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Chris Doig post AFC Telford

14 March 2017

Assistant manager's thoughts after SSC defeat

Shrewsbury Town fell to a 2-0 loss to AFC Telford United in the Shropshire Senior Cup Final at the Greenhous Meadow.

Goals from Connor McCarthy and Elliot Hodge gave the Bucks the victory over a Town side which included a mixture of academy players and first team players.

Assistant Manager Chris Doig took charge over the side for this game and he spoke to the press after the match.

“It wasn’t the result we wanted – but there’s positives we can take from it,” he said.

“It was a good chance to see quite a few members of the youth team play and it was a fantastic experience for those younger lads.

“I think the vast majority of Telford’s team will play for their first team on Saturday – so it gives [the youth players] an idea of where they need to be physically first and foremost.

“The pace and the tempo of the game is a lot higher than it is playing youth football – it’s a great experience – the quicker and earlier young lads can play in these type of games the better.

“You learn so much more than you do just playing youth football – playing men’s football toughens them up and gets them used to that environment.”

Town’s side also included a number of first team players who recently returned injuries, such as AJ Leitch-Smith, Olly Lancashire and Ryan McGivern, who all played 90 minutes.

“It was a chance to give them 90 minutes, which you could see they needed. It’s very difficult when you’ve not played football for a while – you need to get minutes under your belt.

“They did okay in spells – but you could also see the lack of match fitness. It’s a 90 minute run out – that’s the positive we can take from it.

“Playing games is the most important thing – we’re not in a reserve league so we’ve got to use these nights – unfortunately training has been very stop start of late because of the weather so it’s not been easy for them.

Fulham loanee Stephen Humphrys looked impressive for the opening 45 minutes, though Doig admitted that he was always only going to play the first half of the game, while fellow loanee Stefan Payne missed out through illness.

The win means AFC Telford United won their third Shropshire Senior Cup since their formation in 2004, while Town still hold the record for the most wins in the cup with 66.