Keiron Watson double helps Shirebrook Town to win over Eccleshill United

Keiron Watson struck twice as Shirebrook Town pulled off an excellent 3-1 victory over visiting high-flyers Eccleshill United in the Northern Counties East League on Saturday.

The Bradford area side are third in the table and some supporters feared a drubbing was on the way.

The visitors did cause problems in the opening five minutes with surging runs down both wings. After that Shirebrook got themselves into the game, pulling the United defenders all over.

Despite all the pressure it looked as if Shirebrook could not turn pressure into goals.

Then a piece of good fortune turned this match on its head four minutes from the break. The ball was crossed in from the right, low and at pace, which the United keeper should have easily collected.

But it somehow got away from him and, as James Queere tried to put the ball into touch, to his horror he smashed it into his own net.

The second half was much like the first in that Eccleshill had five minutes of steady pressure, but Shirebrook were in no mood to let them back into the game.

The home side stepped up a gear and constantly forced United into some desperate defending, with shots coming in from all angles.

Then it was time for the Watson show. All the game Watson had been lurking with intent, and a cross came in from the left which he met and despatched into the net to put Shirebrook 2-0 up on 58 minutes.

However, Eccleshill were then gifted a goal. The ball was played up the left and crossed in and, although it appeared a defender had turned the ball into his own net, the goal was eventually credited to John Rogers.

There was then a brief spell of United pressure before the home side steadied the ship and continued to attack down both flanks.

Shirebrook were now constantly probing down the right with a series of inter-passing between several players, eventually setting up Watson to again calmly slotted home past the keeper on 87 minutes and seal the win.

Watson rightly received the Shirebrook Man of the Match, but this was a very good team display and proves Shirebrook have ‘bouncebackability’ after losing 4-1 to Hemsworth MW at Langwith Road in midweek.

Shirebrook now need to go on and be more consistent and ruthless if they want to be among the leading pack.