FOOTBALL: THEY may be without a league win this season but Southam boss Ian Ray is remaining positive following Saturday’s 2-1 home defeat against Uttoxeter Town.
The home side fielded three 16-year-olds once again and let at half-time thanks to a James Keller goal, but the visitors scored two second half goals to leave Southam stranded at the bottom of the Midland League Division One table on just two points.
“Once again we have suffered injuries and lost a game which we might easily have got something out of,” said Ray.
“ We do though have to take the positives out of a strong first half performance and build on these before our next game. We will have some good training sessions before the match at Heather St Johns on November 19.”
The Saints took the lead with ten minutes on the clock when Keller ran onto a fine pass from Suki Nijjar before calmly slotting the ball past Mike Allen to the delight of the home supporters.
Despite continuing to have the better of the first half Southam were not able to score the elusive second goal despite coming close on several occasions.
In a rare break at the other end keeper Nathan Carro made a fine double save to thwart Uttoxeter’s attempts to grab an equaliser.
With the returning George Swain in fine form, Southam then resumed their command of the game but suffered an injury blow when Dan Brierley rolled his ankle and had to be substituted.
On the stroke of half time Robertshaw was poleaxed from behind by a late challenge from Martin Gadsby who was duly booked – Robertshaw never properly recovered from the challenge and was forced to come off early in the second half.
The visitors started the second period in stronger fashion and forced an equaliser on 53 minutes when Louis Sherwin weaved his way across and into the penalty area and squeezed his shot in off the left hand post just beyond the reach of Carro who banged his shoulder on post in his vain attempts to save.
This bouyed the visitors, and with Saints dropping deeper, they now took control of the game.
It was no surprise when they took the lead on 73 minutes when a long ball caught out the home defence and the ball was duly squared to the unmarked Oli Ritchie to tap home.
A few minutes later scorer Keller was to turn from Saint to sinner as his tackle on half way was both late and with excessive force and he was duly shown a straight red.
With only ten men against the now confident visitors, Saints never really looked like forcing an equaliser and in fact it was Uttoxeter who almost scored again in the closing stages.