Defender Pritchett stars as dominant Shortwood hit Didcot for four
SHORTWOOD United made a dream start to their second season of Southern League football, easily despatching the Railwaymen of Didcot Town at Meadowbank.
The scoreline could and probably should have been great than the 4-1 winning margin, with Wood spurning a number of opportunities to score.
Wood were dominant in the first half and missed chance after chance before finally breaking the deadlock in the 37th minute.
For all that, this was an impressive all-round performance from Wood, although the man of the match was undoubtedly defender Mark Pritchett.
Gents, come in to Earl's & Co and enjoy a haircut and finish, glass of whisky and a shoeshine for £18.50
Terms: Later and earlier appointments available upon request
Contact: 01242 504887
Valid until: Tuesday, December 31 2013
He was pushed all the way by Duncan Culley, who led the line superbly and scored a debut goal.
At the back Pritchett marshalled his back four superbly and he and his troops largely nullified the Didcot strike force.
Alton Axton headed just wide in the first minute and John Cant fizzed one just the wrong side of the far post shortly after.
Shortwood tore into Didcot but the chances continued to go begging.
Tim Haddock put Culley in and he curled a shot across goal which missed by a whisker and Sam Avery headed across goal and wide.
Only after 30 minutes did Didcot threaten at all when Adam Morris drove a free-kick straight at King and minutes later Baldwin made a great block to deny the same player.
Didcot keeper Gareth Tucker saved well from Culley before Wood finally broke the deadlock.
Jake Parrott's deep cross was headed back across goal by Haddock and Pritchett threw himself full length to head home. Tucker grabbed the ball but from behind the line and the goal was correctly given.
On the stroke of half-time a fine move ended with Cant crossing to the far post and Culley heading back across Tucker and in off the far post.
Things got even better two minutes after the break.
Wood were awarded a free-kick 25 yards out and Pritchett drove the ball past the end of the wall and low into the corner.
Louis Joyce shot wide from 20 yards for Didcot, but Wood came straight back and Tucker blocked Parrott after good work from Culley and Baldwin.
Just on the hour Haddock picked the ball up and ran across the defence before shooting home from just outside the area for a fine solo goal.
Understandably Shortwood eased off and Didcot started to come back into the game and after 64 minutes reduced the arrears when Joyce headed home at the far post.
Straight from the restart Culley was brought down inside the box. Parrott hit the penalty firmly but Tucker dived the right way and kept it out.
Wood reasserted themselves and Tucker did well to deny Haddock.
Tustain, sliding in, just failed to finish off a sharp move, and then fired another chance over the bar.
With four minutes to go Didcot's bad day was complete when Meade was given a straight red card for a poor challenge on Baldwin.
Shortwood United: T King, S Avery, A Axton, M Pritchett , T Warren, J Baldwin, J Parker (C Brown 77), J Parrott (N Hancock 68), D Culley, T Haddock, J Cant ( J Tustain 60): Subs not used: J Coates, R Langworthy.
Star man: Mark Pritchett.