UHL Hellenic League
Bourton Rovers 1 Shortwood 3
Jake Rhodes bagged a brace as 10-man Shortwood put their poor performance at Stratford behind them with a battling and ultimately comprehensive win at Bourton on Saturday, writes Jim Cunneen.
Once again manager Ian Soule had to juggle his squad with unavailability, injury, and suspension but was delighted with the attitude and commitment shown. Even more remarkable as they played 70 minutes with 10 men and Bourton, penalty aside, failed to register a shot on target in the whole 90
Wood almost took the lead in the first minute. Nathan Payne cut in and home keeper Flower just managed to turn his low shot around the post. Wood did
take the lead after only 3 minutes. Ben Tunnicliff sent Keegan Bowes away down the flank and the Wood man crossed for Harvey Brookes to score an unfortunate own goal.
Tunnicliff was sent off after 20 minutes and this put Wood under pressure.
With 40 minutes gone, Shay Lyons came on to replace the unlucky Bowes as Wood reorganised and Lyons fitted in immaculately and with Nathan Marks and the dependable Joe Tryner beside him, he never put a foot or head wrong.
Alex Barrett was given more freedom and Wood started to enjoy more possession going forward.
On the stroke of half-time, Jacob Eakers was fouled as he made space in the box and Rhodes confidently put the penalty away.
It was difficult to see Wood only having 10 men in the second half such was their dominance. Payne’s excellent run was denied by keeper Flower, Eakers’ low cross caused confusion in the box and a Payne cross was just taken off Soule’s head.
Callinan drove a shot across the Wood goal and wide before Wood scored the third and killer goal after 68 minutes. Payne’s immaculate free kick was headed home by Rhodes who dipped in between two defenders.
Although Shortwood conceded a penalty after 72 minutes which Muir almost kept out, Soule’s side were rarely in any danger as they saw the game out comfortably to claim the victory and remain third in the table.
Shortwood: Muir, Nathan Marks, Barrett, Rhodes (Gilson – Clarke 87) Tryner, Tunnicliff, Payne (Ash Peyton 88), Pepa, Soule, Eakers (Lewis 74), Bowes (Lyons 40)
Star players: Nathan Marks and Jake Rhodes
Shortwood Reserves enjoyed a thrilling 4-3 win in the league over Shipston Excelsior with goals from Toby Colliver, Miguel Odia Coly, Tom King and Max Brent.