John Evans could not hide his displeasure after this Shortwood display. “That was unacceptable in the first half! We were not competitive, they wanted it more than we did, they worked harder than we did and our passing was awful!”
Shortwood were two goals down after only 9 minutes – and it could have been three, as they made a dreadful start to the game and they struggled badly in an abject first half performance where Bridgewater were rarely put under any pressure.
In only the 3rd minute a careless pass gifted Bridgewater possession and they constructed a decent move before the ball was whipped in from the left and McNab nipped in and flicked a header past King. Just two minutes later Shortwood were caught by a low corner played to the edge of the area and Vance’s shot was parried by King but when the ball was put back in Bridgewater had three efforts blocked on the line in a frantic few seconds. Bridgewater took a carbon copy corner after 9 minutes and this time Vance’s chipped shot beat everybody and went in under the bar. Bridgewater continued to have the majority of the play and it was 25 minutes before Haddock had Wood’s first meaningful shot but it drifted wide. Shortwood then had a spell of pressure and Ash Thomas saw a header cleared off the line and Coates shanked horribly wide from close range. Bennett knocked the ball down for Haddock but he took too much time getting his shot away and McGrath robbed him and knocked the ball away.
Langworthy replaced Cornwall at half time but the first chance of the second half fell to Mountford who forced King into a diving save after a good run. On the hour Tustain whipped in a low cross just in front of the onrushing Langworthy but after that a lot of the second half was shapeless and the passing was poor at best.
With 13 minutes to go a Langworthy overhead kick went well over the bar and with 7 minutes to go Martin was put in by Langworthy but Town keeper Purnell saved well with his feet.
When the final whistle went Bridgewater understandably celebrated a well-deserved three points.
Team: King, Coates, Bennett, Pritchett, Thomas, Baldwin, Tustain, Parrott, Gullick (Cant 56), Cornwall (Langworthy 45), Haddock (Martin 64)