22 May 2024

Smalley gets the required response

by Richard Lusmore

It may not have been the result he craved but Easington United manager Craig Smalley certainly got the reaction he wanted from his players last weekend.

The Eastenders played out a hugely entertaining 3-3 draw against Hedon Rangers Reserves at Low Farm, producing a much-improved performance to those that had recently yielded back-to-back defeats in the Humber Premier League.

Although frustrated that his team couldn’t go on to claim the win, Smalley was keen to praise those involved. He said: “It was a very good reaction from the players, both individually and as a team. We played good football and created good openings in difficult conditions.”

The manager was particularly delighted by the quality of his side’s goals, all three of which came courtesy of Matt Adamson, taking his season’s tally to 14, including nine in as many league appearances. “All three goals were well worked, with the first and third in particular a result of good movement and a quick shifting of the ball. Matty looked sharper and his movement was much better, I’m delighted for him”, said Smalley.

Improvements were also in evidence at the other end of the field where an unfamiliar central defensive partnership of Ollie Bewell and Dave Nolan worked hard against tricky opponents: “Defensively, despite conceding three goals, we looked much stronger which was pleasing.”

Smalley himself is likely to miss Saturday’s game after having undergone a long-awaited knee operation in midweek. With Sam McLaughlin also away, Adam Jamieson will oversee matters, assisted by Luke Jeffery and coach Mark Richardson.

Frustratingly for those at the helm, two of the leading lights in Saturday’s display – Dan Warcup and Charlie Clark – are also set to miss Saturday’s trip to fourth-placed Chaos United. In addition, Andy Graham and Billy Symes are again absent but Brad Bowden and Karl Fitzpatrick are both available for selection, having missed the game against Hedon.

The locals go in search of a rare double on Saturday, having beaten Chaos 1-0 at Low Farm earlier in the campaign. However, that will be no easy task.

The east Hull side lost 2-0 at title-chasing Beverley Town Reserves in the only other Division 1 game played last Saturday but they currently sit at the head of a group of six teams separated by seven points, some way adrift of the top three but also well clear of bottom club Hessle Sporting Reserves.

Supporters should note that the game has been moved from the Alderman Kneeshaw Recreation Ground to St John’s Grove Playing Field.

In a full weekend of fixtures for the club, both our East Riding County League sides are set to be in action and both are at home.

The Reserves host Beverley Town 3rds at Low Farm in Division 2, while at Patrington the Thirds play AFC Tickton in a Division 5 encounter.

Craig Foster will take the Reserves’ reins at Easington, while Sam Outing drops down to the third-string in order to continue his return from injury.

The weekend’s action is set to be completed on Sunday when the Awd Ezzies host Hedon Rangers B at Low Farm in a Hull Vets League Division 5 game that also doubles up as the annual Melvin Douglas Memorial fixture.

Last Saturday, both Easington teams in action held a minute’s applause prior to kick-off in memory of Mike Wilson, for whom January 16 marked the first anniversary of his passing.

Prior to this week’s action, the club is holding the latest of its regular coffee morning fundraisers in the Community Hall on Saturday morning. All support would be greatly appreciated, as was Kam Cheng’s sponsorship of last week’s HPL match.

Any business and/or individual wishing to similarly support Easington United AFC can find out how to do so by emailing us at [email protected].

For up-to-date news, check out our club website at easington-united.co.uk, along with our social media pages on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter (@EasingtonUtd).