Shortwood produced an excellent all round performance at Bishops Cleeve on Wednesday evening to claim all 3 points in this league fixture. John Evans was naturally delighted with the result and the performance: “This was much better and the quality was there! We defended well and scored from two great crosses! Ash Thomas was superb at the back but I’d like to single out Joey Tustain as well!”
In fact the whole side looked a much tighter unit and Cleeve rarely had time to settle – so much so that Tom King enjoyed a much quieter evening than of late.
The first 10 minutes were even with both sides having good chances. Cleeve keeper Nortei saved well with his legs from Gullick and Tambling fired over for the Bishops. Shortwood lost John Cant after 20 minutes with a hamstring injury and shortly after Shortwood had a real moment of danger but Pritchett was on hand to kick Jackson’s low shot away.
Wood were beginning to look the more dangerous and likely to score and although Cleeve still enjoyed plenty of possession the defence and midfield worked tirelessly to shut the home side down and restrict their space. Several times Shortwood put dangerous balls into the area from both flanks but were just unable to provide the final touch. Finally, after 43 minutes, Axton fed Bennett on the left wing and his cross was met by a diving flick header from Luke Gullick to send the visitors in 1-0 up at the break/
The second half continued with the Shortwood defence and Thomas in particular, repelling nearly everything that Cleeve could offer while Shortwood created some good chances to kill the game off. A Haddock flick put Tustain through but Nortei rushed out to block his shot and from the subsequent corner Coates had a low shot kicked off the line. Shortwood deserved a second goal and it came after 74 minutes. Parrott put Tustain away down the right and he beat his man before delivering a perfect whipped cross. This time it was Langworthy who came in to dive and head the ball home.
Wood saw out the remaining minutes without discomfort and might have added to their score in the last minute when Jamie Martin’s shot was deflected to Nortei when a pass to the unmarked Parrott might have been the better option.
Team: King, Coates, Axton, Pritchett, Thomas, Baldwin, Tustain (Martin 81), Parrott, Gullick, Haddock (Langworthy 60), Cant (Bennett 20):