Newent 3 Shortwood 3 – UHL Hellenic League
Shortwood remain unbeaten after a rip-roaring clash at Newent, writes Jim Cunneen.
Ultimately a draw was the fair result and both sides deserve a huge amount of credit for serving up a feast of entertainment but the game will be long remembered for the controversies that affected both sides.
Wood started brightly and a well-worked move saw a fine tackle whip the ball off Luke Soule’s foot as he was about to shoot. Wood had the strongest of appeals waved away when Nathan Payne was felled in the area before Newent took the lead in surreal circumstances after 14 minutes.
A ball over the top of the defence saw Thomas run through and the assistant raise his flag for offside. Everyone stopped and keeper Jenkins gathered the ball and rolled it to Tunnicliff for the free-kick. Thomas intercepted the ball and knocked it into the Wood net and the official gave the goal. The assistant still had his flag raised but the referee refused to consult saying he had played advantage to Shortwood.
Both sides continued to play attacking and committed football and the game swung back and forth but there was little to foretell the drama of the second half.
Within a minute of the restart, Wood were level. A ball into the box saw Tosdevine go down and Wood were awarded a soft penalty. Although keeper Edwards saved Soule’s penalty the Wood man was quickest to react and head the ball home.
Bevan headed a golden chance over for Newent before Wood took the lead after 63 minutes with a cracker. Man of the match Harper – Emerson ripped down the right and crossed low where Wilton smashed the ball home from 10 yards. Newent levelled with an almost mirror-image goal 3 minutes later Covey scored for Newent.
After 73 minutes Chris Earle put the Wood in front again. Fin Byrnes pushed a fine through ball in for Earle and he outpaced the defence and shot past the advancing Edwards. Newent threw everything at Wood and levelled with virtually the last kick of the game in the 96th minute. Wood were harshly penalised and when the ball was returned back into the Wood box, Thomas fired home for a justified point.
Shortwood: Lee Jenkins, Harper – Emerson, Barrett, Tunnicliff, Tryner, Byrnes, Payne, Tosdevine (Earle 59), Soule (Lewis 79), Rhodes, Bowes (Wilton 59)
Star man: Max Harper – Emerson