Shortwood 2 Fairford 3
Ultimately a 3-2 defeat was a little harsh on new-look Shortwood as they opened their home pre-season campaign against Hellenic Premier League outfit Fairford Town, writes Jim Cunneen.
A freak goal at the death won it for Fairford, but the Wood management will take a lot of heart from this performance.
It took a good save from Billy Thomas, with his feet, to save Wood after 17 minutes when a sloppy pass gave the ball away before the Nailsworth side took the lead just two minutes later. Fin Byrnes’ excellent pass allowed Jordan Molyneux and Martin Smith to interlink smartly – Dom Kent supplying the smart finish.
Molyneux had a shot saved and Ryan Dobbins headed narrowly wide and Alex Gayner shot over after a good move.
Fairford were level just 2 minutes after the restart – a smart move being finished at the far post.
Byrnes came close to restoring the lead with a rising drive before Wood regained the lead after 71 minutes. Byrnes perfect free-kick was volleyed home at the far post by Smith.
Fairford were given an extremely soft free-kick 20 yards out after 79 minutes and the ball was superbly smashed into the top corner.
Finally, with just two minutes to go, Fairford won it with a shot from close- range, finding its way in off the bottom of both posts.
Shortwood: Billy Thomas, Ollie Elliot, Brad Loveridge, Shay Lyons, Ben Minnican, Ethan Royer, Kieron Mace, Dom Kent, Fin Byrnes, Martin Smith, Alex Gayner, Ryan Dobbins, Ollie Price, Dan Carnegie, Keegan Bowes, Essa Sabally, Jordan Molyneux, Jake Wellington
The Reserves have a home friendly on Friday against Horsley, 7.30pm and on Saturday the 22nd it is Wood’s turn to host the annual John Hannis Memorial Trophy game – kick off 3pm.
This will be a family day with free admission and a BBQ after the game. There will be a bouncy castle for children.