UHL Hellenic League

Bourton Rovers 4

Shortwood United 2

Following a very bright start to the new year, Wood turned out a very poor performance on Saturday as they went down 4-2 to a Bourton side that appeared to want the result more, writes Jim Cunneen.

Wood were missing six regular starters and the pitch was a glue pot, but awful defending proved costly.

Wood started as if they would run riot and had no less than four golden chances in the first seven minutes and home keeper Flower kept his side on level terms as he saved from Max Harper – Emerson twice, Luke Soule and Joey Wilton.

It was all Wood and the faithful waited for the goal that would surely come – and it did after 16 minutes but at the other end. With their first attack Bourton cut Wood to ribbons and Baker’s scuffed shot found the corner. Wood broke up another move after 23 minutes but a disastrous pass across the area, as Wood came out, went straight to Nurse who made a simple pass to Teague and Wood were 0-2. Bourton’s third attack saw Nurse with a free header from six yards put the ball over, but the reprieve was short lived as Nurse found himself in acres of space for a tap in after 40 minutes. It was a shell-shocked Wood who left the field at half-time three down.

Wood gave a debut to teenager Harry Purnell who came on as a half-time substitute as Jason Scrivens and Matt Blythe shook things up.

Nurse clipped the outside of the Wood post with a free-kick before Wood pulled one back after 56 minutes. Purnell struck a strong shot and Flower could only parry to Soule who forced the ball home. This should have been the signal for a Wood onslaught but virtually straight from the kick-off there was a comedy of errors in the Wood area as everyone appeared to leave the ball to each other and Nurse restored the three-goal lead.

Wood forced Bourton onto the back foot and Byrnes and Soule both headers cleared off the line and Wood had strong claims for a penalty waved away when Blythe’s shot was handled in the box. With 10 minutes to go strong play from Hoskins forced his way in and Harper – Emerson shot across the keeper to make the score 2-4. Bourton resisted any further attempts by Wood, however, and held on to record the win they deserved on the day.

SHORTWOOD: Clark, Kalnins, Nowell, Hoskins, Kerr (Purnell 45), Halliday (Langworthy 58), Harper – Emerson, Byrnes (Blythe 78), Soule, Mills, Wilton

Wood face Roman Glass St George in the GFA on Tuesday (7.45) and Wellington in the league on Saturday, 3pm.

Clark, Kalnins, Nowell, Hoskins, Kerr (Purnell 45), Halliday (Langworthy 58), Harper – Emerson, Byrnes (Blythe 78), Soule, Mills, Wilton