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Shipston Excelsior boss Steve Hedderman says players must stick together

Action from Shipston Excelsior's 6-3 defeat to Continental Star at London Road. Photo: Mark Williamson
Action from Shipston Excelsior's 6-3 defeat to Continental Star at London Road. Photo: Mark Williamson

MANAGER Steve Hedderman says his Shipston Excelsior players must “stick together more than ever” following Saturday’s 6-3 defeat to Continental Star at London Road.

A depleted Shipston side slipped to their fifth Midland League Division Three defeat of the season in a tetchy encounter at London Road and Hedderman says the team will have to dig in to put things right quickly.

“We’re going to stick together — there won’t be any quitting,” Hedderman insisted.

“We’re going through a tough period, our injury situation isn’t getting any better, so we have to battle on and dig in.”

Hedderman has been concerned with his side’s sloppy defending this season and it was in further evidence against a rapid and ruthless Continental Star side.

“They are not a bad team and they have three or four very fast and skilful forwards,” he said.

“The problem is, we haven’t got any attackers. We started off well, but after some schoolboy defending we found ourselves 3-0 down.

“None of the goals are what you’d call good goals. They were all down to our sloppy defending and lack of confidence.”

An action-packed game saw Shipston finish with nine men, while assistant manager Steve Shurmer was also sent from the dugout by referee Mark Stanistreet.

Nick Shurmer was given his marching orders for dissent, his assistant manager and father Steve then saw red for his protests, before skipper Matt Partridge was shown a second yellow for further dissent as frustrations boiled over.

“The referee had no authority at all,” Hedderman said.

“His assistants were fine, I had no problem with them at all. But the ref’s general demeanour was as poor as I’ve seen and I’ve seen some rubbish.

“He seemed scared to give a decision against them.

“I shake my head at some of the officiating in this league. How can they think they are good enough? He shouldn’t have been allowed on the pitch. You don’t want the game to be decided by poor officiating.

“Admittedly, my lads should not backchat the referee, but sometimes you can see why they would do it.”

Shipston scored three times through Joe Godson, Josh Keyte and a 30-yard stunner from substitute Pat Fetherston, leaving Hedderman with something to smile about.

He added: “Pat managed to score a 30-yarder — it was Ronnie Radford-esque. I didn’t realise he could hit the ball so well!

“I have to give credit to my nine lads, they ran their socks off, but the red cards ruined the game as a contest.”

Shipston are back on the road this Saturday with a trip to Wolverhampton to play WLV Sport.

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