Only two weeks ago the in-form Shirehampton had a goal fest against Wrington Redhill but this early return fixture was a much closer contest than the final result would imply. Amazingly there was only one change to the starting eleven from that game but player/manager Leigh White’s tactical changes and added belief in the players seems to have restored a better understanding among them and maintaining this sort of commitment will surely see the results come their way to start climbing the league table.
A dream start saw the visitors shock Shire as in the second minute the Clements brothers combined to see Ollie’s corner bullet headed into the net by Sam for a 1-0 lead. Chances to increase the lead were thwarted when first Chris Bradley saw his shot tantalisingly cleared off the line and George Martin’s effort just lacking the power to beat the home ‘keeper.
It was twenty minutes into the game when Shire’s first real chance came when George Brimson’s shot was saved by Matt Hill and the rebound struck the crossbar from a bold overhead kick by Brimson. Some minutes later Brimson latched onto a long ball from defence and chipped the ball over the advancing Hill into the net to level the score going into the half time break.
The second half began with both sides looking to add to their goal tally. Ethan Johnson came close from another Ollie Clements corner then Brimson saw his point blank header saved by Hill the crossbar completing the clearance. Mike Rowcliffe pounced on a poor clearance from Mark Winkler but saw his shot go wide of a post.
Wrington Redhill started to give away to many free kicks and were punished when a Brimson free kick from distance was only pushed away by Hill and Marcel Telford-Ross was on hand to put the ball into the net. Shire kept applying pressure despite the incredible efforts of all the team. It was very late in the game when Matty McCall got a head to a corner and found the net for a flattering 3-1 end score.
There were lots of positives to take from this game with Adam Caulfield forming a good partnership with veteran Whitey in midfield, Sam Clements increasing influence in defence, Callum Briggs confidence growing with each game, Mike Rowcliffe’s never ending energy up front. As long as everyone stays fully committed better results should be on the horizon very soon.
Another testing game comes next week with the home fixture to table toppers Fry’s so let’s get as much support out as possible to get behind the team.
The Bill Gough Man of the Match was awarded to Sam Clements
GK, Matthew Hill
Defence, Callum Briggs, Sam Clements, Jason Potter, Ethan Johnson, Ollie Clements
Midfield, Chris Bradley, Leigh White, Adam Caulfield
Forwards, Michael Rowcliffe, George Martin
Subs: Mark Brown (for Callum Brigg