Shortwood pulled off a victory as good as any of their past cup exploits to come from behind to beat Southern League Premier outfit Weymouth on Saturday. There was nothing fortunate in this win. Doggedly determined in the first half playing into the teeth of a strong wind Shortwood dominated possession in the second half, created the better chances, and justifiably took the win!
John Evans was thrilled by his team’s performance: “We said that that the wind in their favour was worth a goal lead. Then we wore them down and thoroughly deserved the result. Alton Axton was superb in the first half and Luke Gullick in the second – but the whole team was brilliant today!”
With the wind behind them Weymouth enjoyed the early possession and forced a couple of corners but the Wood defence was in a resolute mood and for all their possession Weymouth battered themselves against a brick wall. As Shortwood came into it Haddock and Bennett had shots blocked and the home crowd started to get on their own players backs. Weymouth had an excellent chance after 27 minutes when Duff found a way through but shot wide of the far post. They did take the lead after 37 minutes. Ford found space to shoot and King saved with his legs. The ball found Ford again and he cut inside a defender and fired home.
The second half started with Parrott having a free kick blocked and then minutes later dragged a shot across goal and wide. Home keeper Evans saved a 20 yarder from Haddock and Gullick made a strong run into the area before going down under a challenge. A Haddock cross appeared to be handled and the crowd’s frustrations against their own players grew. In a brief moment Ford drove a shot across goal.
Wood justifiably levelled after 67 minutes. Wood made ground down the right and Parrott whipped in a cross from the right. The home defence failed to react and Gullick timed his run to perfection and scored with a stooping header at the far post. Wood were in the ascendency and Gullick shot too close to Evans and Haddock just failed to get a Baldwin through ball under control. With 7 minutes to go Wood thought they had scored the winner. Gullick cut inside a defender and unleashed a shot that beat Evans all end up. Unfortunately the ball cannoned off the foot of the post and bounced away. Finally after 88 minutes Coates picked up a throw in and with the Weymouth defence standing off delivered the perfect cross to the far post where Tim Haddock soared and sent a header just under the bar. The celebrations amongst the players and the Wood faithful was loud and long and repeated again minutes later when the whistle blew on a terrific Shortwood win.
Team: King, Coates, Axton, Pritchett, Thomas, Haddock, Tustain (Brown 75), Parrott, Gullick, Baldwin, Bennett (Langworthy 59)