Away Match vs Odd Down FC (TWLPD)
Saturday 29 March 2014
Toolstation Western League Premier Division 2013/14
Sherborne Town 1st
0-1 (Away Win)
Sherborne arrived at Odd Down for todays Toolstation League fixture with a whole host of changes for a variety of reasons.Into the starting line up came Dean Ritchie, Harry Turner and Raiff Plant.Striker Ritchie was playing in an unorthodox defensive position.The bench was full of reserve players stepping up a grade made up of Cunningham,Cann,Kemp,Peach,Jackson and Mann.
The game started and from the off it was clear it was not going to be a game of free flowing football as both sides worked hard to control the ball on a sunny but windy afternoon. Odd Down were first to threaten when Ritchie failed to clear his lines it was left to Smith to pull of a smart save to keep the scores level.Sherborne were working hard all over the park but were struggling to contain the pacey Odd Down front pairing.
Sherborne had to wait until 20 minutes in before they had their first effort on goal,Friend and Jacobs combining well to set Morgan up for a shot on goal that never troubled Johnson.Chances at both ends were few and far between. Smith saved Sherborne again when Simpson hit a smart effort on target.Farthing was next to put his body on the line making a great challenge in the area to block a goal bound effort to deflect the ball out for a corner which Smith punched clear.Odd Down were having a solid spell in the game and a long ball out from their defence saw Turner outpaced down the middle and Smith again got down smartly to save well.
Just on the stroke of half time Sherborne stunned the Odd Down faithful taking the lead when after good work by Friend out wide saw him send a cross deep into the penalty area where Day was lurking to bundle the ball over the line before it could be cleared, Sherborne had an alert Assistant referee to thank as he ratified the referees decision to award the goal 1-0 half time.
The second half was going to be a stern test of Sherbornes defensive qualities as they were now defending against the wind.It was Sherborne who started the half the brighter, although again chances were few and far between at either end. Sherborne defended superbly under the leadership of Captain Burton, from front to back they were getting blocks in, chasing balls down and not allowing Odd Down any time on the ball protecting Smiths goal from any real danger.
Harry Turner had a great effort on goal when he rose well at the far post to meet a deep free kick from Day,Odd Downs Johnson pulled off an impressive save to keep the score to one.Morgan was next to have an effort on target driving an effort from distance just over the bar.Ritchie then set up another goal chance sending a great ball down the line for Friend to latch onto but again Johnson was on hand to save Odd Down. The hard running Friend was replaced by Cunninghams fresh legs for the last 10 minutes.The final chance of the game fell to Sherborne through Matty Day who charged down the wing after Jacobs had sent a ball into space for him to chase, Day cut inside to send a ball sliding past the far post.
Game over and an excellent 1-0 away victory for Sherborne who were superb to a man and although Odd Down had their fair share of possession Smith was never troubled in the second half.Difficult to pick man of the match but I will plump for Steve Burton who playing out of position as centre half never lost a header in the second period and was always on hand to encourage and direct his troops as a leader should.