Southern League South and West Division

Shortwood United 1

Winchester City 1

By Jim Cunneen

SHORTWOOD said an emotional farewell to two outstanding club stalwarts with long-serving boss John Evans hanging up his tracksuit and goalkeeper Tom King his gloves in the final game of the season against Winchester at Meadowbank on Saturday.

Evans and King were treated to guards of honour to mark their huge contributions at the Nailsworth club.

And to mark his last hurrah, King was afforded the captain's armband, following a glittering non-league goalkeeping career that started at Forest Green and saw spells at Gloucester City, Swindon Supermarine, Cirencester Town, Highworth Town and Bishop's Cleeve.

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And the Nailsworth side were minutes from giving the retiring duo Evans and King a winning finish after Liam Meredith handed Wood an 11th-minute lead.

Nonetheless, Winchester, who had already rubber-stamped a play-off spot netted parity from the spot with just minutes left.

However, drama ensued in added-time. Nick Hancock sent in a corner, Will Morford flicked on, and Meredith at the far post headed past keeper Norris and over the line, but defender Beadle scooped the ball away with both hands, but the referee and assistant were unmoved and denied Shortwood a certain goal.

Shortwood finished the season in fine form with just one defeat in their last 10 games, a record 78 points and a seventh-place finish.

And in his final post-match interview John Evans said: “I still wanted the win – even after all this time and today was a wonderful occasion. It has been a tremendous honour and privilege to be involved for so long.

I would like to thank everyone for making today and all the other days at The Wood so special. I've been lucky enough to work with some great players. The future looks bright with the present team with Sykesy (Alex Sykes) and Morfs (Will Morford) at the helm."

SHORTWOOD: King, Humphreys R (Halford 75), Humphreys N, Lewis, Weeks, Hancock, Peare (Mehew 73), Price (Bennett 63), Lee, Morford, Meredith