King Conway takes Shirley through

By Danny Caro, March 5, 2012

North London Raiders C 0 Shirley Park 1

Top-scorer Saul Conway fired the winner as Shirley Park booked their place in the next phase with a hard fought win over fourth division Raiders C at Gladstone Park.

Shirley went into the game missing their first-choice midfield, who were out due to injury and commitments of the field. This forced their regular keeper to play out- field and Gideon Gold started and finished the game in goal due to injury.

Shirley Park player-manager Dave Lusman told JC Sport: "5’4 foot Gold takes the plaudits for his fine display in goal as Park's man-of-the-match. Though small in stature, he pulled off a string of impressive saves to keep Park on top by final whistle.

"To be fair from a footballing perspective it was our worst performance of the season, along with our lose at Neasden C in the league. It was never going to be a game full of creativity.

"Fielding a team defenders, we created chances and were strong in the tackle, as expected, but were short for ideas going forward, thus resulting in a scrappy game.

"However, credit to our boys who were all played out of position in unfamiliar roles and still ran out winners. That's the way of the Park.

"Credit to Raiders who gave us as good as they got, but just couldn’t beat the heroics of Gids in between the sticks. Park life!"

Raiders boss Oli Shorts told JC Sport: "I thought we were really unlucky not to come away with something from this game.

"We were the team looking most likely to win as we kept Shirley at bay until the the 70th minute when they scored from a corner.

"Rich and I were really proud of the boys and they all put in a monumental effort.

"I'm going to do a Wenger a blame the pitch as it's one of the worst we've played on.

"Credit to Shirley who were well organised and gave us a great game."

Last updated: 3:22pm, March 5 2012