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Bosses clash after keenly fought derby encounter

Shrewsbury Town Women boss Tom Peevor has hit out at Shifnal Town Ladies, claiming playing for their rivals would be neither enjoyable or inspiring.

The stinging comments came in the wake of the 2-2 draw between the sides at Shifnal on Sunday – where both teams extended their unbeaten starts at the top of the West Midlands Division One North table.

Shifnal remain top by a single point after five wins and two draws, having played one more game than Town, for whom it was a first slip-up in the league this season after six games.

Peevor accused Mark Corbett’s hosts of playing a ‘physical, direct and aggressive’ game before suggesting the style cannot be enjoyable for Shifnal players and is an uninspiring advert for young girls’ football. He said the referee was required to ‘keep his players safe’.

Shifnal were reduced to 10 players in the match, with Rebecca-Lee Bown sent off for two yellow cards.

“This game showed two very different teams, we showed that we can play a very physical game and at the same time play attractive football,” said Shrewsbury manager Peevor.

“Again, a great advert for young female footballers. I thought we were fantastic in those aspects of our game.

“Shifnal played their usual aggressive and direct style which was a tough watch until the referee used his cards to help keep our players safe.

“I don’t believe it’s enjoyable to play in a team like Shifnal Town Ladies and definitely won’t inspire young females to play the game.”

Shifnal led at the Acoustafoam Stadium through Bown, who finished well after a loose Shrews pass in defence.

Visitors Town were level after half-an-hour. Top scorer Maddie Jones was scythed down in the box and Shannon McShane made no mistake from the spot.

And Jones completed the turnaround before the break with a fine finish after running on to Abbie McShane’s neat pass.

Shifnal pushed for a late leveller and were awarded a golden chance through a Shrewsbury handball, from which captain Maria Bell converted the home side’s penalty to ensure a share of the points.

Home boss Mark Corbett, who is rebuilding at Shifnal from his previous Wrockwardine Wood side, disagreed with his opposite number’s view and felt the contest was a proper local derby.

He said: “I build my team to be strong and look after themselves. Shrewsbury are a very young side, any little challenge and they’re going over too easily. Then you get their management on the referee’s back, who is giving everything.

“My team are used to riding challenges, when they get clipped on the heels or pushed they don’t moan and just get on with it. It was a typical local derby I thought.”

He added on accusations of not being inspiring: “We’re building something very special at Shifnal, we have a first-team and a development squad, players who want to come to us, we’ve got 40-odd players on the books, too many.

“So I can’t see how players don’t want to be here.”

Shrewsbury head to Sandwell Ladies on Sunday, while Shifnal and AFC Telford United are not in action.

Elsewhere in the division, Telford were punished with an away walkover as their home fixture against Walsall Wood did not go ahead due to an issue with the TCAT venue. The Bucks hope to appeal the decision.

Wem Town Ladies climbed to seventh in the National League Midlands as a brace from striker Katie Doster earned a 2-0 win over Holwell Sports.

The New Saints Ladies let slip a 2-1 lead to lose 6-2 to Cardiff Met at Park Hall in the Adran Premier. Faye Marshall and Helen Evans scored for the hosts.

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