Successful Shirebrook Town debut for midfield pair

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Shirebrook Town survived a scare during an action-packed first half against Rossington Main to win 4-2 and remain in the hunt for promotion in NCEL Division One.

The Reds looked to get an early advantage and got just that when Jamie York opened the scoring with a thunderous 30-yard drive in to the top corner inside the first five minutes.

But the hosts’ lead was cancelled out on 17 minutes by one of the league’s leading scorers, Lee Holmes, who smashed in a free-kick to send shockwaves through Shirebrook’s defence.

A bad piece of defending allowed Holmes to turn the ball in from six yards out for his and Rossington’s second of the game to put the visitors in to a 2-1 lead after half an hour.

Straight from the kick-off the ball found its way to York on the right who advanced and delivered a pinpoint cross for Liam Morris to head in and level the scores up once more.

New additions Jack Barnett and Liam Nelthorpe grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck in midfield and the confidence visibly flooded back in to the Shirebrook players.

And there was more to come when Morris moved in to the penalty area and drew the foul for which the referee had no option but to point to the spot. Keiron Watson made no mistake.

The second half was never going to live up to the same levels of excitement as the five goals seen in the first 45 minutes, as Shirebrook’s leaders came to the fore.

Barnett wrapped the game up with a goal on debut just before the hour when put through one-on-one by Morris and calmly slotting the ball beyond the onrushing keeper.

The three points extended Shirebrook’s unbeaten run to four games and moved the Reds up to fifth in the league, five points behind leaders AFC Emley.

Assistant manager Ady Smith said: “There was never a problem in us penetrating Rossington Main’s defence, as a team first half we agreed we were too easy to breach.

“Defensively we did get stronger first half. Barnett and Nelthorpe enjoyed spells of domination and young Liam Green showed encouraging signs.”

Smith said it was a different performance after the break and that the players carried out the management’s instructions to the letter and were far more compact.