> 9.9.2008

  Eastwood Town (1) 2    Hednesford Town (1) 1    

Eastwood Town Shaw 37, Holmes 53 Marshall 35 > Attendance   387 Current Form  WWDWL
 > MotM Tyrone Barnett

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. Next Game

Well, it had to happen sometime, and so it did here tonight at Coronation Park, where the Pitmen finally succumbed to defeat for the first time this season after seven games. Manager Dean Edwards, not one to chop and change without good reason, brought Chad Sheppard back into the first eleven, with Mark Briggs dropping to the bench

A laboured first quarter saw very little in the way of chances for either side, with the pronounced slope at Eastwood's home ground a real energy sapper over ninety minutes if you start off too quickly

Sheppard was straight into the action, with two firm challenges early on bringing him to the attention of the referee, who set his own stall out with the combative former Blues and Tamworth man

The first real chance of note fell to the Pitmen on ten minutes. Anthony Maguire was taken out as he played the ball into the path of Louie Briscoe, but the referee gave the away side the advantage to allow Briscoe to shoot wide of goal

Eastwood responded five minutes later with a shot from Ian Holmes that was straight at Stuart Brock, looking to continue his heroics from the previous two games

The Pitmen were almost the masters of their own downfall on twenty minutes, when Decio Gomes played a short ball back to Brock. The ball failed to reach the keeper, and Brock had to sprint out to clear the ball as a number of Eastwood players descended on the back pass

Brock was again called upon to get the away side out of trouble five minutes later, making a fine save to deny Mark Smith, who had hit a shot from twenty yards out. He was also on his toes to deny Richard Dunning with a smothering save after the Eastwood man had broken free in the area

Despite all the pressure on Brock's goal, it was the visitors that took the lead ten minutes from the break  - and what a goal it was! Tom Marshall picked the ball up just inside the Eastwood half, and under no pressure, took the ball forward. With few options in front of him, Masha hit a quite brilliant shot from thirty yards out that Alex Goddard in the Eastwood goal got nowhere near

However, the celebrations lasted for only a couple of minutes, as the big-spending hosts hit back. Chris Shaw picked up a throw-in, before driving his way into the area and hitting a cross-shot that deceived Brock, who could only fumble the ball over the line

The Pitmen had been good value for a point up to that point, and Dean Edwards must have thought there was a chance of at least one, or maybe three points come the second period. As it was, it was Eastwood who started the better, with Holmes sending an early warning to the away side with a wayward effort

If that had acted as a warning shot, then the Pitmen did not heed it, as the same player gave the hosts the lead three minutes later. A corner from the right was headed towards goal, with Brock making a fine save from close range. The ball dropped to Holmes, who stabbed home from two yards out

After having the 'disadvantage' of kicking up the slope in the first half, there would have been an expectancy that the Pitmen would use the downward slope to get a foothold back in the game as the second half progressed. However, they toiled going forward, and found chances at a premium, with Eastwood's defence being well marshalled by ex-Hednesford man Paul Robinson

Tyrone Barnett had a good chance to grab an equaliser with twenty minutes remaining, but hit a first time shot wide of goal

The only other real chance of note for the visitors came with five minutes remaining. Briscoe, yet to be substituted for once, got in behind the Eastwood back line, but his tired shot was turned away by Goddard, who also easily dealt with a header from Harvey from the resultant corner

The result, and other results tonight, send the Pitmen down to fifth place, but still very much in the hunt early on. In a way it's probably good to get this out of the way, and with lower level opposition to face in the F.A. Cup on Saturday, an ideal way of getting over the disappointment of defeat tonight  cds

Atherstone Town (H) FAC 

13.9.2008
Team Mins On   On/Off For   Goals Top Scorer Dyer (4)
.1 Stuart Brock 90 .. ..
.2 Sean Platt 90 . . UniBond Premier League 9.9.2008
.3 Anthony Maguire 71 Sheppard . Top Half
.4 Decio Gomes 90 .. .. Pos Team Played Points
.5 Danny Harvey 90

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. 1st Ashton United 7 16
.6 Tom Marshall 90 .

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2nd Ilkeston Town 7 16
.7 Chad Sheppard 90

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. 3rd Bradford P A 7 14
.8 Louie Briscoe 87

Morris

. 4th Guiseley 6 14
.9 Tyrone Barnett 90

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5th HEDNESFORD 7 14
.10 Ross Dyer 90 .

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6th Leigh Genesis 8 13
.11 Ross Draper 83

Briggs

.. 7th Kendal Town 7 13
Substitutes 8th Nantwich Town 7 12
.12 Mark Briggs 7  

Draper

  . 9th Eastwood Town 7 12
.14 Elliott Durrell 19 Maguire . 10th Marine 7 12

.15

Chris Morris 3

Briscoe

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.16

Scott Stamps 0

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