blue Square Bet North


Lindon Meikle 52

Lee Stevenson 60

Peter Knox 87


THREE second-half goals saw Eastwood comfortably seal the points at home to Stafford on Saturday.

It was far from a classic, Rangers offering precious little going forward and the hosts barely breaking sweat, but it maintained the Badgers’ unbeaten run and was a job well done.

It only took ten seconds for Eastwood to threaten, Lindon Meikle’s ball in from the byline missing everyone in the middle and going out for a throw-in.

Meikle fired straight at keeper Lee Evans on seven minutes before Stafford’s most dangerous moment of the match came three minutes later when Andre Francis’s cross was met by Luke Keen’s looping header which hit the top of the crossbar.

From then on the home side dictated everything with Mat Bailey, Lee Stevenson twice and Matt Rhead all threatening to break the deadlock inside the first-half.

They couldn’t manage to do so and came even closer within moments of the start of the second-half when Stevenson’s low shot from the edge of the box somehow managed to hit the inside of both posts before finally going safe as Rangers hung on.

But Eastwood finally registered on 52 minutes when Rhead fed Meikle and the speedy striker burst through the middle to finish well past Evans and put his side in front.

He nearly scored a replica minutes later but this time Evans won the duel by tipping a powerful effort over the bar.

Meikle was having a mad five minutes and next he cut inside before shooting low but the ball struck the foot of Evans’ right-hand post and went wide.

The second goal arrived on the hour and killed the game off. Andy Todd played a ball inside to Rhead who smashed a ridiculously powerful volley off the post but the ball fell, via a deflection, at the feet of Stevenson who gratefully rolled it home.

Meikle’s volley was then tipped over by Evans before Rangers had a short spell where Tyree Clarke and Ben Mills both went close, the former after a breakdown in communications between John Danby and Bailey nearly caused a calamitous goal back.

But the game was made safe with three minutes to go when sub Peter Knox, who’d not had much to do since his 79th minute arrival, finally got a sniff and beat Evans one-on-one to round off the win.

Best Badger goes to Lindon Meikle who was a livewire throughout.

Eastwood: 1 John Danby 2 Mat Bailey 3 Paul Riley 4 Michael Simpson (Anton Foster 89) 5 Russell Cooke 6 Adie Hawes 7 Jon D’Laryea 8 Lee Stevenson (Emeka Nwadike 89) 9 Lindon Meikle 10 Matt Rhead (Peter Knox 78) 11 Andy Todd

Subs not used: Adam Muller, Chris Shaw. Att: 389

Ref: M Howes

Best Badger: Lindon Meikle