A POOR display away at Fairfield Villa saw Earlswood Town slip to a fifth defeat of the season in the Midland League Division Two.
Earlswood goalkeeper Steve Cullen produced a man-of-the-match performance with an outstanding display in-between the sticks but he was unable to stop the visitors scoring twice in what was a comfortable 2-0 victory.
It was Earlswood who went on the attack from the off but Nick cox’s shot went the wrong side of the post.
The visitors created chances for themselves and after nine minutes Cullen was called into action to save a goal-bound effort before the Fairfield striker fired wide when he should have done better in the 15th minute.
At the other end a shot from James Giblin just cleared the angle of the Fairfield bar but at this point the visitors were on top and after some pressure in the Earlswood penalty area, Cullen was called into action again to push the ball out for a corner.
Three minutes later Villa hit the Earlswood post while at the other end a ball was put across the Fairfield goalmouth but Earlswood’s forwards were non-existent and the ball was cleared up field.
Shortly after the half-hour mark Fairfield were awarded a free kick in the Earlswood half and Simon Quigley was on hand to head the ball off the goal line.
Fairfield got the goal they deserved in the 39th minute when Ellis Blakemore beat three Earlswood defenders on the left before cutting in and guiding the ball past the advancing Cullen into the net.
Four minutes before half time Mark O’Donnell sent in a good effort for Earlswood which the visitors’ keeper just saved under the cross bar.
Cullen was called into action early in the second half making two fine saves in the first five minutes and he somehow got a hand to keep out Fairfield again with another smart save on 53 minutes.
Earlswood did create a couple of chances but they were wasted by bad finishing and they were punished when the visitors increased their lead in the 58th minute when Collins beat an Earlswood defender and took the ball round Cullen to place it into the empty net.
The hosts continued to press with Zac Martin bringing a smart save out of the Villa goalkeeper Mark O’Donnell sent in a shot which was well saved by the Fairfield keeper.
Earlswood skipper Simon Quigley was on hand to clear the ball off the goal line for a corner after a Fairfield player had cut in from the left and in the last five minutes Cullen came once again to Earlswood’s rescue by diving to push away a shot for a corner.