Wood Concede Deep in injury time
Wood 1 Yate 1 - report by Harry Ash - pictures by Brian Rossiter
Yate snatched a point at the death at Shortwood on Saturday afternoon, but the way the second half played out, it should be Shortwood who feel they stole a point given Yate’s dominance. Paul Meredith said, “The lads did exactly what we wanted them to do today on the defensive side of the game. We didn’t quite get going on the attacking side which is a little disappointing because if we did the three points were there for the taking. Overall I think it was a fair result but it is disappointing when victory is taken away so close to the end.”
The first half was even and a decent spectacle, despite being largely uneventful (which was not helped by a heavy pitch). Yate had a goal ruled out after (two of their four) ex-Wood players, Steve Davies and Adam Price combined through the latter’s free kick, but Davies was offside as he nodded in from close range in the twenty-third minute. Six minutes later, Theo Llewellyn was booked for a head-high foot on Nick Humphreys, and the Yate midfielder was perhaps lucky to escape a straight red card. Shortwood opened the scoring with five minutes of the half to play, the impressive Jordan Morris crossing to Will Hawes who, in typical fashion, controlled and turned in one movement before finishing right-footed into the bottom left-hand corner.
Yate controlled the second half, playing almost exclusively in the Shortwood half, as the home side simply couldn’t keep hold of the ball for long enough to ease the pressure. Ten minutes or so into the half, three chances were created, and wasted, in quick succession. First, Kyle Tooze blasted a shot over the bar from the middle of the box following Davies’ cross; then, a minute later, Humphreys’ low cross was met by Hawes, whose shot was blocked, before the ball bounced out to Liam Meredith, who struck a half volley well over. Possibly Yate’s best chance of the entire encounter came in the fifty-sixth minute, as Sam Blake’s cross was headed across goal by Tooze, but Ross Langworthy mishit his shot wide from six yards out at the far post. With twenty-five minutes to play, Nick Peare lined up a thirty-yard shot with his left foot, which crashed against the cross bar.
The pressure on the Shortwood goal increased dramatically in the final ten minutes; the first of two last ditch clearances came when Blake’s seemingly goal-bound cross was headed away by Liam Meredith, before Peare’s near post header from a corner was headed off the line by Jack Freeman. With two minutes of normal time to play, Price struck a left-footed volley from the edge of the box, which trickled just wide with Pickering stranded. In the third minute of stoppage time, Price struck the same section of cross bar that Peare had half an hour earlier, with the midfielder curling a shot from just outside the box onto the woodwork. Shortwood failed to clear properly, which resulted in Davies’ shot from twenty yards being tipped over by Pickering. The resulting corner brought Yate’s equaliser, with the ball again not cleared, and it eventually fell to Brooks, who smashed in from ten yards. Shortwood eventually paid for their inability to keep possession in the second half, and, despite some impressive defending, could easily have lost considering the dominance Yate exerted throughout the second half.
Harry Pickering, Ryan Meredith, Tristan Haswell, Rich Thwaite, Ryan Thwaite, Harry Burns (Joe White 83’), Jack Freeman (Ismael Samyan 85’), Jordan Morris, Liam Meredith (C), Nick Humphreys, Will Hawes (Ben Prictor 70’)