Relieved Long Eaton United picked up their first Midland League, Premier Division win since the end of September when exacting revenge over a Walsall Wood side who did the double over them last season.
The 3-2 victory lifted the Blues back up to ninth place, a point behind their hosts. But more importantly, it gave them a bit of breathing space to the bottom half as they look to claw their way back up the table.
In a blustery wind and on a soggy pitch, it took both sides time to settle into the game before Joey Butlin twice went close for Walsall.
However, United grew in confidence and commanded the remaining 25 minutes of the first half, applying pressure that finally paid off with the opening goal. Josh Wright went flying down the left and when the ‘keeper dropped his cross, Brad Wells proved how deadly he is from close range.
As the visitors attacked in waves, the speed and trickery of Wright continued to pose huge problems. More chances were created before a deserved second goal arrived when Jarrod Westcarr was played in on the edge of the box, cut inside and blasted home.
Walsall came out for the second half determined to put things right and after forcing Scott Low into two fine saves, they halved the deficit in the 72nd minute when Max Black found Daniel Griffiths, who poked the ball under the advancing ‘keeper.
Six minutes later, the match was all square as Craig Deakin brought the ball out of defence before setting up a move that involved Butlin and Griffiths and was finished in the box by Black.
However, United were not to be denied and just moments later, they grabbed the winner, courtesy of that man Wright. Wells got up well to meet a long ball into the middle and found Paolo Piliero, who skipped past a challenge before chipping an excellent ball into the box where Wright beat his marker and volleyed past the ‘keeper.
This Saturday, Long Eaton travel to take on struggling Boldmere St Michael’s.