For the fifth fixture running, Town were at Tucker Park on Saturday, this time welcoming basement side Shortwood United Development in Hellenic Division Two West. The visitors were on a run of six straight league defeats, whilst Town hoped to record another league victory after last weekends 4-1 defeat of Newent Town Reserves.
The hosts were hit by injury and unavailability, however it gave a number of lads from the Reserves and new 16-year-old signing, Sam Saunders an opportunity and welcomed into the squad.
This wasn’t a classic for the healthy crowd, which included a good following from our visitors, due to their 1st Team fixture being postponed. The opening 15 minutes saw very little goalmouth action until Town keeper Frankie Godwin had to make a full length save to his right, pushing a curling effort around his post for a corner.
Both sides were struggling to come to terms with the slippery surface and neither keeper was tested with either tame efforts straight at them or wide of the target. However, on 35 minutes the deadlock was broken, when a misplaced cross from the Town right, sailed into the far side of the goal, giving Godwin no chance at the Playground End.
Town were not at their best and really didn’t deserve anything from the opening half, but their only passage of pass and movement did bring an equaliser as the half came to close. A 15 pass move found Matty Pill on the right of the ‘Wood’ penalty area and his cross found left winger Jack Green rushing in at the far post to head home, despite the efforts of the keeper.
Town manager Chris Benson gave his troops a bit advice at half time and to be fair the second period was an improvement on the first, although still not free flowing. On 49 minutes Ryan Bradbury hit a well taken free kick, but the visiting number 1 was on hand to get down to his right and hold onto the ball.
Moments later and panic broke in the Shortwood penalty area, but Luke Davenport couldn’t apply enough purchase to the ball to beat the keeper. Town introduced debutant Saunders and Sean Creeley on the hour and both made an immediate impact in applying a drive to the front line. Fellow sub Jason Evans was also welcomed on 78 minutes and with his first touch, scored the winner for Town.
Creeley chased a lost cause down the Town right, beat the full-back on the touchline and as he crossed, the centre-back upended the Town winger in the penalty area for a penalty. Evans strode forward and planted the ball into the top left corner of the United goal, giving the keeper no chance. Town withstood some late pressure but gained another valuable three points to move them up to fifth in the table.
Final Score: Faringdon Town 2 – 1 Shortwood United Development
Team: F Godwin, D Gurung, A Lynham, A Rudman, J Broadbank, L Davenport, W Bazen (sub 57 S Saunders), J Green, R Bradbury (sub 78 J Evans), C Wills (sub 57 S Creeley), M Pill; Subs not used: D Harrington, D Kingsley
Next Game: The two sides meet again on Saturday, and in a strange quirk, with the same match official! This time Town will travel to Stroud and look forward to another competitive tie against this young outfit. kick-off at the Meadowbank Stadium is 3.00pm