EARLSWOOD Town took all three points in their first match in Division Two of the Midland Football League since October after edging hosts Lane Head 1-0.
Having played just seven matches in the division so far this term as a result of multiple postponements, a Leadan Dunlevy goal on the stroke of half time came as a welcome sight to give the Earls their third successive league win.
Town went on the attack from the first whistle and looked in a promising position to open the scoring when Matt Pemberton raced through to goal, only to be hacked down by Tangeni Nghishidimbwa who was fortunate to only see yellow.
While the resulting free kick from Cam Knight stung the gloves of the Lane Head goalkeeper, it failed to open the scoring as the visitors continued to try their luck at goal.
A number of chances fell the way of top scorer Jon Hamer, but he too was denied by the imperious home custodian.
With the first half dwindling out, it required a deflection on Dunlevy’s shot to finally beat the Lane Head goalkeeper on 42 minutes to break the deadlock and give Earlswood a deserved lead.
After setting up the goal, substitute Joel Hughes went close to registering himself with an audacious acrobatic effort that narrowly cleared the bar.
A half of lower quality followed after the interval, but the Earls still looked the more likely of the two sides to add to the scoring.
Andy Matthews, Gary Walker and Hughes will all feel they should have put the game to bed after each having an attempt at goal in a matter of seconds following a frantic period of play inside the hosts’ penalty area.
The game was ultimately decided by Dunlevy’s first-half goal, moving Earlswood into 13th above Lane Head.
Tom Reynolds’ side can also leapfrog their next opponents, 12th-placed Hampton, on Saturday (2pm) should they win the local derby.