Date Published: Thursday, March 15th 2012
Shortwood United ...........................3
T.Bohane 21, K.Slack pen 27,
Uhlsport Hellenic Premier Division - 15th March 2012
With Shortwood still just about having the destiny of the Uhlsport Hellenic Premier Division championship in their own hands and the Moles showing indifferent league form, this always looked like a tough away fixture - and so it proved.
After a first match of the season, when the Moles twice came back from a goal down to beat United 4-2, it seemed that these two sides could well both be challenging for the title by now. But the Moles dip in league form since December has seen them fall off the pace into 7th in the league, while United are now 14 points behind leaders, Oxford City Nomads, but with four games in hand and Nomads still to visit Meadowbank.
Binfield are suffering from an unsettled defence and several key players missing with injury. And up against possibly the best all round strike force in the Hellenic Premier Division of Bohane, Tustain and Mortlock, goals were likely.
The early exchanges saw both sides give as good as they got. And when Carl Davies got into the box, but saw his shot well blocked by James Coates and then Ian Davies and James Suarez both finding space to shoot in the first quarter of an hour, a close battle loomed. United had chances too, but Matt Bennett shot well over and Dan Weait saved well from Kevin Slack.
But after the Moles lost Steve Nebbett on 16 minutes, they found it harder to gain possession in midfield and United took the upper hand.
Midway through the opening half, United had the lead. Attacking the Shortwood box one minute, a long ball from right back took the Moles defence by surprise and when it was allowed to bounce midway into the Moles half, Slack ran on and drove his shot past Weait from wide on the left.
Seconds later, Bohane had a glorious chance to double the lead when he beat the offside flag and with only Weait to beat, he steered his shot wide. But United soon had their second goal. with his back to goal and not really threatening a mistimed tackle took Bohane's legs and Slack drove the resultant penalty into the top corner giving Weait no chance.
With Shortwood now in control, reaching half time with the score still 2-0 would at least have given the Moles a chance in the second half. But with two minutes left, another misjudged ball left Bohane running into the left side of the box and he drove a fierce shot that flashed past Weait to send his side in for the break 3-0 up.
Binfield came out in better shape in the second half and pressed United back. With the half just 5 minutes old a Jos Millar cross was just a fraction too far ahead of James Suarez at the far post and he headed over.
Just before the hour, Mark Tallentire brought on Mike Hancock for Jake Butler and pushed Danny Wing up the left flank, while Callum Whitty moved to left back. And Wing's running on the ball started to create problems for Shortwood. With 20 minutes left, Wing had a glorious chance to score after a great turn and cross from Carl Davies, but he sliced his shot wide, with Ian Davies yelling for it to be pulled back. And with that, went the Moles best chance of the half.
United spent most of the half comfortable to soak up and Binfield pressure and hit on the break. And they could well have scored again, but Weait saved well from Tustain's shot and was happy to see Craig Mills drive come back off the inside of the post.
These sides meet again in the final of the AM print & Copy Floodlit Cup on Thursday 12th April, kick off 7.45pm at Fairford Town. But before that, there's lots more league action and the Moles know they will need to improve if they are to get anything from their home match with Highworth Town on Saturday (17th March), kick off 3pm.
BINFIELD; Weait, Tighe (Sam), Wing, Callaway (capt), Whitty, Nebbett (Withers 16), Millar, Suarez, I Davies, C Davies, Butler (Hancock 59). Sub not used; Pennicott-Bowen