Mixed fortunes for Earlswood Town over Bank Holiday weekend

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Player-manager Tom Reynolds celebrates with his matchball following his hat-trick of headers.

FOOTBALL

A MIXED Bank Holiday weekend for Earlswood Town saw Tom Reynolds’ men secure a 6-3 victory over Barnt Green Spartak in the Smedley Crooke Memorial Charity Cup before losing 2-1 to FC Stratford in Midland League Division Two.

In the first of two games in three days on Saturday, Earlswood Town put on a dominant performance at home to Spartak, bouncing back from a tight 1-0 defeat to champions Northfield Town on the opening day of the campaign.

Earls were quick out the blocks racing into a 2-0 lead early doors, with a close-range finish from Andy Matthews followed up by a low drive in off the post from strike partner Jon Hamer.

A freakish own goal pulled one back for Barnt Green, but Earlswood quickly made amends when Gary Walker’s deep free-kick was headed home at the back post by player-manager Tom Reynolds.

However, Earlswood became complacent and Barnt Green hit them twice on the break to draw level at half-time.

The second half started well for the home team and it wasn’t long before the lead was restored when Walker’s delivery from a corner was headed home from close range by Reynolds.

Earlswood were in control again and Matthews and Hamer combined on the edge off the box before the latter shifted the ball out of his feet and fired a whipped left-footed finish beyond the Spartak keeper.

With two players now on a hat-trick it was unexpectedly defender Reynolds who claimed the match ball.

Another Walker corner was met by a diving header from Reynolds to complete a hat-trick of headers and seal a 6-3 win for the Earls.

Monday saw Earlswood back in league action, this time traveling to FC Stratford and they appeared to have carried the momentum forward from Saturday, dominating the first half in which Matthews gave them the lead.

However, they failed to capitalise on a number of opportunities and went into half-time with a slender 1-0 lead.

Stratford came out with more purpose in the second half and Earlswood began to wilt in the 30C heat and midway through Tom Daccus equalised for the hosts.

Earlswood appeared to have done enough for the draw, however, late on a surge to the byline from Stratford saw a ball pulled back for Ash Wilkes to slot home and give the hosts a deserved 2-1 victory.

Earlswood are back in action this Saturday at home to Coventry Alvis (3pm kick-off).