Newent Town 1 Shortwood United 1 – UHL Hellenic League

It is a measure of how far Wood have come this season that co-manager Jason Scrivens was disappointed with his side’s performance in gaining a point at Newent, writes Jim Cunneen.

Certainly the football was not up to the high standard Shortwood have set themselves this season and it was a scrappy game but to their credit they battled hard and could have won the game at the death. The disruption to the side through injury over the last couple of weeks has been immense and that list grew longer. Max Harper – Emerson went off after only 11 minutes but that appears to be a precautionary measure and his replacement Troy Budd was taken to hospital after a nasty fall with what turned out to be a fractured arm.

Wood had all the early pressure forcing corner after corner, but it took a goal line clearance by Josh Kerr to stop Grange opening the scoring for the home side.

When Newent scored after 21 minutes they were on top and deserved their lead and Grange ran through and fired across Adam Clark into the bottom corner. Wood regained the initiative and should have had a penalty when Luke Soule was tripped just inside the area and minutes later Goode saved a strong shot from Soule. Newent had injury problems of their own and keeper Goode pictured up a rib injury in dealing with a corner which led to him being replaced at half time. Ex-Wood man Alex Allard picked up a yellow for a trip before Lee Bowles low cross fizzed across the six-yard box with Soule and Black unable to supply a touch.

Both sides spurned good chances early in the second half and the game then became a dour midfield battle. Levi Mathews had a good cross headed inches over his own bar by a defender but after 80 minutes a fine pass from Nowell set him free down the flank and his perfect cross was headed powerfully home at the far post by Black.

Newent’s Cooper was sin-binned for dissent and Wood pressed for the winner. Mathews forced replacement keeper Ross Allard into a save at the near post before deep in injury time Josh Kerr rattled the post from 18 yards and Soule’s shot from the rebound was somehow deflected wide by a desperate defence.

Shortwood: Adam Clark, Ben Langworthy, Jacob Nowell, Tom Hoskins, Josh Kerr, Ben Snook, Lee Bowles (Matt Blythe 73) Josh Blunt, Luke Soule, Tom Black, Max Harper – Emerson (Troy Budd 11, Levi Mathews 35)

Attendance: 70

Meanwhile in the Gloucestershire Senior Amateur Cup (North) goals from Aaron Lowe and Jake Lowe gave the Wood Development side a 2-2 draw at Stonehouse Reserves and the young Wood side went through 4-2 on penalties.