The Red Badgers secured back to back 2-1 victories last Saturday with AFC Mansfield exiting Coronation Park empty handed. The win was Martin Ball & Daryll Thomas twenty first victory of 2023 the first management team to complete that feat since James Jepson in 2019. After the Saturday’s game the management duo expressed their joy of earning three points and ending the year on a high, but did reiterate the importance of starting games better as its now six consecutive games where the opposition has scored first.
Now managed by former Eastwood CFC striker Alex Steadman Belper‘s dip in form hasn’t dented their league position too much with the Greens sitting in seventh position eight points off the play off places. That said it is just one win in thirteen since the departure of former boss Marc Strzyzewski, that win was at Coronation Park in a 2-0 triumph over Deeping Rangers, United’s only shut out since September.
Player Watch: Following the departure of Jack Tyson and Richard Hanslow, frontman Kai Moore has stepped up with the goals, the former Mickleover forward has netted four goals in his last five starts including the equaliser against league leaders Sherwood Colliery last time out.
Previous Meetings: Only Sherwood Colliery have been a more popular opponent for Eastwood than Saturday’s visitors, with United and CFC meeting 15 times. It’s Belper who have the better record in those games winning on eight occasions but Eastwood did win the return fixture back in August. Despite falling behind with less than five minutes on the clock a Tyler Blake hat trick and a single goal from Aaron O’Connor saw off the then league leaders.
STAT ATTACK: The Red Badgers haven't won their opening game of a calendar year since 2020. Eastwood CFC last loss against Belper United on a Saturday was September 2019.
Squad Update: Despite the loss of Tyreece Robinson, Ball & Thomas are in high spirits as they welcome the return of Ben Gowing to 1st Team training. Gowing has been absent since limping off in the FA Vase victory against Dudley Town back in November. Daniel Elliott came off the bench on Saturday to appear for the first time since the beginning of last month, the midfielder is another player pushing for a start on Saturday. Tom Maddison could also return. Tyler Blake ended his three game goal drought last time out with Eastwood’s first goal in the 2-1 win against AFC Mansfield, the forward now leads the way for goals this season and is aiming to become the first player since Paddy Webb in the 2019/20 season to score 20 goals in a single season.
Saturday 6th January 2024
United Counties Football League Premier North
Eastwood CFC Vs Belper United
3pm Kick Off
Coronation Park, Eastwood, NG16 3HB
Under 16’s FREE