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Shortwood up to third: Smith is too crisp for Newent

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Shortwood 4 Newent Town 0 – Unisport Hellenic League Division 1

Martin Smith bagged a 16 minute second-half hat-trick as rampant Shortwood overwhelmed Newent Town, writes Jim Cunneen.

With Billy Thomas unwell, Ollie Elliott took the gloves and it is doubtful he will have a more comfortable evening and was rarely put under pressure.

For Newent Oliver Thompson had a fine game on the right and he caused problems with his speed and control and he supplied a couple of dangerous crosses before Wood took the lead after 9 minutes.

Sabally crossed from the right, Dan Gaynor flicked it on and Dom Kent crashed home a fine volley from 20 yards.

Wood played football from the back and were creative and Molyneux, Dan Gayner and Smith all had chances to add to the score before the ever dangerous Thompson put Weir in but he shot straight at Elliott.

Dan Gayner forced Clay into a fine save and the same player was inches over with a shot. Newent came back and enjoyed some good possession and it took a fine tackle from Tryner to deny Thompson before the break – then Elliot was fast off his line to deny Klich.

There was little sign of the drama to come in the second half.

Smith had a shot blocked before the game exploded in three minutes before the hour. With 53 minutes gone Smith ran on to a Molyneux pass and buried a 20 yarder. Barely a minute later Smith nicked the ball in the area and fired home his second and very quickly after Halsall was shown a straight red for retaliation. Smith somehow contrived to head a Byrnes corner wide but after 69 minutes completed his hat trick – heading powerfully home Sabally’s fine cross. Wood rang the changes but it did not affect their flow.

Byrnes shot at Clay, Bowes skimmed the post and Kent forced Clay into a fine stop when one on one. Tryner, at full stretch just failed to turn home another Byrnes corner and before the close Kent and Dan Gayner came close.

On Saturday Wood face Newent again, this time away, in the MARSH Challenge Cup and Newent will be looking to turn last night’s result around.

Shortwood: Elliott, Sabally, Royer (Mace R), Byrnes, Tryner. Lyons, Molyneux (Price), Kent, Gayner A (Bowes), Smith (Duncan), Gayner D 

Star Man: Martin Smith

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