Shortwood eventually overcame a stubborn Cirencester Development side through two quick-fire penalties just a couple of minutes apart, both dispatched by Josh Beadle in a 2-1 victory, writes Harry Ash.
Wood boss Matt Blythe was delighted to see his side get over the line, he said: “We are obviously pleased to get another 3 points on the board.
“We got caught napping early on so that’s something we need to learn from, but after conceding the early goal we soon settled down and controlled the game.
“We got back into the game through two penalties within a couple of minutes and then were guilty of missing a couple of good chances which would’ve made the last 20 minutes or so a bit more comfortable, but the boys managed the later stages of the game well and fully deserved to win the game.”
Cirencester took an early lead through Jake Allen, as he latched onto a cross from the right-hand side and beat on-loan Cheltenham Town keeper Jake Parsisson with a close-range header. That proved to be Ciren’s only real chance of the entire match, but Shortwood struggled to create much from open play despite dominating for long stretches.
Shortwood’s chances in the first half largely came from crosses and corners which Ciren were unable to clear. Fifteen minutes in, Lee Bowles was presented with a chance after keeper Dan Gough fumbled a Charlie Hobbs cross, but Bowles’ goal-bound shot was blocked by a recovering defender. Lennon Lewis then had two further chances, both from uncleared corners, but he was unable to find the target with either.
Shortwood carried a much greater threat in the second half, and should have equalised two minutes after the restart when Fin Byrnes played Chalmers Phin through on goal, but his chip over Gough went wide of the far post. A few minutes later, Byrnes himself missed a gilt-edged chance when Beadle burst in behind the defence and cut the ball back, but Byrnes’ weak shot was easily saved.
With just over an hour played, Shortwood’s mounting pressure on the Ciren goal finally brought a reward. Beadle’s cross from the right was handled in the area by Ben Dodd, and Beadle calmly placed his penalty kick into the bottom right-hand corner. Two minutes later, Lewis seemed set to give Shortwood the lead, but he was brought down by Cameron Storie as he struck his shot, and Beadle stepped up again, with the same result.
Shortwood really should have made the game safe in the closing stages, with Phin and Hobbs missing one-on-ones, with the latter having to go off injured having collided with Gough. A late spell of Ciren pressure never caused too many problems, though, and Wood will be relieved to have beaten one of the weaker teams in the division.
Shortwood: Parsisson, Barrett, Fin Blythe, Byrnes, Tryner, Porter, Hobbs (Miles 87), Beadle, Phin, Bowles, Lewis (Marks 80)