Home Match vs Bradford Town FC (TWLPD)
Wednesday 13 April 2016
Toolstation Western League Premier Division 2015/16
Sherborne Town 1st
3-1 (Home Win)
Sherborne gained a hard-fought victory over Bradford Town in an impressive display at Raleigh Grove. An own goal initially gave the hosts the lead before Bradford replied with a Sam Jordan penalty. A second half Nick Jacobs header and Marc Caines strike then ensured the three points for the Zebras.
It was the away side who forced the first chance when Mark Wall turned inside the penalty box, but his half-volley went over the bar. Neikell Plummer then got the wrong side of the Zebras defence and had a shot was deflected wide, taking a nick off the left hand post on its way.
Plummer was to be a constant threat throughout the game, although his ambitious 35-yard shot went well wide. However, home ‘keeper Jamie Beale was called into action soon after when Sam Jordan fed Wall. The latter forced Beal into a good reflex save and the ball was cleared for a corner.
Sherborne’s first chance fell to Marc Caines, however his shot was blocked and eventually hoofed away by the visitors. A long throw from Harry Montacute then caused havoc, but Bradford finally cleared the ball after a goalmouth scramble.
The home side made their pressure count after some good work from Elliot Mann on the right flank. Mann’s whipped cross took a touch off a Bradford defender and put Sherborne 1 – 0 up with 20 minutes on the clock.
The Bobcats almost offered an immediate response through a Wall shot which brought the best out of Beale. Plummer couldn’t make the most of the rebound, firing over when he really should have equalised for the away side.
He made up for it moments later by winning a penalty, going down under a challenge when through on goal. Jordan stepped up to take the resulting spot-kick and made no mistake, calmly slotting past Beal to bring the scores level.
Plummer could have given the away side the lead but twice headed wide, both from Matt Morris free kicks. Jordan then found space in the penalty area, but his shot went across the face of goal, meaning the score remained at 1 – 1 going into the break.
After half-time, there were few chances for either side but plenty of drama with some late challenges and a bit of handbags for the referee to sort out. Tony Cunningham then produced a moment of quality, but his half-volley from 35-yards out went just over the bar.
Caines then tested Jamie Bartlett in the away goal with a low shot, but Bartlett got down well to smother the effort. Another Montacute throw caused troubles for Bradford’s defence, with substitute Steve Friend heading over the bar.
Sherborne kept the pressure on and restored their lead when a Montacute corner found the head of Nick Jacobs. The defender rose highest and put the home side 2 – 1 up with just under half an hour of the match left.
In the last 10 minutes of the match Bradford battled as they tried to find another equaliser. Elan Plummer’s shot from close range was brilliantly saved by Beal and the Bobcats couldn’t capitalise on the loose ball, even when Neikell Plummer put a good cross back across the box.
Having defended heroically, Sherborne sealed the win in added time. On the break, Friend crossed into Pete Ireland, who cleverly headed back to Caines, who turned and fired past Bartlett for the third Zebras goal of the evening.
That turned out to be the last action of the match, as Sherborne claimed three points to continue their good run of form.
Jamie Manley’s men now have three away games in a row, starting with the short trip to Bridport this Saturday. The next action at Raleigh Grove will be on 30th April when Cribbs are the visitors.
Written by Oliver Marsh