Eccleshall bounced straight back into form with a thumping 5-2 home win against Barnton in a Hallmark Security NWCFL Division One South fixture on Saturday.
With the team showing three changes from the home defeat against Cheadle Heath Nomads last time out, Callum Thomas, Jordan Bennion and Shay Finney made way for Liam Baker-Haynes, Lewis Dunn and Bradley Carr. Baker-Haynes, who was part of the clubs U17’s last season was making his first senior start, whilst newcomer Luke Walsh was amongst the substitutes.
Eccleshall started well, in the opening ten minutes Louis Downs saw his free kick strike the wall, Serkari Ahmadi broke down the right, but couldn’t find a team mate in the area and Dan Needham hit the post from a Downs cross.
Aaron Lyons in the visitor’s goal made two excellent saves, tipping Downs effort onto the bar after good work from Carr and Baker-Haynes, then it was Carr’s turn to be denied from a Downs cross. In between the two saves Downs had a shot blocked after being picked out by Needham.
With the breakthrough not coming, the home defence had to stay alert, none more so than Baker-Haynes as he headed a dangerous cross over his own crossbar.
The opening goal for Eccleshall arrived five minutes before the break, Needham’s cross from the left could only be parried by Lyons into the path of Carr, who prodded home for his first goal for the club.
Eccleshall doubled their lead just before the half time whistle, Izaak Walsh sent Needham through on goal, the Eagles wide man clipping over Lyons and into the corner of the net.
HT. Eccleshall 2 Barnton 0
The second half started with Eccleshall on the front foot, Ahmadi hitting the post from a Carr cross, who had been sent through on the left by Callum Feeney.
Barnton gave a reminder that they were still in the game, Reece Quinn made a smart save down to his right to preserve the two-goal lead.
The goal of the game for Eccleshall came on 55 mins, Needham and Carr exchanged passes before finding Louis Downs who made no mistake.
On 63 mins the points were safe, this time it was Needham and Ahmadi combining well, Ahmadi’s pass being tapped home by Carr, who had run from the half way line to join in the attack.
Barnton had a consolation fifteen minutes from time, Christopher Smith finishing from close range after a cross from the right.
Eccleshall continued to press, substitute Tom Wakefield had a shot saved, fellow sub Reece White couldn’t find the target with the rebound. Wakefield then sent White clear on goal with Barnton’s Christopher Yearsley pulling him down in the box just as he was about to shoot. Yearsley was red carded for the offence by referee Eaves. Downs stroked home the penalty and the Eagles had five. Needham almost made it six but couldn’t find the target from a Downs cross.
In the final minute Smith got his second goal of the game for Barnton, again from close range after a cross from the right.
FT. Eccleshall 5 Barnton 2
Eagles: Quinn, Baker Haynes (Wakefield), Dunn, Standbridge, Collins, Feeney, Carr, I.Walsh (Finney), Ahmadi (White), Downs, Needham.
Unused subs: Bennion, L.Walsh
Referee: Mr Niall Eaves
Eccleshall are at home again this coming Saturday (25. August) when they host Stone Dominoes at Pershall Park in a local derby match – 3.00pm kick off. They then meet Cheadle Town away on Bank Holiday Monday (3.00pm)