Willand Rovers 3 - 0 Longwell Green Sports
Saturday 25th November 2017
With the home side fielding new boy Owen Howe and the visitors arriving with just a single league point to show for their efforts so far this season, it all pointed to a goal fest at Silver Street on Saturday writes Kerry Miller.
That prediction looked to becoming a reality inside ten minutes as Howe netted twice past a shell-shocked defence but to the immense credit of all concerned they then kept a clean sheet for 75 minutes and could easily have embarrassed the title challengers but for some weak shooting and naïve finishing before substitute Brad Ausden wrapped it up with a third neat the end.
Longwell Green began well with Otis Williams feeding Stuart Harmer but his strike was easily saved by Mike Searle but Howe was soon in the action as his power took him through but he was denied by the excellent young keeper Adam Forster who had a fine match and was fazed by what happened in the following few minutes. Luke Mortimore tormented the defence for an hour and his first contribution ended with Craig Veal’s effort falling nicely for Howe top stab home from two yards before he threw over a cross to the far post and Howe nodded it in despite the desperate scrambling on the line.
Sports looked lively going forward on an awkward surface on a cold and blustery afternoon and Liam Oswin broke to set up Williams but his shot from 25 yards lacked conviction. Forster then kept out a Brett Worbey free-kick before on the half hour a free-kick from Sports’ Toby Clifton found Jow Woodley but his header landed on the roof of the net. Thew pace of Veal and Mortimer was causing problems but the visitors were coping and as the disappointing half ended Howe hit another drive which Forster saved.
On the restart Veal should have made it 3-0 after Ryan Guppy set him up but Forster was again equal blocking his effort almost on the line but Sports were still keen to play and Clifton had a shot saved by Searle. Just before the hour Mortimore was replaced by Fletcher Williams but the defence slumbered briefly and gave the ball away but Clifton was unable to take advantage of the home side’s sloppy play.
The chances continued to come as Veal shot just over and then volleyed Howe’s cross inches wide but in between there was another wake up call when Dan Caswell shot over and substitute Ben Allen had a shot saved by Searle. Finally with minutes left on the clock it was left to another substitute, Brad Ausden to latch onto a quickly taken throw in and ram home the third to put a slightly better gloss on what was a disjointed home performance.
Rovers are still well on course and have the local derby with Wellington coming up this Saturday followed by the much-anticipated Devon St Lukes Bowl tie at home to Plymouth Argyle on December 6. The visit to improving Bridgwater Town on Dec 9 will be another test of the Silver Street side.