Football
Saints celebrate victory in derby

By Tony Sollis 29/08 Updated: 03/09 12:28

Southam United 3 Racing Club Warwick 2

Midland Combination Premier Division

CARETAKER manager Barry Shearsby at last had something to celebrate on Monday night as Southam picked up their first victory of the season from what proved to be a hard fought local derby.

The afternoon did not get off to the ideal start though as Saints found themselves 1-0 behind inside two minutes for the third time in the new campaign.

Goalkeeper Neil Stacey failed to collect a corner from the right and visiting skipper Stuart Herlihy was on hand to open the scoring.

It could have been 2-0 in the 12th minute when a 25-yard free kick was laid off to Jack Dobson but Stacey proved equal to his 25-yard strike.

Stacey then had to save from Nathan Edgington as Warwick kept Southam on the back foot but the hosts levelled in the 26th minute with their first real chance of the game.

Lee Thomas, playing on the right, was the man on target when he fired an unstoppable shot into the top corner.

Warwick regained the lead four minutes later when Adam Hart failed to clear and James Travis took advantage to net and complete the scoring for the first half.

Southam levelled for a second time 12 minutes after the restart when Martin Hutchcox picked up a loose ball from a partially cleared corner and found James Hardie whose diving header beat keeper Kevin Tobin.

Thomas and Hart went close to putting Southam ahead for the first time but the decisive goal arrived when Simeon Smith capitalised on a defensive mistake to beat Tobin and see Southam to their first three points of the campaign.

THE VICTORY came on the back of a 4-2 defeat at league leaders Walsall Wood on Saturday.

A nightmare start for Southam saw Hart concede an early penalty but debutant keeper Brendan Hazlett saved well, low down to his left from Michael Murray.

The hosts were soon ahead though when poor defending allowed Ahmet Bilgimer to chip over Hazlett and the post saved Saints from going 2-0 behind before they levelled in the 29th minute.

They were awarded a penalty of their own when Ross Briscoe was brought down by the home keeper and Craig Watkin converted.

Johaine Thompson put Walsall Wood ahead for a second time midway through the second half and he quickly went on to add a third.

Bilgimer thumped home a fourth in the 80th minute before Southam netted a late consolation through Smith with two minutes remaining.

Saints will aim to build on their first victory of the season when they entertain Castle Vale JKS on Saturday (3pm).

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