1:43pm Thursday 22nd August 2013
By SNJ Sport
SHORTWOOD co-manager Alex Sykes insists Shortwood can improve despite a resounding 4-0 victory at Calor League new-boys Stratford Town, writes Jim Cunneen.
The former Forest Green favourite said: "Their front pair caused us problems all night.
" I am pleased with the result and it was all that I asked for. We were good in the second half, but we were a bit lackadaisical in the first half. For all that we punished them with our fast, fluid, attacks."
Sykes' summation was spot on as Stratford were arguably the better side in the early stages. Gregory hit a curling, dipping free kick that Tom King did well to beat away and Matt West hit a stinging volley that clipped the top of the bar.
Then Sterling got in behind the defence and only a timely block from Tom Warren stopped Gregory from putting the home side in front. So it was against the run of play when Shortwood took the lead after 17 minutes. Callum Brown sped down the flank and his excellent low cross was turned in by on loan Gloucester City striker Joe Parker.
Tim Haddock fired a good chance over before Wood doubled the lead in the 20th minute.
Sam Avery knocked the ball through and Duncan Culley chased it down and rounded the keeper.
He was just about to side foot the ball home when he was brought down by Reynolds for a penalty and an obvious red card. Culley took the kick himself and shot low into the corner. Barely a minute late and Shortwood scored a third.
This time it was Parker who made ground down the flank and his cross was almost turned in by a defender.
A combination of keeper Brady and woodwork kept the ball out but it rebounded to James Baldwin who slammed the ball home.
After 67 minutes and Wood broke away. Captain Jake Parrott put Culley in and he ran on before finishing clinically to put Shortwood well beyond reach.
Sub Ross Langworthy chipped the keeper only for the ball to be headed off the line and then Langworthy missed his kick in front of goal and the ball ran to Joey Tustain whose shot was blocked.
SHORTWOOD: King, Avery, Axton, Pritchett, Warren, Baldwin, Parker (Langworthy 55), Parrott, Culley (Tustain 69), Haddock, Brown (Bennett 73).
Subs not used: Coates, Hancock.
Star Man : James Baldwin.
Shortwood travel to Taunton Town on Saturday, 3pm.
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