It was a bittersweet game for Eastwood manager Gary Hayward who saw his charges earn their first point of his tenure, but he will know all too well it that it should have been a three-point haul.
Eastwood’s last point came in Chris Shaw’s last game as joint manager, ironically in the corresponding game in Yorkshire on September 10.
The Badgers started the game with three new players including former Goole winger Henry Sibenge.
Goole arrived at Coronation Park boosted by the arrival of property tycoon Baron Bloom as their new owner, former Ilkeston manager David Holdsworth incharge and four new players.
The visitors started brightly with Luke Medley causing the Eastwood back four plenty of problems however the home side went closest with debutant Bradley Wells hitting a the post.
Eastwood were indebted to Elijah Reid on two occasions as he produced two last ditch tackles to deny Medley, while Ashley Jackson put his body on the line to block Andy Hutchinson’s shot when the ball broke loose from a goalmouth scramble and Sam Colbear deflected Bradley Wells’ goalbound shot wide.
When Sibenge finally managed to get around the back of the defence his shot from a tight angle was always curling wide.
In the dying seconds of the half Eastwood came close to scoring twice in a matter of seconds. First Kieran Wells broke clear but Liam Flynn was out quickly to block his attempted chip. When Eastwood regained possession Sibenge’s was cleared off the line by Colbear.
The second-half started as the first finished with the Badgers in control.
Goole made a change at half-time with Adam Stevens replacing Flynn who was taken to hospital after breaking a toe in the early stages of the game.
Kieran Wells turned his marker sharply inside the box but saw his shot curl agonisingly wide, and with so much possession it was imperative Eastwood got their noses in front.
However, as so often happens when a team is in charge, Goole snatched the lead against the run of play when Tom Claisse picked the ball up 40 yards out, took a few steps forward and unleashed a beautiful 35 yard shot straight into the top corner.
In response Eastwood introduced substitute Josh Schofield who gave the attack more purpose and focus. His first run took him past two defenders and Sibenge met his cross only to hit a defender. As the ball ricocheted across the box to Schofield his fiercely hit shot was brilliantly headed off the line by Jason Yates.
Sibenge and Hutchinson both had shots saved before Eastwood were offered a lifeline when Stephen Wakefield was beaten by the uneven bounce and the referee pointed to the spot for handball, but Stevens was equal to Hutchinson’s well-struck shot and his outstretched boot deflected the ball to safety.
The game changed a few minutes later as the Badgers went close to defeat before earning their deserved draw.
Medley embarked on a mazy run cutting through the Eastwood rear guard. Unselfishly he laid the ball into the path of the unmarked Chris Ovington who screwed his shot wide of the open goal.
The miss proved costly as Eastwood went route one with striker Kieran Wells breaking into the box to steer the ball past Stevens.
In the dying seconds the Badgers nearly stole all three points but Bradley Wells’ header just cleared the crossbar.
Saturday, October 19, 2013:
Eastwood: 1 Lewis King 2 Elijah Reid 3 Luke Rowe 4 Elliott Green (Tom Law 77) 5 Tyrone Burton 6 Josh Raby (Josh Schofield 68) 7 Henry Sibenge 8 Brad Wells 9 Kieran Wells 10 Andy Hutchinson 11 Dan O’Donnell. Subs not used: Jacob Sturgess, Vijay Selvam, Dan Dobbie
Goole: 1 Liam Flynn (Adam Stevens 46) 2 Jason Yates 3 Ashley Jackson 4 Tom Claisse 5 Sam Colbear 6 Stephen Wakefield 7 Chris Ovington 8 Derry Robson 9 Luke Medley 10 Kimba Mavumbhu (Tyler Williams 72) 11 David Taylor.
Ref: Richard Watson
Best Badger: Henry Sibenge
Report by Andy Cope