A BAD tempered affair which saw four bookings and a sending off ended with Earlswood recording a narrow 1-0 victory over Coton Green in the Midland Division Two.
Earlswood took the points by virtue of the only goal of the game scored by Marcus Small to record only their second win of the season.
The visitors were first to attack and after four minutes a long range shot from a visiting forward went high over the Earlswood crossbar.
At the other end Earlswood forced a corner when a full back hurriedly put the ball out of play but Lewis James’ header from the corner was saved by the goalkeeper.
Play was end-to-end by now and Daniel Rushe in the Earlswood goal did well to take the ball off the head of a visiting forward when he went up in a ruck of players.
Earlswood did have the ball in the net after 35 minutes but it was ruled because of an offside infringement.
Just before half-time Coton Green were awarded a free kick just outside the Earlswood penalty area and the shot was travelling goalwards only for the Earlswood keeper Rushe to gather it by the foot of the post.
The second half was only two minutes old when Lewis James worked his way through the visitors’ defence only to see his shot tipped over the bar by the Coton Green keeper.
As the half wore on the visitors were questioning a lot of the match official’s decisions and the referee booked one of their players.
And as Earls took the initiative they missed a couple of chances one when the visiting keeper was caught on the edge of his penalty area and the ball was put across the goal but there was nobody there from the Earlswood forwards to take advantage.
After 57 minutes Ben Johnstone was put through for Earlswood but he shot well wide and four minutes later Marcus Small found Matt Green with a good pass but his shot just missed a post.
After a couple of near misses by the Coton Green forwards Earlswood finally found the net after eight hours of football to end their goal drought in the 78th minute.
A pass from Tom Giddings from out of the Earlswood half found Marcus Small just inside the visitors half and he took the ball on to midway in their half and sent in a long range low shot which beat the Coton Green keeper and hit the back of the net.
With another two bookings from each side the referee did well to control the game and five minutes from time he dismissed a Coton Green player for a rash tackle.
Earlswood could have increased their lead two minutes from time but substitute Adam Wormall shot wide after being put through.