Final day defeat as Earls run on empty
Earlswood Town ended their season with a 3-1 defeat at home to MFL Division Two mid-table rivals Inkberrow with boss Tom Reynolds admitting that ‘the tanks were empty’.
A neat finish from Tom Kinsey had given them a half-time lead but second half goals from George Thomas, Josh Bowen and Stan Thomas handed the points to the visitors.
Reynolds said: “We have really struggled the last month being in a comfortable position where we weren’t going up or down and we have been carrying a few injuries and picked up a few suspensions. I think if we’d have had some subs today it would have been a different outcome because the tanks were empty.
“Over the course of a season, you finish where you deserve to finish. It’s a marathon and we have no gripe with that.”
Earlswood struck early and were the better side for much of the opening half. The goal came on ten minutes when Kinsey netted his third in five games, placing the ball beyond visiting keeper Max Court.
But as the game wore on, Inkberrow grew in confidence and were back on level terms midway through the second period when George Thomas slotted home after nipping in behind the Earlswood defence.
The excellent George Robbins then effectively won the game for Berrow, setting up two goals in the final six minutes. Firstly, his searing pace down the right took him past his marker before sending over an inch-perfect cross for Bowen to head home. Then, on 90 minutes, he weaved his way into the area and around keeper Ali Lewis before squaring to substitute Stan Thomas for the easiest of tap-ins.
Reynolds added: “They have a really good winger and we tried to double up on him but that just left spaces elsewhere which they exploited.”
The result meant the Earls finished the season 12th, three places below last year, but the manager admitted it had been a tough season.
“We set expectations at the start and that was to finish one place higher than last time. We haven’t achieved that, but the league is so competitive. Anyone inside that top four or five could hold their own in the league above.
“We were flying at the start of the season when we had a squad of 19 or 20 but then lads are disappointed when they aren’t getting picked so they move on.
“When you cannot attract players through other means, it’s about trying to make the lads feel special where you can and that’s about doing things in the right way. We all have aspirations of going up but we work within our means. There is no budget here and no big numbers.
“It is a really nice place to play your football and when you have people like Harry Street making his 100th appearance and others who have played 50 games, that shows a lot of loyalty to the club. It’s the sort of place where people want to stay and play their football and that’s down to the board who have been excellent.”