Southern League South, West Division

Larkhall Athletic 3

Shortwood United 0

UNDER-STRENGTH Shortwood conceded three goals in a mad six-minute first-half spell, writes Jim Cunneen.

The writing was on the wall when skipper Liam Meredith pulled up with a muscle injury in the pre-match warm up and had to be replaced.

Joe White had a goal ruled out, correctly, for offside after two minutes and chances were few for the first 20 minutes although Simpson, who troubled Wood all evening, forced Burton into a low save.

Wood were unfortunate not to take the lead after half an hour when Rich Thwaite smacked a fine header against the Larkhall bar from a Nick Humphrey’s corner.

After 35 minutes Simpson created space and his pass inside found King and the Larks man curled a delightful shot into the top corner from 25 yards. Just two minutes later Tumelty shot across Burton into the far corner and then after 41 minutes Simpson scored the goal he deserved to send the Larks into the break 3-0 up.

Rich Thwaite made a brilliant defensive header to clear danger early in the second half and after that early scare Wood started to dominate possession and looked the better side.

Boss Paul Meredith must be tearing his hair out as his young squad looked a different side in that second period as they have on so many other occasions.

White tested keeper Semmens from 20 yards and Davies had a shot deflected inches wide.

Burton had to be alert to deny Tumelty but generally Wood looked the more dangerous team and the fates were against them when Hathaway smacked the bar and somehow Semmens kept out Nick Humphreys follow up effort. Morris and Davies both came close before the end but the damage had been done in that first half spell.

This Wood side are nothing if not spirited and with players to return there are a lot of positives to take forward as they continue to learn.

Shortwood: Burton, Humphreys R, Haswell, Noakes, Rich Thwaite, Davies, Ismael (Hathaway 65), Freeman, Humphreys N, White, Morris