Shaw keen to build on positives after mixed start

Paul Riley (right) challenges against Market Drayton. Photo by James Williamson.
Paul Riley (right) challenges against Market Drayton. Photo by James Williamson.

The start of the new season saw Eastwood Town experience both ends of the scale this week as they opened the campaign with a win and a defeat.

Saturday’s impressive 3-0 success over Market Drayton Town was followed by a late loss away at Scarborough on Tuesday as the Badgers adjust to life in a new division for the second season in a row.

And joint-manager Chris Shaw says a lot has been learned from the two games played so far.

“The whole season will be a learning curve but we’ve seen already how some teams will mix it up.

“We’ve got strength throughout the squad though so hopefully can adapt our teams for each game. The players all know they’ll get games depending on the opponents we face.

“On Saturday we were outstanding from the first whistle against a very strong team. We kept two good strikers very quiet and created lots of chances, taking three of them.”

Eastwood lost skipper Carl Slater midway through Saturday’s win, the game held up for half-an-hour as the midfielder was treated for a dislocated shoulder which caused sufficient damage to the surrounding bones and ligaments that an operation had to be carried out.

Shaw added: “Carl went in for his op on Thursday and the surgeon reckons he’ll be back playing within three weeks.

“We’ve also lost Anthony Newton for a few weeks too but that shows the importance of a strong squad.”

Having gone a goal down and a man down at Scarborough on Tuesday - Paul Riley sent off for a second bookable offence - Eastwood rallied to get themselves level before an Athletic winner two minutes from time consigned the Badgers to defeat.

Shaw said: “We were excellent again, even after going down to ten men, and were gutted to lose it so late, but once more we gave a very strong side a real battle.”

Eastwood travel to Warwickshire face Bedworth on Saturday before Nottinghamshire neighbours Rainworth Miners Welfare visit Coronation Park on Bank Holiday Monday, both games kicking off at 3pm.

And based on what he has seen so far, Shaw is confident more points will follow.

“The performances have shown we’ll do well this year and it was good to see some fans back through the gate on Saturday too, so things are really positive at the moment,” he added.