Poor defending costs Shirebrook in defeat against Louth Town

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IN the last of a mammoth eight away games on the trot run, Shirebrook Town failed to emulate Tuesday night’s superb winning performance in the League Cup against Brighouse Town with Saturday’s best-of-five goals defeat.

They also failed to make it a clean sweep this season over Louth Town, having defeated them in the league at home and the semi-final of the Wilkinson Sword Trophy.

The line-ups for both sides showed changes and this game was never going to match the intensity of the previous encounter.

Shirebrook were on the final leg of an eight-match away run and Louth had just finished a run of six away games - something the league may need to look at for next season.

Louth took the lead after 12 minutes, Jason Flint trying a speculative shot from outside the box which Frost seemed to have covered.

Unfortunately the ball hit a divot just in front of him, leaving the keeper grasping at fresh air as the ball sailed into the net.

The rest of the half was a non-event with neither side looking in control.

The second half was just two minutes old when Shirebrook pulled level. Topliss shot from outside the box and Dalton was adjudged to have handled the ball when blocking he shot. Topliss confidently fired the spot kick past Wherry.

This decision was too much for Louth manager Paul Walden and after a heated exchange with the referee he was ordered out of the dugout. He then stood two yards away and carried on running his side.

Four minutes later and the visitors were in front, a Topliss through ball found Slawson who rounded the keeper.

Two defenders got back, but in a comedy of errors only succeeded in giving the ball back to Slawson and the striker rifled the ball home from six yards.

Louth got their own penalty on 70 minutes, Topliss nudging Coulson in the box and the striker going down rather theatrically.

Steve Norton, Louth’s top scorer, stepped up and fired past Frost to make the score 2-2.

Shirebrook nearly regained the lead two minutes later.

A strong run from Topliss took him past two defenders his low cross was met at the near post by Stubley but Wherry managed to turn the ball around the post.

Another great run, this time from Lee Briggs, saw the full back go past three players but his shot from the edge of the box was wide of the mark

Ten minutes from the end Shirebrook were undone by some cartoon defending.

A kick from keeper Frost hit a defender on the edge of his own box, and when the ball fell to Kyle Ludlow he only succeeded in heading the ball into the path of a grateful Craig Dalton who smashed the ball past Frost from 12 yards.

Shirebrook entertain AFC Emley tonight (Wednesday) in their first home fixture since January.

Louth Town: Wherry, Appleby, Wood, Martin, Dalton, Pawson, Flint, Smith, Coulson, Norton, Kennedy (Broughton 74). Subs not used: Leafe, Warvill, Coulam, Archer.

Shirebrook Town: Frost, Thomas, Briggs, Ludlow, Hackett, McLane (Drake 75), Pride, Topliss, Slawson, Stubley, Jackson. Subs not used: Jenkinson, McGurk, Rodger.

Referee: Ben Cass of Lincolnshire.

Attendance: 76.

Shirebrook Man of the Match: Pete Stubley.