Kev was asked to work, so it was off to Coronation Park on my own - but only after watching most of the Arsenal / Man Utd game on t'telly.
Pulled up at the ground 20 minutes before kick-off, but the car park was already locked up - ended up parking on Chewton Street - good move, because it meant I had no delay after the final whistle and missed the heaviest of the traffic.
£10 entry was dictated by the F.A. - apparently at this stage of the competition they take a cut of the gate, but they do pay the Referee and Assistants out of their share.....
Images from the ground -- sorry about the quality - left my proper camera at home. These were taken with my mobile phone.....
The teams lined up for the usual handshake ritual, and stayed in their lines while a minutes Rememberance Day silence was impeccably obsevered by all present.
This will not be a full report, Radio, TV and Newspapers were all in attendance, and they get well paid to do that sort of thing. The first half was played at pace and both teams looked up for it - knocking the ball about with some style. It was the visitors who opened the scoring on 19. A great run by no. 11 Tom Winters ending with him hitting a fierce 25 yard drive across Shane Redmond in the Eastwood goal. The keeper made a despairing attempt to reach the ball, but the strike was superbly placed and will probably be highlighted on TV... as Paul Cox said later on Radio Nottingham " it had to be good to beat Shane from that distance"
Cox decided to make a change just 5 minutes into the second half, Matt Rhead replacing Ross Gardner -- the effect was almost immediate, as Rhead's 52nd minute header from Andy Todd's pinpoint cross forced a diving save from the Brackley keeper. Seconds later the Badgers drew level. A Dunning corner from the left was flicked on by Russell Cooke, and Simon Sturdy headed the ball into the back of the net from in the middle of a ruck players. ( need to check out on TV, the goal has been credited to Cooke)...
Lindon Meikle had been ineffective for most of the game, but when Todd's 40 yard raking pass in the 63rd minute picked the youngster out - he left his marker for dead and ran at goal before firing home from 20 yards with the help of a deflection. Eastwood then retreated into their own half, inviting Brackley onto them - but some stout defending and superb goal-keeping ensured the Badgers were in the hat for the 2nd round draw for the first time ever.....and banked the £20,000 prize money !!
Special mention to the Eastwood Town fans behind the Chewton Street goal -- they were chanting "boing, boing, Badgers, Badgers", and "AYUP Eastwood, Eastwood AYUP" throughout the game - talk about a 12th man... well done all !!Admission £10.00
Attendance 969 !!Tuesday Arnold Tn v Pickering at Gedling MW