Cleeve fight on
Wood 2 Cleeve 3
Bishops Cleeve’s remarkable fight to avoid relegation continues to the last game of the season, when they travel to Yate, after they won at Shortwood on Tuesday night. Shortwood have nothing left in the tank having played so many games in such a short time and are running on fumes. The injury list is mounting too and it is to their credit that they battle on! This was a cracking game and both sides can take credit but Shortwood will feel they should have got a point out of the game given the chances they had at the end.
Both sides had good chances early on with Gilder saving well from Freeman and Hawes and Joe Noakes hit the bar for Cleeve and McCarthy had his follow up effort cleared off the line. Freeman’s corner was missed by Gilder but Meredith’s header dropped inches wide of the post and McCarthy sent a free header wide.
With 21 minutes gone Cleeve failed to deal with a corner and Alex Kibble rammed the ball home from the edge of the area to give the Wood the lead. Freeman then hit the post with a 20 yard rafter an excellent Wood move. The pace of the game was relentless but turned in the minutes before the break. First Cleeve were awarded the harshest of penalties after Lander’s perfect tackle but Pickering ensured justice was done with a flying stop to deny Bates. Wood swept up the other end and Gilder denied Freeman but when Cleeve also broke Kennedy swept the ball home to send the sides in level after a breathless first half.
Gilder was having trouble with crosses and Wood made sure that his weakness was constantly tested but it was Cleeve who broke away after 51 minutes and Watts pounced at the far post to give the visitors the lead. It was Cleeve’s turn to mount pressure and Pickering saved well from Bates before Ford drove the ball home after 66 minutes to put Cleeve 3-1 in front. Game over? Far from it! Lomotey hit the Cleeve bar with a cracking drive before Freeman showed determination to beat players before lifting the ball over for Nick Humphreys to shoot into the corner for 2-3 with 15 minutes to go.
Wood found the energy to push Cleeve onto the back foot and Lomotey ran through but fired over and in the last minute Louis Peyton had a chance but fired wide of the far post.
Cleeve’s celebrations at the end were understandable. They still have hope. For Wood the harsh schedule goes on with 4 games still to play in 7 days!
Harry Pickering, Liam Meredith, Nick Humphreys, Dan Lander, Ryan Thwaite, Sam Taylor, Alex Kibble, Jack Freeman, Jordan Morris, Yesh Lomotey, Will Hawes (Louis Payton 54)