Moxam return key to Shirebrook win

Prolific striker Aaron Moxam marked his return to the Shirebrook Town side with the only goal in a narrow 1-0 win against Leeds-based hosts Yorkshire Amateur at Bracken Edge.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 3rd March 2014, 11:21 am
Aaron Moxam fires home Shirebrook's winner. Pic by Pete Waby.
Aaron Moxam fires home Shirebrook's winner. Pic by Pete Waby.

Banned for three games after what the club felt was a harsh sending off late in the 3-0 defeat at Pontefract Collieries, the front man’s last outing was the home game against Hall Road Rangers in mid-January.

The NCEL Division One’s top-scorer had signed off then with a goal to add to his already impressive 32-goal tally in a 3-0 win.

And a crowd of 41 saw Moxam pick up just where he left off to seal what was a far from easy Shirebrook success against a stubborn Ammers side that always looked capable of taking something from the game.

The visitors were pleased to welcome back right full-back Ben Cobley after over 14 weeks away on the books at NCEL Division One rivals Shaw Lane Aquaforce.

He was named in the starting XI along with Moxam and central defender Kris Witcombe, who came in to replace the unavailable Steve Wankiewicz.

Other than Shirebrook’s Danny Booth hitting the near upright just after the half hour, after cutting into the Ammers’ box from the left, a goalless first half had nothing much to write home about.

Nonetheless, the second half began well for Shirebrook and they very nearly took the lead just two minutes in.

Home keeper Suwara Bojang failed to hang onto Cobley’s wickedly dipping free-kick from 25 yards on the right, but the loose ball came too quickly for Grant Ryan and his first-time shot went wide of the right-hand upright.

Substitute Antony Rowley - the nippy winger who had come on at the start of the half for the injured Booth - was creating all sorts of problems.

It was his cross from the right flank that fell to Moxam for his first real chance of the game, but Bojang was equal to his far post effort.

Rowley continued to give Amateur problems from that same side, and midfielder Jordan Hall almost opened the scoring on 57 minutes, sidestepping to get his low shot off, only for Bojang to get down quickly to deny him.

All that early second half pressure paid eventually paid off a minute later when Shirebrook took the lead.

A lofted ball from Hall on the left to Moxam down the same side set up the opening and the striker was then strong enough to hold off his marker in the Ammers’ box before firing through Bojang’s legs at the near post.

The lead might have been doubled just two minutes later when Rowley crossed for skipper Craig Getliff, whose 12-yard header across goal was just too high.

The home side had been doing all the defending for the opening 15 minutes of the half, but the next 10 minutes belonged to them as the visitors seemed to take their foot off the pedal.

John Ellis and Jordan Heyes threatened for the Ammers, but nothing came off, allowing Shirebrook to regain control.

Hall, on 70 minutes, substitute Danny Claridge, four minutes later, and Getliff with 10 minutes left all went close with shots from around the edge of the box.

During that spell, Gary Heard fired across the Shirebrook goal at the other end, but without really troubling keeper Sam Andrew.

It was, however, the hosts who had the edge for the final ten minutes of the game, making it a nervy finish for Shirebrook.

They were first saved by an offside flag and then survived a penalty appeal, before Claridge almost tidied things up with a stinging shot from the corner of the box which Bojang did well to get behind, guarding his near post.

There was one final heart-stopping moment for Shirebrook two minutes into added time when the ball was fed out to Roy Stamer in space at the edge of the box on the right.

He had a clear sight of the target, but his shot across goal was poor and it went well wide of the back post.

The win lifts Shirebrook Town up to fourth place in the table.

Next up, Mark Camm and Danny Bacon’s men return to Langwith Road on Saturday when the visitors will be Eccleshill United (3pm).

It promises to be a tough test against their Bradford-based rivals in the fight for a possible promotion place.