SHAWBURY United rounded off 2016 in style with a 1-0 victory over their Shropshire rivals Haughmond.

But while their first Midland Football League win in nearly three months handed the Ludlow-based side a timely boost going into the new year, boss Dave Richards admits his team still faces a tough time unless he can bring in a proven goalscorer.

Keanu Cooper’s goal put an end to Shawbury’s eight-game winless league run and the manager was full of praise for his players who had suffered back-to-back defeats over the festive period.

“The lads were great at Haughmond,” Richards said.

“Anyone who watched the game would have seen we were worthy winners which was pleasing considering we had four or five out.

“It was special because it was a derby game.

"They [Haughmond] had said how they were going to put four or five past us so it was an easy team talk before the game.

“Keanu Copper’s strike was a goal worthy of winning any game and we missed two other great chances before Jeff Watkins was brought down for a blatant penalty which the referee has chosen to ignore.

“It’s important that we build on this win now when we play Coventry Sphinx at home on Saturday.

"They are in good form at the moment so we know it will be difficult but I thought we were unlucky to lose 3-2 at their place earlier in the season.”

While those missed chances against Haughmond did not stop Shawbury from taking all three points, Richards admits that finding a goalscorer could be key if his side are to avoid the drop.

“We had played well against Bromsgrove and could have got something out of it if we had put our chances away,” he explained.

“We also had chances at Westfields where we hit the crossbar.

“It was similar last season and then we managed to bring Nathan Hodge in and his goals meant we managed to stay up.

"When you are down at the foot of the table it is all about taking your chances when they come along.

“We have some young lads up front but having that proven goalscorer would make all the difference but it’s difficult to bring someone in when you aren’t paying any money out.

“When everyone is available then we have a decent squad and that showed against Haughmond when we could bring Ben Robinson and Matty Bollard off the bench and they made a big difference.”

Shawbury are now just two points behind both South Normanton Athletic and Haughmond with two games in hand.

Meanwhile, Clee Hill United return to action in the Premier Division of the Shropshire League when they play host to Gobowen Celtic.

Clee lie fourth in the table but their last game was more than a month ago when they beat Shifnal United 6-0.

Ludlow Town Colts return to action in Division One of the Herefordshire County League when they make the short trip to Orleton Colts Reserves.