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Milton edge out Shortwood

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Shortwood United 0

Milton United 1

By Harry Ash

Shortwood were slightly unfortunate to come away empty handed from a tight encounter with Milton on Good Friday.

Wood started brightly, with Joe Wilton testing Milton keeper Alex Pratt within the opening ten minutes. Kieran Marks broke into the box with just under half an hour played, connecting with a Ben Milligan pass, but Marks’ shot was well saved by Pratt. 

Milton had only really threatened from range up until then, but that changed when Tom More found Fraser Allen through on goal, but he was denied brilliantly by Jacob Muir, Wood’s eventual man of the match.

With Milton committed high up the pitch, Jacob Eakers broke into space and
fed Wilton, but he couldn’t connect with Chris Earle and the chance went begging.  Wood had two very strong appeals for penalties for hand ball waved away in the first half.

Shortwood nearly made the worst possible start to the second half after Ben Tunnicliff was caught in possession on the edge of his area, but More could only hit the crossbar with his lofted effort over the stranded Muir.

The pressure was starting to build on the Wood goal. Some typically heroic defending from Joe Tryner prevented Harry Thomas from dinking over Muir.

Mickey McKinnan played Louis Joyce through on goal, but Muir once again came to the rescue.

While Wood were being reduced to the occasional sortie forward, Wilton nearly made an attack count when he connected with Eakers’ cross to the far post, but his effort was well blocked.

With fifteen minutes to play, Wilton lost the ball in his own half and gifted a chance to Kieran Cooper, but his shot was again well dealt with by Muir.

a moment later, Eakers’ long throw was brought down by Tunnicliff, who span and shot, but another good block denied him.

The decisive moment arrived with ten minutes to play. Josh Grant mis-hit his cross from the right, and it agonisingly drifted over the head of Muir and nestled in the far corner. 

Wood, having thrown Tunnicliff upfront to act as a target man, had a very strong case for a penalty in the closing minutes. Pratt came to punch clear Keegan Bowes’ free kick, but he instead collided heavily with Tryner.

Despite vehement appeals, the referee was unmoved. 

Shortwood will look to recover when they travel to Abingdon on Sunday, as they hope to make ground on those chasing a play-off spot. 

Shortwood: Muir, Marks K (Marks N 83), Barrett, Minnican (Peyton L 79), Tryner, Tunnicliff, Bowes, Eakers (Tosdevine 69), Wright (Odia Coly 66), Wilton, Earle (Davis 83)

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