Shirebrook Town came out on top of this local derby, but were made to work hard for their 3-1 win against visitors Teversal at Langwith Road on Saturday.
It was Shirebrook’s final home game of the season and they were keen to send their supporters home happy by at the very least avoiding a repeat of last Saturday’s disappointing away defeat against their other near-neighbours Clipstone.
With a 2-0 midweek away win against Sheffield side Hallam under their belts since that defeat at the Worksop Van Hire Stadium, the home side began confidently and clearly had the edge for much of the first half, although they had to wait until the 44th minute to get some reward for their endeavours.
Shirebrook were first to show, striker Tom Mullen testing Teversal keeper Ryan Brooks twice inside a minute, five minutes into the game.
The home side continued to threaten, but the visitors always looked dangerous on the break and Triston Burrell went close at the opposite end just before the half-hour with a shot that went narrowly wide of the left-hand post from the edge of the box.
However, Shirebrook turned the screw again and Aaron Moxam was only denied by Brooks’ fine one-handed save two minutes later.
Danny Claridge worked Brooks again with a 30-yard free-kick on the right after 38 minutes, but the visitors’ keeper was left helpless six minutes later when Shirebrook central defender Ross Henshaw helped on Claridge’s in-swinging low corner, whipped in from the right to the near post, and Shirebrook skipper Craig Getliff forced the ball into the Teversal net from close range to give the home side a narrow 1-0 lead to take into the interval.
It was no more than Shirebrook deserved, but they surrendered that hard-earned lead much too easily early in the second half when Burrell was allowed to get in behind onto Brooks’ long clearance out of his area, which carried on the wind.
Only seconds before, the home side had been pressing the Teversal goal from Claridge’s corner on the right, and they were caught flat-footed and short of numbers as the ball bounced once before Burrell half-volleyed his 25-yard shot over keeper Sam Andrew and into the home net.
It was a smart finish, the visitors were lifted and it could have been anyone’s game from then on.
Nonetheless, the home side settled again and Billy Simpson worked Brooks with a dipping half-volley on 54 minutes from 25 yards on the left that looked to be going in at the far angle of the Teversal goal.
Five minutes later Brooks saved from Mullen, and five minutes after that Claridge headed the ball onto the base of the far post off Danny Booth’s cross from inside the visitors’ box on the left.
At the other end, Teversal skipper Sean Dickinson headed over from eight yards on 69 minutes, but Shirebrook pressed again and reclaimed their lead seven minutes later when substitute Matthew Thompson found the back of the visitors’ net.
Moxam laid the ball off from the right and Brooks couldn’t hang onto Getliff’s powerful low shot from 10 yards, the rebound falling nicely for Thompson to stab in at the far post with the Teversal keeper left stranded.
However, at 2-1 to the home side, the game still wasn’t over and Teversal’s Burrell had a good chance to level the scores again on 81 minutes, but this time the ball was running away from him and he had to stretch to get his shot away from the corner of the box on the right, and it sailed harmlessly over the crossbar.
Moxam went close at the other end two minutes later after controlling Getliff’s ball forward on his chest, before drilling a low shot agonisingly just wide of the right hand post.
Jordan Jones really ought to have done better for the visitors with four minutes to go, a lofted ball forward giving him a yard start on his markers, but he couldn’t keep his shot from the edge of the box down, and he missed the target with only Andrew in the Shirebrook goal to beat.
Teversal went close again with two minutes to go, substitute Lewis Weaver shaving the outside of the left hand upright, but Moxam finally put the game to bed with Shirebrook’s third goal a minute into three minutes of time added on at the end.
After having been denied more than once, it must have been a frustrating afternoon for the home side’s top-scorer, but he was not to be denied this time, skipping past three defenders before slotting the ball past Brooks from 14 yards and into the Teversal net off the inside of the right hand upright.
The win keeps Shirebrook fourth in the NCEL Division One table and this Saturday they travel into North Lincolnshire to take on Scunthorpe-based outfit Appleby Frodingham. Kick-off is at 3pm.
SHIREBROOK: Andrew, Hanson, Simpson, Hall (Thompson 64), Henshaw, Wankiewicz, Booth, Getliff, Moxam, Mullen (Rowley 84), Claridge (Bradley 71). Subs not used: Bacon, M Camm.
TEVERSAL: Brooks, Haughton, Ashley (Weaver 84), Tolley, Schofield, Cockerill, West (Cox 45), Dickinson, Starbuck, Burrell, Jones. Subs not used: Newton, Radford.
REFEREE: Ian Thornton of West Yorkshire.