Whitnash Town came from behind to claim a 2-1 win at derby rivals Kenilworth Wardens on Saturday, but manager Barry Shearsby knows they will have to improve if they are to mount a serious title challenge to Coventry Alliance leaders Folly Lane.
Goals from Ross Briscoe and Charlie Smith saw the visitors recover from conceding a fluke 18th-minute opener, but it needed a fine Neil Stacey save from a Kev Archibald header to preserve the win.
“Obviously I am delighted to get the three points but we do need to be more clinical in front of goal as that’s two weeks running we have had to scrape results,” said Shearsby.
“With bigger games coming up we might not be as fortunate so the gauntlet will be thrown out this week to my players to kill the games off earlier.”
An early injury to Town skipper Lee Scott disrupted the visitors and Wardens took the lead when Dan Griffith’s cross drifted over Stacey.
Briscoe was cutting an increasingly agitated figure as Whitnash tried to get a foothold in the game, but he channelled his aggression to good effect just short of the half-hour, muscling his way through a crowded box to head home a Jack Taylor corner.
Whitnash took the lead in the second half when Smith sprung the offside trap, racing on to Luke Cole’s through ball and neatly slotting past the onrushing keeper.
Briscoe wasted a two-on-one with a tame shot when a pass was the better option and Wardens sensed they could snatch a point in the closing stages.
However, Stacey produced a strong arm to keep out Archibald’s header and the visitors held on.
“I think we were unlucky not to get something out of the game,” said Wardens boss Richard Ward. “We played some nice football and created a number of good chances.”
Wardens travel to Coventry United tomorrow for a tough Birmingham Vase semi-final clash.
Whitnash Reserves went down 6-3 at home to Ambleside.