Longwell Green Sports 0 - 1 Bridport
Tuesday 5th December 2017
Longwell Green Sports’ long wait for their first league win of the season goes on after this frustrating defeat at Shellards Road on Tuesday night, but on the evidence of this display, it shouldn’t be too long in arriving writes Kerry Miller.
With a whole batch of new recruits, interim boss Dan Jackson continues to shuffle his troops and they could well have upset FA Cup heroes Bridport, who arrived after their two and a half hour cross country trek without leading scorer Mark Salter, absent with work commitments, and suspended keeper Jason Hutchings, among others. In the end a left foot drive from Ed Butcher 17 minutes in was enough to separate the sides although Sports came perilously close late on and should have taken a point.
On what was an extremely challenging surface and on a chilly night, both teams struggled to settle before Butcher brought a save out of teenage home keeper Adam Forster, on loan from Bath City, who had a fine game. Sports then enjoyed a brief spell with a scramble just cleared and an effort from Jon Mayo going wide from a corner, but home attacks were rare with the visiting Bees looking for the opener. It duly arrived when, following a fine move, Richard Hebditch found Butcher in space on the left and he drilled his shot past Forster. Jon Vance was strolling around spraying long passes, bypassing the pitch wherever possible and he set Butcher up again, but he was caught on two minds and the chance was gone.
Sports were not there to make up the numbers and Emmanuel Benjamin tested James Smith but was just wide five minutes from the break then Oscar Latas, playing the first half at the back before moving up from for Bridport, launched a long cross to Butcher but he mistimed his volley to close out the half.
On the restart Forster showed why he is highly-rated in the area as he somehow stood strong when Latas and Butcher teamed up to bully the defence but he pulled off a remarkable double save and seconds later was well-placed as Hebditch tried one from distance. Sports began to find more room up front and buoyed by the chances gong begging at the other end were sensing they could get something from the game and after Hebditch had missed a good chance there was the feeling that it possibly might have been a turning point. In truth it should have been as Sports moved forward and substitute Zak Drew’s pass found Josh Cotterill free inside the box but the ball bobbled and his shot blazed high and wide and the chance, and the points appeared gone.
The home side did have a good shout for a penalty when centre forward Danny Carter went down under a heap of bodies but it wasn’t to be their day once again despite Drew forcing Smith to clutch a shot right on the goalline.
So Sports go on to Saturday where they visit Chipping Sodbury Town still looking for their second point of the campaign, while Bridport have another trip, this time to Shepton Mallet.