John Evans was delighted after Shortwood beat Evesham 2-1 at Meadowbank on Tuesday: “That’s better! Back to back wins and a good solid performance all round – the defence was great again! I could not split Mark Pritchett and John Cant for man of the match!”
After all the bad weather the pitch was again a tribute to Mark Webb and his team and both sides utilised it to the full in a game that was fast, at times furious, and held the attention throughout.
Fitter tried his luck from fully 40 yards early on and Tom King, back pedalling, did well to tip the ball over the bar. Evesham did take the lead early on when a cross from the left appeared to be drifting in but Spence claimed the faintest of touches. The lead lasted barely a minute though as Callum Brown crossed from the right, Keeper Cross came for it but Luke Gullick soared high, beat the keeper to the ball and headed powerfully home. Shortwood looked dangerous with Cant and Bennett sending in some good crosses and after 16 minutes took the lead. Cant crossed Tim Haddock knocked the ball down and Bennett turned and fired an unstoppable shot home from 12 yards.
An in swinging cross from Parrott was almost turned in by Gullick for a third and Wood enjoyed the bulk of possession for the remainder of the half and played some really good football at times but Evesham looked a threat on the break and Carl Brown came close with a rising shot and just on the stroke of half time Tom King saved with his feet as Carl Brown looked likely to score.
The Shortwood defence really came into its own in the opening stages of the second half and although Evesham pressed they created little threat as the back line held firm. Mark Pritchett, especially, was in a no nonsense mood, as he made several fine challenges and clearances. Langworthy replaced Callum Brown just after the hour and Cant slipped seamlessly into the defensive line. Langworthy was straight into action as he intercepted a bad pass and raced away but he and Gullick were denied at the expense of a corner Ash Thomas briefly turned winger and put over two excellent crosses which let to Parrott and Cant having good efforts blocked. Back came Evesham and King did well to save from Brown again and then Wood were fortunate when a sliced clearance from Thomas clipped the top of his own bar. In the closing stages the game opened up. Gullick sent a shot straight at Cross, King did well to turn round a curling free kick that seemed to be headed just inside the post and right at the death Cross did really well to parry a Bennett special.
Team: King, Coates, Brown (Langworthy 63), Pritchett, Thomas, Haddock, Cant, Parrott, Gullick, Baldwin, Bennett