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Michael McNally hellenic leagueProfessional Performance - 24 March

Michael McNally wants to see a professional performance from Shrivenham at Tytherington Rocks tomorrow.

McNally’s men have put in some good performances of late, including an impressive draw against league leaders Fairford Town and a 4-0 win over Milton United a week ago. While he finds it encouraging, McNally doesn’t want his troops to take this weekend’s game lightly, despite the hosts being in 15th place, one point above rock-bottom Woodstock Town.

“We’ve been doing okay in the league over the last month or so. We probably could have beaten Fairford,” said the Shrivenham boss in the Swindon Advertiser. “We won 4-0 last Saturday and it is just consistency and a bit of naivety which has cost us in the past because we are a young side. But we’ve hit a bit of form and performances have gone back to how they were at the start of the season. In this standard of football, I’m not worried about what other teams do or what they are about. As long as we go out and be as professional as we can, we will do OK.”

Heading into the game, Shrivenham occupy eighth place, but McNally believes that is just a fraction of what they could have achieved this year if they were more consistent. “I said to the players about two weeks ago that we hadn’t kicked on and got better,” he added. “There were about nine weeks from just before Christmas where we didn’t play well and that’s cost us a top-three place. On our day, we are as good as anyone in the league but we have had a spell where we weren’t at the races. Realistically, we could finish fifth or sixth if we go on a bit of a run. I’m lucky because I’ve had five players on the bench for nearly every game.”


A Fair Share - 27 February

Michael McNally thinks it was fair Shrivenham shared the spoils with Purton following the two sides’ 1-1 draw at the Red House on Saturday.

Hosts Purton had taken the lead in the opening 45 minutes when Ollie Hunt broke the deadlock early on following a defensive lapse from the visitors. But in tough conditions, Shrivenham were able to come back with a goal of their own through Jamie Prictor, who notched his tenth strike of the season.

Despite this, neither side were able to do enough to win the game as it ended honours even. “Considering the state of the pitch – it was a leveller – we probably edged it in the first half and we didn’t want the whistle to come,” said McNally. “Second half; they were probably the better side. It evened itself out, so a 1-1 draw is a fair result. The pitch didn’t help for either side but I thought in the first half, we dealt with it really well, played some decent football and scored a cracking goal.”

The result means Purton are sixth in the Hellenic League Division One West with Shrivenham further down in 10th. Despite being happy with the result McNally rues his side not capitalising on the chances they have spurned in previous games this season.

“It’s a local derby but when you look at the last couple of weeks, we have played all of the teams in the top four of the league,” he added. “The positive thing from today is we dug in and we grinded out a result. The frustrating thing this season is we have squandered a lot of chances. I think if we had made the most of some of the chances we’ve made this season, we would probably have another 10 or 15 points.


Socks Up! - 3 February

Michael McNally is urging Shrivenham to get back to their old selves when they host Clanfield 85 on Saturday.

Like Shrivvy, Oxfordshire outfit Clanfield are made up primarily of Swindon-based players and they are set to arrive at Barrington Park having not tasted defeat away from home in the Uhlsport Hellenic League Division One West so far this season.

McNally’s Shrivenham, who are currently ninth in the table, have been beaten in four of their last five outings – one of those reverses came at Clanfield earlier this month – and they suffered a disappointing 2-0 loss at the hands of Cheltenham Saracens last weekend. With a tricky assignment on the cards, the Shrivvy boss hopes his players are eager to get themselves back on the straight and narrow.

“We were awful last weekend and we spoke about it after the game, and it training this week – we need to get back to where we were at the start of December,” said McNally, in the Swindon Advertsier. “This is the best group of players I’ve ever had at this club but we need to start picking up points again because we’ve not been doing that recently. Results are important but the performance is just as important. We need to start working hard as a team again, and not as individuals. “Clanfield have improved a lot this season and they beat us 2-0 at their place a few weeks ago. They’ve not lost away from home all season, so it’s not going to be easy and the pressure will be all on us on Saturday. We’ve got to pull our socks up.”


Consistency Brings Success - 27 January

Michael McNally believes his Shrivenham side need to be more consistent if they are to enjoy a successful campaign.

The Barrington Park outfit are currently ninth in Uhlsport Hellenic Division One West, nine points behind the league’s top five. Shrivenham have had plenty of time to prepare for this weekend’s game as their last outing was a 4-0 win over New College Swindon more than two weeks ago. On Saturday, they host league strugglers Cheltenham Saracens as they look to get back on track following a hit and miss campaign to date.

“Saracens have signed quite a few players and their results have picked up so it is a shame we couldn’t have played them before Christmas,” said McNally “Hopefully, if we conduct ourselves in the right way and play like we did against New College, then we should be okay.We need to concentrate on what we do. From one week to another, I don’t know what is going to turn up. One week we could be outstanding and another, the players might just not fancy it, but hopefully we can put a good run on and climb up the table.”

McNally believes it will be good for his side to get back out on home turf after more than a month away from Barrington Park. “We have a couple of games now back-to-back at home and it’s a big four or five weeks in our season,” added McNally. “We have quite a few games in hand on the other teams so we will try to mix it up at the top of the table.”


Form Return Sought - 16 December

Shrivenham will be looking to return to form this weekend after winning just one of their last four Uhlsport Hellenic League Division One West games.

Their latest defeat came last weekend at the hands of Abingdon United and manager Michael McNally wants to see more from his side. On Saturday, McNally’s men travel to the Corinium Stadium where they will take on fourth-placed Cirencester Town Development.

