Toolstation Western League

Shortwood United 0

Bridport 1

By Harry Ash

Shortwood players and fans alike must have felt that this was the best chance yet to gain a point, at least, so far this season against Bridport, but the disappointment of not doing so mustn’t take away from the performance of the home side, who created chances of equal number and quality as Bridport themselves.

The first chance came the way of Bridport after ten minutes, through the ever-dangerous Leighton Thomas, who left Marcus Bebbeington in his wake before shooting wide from a tight angle.

Fifteen minutes later, Kameron Andrews played a through ball into Thomas, and this time Adam Clarke did well to smother the forward’s shot.

Shortwood sprang into life with just under half-an-hour played; Jack Gardner found space in midfield, before dribbling out to the right-hand side and squaring the ball to Harry Elliott, who found himself briefly one-on-one with Jason Hutchings. Elliott’s shot beat Hutchings, but a recovering defender cleared off the line, only for Andreas Ali to miss-kick the rebound chance, and the ball was eventually cleared. Just a few seconds later, Jamie Walker’s cross from the right found Elliott, but he couldn’t get over the ball and headed over the crossbar.

In the thirty-fourth minute, some brilliant interplay between Andrews and Oscar Latas resulted in the latter firing a shot wide from just inside the penalty area. Four minutes later, Latas whipped a dangerous cross into the box, which wasn’t cleared, and the ball fell for Thomas, who lashed a shot past the helpless Clarke.

The second half was not a pretty spectacle, as both sides looked for long passes in behind the opposition defence, resulting in disjointed and frantic play, with very little chance creation. Shortwood did have the better of the chances, though, and both presentable openings fell to Ben Langworthy, who first struck over from the middle of the box, then headed straight at Hutchings from Walker’s cross. The fact that Bridport seemed to be hanging on for most of the half should give confidence to the Shortwood players, who will know that this game was a missed opportunity.

Shortwood: Adam Clarke, Marcus Bebbington, Jacob Nowell, Joe Tryner (C), Tom Hoskins, Ben Langworthy (Romario Amos 84’), Joey Tustain, Jamie Walker (Yacine Benchikh 90’), Harry Elliott, Jack Gardner, Andreas Ali (Levi Mathews 55’)

Bridport: Jason Hutchings, Oscar Latas (Matt Condliffe 72’), Lee Sweet, Cameron Vere, Chris McGrath, Andrew Martin, Breadon Symes, Kameron Andrews, Mark Salter (C), Leighton Thomas (Sam Clark 65’), Dan Peach (Leon Wood 82’)