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Shirley Athletic get into their stride

SHIRLEY Athletic bounced back with an impressive away win over Cresconians last Saturday.

SHIRLEY Athletic bounced back with an impressive away win over Cresconians last Saturday.

Although fielding a weakened side, it was Shirley who grabbed the initiative. Surging forward, they were rewarded with a pair of penalties. Matt Whitehouse converted the first, but hit the post with the other.

It was quickly forgotten though, as newcomer Adrian Chapko added a second. He finished a surging run through the Cresconians defence with a cool lob over the onrushing keeper.

The second half was much the same. Tom Craine proved himself to be a constant thorn in Cresconians’ side, bagging a brace. The home side then pulled back a couple making for a slightly nervy finish, but Shirley held out to take all three points.

Craine got the man-of-the-match nod, just ahead of goalkeeper Aaron Burkett, who pulled off a string of fine saves at pivotal moments.

The win was just what the team needed after opening the new campaign with a home defeat.

Following a poor pre-season, Shirley struggled against a Boldmere side that finished third in the league last year. Although they started brightly, Athletic were overrun in midfield, eventually going down 4-0.

Shirley will now look to carry through the momentum of Saturday’s win to their next match, at home to Old Wulfrunians on September 8, kick off at 2:30pm.

 

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