EARLSWOOD Town registered their first win of the 2019/20 Midland League Division Two season after edging out local rivals Hampton 3-2 on Saturday.
The Earls were on the front foot right from the off and were 1-0 up inside the first ten minutes when Gary Walker’s corner was volleyed home by defender Stephen Mason.
Now in the ascendancy, Earlswood came close to doubling their lead when Danny Holliday had the chance to score from inside the box, but the ball got caught under his feet and the tame effort went straight at the Hampton goalkeeper.
Against the run of play, Hampton then equalised on the half-hour mark when a long ball was not dealt with by the Earlswood defence and that allowed Brad Hall to hit a volley from the edge of the area which flew into the top corner with the help of a wicket deflection.
Earlswood responded almost immediately as Harry Street’s pass was collected by Joel Hughes, who slotted in strike partner Jon Hamer to calmly stroke the ball into the far corner with his left foot to put his side 2-1 up at half-time.
After the break the Earls were dominating proceedings, but were left scratching their heads as to how they had not killed the game off, even more so when Hampton got back on level terms.
Hampton’s star striker Cameron Seivwright’s low shot on goal trickled into the net, despite the best efforts of Earlswood shot-stopper Fraser Oliver, who got a strong hand on the ball.
However, the Earls responded immediately once more when Street was on hand to tap home from close range after Cam Knight’s stinging 25-yard free-kick had been spilled by the Hampton goalkeeper.
More chances followed for Hughes and substitute Jordan McKenzie, but Earlswood failed to put the game to bed and were nearly made to pay in the last minute of normal time.
A cross from the left dipped over everybody and came back off the post and straight into the path of a Hampton player, whose header from inside the six-yard box was spectacularly saved by Oliver and scrambled clear.
Earlswood make the trip to Alcester Town on Saturday (3pm kick-off).