Church Stretton Town win 2-1 against AFC Bridgnorth Reserves in Mercian League Premier Division (From Ludlow Advertiser)
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Church Stretton Town win 2-1 against AFC Bridgnorth Reserves in Mercian League Premier Division
10:00am Friday 16th August 2013 in Sport
A PAUL Smith penalty proved to be the difference as Church Stretton opened their new campaign with a hard-fought 2- 1 win over Mercian League Premier new boys AFC Bridgnorth Reserves.
Going two goals down early on, Bridgnorth – who dropped several levels to play in the Mercian League – pulled one back on the stroke of half-time.
And ultimately it was Stretton who found themselves holding as the clock ticked down.
“It was a decent win,” said Church Stretton joint-boss Joe Leask.
“With no goals in the second- half, it was a case of getting through.”
Neil Castle claimed Stretton’s first goal of the season on 15 minutes, finding the top corner with a well-taken left foot finish, before Smith doubled the lead when a Bridgnorth defender was caught handling in the box.
Despite playing on threeinch grass, Stretton were able to carve out several more opportunities but were unable to finish.
The home side made it look like Stretton may be made to rue those missed chances when a soft goal just before the break put them back in touch.
But Leask said he was pleased with how his side responded.
He said: “We came back in the second-half and chances were created.
“I can honestly say it’s the worst pitch I’ve seen at this point in the season.
“It made it hard for us - we like to knock it around.”
With a string of away games while the cricket season concludes, Church Stretton will have to get used to unfamiliar pitches.
Their next match, next Wednesday against Shifnal, will see Leask take on his former player-manager Matt Flannigan.
“Shifnal should be a tough game,” said Leask. “They are a good side.”
“Starting off with a couple of away games, we’ve got to just try and keep picking up points.”
In Division One of the Mercian League, Bishops Castle Town won 3-1 in a full-on battle against Brown Clee that saw four players red-carded.
A Gary Bromley brace gave Town a two-goal cushion at half-time, before two players from each side were dismissed.
As the game broke down, Brown Clee grew in confidence pulling a goal back before Castle’s player-manager Andy Green put the game to bed with a late header.