Shaw praises 'fighting for our lives performance'
Club remain without a home win since November but a point against an Alvechurch side who have lost just 1 in 12 games in all competitions, signifies an increasing resilience and goal-scoring ability at The Coach and Horses, writes Luke Phelps.
Josh March converted a spot kick to give Alvechurch the lead on half an hour after debutant Luis Morrison brought him down inside the box. An own goal from Church’s Andy Parsons levelled the score before an unfortunate own goal from Ben Turner put Sheffield behind for the second time in the game. It took an injury time goal from Adam Chapman to secure the point, who tapped into an open goal when defensive partner Julian Lawrence squared the ball.
Speaking after the game, Sheffield manager Mark Shaw said: “Conditions were terrible out there. The pitch is very heavy, very soft and very wet and the opposition are in 5th place in the league and they’ve turned up with high aspirations, probably to get a bit higher in the league. And from my point of view we’re fighting for out lives and I think we’ve shown a ‘fighting for out lives performance’ today.
“First half I thought they probably shaded it with regards to their tempo but I think we made the chances count and we came pretty close. Second half was a bit more of an even contest, not much football can be played on a pitch so wet.
“The lads have been superb in getting themselves back in it when they’ve had it put on then, they’ve gone and stood tall. And if my teams doing that now, against a team in 5th then I’m rally pleased with that. I think a relegation battle is too early to talk about. We’re still putting this group together... we’ve got some good players in there, they just need a bit of time and not the pressure of being in a relegation battle.
Morrison had a good debut for Sheffield on Saturday, despite giving away a penalty: “I thought he did well today” Shaw said, “considering he’s not match fit. He worked hard and played against a big unit today. What I liked about him today was that he was a commanding presence.”
After again being left out of the squad, Shaw confirmed that Tyler Williams will be leaving the club next week, after the winger broke “fundamental club rules.”
“We are Looking at strengthening our areas, we’ve got a very good 24 man squad but we’ve got a lot of young players who are basically having to learn the hard way so we want to bring in a bit of experience.
Sheffield have a weekend break before they’re back at home to Spalding United on Tuesday night, in the Evo-Stik First Division South. Shaw spoke of giving the players a “stress free week” in the hope that come Tuesday, his team will be “firing on all cylinders.”
See Club in action against Spalding United on Tuesday 13th February, from 19:45 at The Coach and Horses.