By Jim Cuneen


SHORTWOOD co-manager John Evans felt his side deserved a draw in their opening Southern League match of the season against newcomers Shoiling.

Evans said: “That was a good work out and I am pleased with the performance of the back four where Nick Hancock and Nick Humphreys were outstanding –a draw was about right.”

Early the Nailsworth side handed debuts to Will Morford, Jake Lee, Sam Rawlings and Lewis Sommers and welcomed back striker Duncan Culley after his summer of pre-season trials at Cheltenham Town, Oxford United and Bristol Rovers.

Sholing’s Mason had an early hook shot deflected wide but the opening spell generally belonged to Shortwood with a Matt Bennett header back across the keeper hacked away and James Singh beating keeper Brown to the ball but heading over.

Sholing started to assert themselves and a lot of Wood’s forward passing was sloppy and the service to Morford was poor. Wood lost Singh to a tight hamstring after 34 minutes and sub Sommers showed some good touches for such a big man.

Sholing looked the more dangerous before the break and Nick Watts in particular looked a threat. He fired a shot acrossTom King’s goal that was inches wide and King had to come out and save at Mason’s feet. Just before the break Brewster hit a shot that just missed the top corner.

The second half was a different story as Wood gained the upper hand and Sholing lost their way. Hancock hit a curling free -kick that was going just under the bar before Brown clawed it over.

Sholing, in an increasingly rare foray, forced King into an equally fine save as he parried Watts shot. Shortwood ramped up the pressure – Ash Thomas had a header cleared off the line, Culley burst through but shot just wide of the far post, and Bennett almost deceived Brown with a ferocious volley.

SHORTWOOD: King, Rawlings, Bennett, Thomas, Lee, Price (Langworthy 73), Haddock, Singh (Sommers 34), Morford (Culley 65), Humphreys.

Subs not used: Snook, John.

Shortwood welcome Tiverton Town to Meadowbank on Tuesday, 7.45pm. On Saturday, they travel to Swindon Supermarine, 3pm.