Title chasing Eastwood put strugglers to the sword

Eastwood Community FC v Hucknall Town FC
Eastwood Community FC v Hucknall Town FC

Title-chasing Eastwood eased to another comfortable win on Saturday as struggling Holbrook St Michaels were put to the sword at the PSUSA Arena.

The Red Badgers have had a habit of ruthlessly dispatching sides from lower down the table this season and that was again the case here, never really needing to get out of second gear against a side offering little in the way of quality.

Joe Butler led the way with a hat-trick and Paddy Webb regained his scoring touch with a brace, the win keeping the pressure on the top sides in the CML South in what is a four-way battle for promotion.

Eastwood went in front just three minutes in from their first real attack as Webb’s low ball in found Butler six yards out and he stabbed the ball home at the second attempt.

Despite the good start and dominating possession, it took until 22 minutes for the next clear chance to come, Butler racing down the inside right channel then hitting a low shot that keeper Steve Dennis pushed wide.

Moments later, however, it was 2-0 as a corner was swung in from the right and Rory Smith got a touch to turn the ball in from a couple of yards out.

Eastwood keeper Jack Walker’s hands were warmed by a Yui Kabange strike well held on 26 minutes, Walker then blocking well when Maciej Dabrowski found space to shoot a minute later.

Butler put another Webb cross over the top on 31 minutes as the Red Badgers looked to kill the game off before the break, Webb then heading a corner straight at Dennis.

Holbrook then pulled a goal back with six minutes of the half remaining, as Paul Fisher was released and he strode forward to finish low past Walker.

And Fisher was in the mood, having a pop from 25 yards right on half-time which flew just over the bar.

But Butler would soon restore the two-goal deficit in the dying seconds of the half as he ran onto a through ball from sub Jack James to round Dennis and slide the ball home.

The fourth goal came on 52 minutes and it was Butler’s hat-trick as he dinked the ball over the keeper having been sent through the middle.

Four minutes later, Webb got his goal as he too was sent clear, rounded Dennis and slotted the ball into the net.

By the hour mark it was six, Webb this time taking Smith’s pass and finishing well as Holbrook appealed, probably fairly, for offside.

Eastwood played the last 20 minutes with ten men after Rian Charles departed injured with all three subs used, but it would do nothing to affect the outcome.

Chances dried up as Eastwood eased off, Webb denied the chance of his hat-trick by Dennis late on, but Jack James completed the rout with a back post header as the game entered stoppage time from the resultant corner.

Eastwood: 1 Jack Walker, 2 Jamie Thomas, 3 Leyton Nethercott (Jack James 34), 4 Rian Charles 5 Danny Hayes (Jack Millward 63), 6 Billy Brooks, 7 Rory Smith, 8 Callum McGarry (Reuben Mitchell 63), 9 Paddy Webb, 10 Joe Butler, 11 Chay Betteridge

Subs not used: Reece Jackson, Dave Marlow