Eccleshall 1 Stone Old Alleynians 3
By Jim Tunney
Local Derby Blues for the Eagles
Eccleshall faced a tough midweek local derby against Stone Old Alleynians following their superb win at Wythenshawe Town at weekend. With George Burslem injured, David Neligwa was in the starting line up and Izaak Walsh came in for Tom Wakefield who was on the bench.
In front of the best home crowd of the season, Eagles made the worst possible start when they went behind after three minutes. A light challenge in the area by Lewis Dunn led to ref Robinson awarding a penalty and David Ablewhite slotted the spot kick past 'keeper Louis McCarthy to give Alleynians the lead. Worse was to follow when Eccleshall went two down after 16 minutes. From a corner, Jack Tomlinson headed home. Stone were proving to be strong opposition with William Bailey posing problems down the left flank. One such move led to him beating three Eagles defenders before cutting into the box and laying the ball across only for it to be cleared off the line. Stone were looking threatening with every move forward. In reply, Eccleshall had a really clear chance on 30 minutes when Josh Graham was left clear running in on goal but Stone keeper Adam Alcock dived to block - a chance which should have really been put away.
HT: Eccleshall 0 Stone Old Alleynians 2
Eccleshall needed to start off on the front foot to get back in the game but were left with a mountain to climb when they went three down on 52 minutes with Sam Wilson netting for Alleynians. Kyle Adams and Craig Bould introduced Tom Wakefield and Alex Russell to try and pull a goal back and this almost worked when a cross by Wakefield was headed against the bar by Brad Carr with Alcock beaten. Then Russell had a turn and shot collected by the Alleynians keeper. The Eagles second half performance had been much brighter and they were rewarded on 88 minutes when Graham received the ball on the corner of the penalty area and his lofted shot sailed over Alcock to find the far corner of the net. This was the pick of the goals on the evening but little more than a consolation. In truth, Stone showed on the evening why they are one of the league's front runners.
FT: Eccleshall 1 Stone Old Alleynians 3
Eagles: Mc Carthy, Collins, Dunn, Benton, Miles Johnson, Griffiths, Carr, Nwachukwu, Graham, Walsh, Neligwa (Russell).
Unused subs: Downie, Billy Johnson, Baker-Haynes.
Referee: Mr. Ben Robinson