SHIFNAL TOWN 1 LITTLETON 2
West Midlands (Regional) League, Premier Division
Saturday 14 March 2020
Shifnal slumped to their third league defeat of the season against a hard-working Littleton side that never allowed the league leaders time to settle. At the same time, the visitors provided a masterclass in time-wasting! Neither side created a chance in the first half-hour, as play switched from end to end. Shifnal had the first real chance after 34 minutes, Kyle Montague’s fierce angled drive taking a deflection for a corner. 3 minutes later. Littleton took the lead. Ben Billingham played a free-kick from just inside the Shifnal half into the penalty area, where JAKE LLOYD inadvertently diverted the ball past Jake James in his attempt to clear. The home side hit back, and in the 42nd minute, Brad Sharman’s cross was played back for Rees Wedderburn, whose well-struck shot was too close to Toby Wilcox. 2 minutes later, the visitors doubled their lead, when BILLINGHAM found himself in space 25 yards from goal, and his exquisite shot beat James and went in off the crossbar.
Shifnal made a couple of changes at half-time, and looked much more purposeful from the opening whistle. A goalmouth melee within the first minute ended with Montague mis-cueing his close range shot into Wilcox’s arms. A fine through ball by Angelo Franco after 56 minutes
fell to Sharman, but Wilcox knocked the ball away to Hill, who dragged his shot wide from 15 yards. A minute later, the keeper did well to turn Franco’s 25-yard drive round the post as the visitors held on. Montague made a great run down the right in the 59th minute before pulling the ball back for Sharman, but his shot was deflected off a defender for a corner. 2 minutes later, Wilcox somehow turned Sharman’s 20-yard effort on to and over the crossbar, as Town threw everything forward. Jake Lloyd was unfortunate not to cancel out his own goal on 83 minutes following a corner, his superbly-struck volley flying straight at Wilcox. The visitors were close to extending their lead on the break a minute into time added on, when Jourdain Masidi broke away one-on-one with James, but the keeper stood firm to save well. Shifnal eventually managed the goal which they deserved in the 5th minute of added time, Sharman’s through ball finding MONTAGUE, who blasted past Wilcox from the edge of the penalty area.
Without taking anything away from Littleton, one was left with the impression that the Town attitude, particularly in the first 45 minutes, was that they only had to turn up to get 3 points, and it was this complacency that caused them to drop points.
SHIFNAL: Jake James, Jordan Uppal, Jordan Jones (Jamall Pinnock 71mins), Harry Cunningham (Tom Hill H-T), Daniel Lloyd, Ben Perks, Jake Lloyd, Brad Sharman, Jay Holdcroft, Kyle Montague, Rees Wedderburn (Angelo Franco H-T).
Subs not used: Craig Radford; Sam McCarthy.
Caution: Sharman (27mins).
LITTLETON: Toby Wilcox, Haden Smith, James Dutton, Jourdain Masidi, Myles Brooke, Brogan Halpin, Jade Ferron (Milan Parchment 81mins), Theo Llewellyn (Corey Virgo-Broom 70mins), Ben Markall (Tyrease Brown 90mins), Ben Billingham, Owen Osborne.
Sub not used: Jake Tyler-Simner.
Caution: Halpin (25mins).
Referee: Ben Stott (Uttoxeter).
Assistant referees:Oliver Cooper (Heath Hayes).
Paul Hill (Norton Canes).
Shifnal Star Man: Angelo Franco.