In a game riddled with heated moments the Reserves came out on top against Forest of Dean outfit Lydbrook Athletic with an important 2-0 victory after Jake Davies had put his side ahead early on in the game and a deflected second half goal secured the win.
Manager Des Meredith, unfortunately sent off from the dug out for complaining about a bad tackle on Ryan Thwaite
in the second half, asked his side to start the game at a high tempo and that's exactly what the Reserves did as they took the game to Lydbrook; applying some heavy early goalmouth pressure. 3 corners and two near misses later, Davies curled the ball beyond the Lydbrook keeper from against the underside of the bar and in from outside the area to give his side a 1-0 lead.
The Reserves were on top from the start and a strong defensive performance from the back line helped the home side maintain the league's best defensive record. Central defender Rich Thwaite
almost got on the score sheet just before Davies' goal with a header from a corner which bounced towards goal, but was nodded away off the line by a defender.
Probably the best chance of the half fell to me, when a Shortwood attack on goal was half cleared back into the area which I followed in to strike towards the top corner of goal, but the Lydbrook keeper somehow kept the strike out by stretching across to tip the ball wide. Benneyworth headed wide at the back post from the resulting corner.
It wasn't the most memorable of games, but Shortwood did what they needed to do and worked hard in all areas of the pitch. It was a strong team performance. Robbie Colwell
's 65th minute strike inside the area, took a heavy deflection and evaded the Lydbrook keeper's hands to bobble straight in for Shortwood's second. Colwell almost grabbed a goal when some good play by Craig Mills
took the midfielder into a dangerous position in the box and cunningly pulled the ball back for his team mate, where unfortunately Colwell struck over. Shortwood looked the most likely to score and Ashton Herbert had little to do, however when called upon looked confident in claiming the ball.
This win sets the Reserves up nicely for a bit of a grudge match away against Frampton (the epitomy of understatement) and a win there could really put Dessies side into the driving seat ... but I'm holding my breath...
1. Ashton Herbert
2. Ryan Meredith
3. Alex Bath
4. Rich Thwaite
5. Luke Benneyworth
6. Craig Cairns
7. Craig Mills
8. Toby Ireland
9. Jake Davies
10. Robbie Colwell
11. Ryan Thwaite
14. Nick Ackland
15. James Stennett
16. Ashley Boulton
Thwaite Rich yellow
Meredith Des red (!!)