Wiltshire Premier League

Shrewton United 7

(Craig Lewis, Justice Walters x2, Dom Jackson, Daniel Gardner, Craig Appleby, OG)

Pewsey Vale Development 2

(Danny Horwood, George Plank)

Attendance: 16 (approx. headcount)

Shrewton Recreation Ground

The Wiltshire Premier League, what possessed me to even consider driving quite far out of my way to watch some tier 11 football involving a reserve/development side of a Wessex Division One outfit?

Either way, I ended up in Shrewton, just a few miles away from Stonehenge for what was to be my 25th game of the season. My only other experiences of tier 11 was the Hampshire Premier League, but with floodlights and two official linesmen, this game seemed to have the edge over it’s neighbouring county. Little was I to know that the game would be an absolute goal fest.

To think I have done 25 games since July 2nd is quite incredible, I had a slow start last season and my 25th match came at the end of January this year when Eastleigh played Wrexham.

The Ground

Floodlights were the main thing that stood out the most when I arrived at Shrewton Recreational Ground. All the other grounds I have visited at the same level (albeit a different league) didn’t have floodlights so I was pretty impressed when I saw that the game was a 7:30 kick-off rather than 6:15 for example.

My second observation was the fact that there was a full compliment of match officials, in what little Hampshire Premier/Division One that I have seen, the linesmen are usually a substitute from either side.

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As for the ground itself it was pretty good, equipped with floodlights and a snack bar it had everything you needed for a free game of football in the depths of non-league.

The tea bar and decking area behind the near goal (next to the car park) was significantly raised above pitch level, leading to quite a nice view of the game if you don’t mind standing behind the goal.

In all simplicity, it is just a pitch with a goal at each end, perfect really.

The Game

A late flurry of goals sealed Shrewton United’s first home win of the season with an emphatic 7-2 victory over Pewsey Vale Development.

Danny Horwood and George Plank grabbed the goals for the visitors but a brace from Justice Walters as well as singles from Daniel Gardner, Craig Lewis, Craig Appleby and Dom Jackson confirmed the victory before a late own goal finished the rout.

The game was scrappy from the off but it was the home side who had the better of the early chances. Walters found himself with space in the box but the Pewsey ‘keeper managed to smother the ball before a shot could materialise.

Shrewton then had an identical chance to Walters but this time the ‘keeper came out to deny Craig Lewis. The Vale shot stopper was doing his best to keep the score at 0-0 when he held on Lewis’ effort.

However the United number nine did manage to put the home side ahead just before the break when a soft cross from the left wing found Lewis in space to slot into the net.

Vale came out for the second half looking like the sharper team and were soon rewarded when Danny Horwood struck a beautiful ball into the corner from distance to level things up for the visitors.

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It didn’t stay level for long and captain Justice Walters managed to squeeze the ball in with his shot taking a slight deflection off the Pewsey defender to wrong foot the goalie.

United grabbed a third moments later when the right winger did well to beat his man out wide and find the perfect ball to the onrushing Dom Jackson to slot in to give Shrewton some breathing space.

Shrewton were having most of the possession but Vale did manage to pull a goal back through George Plank after Horwood’s shot from a tight angle was parried into the path of Plank to tap home.

That goal should have spurred Vale on to equalise but instead the floodgates opened and United started to run away with the result. A poor kick from the goalkeeper found the United right winger who headed back over the Vale defence to Walters who calmly finished his one-on-one to make it 4-2.

Route one was the tactic for United’s fifth when a long ball over to substitute Dan Gardiner (who looked offside) was met with a well taken first time lob over the ‘keeper who had drifted off his line.

Gardiner nearly grabbed his second of the night when Craig Lewis fired in a low cross, but the ball missed the number 16 and landed to another substitute Craig Appleby to take a touch and slot into the net.

An own goal finished off proceedings when Conor Cutler drove from left back down the wing and fired in a low shot/cross which took a wicked deflection off the Pewsey number four and into the bottom corner.

2016/17 Games: 25

2016/17 Grounds: 26

Total Grounds Visited: 167

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