A goalkeeping masterclass from Cheltenham Town loanee Jake Parsisson failed to save Shortwood from a 3-1 Hellenic League Division One West defeat.
Cheltenham scholar Parsisson,17, who started his career with Everton, made a number of fine saves on his debut for the Nailsworth side, leaving Wood boss Matt Blythe to heap praise on the promising teenager, he said: “With our regular keeper unavailable we were grateful that Cheltenham Town allowed us to loan their young scholar and he looks like a very promising keeper with loads of potential.”
Blythe felt his side deserved something from the game, he added: “For large periods of the game we felt well in control. We took the lead through a really good goal from Luke Soule, but felt harshly done by a couple of decisions which resulted in goals against us. Having said that we still needed to defend the set pieces better.
“We over committed late on chasing the equaliser which we felt was coming , but got caught on the counter very late on.
“We’re away to Moreton on Monday so we need to dust ourselves down quickly and go again.”
In fairness, the Nailsworth side was missing a number of key players through injury and the recent departures of goalkeeper Aaron Taylor and striker Manola Marquez who have opted to return to County League Frampton United.
Confidence was restored after a 5-0 victory at Newent Town on Tuesday, but Shortwood’s woes returned when defender Alex Barrett was forced to withdraw before kick-off through injury and his replacement Declan Earwacker limped off just before the hour.
Things started brightly enough with both sides pushing forward at every opportunity and Littleton striker Dan Elwell, who caused problems throughout, forced teenage keeper Parsisson into an early save.
Wood had a strong appeal for a penalty for handball from a Marks’ cross and man of the match Josh Beadle shot over. Beadle had a fine afternoon and he seemed to be everywhere and his passing was excellent.
Dinanga, for the visitors, and the powerful Lennon Lewis both went close before Wood took the lead after 29 minutes. Luke Soule picked up the ball, ran at the defence, and shot into the corner from 25 yards, his sixth goal in seven games.
However, Littleton were level three minutes later – Elwell appeared to control the ball with his hand before slipping the ball through to Barnes who scored.
Wood’s defending from the corner was poor and Barnes had space at the far post to score.
Almost immediately Wood thought they had levelled. Lewis picked up a loose ball off a defender and fired home but the goal was ruled out as Soule was adjudged to be in an offside position and moved towards the
ball. Wood’s consternation was understandable and complete.
Wood were in control for long periods of the second half and Littleton became more reliant on breakaways. It was enthralling and thankfully free from controversy. Lee Bowles almost put Soule in Elwell fired a good chance wide, and Marks hit a shot too close to the visitor’s keeper, Behan.
After 66 minutes the luckless Lewis smacked the bar from distance and Soule had a shot deflected wide. Lewis then forced Behan into a fine
parrying save. With 10 minutes to go Elwell broke free but dallied too long and Parsisson was able to whip the ball from him.
Finally, in the last minute Wood were caught out by a ball over the top and McQuaide ran through and scored easily to give the scoreline a very harsh look. Wood will play a lot worse than this and win and can take a lot of positives from their performance.
Shortwood: Parsisson, Harper – Emerson, Earwacker (Porter 57), Tryner, Waddington, Byrnes, Marks, Beadle, Soule, Bowles, Lewis