“We haven’t been getting the rub of the green recently, but the commitment, work rate and ball retention are good and we seem a quite solid unit,” said the Shrivenham manager. “All the players can do is keep playing like they’re playing and hopefully our luck will change in front of goal and it will start dropping for us. If we can get a positive result, that would be good, because it’s a difficult game.”

Shrivenham are currently sixth in the table, nine points off leaders Hook Norton. McNally believes his side could be doing slightly better but is happy enough with how things are going so far this campaign. “I’m reasonably happy, although you can always put your finger on certain things which you’re not happy with,” said McNally. “It’s been better than okay, it’s been a good start. We are halfway there and hopefully we can keep putting in the same work rate as we have been. That’s been the key for us over the last few weeks. If we can maintain that into the new year, we’ll pick up more points.”

Despite their inconsistent run, McNally is pleased with the way his players are going about their business. “Obviously we got beaten by Abingdon last Saturday, but the last three performances have been outstanding, really,” he added. “On Saturday, we did everything right, but they scored a good goal at the end of the game to win it. Form-wise, we are looking good ahead of the weekend.”


More Of The Same - 2 December

Michael McNally hellenic leagueShrivenham are on the road at Letcombe tomorrow, after a spirited display against Premier Division Bracknell Town in the Bluefin Sport Challenge Cup last weekend, manager Michael McNally is hoping it will be a case of more of the same from his troops.

He said: “We’re expecting a difficult game at Letcombe. It’s a wide pitch there and it can be a pretty tough place to go. But if we play like we did in our last game, then we’ll should be able to go there and get a good result. The problem with Shrivenham at the moment is that you never know what you’re going to get but we know what we can do when we’re at our best.”


berks and bucks faPositive Result Required - 11 November

Michael McNally wants Shrivenham to gain a positive result this weekend as they prepare to face Westwood United in the Berks & Bucks FA Intermediate Cup.

McNally watched his side lose to 3-0 to Milton United last weekend and the Shrivenham manager believes the cup could be the perfect tonic for their recent dip in form. “It’s a cup game so it takes a little bit of pressure off of the players, but it is a cup I’d like to get to the final of,” said the Shrivenham manager. “I was fortunate enough to have won it a couple of times as a player, so it has a bit of sentimental value for me. It’s a good chance for us to get a result under our belt and then kick on in the league, it’s a chance to gain some momentum. I know a little bit about them, I know they haven’t been beaten in the league yet so I imagine they will be full of confidence. We’ll go there and hopefully put the last two results in the back of our minds, we need to get a positive result really.”

McNally also cited a long injury list as the reason his side have lost two on the bounce, as well as Levi Cox leaving the club, but will be relieved to have Chris Rivers, Fraser Little, Callum Little and Lance Lewis back for the weekend.


Break Could Be A Bonus - 4 November

Michael McNally will be hoping a week’s rest will have done his Shrivenham side the world of good as they travel to Milton United in Divsion One West.

They were last in action on October 22 when they were beaten 3-0 by local rivals Purton at Barrington Park.

“We’ve had a week off to reflect on the game against Purton so it is good to get back into action and the players are full of beans," said Shrivvy boss McNally.“From my point of view, it was nice to have a break and reassess a few things and the players have done the same. Hopefully we can go to Milton and put it right on Saturday. I can’t be too critical because we have been grinding out results when we haven’t been playing great. Milton are a funny side, you look at their results and sometimes they’ll go out and beat a decent team but then lose to a team you’d expect them to beat. It’s down to us. If we go there with the right attitude, hopefully we can go and get a very positive result.”

If McNally’s side are to get something from the game, they will have to do it without the help of top scorer Levi Cox, who has joined table toppers Fairford Town. “He decided to go to Fairford, which is a shame but what can you do, I suppose he is looking at the bigger picture,” said McNally. “If you look at Fairford’s results they’re scoring goals for fun and they aren’t conceding many goals either. It looks like they’re going to run away with the league, and Levi has probably thought he wants to be a part of that and I can’t blame him.”


Michael McNally hellenic leagueMcNally Loves Local Derby’s - 21 October

Michael McNally hopes that his Shrivenham players are primed and ready to get their teeth stuck into a slice of local derby action this weekend.

In-form Shrivvy, who are unbeaten in five matches in all competitions, a run which has seen them keep three clean sheets, take on Justin Miller’s Purton at Barrington Park tomorrow.

McNally’s men are two places and five points ahead of Purton, who were last in action when they took on Royal Wootton Bassett Town in the Wiltshire Senior Cup on October 12, and although considering his team slight favourites, the Shrivvy chief knows anything can happen when two near neighbours lock horns. “Our form has been quite good recently. We’ve kept quite a few clean sheets, which you can do when you keep the same back four or back five and get a bit of cohesion,” said McNally in the Swindon Advertiser. “But form goes out of the window in a local derby. I don’t know too much about Purton’s players but our lads will know them all and I’m sure it’ll be a bit of a battle because they’ve picked up a bit recently. I love local derbies. I did when I was a player because they’re exciting to play in. There’ll be no hiding places out there and hopefully the lads are up for it.”

Defenders Craig Bowden and Andrew Bilko are unavailable for Saturday’s derby alongside midfielder Chris Rivers, Levi Cox is also a doubt as he continues to struggle with an ankle problem.

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