Match Report: Eccleshill United FC 3-2 Swallownest FC
The Eagles made a thrilling comeback from 2-0 down to claim all three points against Swallownest- see how the action unfolded with our match report.
The Eagles recorded their fifth consecutive league victory on Saturday afternoon, in a thrilling encounter against Swallownest which saw Eccleshill come from 2-0 down to win 3-2.
It was a slow start to the game by Sean Regan's men, and they paid the price for that when the visitors took the lead in the 5th minute.
A free kick from the edge of the box was well saved by Dom Smith, but he could only parry it into the path of a Swallownest player who was on hand to tap in, with the Eccleshill defence too slow to react.
Things would go from bad to worse for Eccleshill, when Swallownest doubled their lead just 12 minutes later, with almost a carbon copy of the first goal.
There could certainly be some complaints about the awarding of the set piece, as Ben Hardy appeared to win the ball clearly with a sliding challenge, but nonetheless the referee was adamant it was a foul.
This time the free kick was cannoned into the wall, but Eccleshill were slow to react again, and the Swallownest player tucked away the rebound nicely to give the away side a commanding 2-0 lead 17 minutes in.
That second goal seemed to kick The Eagles into gear, and they made their first half chance of the game three minutes after it.
Hardy was played in over the top on the right flank, he opted to loft a cross to the back post with his first touch, but the cross was just too far in front of the onrushing Jonny Irving.
Six minutes later, Eccleshill were offered a lifeline in freakish fashion, after a goalmouth scramble led to them being awarded an indirect free kick inside the box, due to a Swallownest player laying on top of the ball and obstructing it.
Hardy stepped up and despatched the layoff into the back of the net via a deflection, and breathed new life into The Eagles.
The rest of the half went by without many major incidents, Eccleshill were galvanized by Hardy's strike and went in search of the equaliser, but the visitors stood firm and saw out the half.
Top scorer so far this season, Jonny Irving, almost got The Eagles on terms within two minutes of the restart, but his curling effort from the edge of the box whistled just past the post.
He wouldn't be denied for too long though, and he got his goal in the 52nd minute following an exquisite passage of play linking defence to midfield to attack.
Skipper Sam Bradley strode out from the back with the ball and picked a perfect driven through ball to Charlie Flaherty on the right hand side of the box.
The midfielder spun his man brilliantly with his first touch, before delivering a perfect cross to the back post for Irving to bundle over the line, levelling the scores at 2-2.
Eccleshill went for the kill following the equaliser, but had to be wary of Swallownest posing a threat on the counter as the home side looked to claim all three points.
New signing Antony Brown was handed his debut in the 66th minute, when he came on to replace Anil Singh, who put in another impressive performance in the midfield.
Brown made an instant impact on the game, looking lively and dangerous both in the air and with the ball at his feet, and the big striker had a big involvement in Irving's second goal of the game in the 71st minute.
After receiving the ball on the halfway line, Brown showed great strength to shrug off two challenges and work the ball to Chris Lever.
Lever just about managed to shift the ball to Luke Harrop on the left wing before being brought down, and the returning Harrop picked out a perfect inswinging cross for Irving to latch onto and poke in from close range, making it 3-2.
It was set to be a nervy end to the game, and the Eccleshill nerves were shot more when Flaherty saw red for a lunging challenge 10 minutes from time.
The midfielder could count himself unlucky, as he didn't touch the man and won the ball, but nevertheless The Eagles had to dig in to grind out the result.
They did well to subdue the Swallownest threat and stand firm against their waves of attacks, and eventually the referee called time, capping off a sensational second half comeback by Eccleshill United.
Attention swiftly turns to next week's trip to Ollerton Town, where The Eagles will be looking to record their sixth consecutive league win, and continue climbing the table.