Despite the bonus of an early goal Shortwood were knocked out of the GFA Senior Challenge Trophy at Cirencester on Tuesday evening. John Evans summed up the game nicely when he said: “We were poor in the first half but better in the second. I did the right thing in giving members of the squad a run out and for me John Cant was our man of the match.”
Shortwood suffered a blow when Matt Bennett was ruled out just before the game and then lost skipper Ash Thomas just after the break.
Shortwood took the lead after 8 minutes. Jamie Martin flicked a ball on and although James Singh chased it down it was more in hope than expectation as keeper Bath should have collected it comfortably. Inexplicably, however, he let the ball squirm from his grasp and Singh knocked the ball in from an extremely narrow angle. Cirencester enjoyed the greater possession after that but Wood had a chance to double their lead when an excellent end to end move left Tustain in a good position but he fired well over the bar.
Town levelled in the 18th minute. A ball down the middle should have been cleared but Hawkins found himself with time and space to fire home from the edge of the box. The pressure on Shortwood grew but even so they had chances. Tustain chipped wide under pressure and Bath tipped over an Axton header.
After 30 minutes Cirencester turned up the pressure and a goal looked likely and Collier was left unmarked to finish comfortably.
Just after the break Baldwin came on to replace Thomas and for a while Cirencester had plenty of chances to increase their lead but wasteful finishing and good keeping from Tom King kept the scoreline to the one goal deficit.
Slowly, however, Shortwood started to create more chances themselves. Axton was again denied by a good tip over from Bath and Slack somehow failed to connect to a Martin cross to the far post.
Coates came to Wood’s rescue with a spectacular goal line clearance and from the break Wood appeared to have claims for a penalty when Slack seemed to be pushed in the box.
With 5 minutes to go Mortimer-Jones settled the tie in stunning fashion as he hammered the ball into the top corner from 25 yards.
Team: King, Coates, Axton, Pritchett, Thomas (Baldwin 47), Meredith L, Tustain (Slack 65), Haddock, Martin (Bevan 75), Singh, Cant