Hellenic League Div 1 West
Shortwood Utd 1
Wantage Town 3
by Paul Webb
A SHORTWOOD Reserves' side, depleted by summer holidays, was defeated by League One West new boys Wantage Town, after going down to 10 men due to injury.
Wood started slowly and it was the visitors who had the best of the early play. Chances fell to Barder who shot over, and Haist who broke clear and forced Herbert into a good save.
Encouraged by their bright start Wantage had their tails up and Haist should’ve scored after some fine wing play by Reid, but his shot was again well saved by Wood’s young keeper.
Shortwood registered their first effort on 20 minutes when Robinson blasted just over from the edge of the box from Ngoma’s chest down.
However, it was Wantage who scored first. Wood sloppily lost the ball in defence and Barder’s long range shot took a wicked deflection and rolled into the corner of the net past the helpless Herbert.
Wood responded immediately. Josh Legg broke down the right and his pin point cross was met by Mills who headed back across Timbrell and into the goal.
Wantage almost snatched the lead back within seconds of the restart but Herbert kept Wood at parity with another good stop.
Towards the end of the half Wood were on top and created some good chances. Firstly Newell had two shots well saved by Timbrell.
Then, right on half-time, Newell and Ngoma combined well down the left, Newell released Ngoma into the box and his shot rebounded back off the post to Legg. He smashed the ball goalwards, but somehow it was kept out by the Wantage keeper, and scrambled away by his defenders.
The turning point came on 77 minutes when Ngoma had to depart the pitch with a knee injury. With no substitutes, Wood were reduced to 10 men and Wantage took full advantage. Slater scored a scappy goal, and Hulbert-Thomas headed in at the near post from a corner to finish Shortwood off and seal all three points for Town.
Boss Des Meredith said “I’m a little disappointed today as we should have been up at half time. We worked hard in the second half, but when were down to 10 men it was tough going.”
SHORTWOOD RES: A Herbert, R Meredith, R Humphreys, R Stringer, A Bath, J Newell, D Robinson © ,C Wands, K Ngoma , J Legg, C Mills.