HELLENIC LEAGUE: Stevens unsympathetic after Witney demise

Shrivenham boss Mark Stevens

Shrivenham boss Mark Stevens

First published in Football
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SHRIVENHAM boss Mark Stevens did not shed a tear when it emerged that Hellenic Premier rivals Witney Town had folded due to a lack of funds.

The Oxfordshire club were evicted from the Community Stadium earlier this month because they were unable to pay the rent, and a late attempt to groundshare with Carterton fell through.

Witney resigned from the Hellenic League on Wednesday and subsequently folded. However, Stevens admitted he was ‘unsympathetic’ to the club’s plight.

“They were the masters of their own destiny, they were paying the wages,” he said.

“I can’t say I have much sympathy for them because they were paying the big money.

“We’re probably the only club without a budget at all in the league, we’ve got other issues - attracting players for nothing.

“(That Witney have folded) has helped us because our goal difference will be improved by 15 and Highworth have lost three points.

“It’s always good to see Highworth lose three points and I’m sure Fish (Highworth boss John Fisher) will enjoy me saying that.”

Rock-bottom Shrivvy travel to league leaders Marlow tomorrow and Stevens says he is more concerned about the performance rather than the result.

“QPR beat Chelsea, didn’t they?” he said.

“We’ll go out the same as we did against Slimbridge (the match ended 3-3), we’ll give everything we’ve got and hopefully get something out of it. It’s a massive test but we’ll see what we can do.

“We’ve got a little bit of momentum from Tuesday and we just want to carry that on.

“The performance is more important than the result, as long as we keep that level going, that will do.”

Stevens is missing Greg Higgs this weekend while Jon Hanson is an injury doubt with a knee problem.

Paul Sanders and Michael Silvanus return while Nathan Hawkins has been added to the squad after signing from Cirencester.

Meanwhile, the draw for the semi-finals of the Hellenic League Floodlit Cup has been made.

Fairford, who shocked Marlow in the last round, have been rewarded with a home tie against Ardley.

In the other semi, Highworth will travel to Brimscombe & Thrupp if they can get past Cheltenham Saracens and Wantage.

Highworth have no game in the Hellenic Premier this weekend as they had been due to take on Witney.

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