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West Midlands (Regional) League, Premier Division
Saturday 11 January 2020
Shifnal got back to winning ways against a stubborn Pershore side that played the last 65 minutes of the game with ten men. The hosts started hesitantly, and it came as little surprise when they went a goal down after just 6 minutes, JAMES BALDWIN netting at the far post from Luke Gaffney’s left-wing cross. Baldwin could have doubled the lead in the 18th minute, when he beat Craig Radford to the ball, but Jake James saved well from 10 yards. The game changed on 25 minutes, when the referee showed Pershore’s Tom Harding a straight red card for a strong challenge on Ben Perks. 2 minutes later, Tom Hill’s 12-yard volley from Brad Sharman’s free-kick was superbly saved by Matt Gwynne. The home side were again close in the 40th minute, when Angelo Franco’s through ball picked out Sharman, but his attempt to dink the ball over Gwynne was inches too low and the keeper clawed the ball away. 2 minutes into stoppage time, Gwynne again came to the visitors’ rescue, palming away Hill’s fierce 20-yard angled volley.
Jordan Uppal came close to an equaliser in the first minute of the second period as he cut in from the right, his angled drive passing inches wide of the far post. 2 minutes later came the equaliser that Shifnal had been threatening. Uppal played in KYLE MONTAGUE on the right, and his low shot went in off the far post. The hosts continued to apply the pressure, and a minute later, Jay Holdcroft’s effort was cleared off the line with Gwynne beaten. Shifnal were rocked in the 56th minute when a corner from the right was mis-cued by Jamall Pinnock for DANE ALDINGTONto stab the ball home at the far post. With Pershore playing with ten men behind the ball, Shifnal were held at bay until the 67th minute, when they grabbed their second equaliser of the game. Montague saw his 20-yard effort well saved by Gwynne, but SHARMANdrove the loose ball home from the edge of the penalty area. The visitors kept everyone back in the hope of salvaging a draw, but they were again undone after 71 minutes. Hill did well to retain possession on the edge of the penalty area before passing to HOLDCROFT, who placed the ball into the far bottom corner of the net from 15 yards. Gwynne prevented further damage on 75 minutes as he managed to turn substitute Jake Lloyd’s angled effort over the crossbar when a goal looked certain.
This was still a slightly nervous performance by Shifnal, but the important thing was that they fought back twice from being behind, and finally came out on top. Hopefully they can move back into their early season rhythm as they move forwards.
SHIFNAL: Jake James, Jordan Uppal, Jamall Pinnock, Ben Perks (Sam McCarthy 64mins), Daniel Lloyd, Craig Radford, Angelo Franco (Jake Lloyd 64mins), Brad Sharman, Tom Hill, Kyle Montague (Jordan Jones 83mins), Jay Holdcroft.
Subs not used: Brad Smith; Harry Cunningham.
PERSHORE: Matt Gwynne, Steve Webb, Jonathan King, Dane Aldington, Shaun Griffiths, Dan Nokes, Luke Gaffney (Jake Cavens 89mins), Tom Harding, Sam Clark, Andy Nicol (Will Henshaw 83mins), James Baldwin (Ben Lane 54mins).
Subs not used: Sam Whitton; Ciaran McGee.
Caution: Griffiths (37mins).
Sending off: Harding (25mins).
Attendance: 64.
Referee: Guy Thrower (Birmingham).
Assistant referees:Gareth Kibby (Priorslee).
Michael Myatt (St Gerrge’s).
Shifnal Star Man: Brad Sharman.