Rovers slumped to their first defeat of 2022 last night, losing 0-1 at home to Highbridge Town.
The two teams started the night equal on points so it was expected to be a close game, which it turned out to be.
Willand started brightly, just edging the first 20 minutes but without creating any clear cut chances: their approach play was good, but the desire to over-play the ball in the final third repeatedly saw the visitors intercept and clear.
Highworth looked more dangerous as the half went on, pumping long high balls into the home defence always causing problems.
The hosts looked tired and leggy from their travails on a heavy Mangotsfield pitch at the weekend. As the game progressed their composure and link up play deteriorated and their general play became very scrappy.
On 40 minutes Highworth pumped another long ball forward; George Burton raced off his line to gather but clattered into a visiting attacker. Referee Niall Clinton adjudge it was foul and awarded a penalty. This was coolly despatched by Ashley Edenborough. 0-1, and the visitors were ahead at half-time.
The second half continued in the same vein, very scrappy with little football played worthy of note. Both sides seemed to revert to pumping long balls forward in the hope they would be latched onto by the forwards. Few chances arose from this approach.
The hosts did create two chances of note late in the second half: the first fell to debutant Lewis Hill after some good link up play with Jack Rice & Ben Griffith and the second fell to Ben Griffith after a slick one-two with Hill. Both shots were well saved by Connor Johns in the Highworth goal.
The game ended with no further action. Ft 0-1.
A disappointing night for Rovers and a display that the players will be frustrated with. We now have ten days to dust ourselves down and regroup for our next match, at home to Evesham. I’m sure there will be a vast improvement in performance for that one!
|Private: Noah Coppin|
|Private: Will Richards|
|Private: Archie Reay|
|Private: Jack Rice|
|Private: Ben Griffith|
|Private: Louis Jagger-Cane|
|Private: Travis Yule-Turner|
|Private: Mitch McCann||Sub|
|Private: Bailey Kempster||Sub|
|Private: Lewis Hill||Sub|