FULL MATCH REPORT
A superb performance from The Lockmen stunned their high-flying hosts, and only two decisions from the assistants cost them a first ever win against Shawbury. The Shropshire side started with all guns blazing, winning a free-kick in the second minute, which Ben Holden punched clear, before having two shots blocked and then seeing Graham Ashton clear. The Lockmen threatened on six minutes but their quick breakaway faltered near the box and the home side easily cleared. Shawbury broke quickly themselves and won a corner, Kevin Renshaw saw his delivery headed away from goal. Danny Jarrett then picked out Mikey Clark with a fine cross-field ball, his shot however was at home keeper Graham Hampton. On 11 minutes The Lockmen attacked smartly from Ben Holden’s booming goal-kick, Jarrett fed Clark who in turn teed up Matt Dove who fired inches wide, Clark then broke dangerously and from his cross on 12 minutes, Hampton managed to push the cross beyond his left hand post where it was hammered away from danger. A minute later and Craig Sudlow threatened, Hampton saving his effort with his feet as he attempted to round him. United then moved forward quickly but Dan Bryson won a fine tackle in the box to concede the corner. Holden then punched the kick away from the danger area. On 22 minutes a fine ball set Tom Turner up for a run, his cross found the onrushing Clark in the box but unfortunately his header was cleared. Shawbury broke at pace three minutes later, only for Renshaw to curl an effort a yard over. The goal that Willenhall had been threatening duly arrived on 26 minutes and it brought an avalanche. Clark’s cross was only partially cleared to Eddie Wilson and as the ball dropped he hit a sweet swerving strike to fire into the corner. On the half hour, Craig Sudlow was played free of the defence and he slid his shot under the advancing keeper. However, the home side struck back on 33 minutes through a Tom Rogers penalty given for a hand-ball against Graham Ashton, which brought a harsh booking. Two minutes later a superb run and shot from skipper Stuart Ellis on 35 minutes was saved by Holden. Two minutes later and the lead was back with the visitors as the keeper fumbled a Dove effort for Wilson to tuck home. Shawbury were denied another leveller when Rogers saw an effort deflected to him in an offside position.
HT SHAWBURY UNITED 2-3 WILLENHALL TOWN
The home side started brilliantly with first an effort from Clark being blocked on the line before in the next attack the same player saw a header suffer the same fate inside the first three minutes of the restart. There was a quiet spell finally as a midfield battle ensued until on 66 minutes the first of two bad decisions robbed The Lockmen. Eddie Wilson ran past at least three defenders and calmly beat Hampton with a shot that should have brought him his hat-trick, the assistant wrongly flagging him off-side. On 70 minutes, a superb cross from the half-way line then picked out Wilson but the keeper got there first. The Lockmen then brought on Rohan Wedderburn-Spencer for his debut and the young winger immediately set about the home defence, his corner on 80 minutes dropped onto the top of the bar. Wilson’s cross with eight minutes remaining almost brought a goal as the normally reliable United keeper somehow juggled his cross before clutching it safely. A minute on and Clark produced a superb piece of skill before firing an overhead kick just too high. With five minutes left however a second bad decision from an assistant robbed them of maximum points. The home side levelled when Ben Holden was fouled in attempting to claim a cross from the right and as the ball dropped, Ellis netted his second with a fine strike. The goal stood despite bitter complaints. Holden then redeemed himself with a superb one-handed save two minutes from the end to deny a certain goal. On the 90 minute mark The Lockmen broke again and could have won the game had Sudlow been able to guide his header a yard either side of the keeper. Holden then grabbed a Shawbury corner deep into stoppage-time and launched a smart counter which finished with Wilson firing wide four minutes into injury-time. A hard fought and well deserved point, but it would have been three points with better judgement.