Fairytale end for popular skipper
IT was the perfect fairytale ending for Shortwood United captain Ashley Thomas.
Moving to the USA this week, he made an emotional farewell to his beloved club on Saturday, but even he could not have dreamed of this perfect ending to this 1-0 victory over Didcot Town.
Applauded on to the pitch by both sides before the game Thomas proceeded to give the sort of performance he will long be remembered for at the heart of his defence - rock solid and immovable.
This was Thomas's day and he escaped the shackles of his defensive duties to head the only goal of the game seven minutes from time.
He said: "To say it was an emotional day was an understatement. "Evo (John Evans) texted me in the week and asked for a clean sheet and a goal, so to score in my final game was awesome.
"I would like to thank everyone involved with Shortwood from the bottom of my heart.
"It was one of the best days of my life. I was never the technical player but nobody ever out worked me in training or on the pitch.
" I gave it everything week in week out and it was amazing to receive such applause as I walked off the pitch for the last time."
In the early stages Thomas had one header deflected over the bar. The second half was largely patchy as play was time and time again interrupted by the whistle and frequent use of the referee's pencil.
Finally, with seven minutes to go Shortwood were given a free kick wide on the right. Jake Parrott curled the ball in and Thomas rose above the visitors to head the ball over Pereira and under the bar to send his team- mates and the Wood faithful wild with delight.
SHORTWOOD welcome Bishops Cleeve to Meadowbank on Saturday, 3pm.