ECFC joint-manager Dave Marlow is delighted to be fighting for trophies on 5 fronts- but says there is one in particular that remains the club’s priority.
The Badgers extended their winning run to 13 games in all competitions on Saturday when they overcame higher league opposition to advance in the FA Vase.
First half goals from Chay Betteridge and Paddy Webb were enough to dispense ChromaSport United Counties League Premier Division leaders Leicester Nirvana.
Eastwood have since been handed an away tie in the third round against Desborough Town, who play in the same league as Nirvana at Step 5 of the non-League pyramid and Marlow said: “Saturday was a very good result. We went to watch them the week before and we were able to identify their strengths and weaknesses. “We had a plan and the boys executed that plan extremely well. The players did very well to follow that plan. “To get two goals early on and then be able to defend was really pleasing. The performance was very good and we’re chuffed to bits. But the priority is the league. We want to go as far as we can in the FA Vase, like in all the cup competitions, but the priority is the league.
”And added: “We are the only Step 7 team left in the Vase which is lovely. Even though a win in the Vase is great, our mind set is how can we win this league.” Marlow joined Eastwood’s backroom staff in the summer to help boost their aspirations of promotion from the Abacus Lighting Central Midlands Football League South Division. And the number of games in the league this season has meant Marlow and Eastwood look upon the cup competitions as a chance for players to get more minutes. “It’s going really well,” he said. “We’ve got a really big squad so it gives people the opportunity to play. But even when we do that and put players in the strength of the starting eleven never diminishes. “It’s just good we can play more games. The Central Midlands League doesn’t have a lot of games - if it were just the league we’d only have 30 games. “People might not have the opportunity to play as much, we might not get as much chance to move the squad around, so being in as many cups as possible is great considering the league that we’re in.
”The winning run has seen Eastwood play and progress in the Notts Senior Cup, the CMFL Floodlit Cup, the CMFL League Cup as well as the league and FA Vase competitions. “That was the most pleasing thing for me, the fact we kept the run going,” said Marlow. “Since my first day the pressure has been on every game. Because of the league and because there are so few games, we can’t afford to lose any games. “We go into each game thinking ‘we’ve got to win this’ otherwise we put pressure on ourselves. The players, management and the club understand it and we have to deal with it. “Everyone, especially the players, are dealing with it very well at the moment.”Eastwood sit fourth in the league standings, having won seven from eight so far, and six points behind leaders Hucknall Town, who have played two games more.
Eastwood will be trying to extend their winning run further on Saturday when they take on Teversal Reserves at home 3pm kick off.
By Matt Brooks
Read more at: http://www.eastwoodadvertiser.co.uk/sport/football/eastwood-relishing-fight-for-trophies-on-five-fronts-1-8859472
Updated 13:40 - 16 Nov 2017 by Zander Shayler