After an excellent start to the season, Easington Sports continued their recent stuttering form at the weekend eventually losing 2-0 at home to high fliers Tytherington Rocks. This match yet again proved the Hellenic Division 1 West to be a very competitive league this year after “the Rocks” took advantage of 2 poor decisions in defence to return to Bristol with all 3 points. The game started brightly with both teams keen to compete and press the ball at a high tempo. Phil Lines had demanded more commitment and a more disciplined performance and the players responded well in the first half, matching the well organised but physical approach from Tytherington. Easington were boosted by the return of Greg Shawyer, Stuart Haynes and Dave Nicholls in defence and with the leadership of club captain Terry Fitton the first half ended 0-0. There were few clear cut chances with Easington goalkeeper Richard Meadows making his only save of the half on 17 minute from the lively Justin Bishop whilst at the other end Stuart Haynes had the only clear shot at goal from just outside the box which forced a smart save from the Rocks keeper.
Easington started the second half in bright fashion with neat interplay between Howards, Dan Reeves and Sam Ginger forcing the opposition onto the back foot and into last ditch tackles and blocks to protect their goal. As with previous matches this season, Easington failed to make this sustained pressure count and were unexpectedly behind on 58 minutes, when for the first time, the home side failed to shut down a cross into the box. The goal followed a goalmouth scramble in which Meadows saved smartly from point blank range. Whilst the ball was initially cleared, the corner taker Stuart Nelson was able to pick out Criddle for an unmarked header after he was allowed to continue following a borderline offside decision went in favour of the away side. This was tough for Easington to take who were on top at this point in the game. The home team continued to press for an equaliser but Tytherington defended well with man of the match Criddle restricting the impressive Pete Moulder of Easington to half chances. The result was eventually secured in the 73rd minute when Meadows rushed out of his area to clear the ball and was just beaten to it by Smyth who rounded the keeper and eventually rolled it into an unguarded net.
Easington can go into this weekend’s home cup tie at Addison Road against Old Woodstock taking the positives from a much more competitive display and remain determined to get their first clean sheet of the season.