Victory over Hucknall keeps our title hopes alive, says Eastwood boss Marlow

Eastwood Community FC v Hucknall Town FC, pictured is Eastwood manager Dave Marlow
Eastwood Community FC v Hucknall Town FC, pictured is Eastwood manager Dave Marlow

Eastwood CFC joint-boss Dave Marlow says the win over Hucknall Town has kept his side in the Central Midlands Football League South Division title race.

Eastwood ended 2017 with a 1-0 victory over their near rivals to ‘restore parity’ in the standings following a narrow 2-1 defeat in the reverse fixture before Christmas.

The three points sees Marlow’s men move to nine points off leaders Sherwood Colliery - who they visit this coming Saturday (6th January) - and three games in hand.

Marlow said: “It means that we now go into that Sherwood game having dropped the same amount of points and gives us a chance of getting a result there.

“We know that even if we don’t get a victory there we are still in the title race, which was the most important thing.

“If we had lost both against Hucknall and Sherwood games then it would have been very difficult for us in the remainder of the season.

“That victory will hopefully be a stepping stone for this Saturday, which I know and the players know will be a difficult game.

“We’ve got a couple of training sessions and then we’ll have a debrief before going into Saturday. We go into that game full of confidence now.”

Skipper Aaron Short headed in a Callum McGarry corner in the 87th-minute for his first goal for the club and what proved to be the winner.

Marlow was pleased with the result: “It was a difficult match and I thought Hucknall played well. It could have gone either way so to get the goal so close to the end was pleasing.

“It was a really tight game. Neither team really had control throughout the entire 90 minutes but there were chances at both ends. Either team could have nicked it and we did.

“The conditions didn’t help and it was extremely windy. Our style first half didn’t suit with the wind, because we were playing a bit too direct, so to get in 0-0 was positive.

“We built on that in the second half. Full credit to Hucknall, I thought they performed well over the two games, I really did.”

Hucknall remain third and three points ahead of Eastwood but have played twice more than the Red Badgers, who will be hoping the clash with Sherwood goes ahead.

The weather has wreaked havoc through the local football scene over recent weeks, with high winds and further rain forecast before Saturday, but Marlow remains positive.

“I think it’ll be on,” he said. “I’ve looked at the weather forecast and it doesn’t look great but they’ve got an excellent pitch there at Sherwood.”

Sherwood have clear daylight between themselves and the chasing pack at the top of the division and still boast an unbeaten league record at the turn of the year.

Though they have not played competitively since the 23rd December.

Marlow added: “I think they’ll be fresh. Knowing the players and the management, they’ll have done a couple of good training sessions and they’ll be ready for us.

“We’ll be concentrating on what we need to do. We need to nullify their strengths and they have got a lot of strengths and hopefully cause them a few problems of our own.

“It should be a good game and hopefully a big crowd. We got around 300 through the gate against Hucknall which is great for everyone and when the goal went in it was loud.”