Duncan Culley hits 37th goal of the season as Shortwood maintain play-off charge

Duncan Culley hits 37th goal of the season as Shortwood maintain play-off charge

CELEBRATE: Shortwood hot-shot Duncan Culley Pics: Brian Rossiter

STAR MAN: Sam Avery

First published in Sport by

Calor League Division One South and West

Shortwood United 1

Bishop's Cleeve 0

By Jim Cunneen

PROLIFIC striker Duncan Culley bagged his 37th goal of the season as Shortwood United maintained their play-off hopes with two games to go.

The Nailsworth side are in the final play-off spot, level with Swindon Supermarine on 75 points, but boast a superior goal difference over their Wiltshire rivals, who toppled league leaders Merthyr 1-0 on Saturday.

Shortwood travel to new leaders Cirencester Town on Easter Monday. Brian Hughes' side defeated Mangotsfield 3-2 at the weekend and now top the table on 86 points-three ahead of Merthyr.

Shortwood co-manager John Evans felt his side showed signs of nerves against Cleeve, who were missing new boss Chris Burns in the dugout.

Evans said: "We were nervous today against a team that worked hard."

The first half was not an enthralling spectacle and Shortwood struggled to find a way through.

Neither side mustered a single attempt in the first 16 minutes before Lee fired well over the bar for the visitors.

Adam Price then forced Moore into a good save and then shot over after a  good head down from former Cleeve defender Sam Avery.

Shortwood continued to press and in the the 34th minute a cross from Price was left by the Cleeve defence and it hit the outside of the far post with Moore diving at full- stretch.

Finally,  in the third minute of added time Ash Thomas found Culley and he shot across Moore from an acute angle and the ball went in off the far post to give Wood the lead.

Shortwood were better in the second half and Moore again denied Price after hard work from Hancock and twice Culley was inches away.

Avery went on a rampaging run down the left, but his cross was too high before Culley hammered the ball home after 62 minutes – only to be denied by an offside flag.  

Avery again made a good run and shot across goal, Price forced Moore into another good save and Marc Richards drove narrowly wide.

SHORTWOOD: King, Avery, Bennett, Thomas, Coates, Richards, Hancock, Parrott, Langworthy (Slack 62), Price, Culley.

 Subs not used: Cant, Sykes, Hoskins.

Star Man: Sam Avery.

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