MARK Stevens had nothing but praise for his Shrivenham players despite an emphatic defeat in his first game as manager.

Stevens, who has taken over from the departed Les Gill, looked on as lowly Shrivvy held Binfield at 0-0 for the first hour of the Hellenic Premier clash.

However, at that point visiting goalkeeper Jack Goodenough was controversially sent off and forward Paul Sanders was forced to take his place.

From then on in Binfield were dominant and strolled to a 5-0 victory.

Stevens said: “We expected it to be tough but it was actually a good performance. The effort and commitment from the players was great.

“We had a gameplan and we followed it for 60 minutes, and we had a great chance where an effort was tipped onto the post.

“Then the linesman and the referee conspired to change the game for us when the linesman gave a penalty and the referee sent our keeper off - their player even admitted the keeper didn’t touch him.

“With 10 men it was going to be very difficult to get anything out of it. It was game over really but the players still kept going.

“There were a lot more positives than anything else and Binfield were very complimentary afterwards.

“It will look bad in black and white but we had players missing as well. We brought in three players from the reserves and played our new signing Michael Scarff as well.”

Elsewhere in the division, there was disappointment for Highworth, who were sunk 2-1 at Ardley.

Aaron Maximen pulled Highworth level after Ardley had gone ahead through a dubious penalty, but the hosts grabbed a late winner.

Highworth boss John Fisher said: “We made a mistake at the back and conceded a silly goal with three minutes to go.

“The full-back and the goalkeeper left it to each other and they nipped in and scored.

“I’m disappointed but I can’t complain with the commitment and work ethic, it’s just sad we couldn’t turn it round. The performance I was pleased with.”