Away Match vs Bitton AFC (TWLPD)
Saturday 19 March 2016
Toolstation Western League Premier Division 2015/16
1-1 (Away Draw)
Sherborne travelled to Bitton with club captain Steve Burton back in the squad and taking a place in the bench, Raith Plant was still nursing the after effects of his broken nose sustained at Welton Rovers last week.
The game kicked off with a cold wind blowing down the ground, early on it was clear the bumpy surface was having an effect on both sides as both sides struggled to play any kind a decent passing football. The first corner of the game fell to Bitton but was comfortably dealt with and the first goal scoring opportunity went to Sherbornes Tony Cunningham who was well set up by Marc Caines but he elected to lay the ball off rather than have an effort at goal.A quickly taken free kick by Caines set Haydn Brown in on goal but he shot wide Bittons Josh Penfold was showing up well shooting just over in the 12th minute then wide 3 minutes later after beating the Sherborne off side trap.
Sherborne created a good opportunity in the 23rd minute Cunningham and Farthing combined well to set up Elliott Mann whose shot went narrowly wide. Farthing then sent Bond a hospital ball that saw him clattered by Callum Baker who picked up a caution for his rash challenge. Kris Hastings then came to Sherborne’s rescues putting in a great defensive tackle after Beale had been beaten to the ball, unfortunately for the visitors the hosts took the lead from the resulting corner which found its way to Josh Murthy who sent a cross in to Callum Baker who rose unmarked to head the ball past Beale.
The start of the second half saw Burton come on for the injured Bond.Playing down the slope with the wind in their favour it looked like it would only be a matter of time before Sherborne wold get themselves back on level terms. Harry Montacute shot wide form the edge of the penalty area as did Marc Caines twice in quick succession. Manager Jamie Manley introduced Steve Friend for Tony Cunningham on the hour mark in a bid to find the goal that was eluding them. Nick Jacobs was booked on 65 minutes after jumping a tackle that never came, the match referee deeming his actions to be simulation.
Jamie Powell in the Bitton goal was having a decent came showing good hands on many occasions claiming teasing crosses. Jamie Beale had to be alert to stop in the 70th minute sot stop a rare Bitton second half attack. The best and probably only bit of skill came from Bittons George Foyle who beat three men in the midfield area of the pitch and sent a great shot goalwards that had Beale well beaten, luckily for Sherborne it clipped the top of the cross bar and went to for a goal kick.
Sherborne goal the goal their efforts deserved on the 87th minutes when a shot in the penalty area hit the hands of Connor Cunningham (I think) and after a moment’s hesitation the referee pointed to the penalty spot, Bitton were infuriated by the decision but with his hands above his head I don’t think the referee had any other option but to award the spot kick. In amongst the protests Elliott Mann put the ball on the spot and when it died down he calmly slotted past Jamie Powell who strangely dived the wrong way…..strange because during his pre spot kick banter he had told Mann he knew which side of the goal he was going to put the spot kick
As it looked like the game would end in a nice quiet manner, a point and we piece we all go home happy it all kicked off…let me try and explain…Steve Friend picked up a caution for dissent clearly not happy with a challenge he had received off the ball. As the players retreated back up the field Bittons Paddy Royal took umbrage to some comments Friend made and duly gave him an affectionate Scottish kiss Jesus it was all kicking off then and I didn’t have enough eyes to see the many handbags that were brandished by players from both sides! After around a five minute delay Royal was sent off, Friend was sent off Mann was cautioned and possibly some more yellows were brandished by the officials who were struggling to restore order, once restored a small period of play was allowed before the man in the middle bought a close to proceedings.
A point a piece was a fair result in a game neither side did enough to win but neither deserved to lose, there was a lack of quality on display from both sides. Man of the Match went to Harry Montacute.