On a fine sunny day at Raleigh Grove Sherborne were again forced to shuffle their pack with the unavailability of Kris Hutchings,Tony Cunningham and Simon Hanlon.Jonny Manley was only fit enough for a place on the bench.
There was an impeccably observed minutes silence before the game kicked off to honour former Chairman Fraser Henderson who sadly passed away during the week, Fraser held the position for over 20 years a feat never likely to be repeated.
There was a scrappy to start to the game as both sides struggle to settle into any real pattern of play, Odd Down were the first to threaten but Cory Simpson had drifted offside as he looked to head home a far post cross. Jamie Beale had to be alert and sharp off his mine to block the on rushing Troy Simpson as he bore down on goal. There were good signs for Sherborne going forward with Marc Caines and Elliot Mann working well together until the 21st minute when the unfortunate Caines had to be substituted for Pete Ireland having pulled a calf muscle.
It was the home side who got on the scoresheet first as Haydn Hodges miskicked a corner into the direction of Nick Jacobs who stooped to send a glancing header past Odd Down keeper Stuart Jones’ near post in the 26th minute. Odd Down nearly responded immediately playing some god football down through the middle of the park it took a superb last ditch tackle form Harry Montacute to stop their advances. Sherborne were further unsettled in the 37th minute when Nick Jacobs had to be substituted due to a hamstring problem, Steve Friend the man to replace him.
Sherborne started the second half well first Elliott Mann hit a long range effort just wide of the target then Hadyn Hodge was fed through by a great Harry Montacute ball but his shot on the turn was also wide. The home side were made to pay for this in the 55th minute when following a poor clearance from a long Odd Down throw Troy Simpson pounced to bring parity to the score line.
Steve Friend then restored the home sides lead out of nothing he latched on to a poor headed clearance to lob the ball over the stranded Stuart Jones,Sherbornes lead was short lived when again some poor defensive work saw Ben Wych the first to react to a loose ball in the six yard area to drive home 2-2 67 minutes played. Odd Down took the lead for the first time when Simpson was again allowed time in the six yard area to poke the ball past a stranded Beales near post. Odd Down gave themselves a two goal cushion in style on 84 minutes a great ball across the box from the lively Adnan Hiroli was met by Troy Simpson who powered the ball past Beale to earn himself a hat trick.
Sherborne were given a route back into the game when Stuart Jones was forced to bring down Elliott Mann just inside his own area Jones was given a straight red for his troubles whilst Sherborne were awarded a penalty kick which Steve Burton stepped up to drill the ball home. Any hopes of Sherborne claiming a point were dashed in the dying seconds of the game when confusion between Bealle and White led to the latter heading the ball past an advancing Beale and into the path of Troy Simpson who gleefully poked the ball into an empty Sherborne goal to claim his fourth and easiest goal of the day.
Another disappointing result for Sherborne against a lively Odd Down side who used their wingers to great effect,although they were aided today by some poor Sherborne defending which will need to be put right quickly as they now face a tough run of away games.
Man of the Match Pete Ireland.