29th December 2007 - Harsant smashes another hat-trick for Taverners
Four games were lost to waterlogged pitches but the four that remained, threw up no fewer than 16 goals between them.
The game at Thornbury Town ended with the home side facing a 4-0 defeat at the hands of visitors Taverners. The game was made difficult by a very strong wind blowing diagonally across the pitch with Taverners taking full advantage in the first 8 minutes to take a 2-0 lead. The first came after 4 minutes when a long ball found Mark Harsant who took the ball into the box before driving a low shot past Farr into the bottom corner of the net for the first of his three goals during the ninety minutes of play. Town gave away a silly free kick after 8 minutes 25 yards out on the right side of the box and Craig Harris hit a superb shot on goal that Farr managed to get his hands too but only succeeded in pushing the ball onto the crossbar and into the net. The game was held up for 6 minutes whilst Town keeper Steve Farr received medical attention for a cut to the head which he had received whilst trying to save the free kick by Harris. Thornbury settled down after the restart and tested Barnfield on several occasions the keeper saving from Nick Randall who was clear on goal. Barnfield then kept out a good free kick from Fowler and later saved at the feet of Purdie, but right at the end of the 45 minutes Harris gave Town a fright with a hooked shot from which Farr made a very good save to keep score at 2-0 going into the break. Town had the wind with them in the second half and was unlucky not to have scored when a Dave Greaves shot almost crept over Barnfield who was stumbling backwards but just managed to push the ball out for a corner. Although Town had plenty of possession they failed to break down a very well organised Taverners defense and with time creeping on Towns keeper Steve Farr arrived in the Taverners box when Town were given a corner, it was a poor corner and the ball was pumped up field where Harsant moved past the defender to drive his shot into an empty net for his second in the 86th minute. Town replied with a tremendous shot from Ricky Lippiatt that Barnfield saw late but managed to fist the ball clear. With Town now pushing forward Craig Harris broke down the left hammered the ball at Farr only for the rebound to fall for Mark Harsant to hammer the ball home to complete his hat-trick.
Craig Harris fires in a free kick for Taverners
Image courtesy Nigel Meaney
Seven goals at Berkeley Town in their game with Kings Stanley the visitors going away with 4-3 victory. Steve Potter the hero for Stanley with a well taken hat-trick. Potter opened the scoring on 22 minutes but Berkeley hit back through Pete Lavis on 31 minutes Potter then gave Stanley a 2-1 lead on 35 minutes before Paul brooks leveled again for the home side on 40 minutes. Three minutes into the second half Mike Beckingham put Stanley in front and seven minutes later Potter completed his hat-trick. Trailing 4-2 Berkeley netted a third on 74 minutes through Richard Langford which brought a few tense moments for the visitors until the final whistle.
At the Creek Highridge United were again scuppered by visitors Axa this time by three goals to two. This was the second meeting of the clubs at the Creek the first was in the Les James League Cup with Axa going away victors on that occasion as well. Highridge got off to a good start when Craig Liddell netted after just 8 minutes after some good build up play from Dean Maggs, but Axa were level on 20 minutes when Andy Sledge headed home. 15 minutes later Sledge headed a second to put the visitor 2-1 in the lead and in the second half Axa went further ahead through Alex Lang. With just 2 minutes left Dean Maggs netted a second for the home side but Axa held on to take the three points and move up the table to third spot.
Pucklechurch Sports and Henbury failed to find the back of the net in a very uneventful 90 minutes. The only good thing to come out of this game was that Sports keeper Kevin Sibley kept a clean sheet for the first time this season.
22nd December 2007 - Highridge win at Kings Stanley
Highridge United move into third place with a 4-1 victory at Kings Stanley. The first 45 minutes was a fairly even affair until the 42nd minute when Lee Hancock created some space on the edge of the box and fired a tremendous shot straight at the Stanley keeper Sam Prior who was unable to hold the shot and Micky Adams picked up the loose ball and placed it into the far corner of the net. A few minutes into the second half the Stanley keeper Prior gathered the ball as Mike Berry approached and as Berry turned to move away the keeper kicked him to the ground giving away a penalty. Dean Maggs was given the task to take the spot kick which Prior save well but Jon Berry picked up the rebound to smash the ball home. United were 3-0 up after 55 minutes when Jon Berry put Adams free to hammer a superb shot that prior could only watch hit the roof of the net. Stanley kept moving forward and was rewarded in the 75th minute when Aiden Mercer picked the ball up just inside the Highridge half pushed past two defenders and had just got into the box when he was brought down for a penalty. Mercer took the kick himself and gave Brimble no chance with his shot. Highridge were just not satisfied with a 3-1 lead they attacked down the Stanley left with Adams firing a tremendous shot that Prior pushed away but it went straight to Bradley Dunn to drive into the net for their fourth and final goal.
George Brimble makes a save for Highridge
Image courtesy Nigel Meaney
Patchway Town fell behind to a Ben Surman strike on 21 minutes and a minute after the break Surman scored a second from the penalty spot to give Tuffley Rovers a 2-0 lead. Mark Palmers superb free kick pulled the score back to 2-1 on 62 minutes but in time added on at the end Marcus Goodge netted a third for Rovers. This moves them into second spot in the table.
Thornbury Town were brought back down to earth after last weeks success at Yate when they went down 2-1 at home to Ellwood. The first 45 minutes looked good for town and they went ahead with a Pete Fowler header from a corner on 25 minutes. The second half belonged to Ellwood but it it took until the 85th minute for them to level the score when Mark Lee netted from the penalty spot. The winner for Ellwood was some what controversial as Alan Williams netted in the 14th minute of time added on.
A scramble in the Kings Stanley Goal
Image courtesy Nigel Meaney
Yate Town Reserves pulled of a very good 3-1 win at home to Hanham Athletic with a double strike from Justin Cattle and a third from youth team player Scott Wooder. Cattle opened the scoring on 20 minutes and the home side led by the single strike at the break although Hanham had a player dismissed on 35 minutes. Even though they were down to ten men the visitors leveled the score through Shane Hobbs on the hour, but a good move down the right in the 75th minute by Yate ended with Cattle netting his second. Then with just 5 minutes to go Scott Wooder headed the third.
Wotton Rovers were on the end of another heavy defeat going down 5-1 at home to Taverners, from a Mark Harsant hattrick and one each from Ricky Gaskell and Russ Chamberlin. Gaskell opened for Taverners after 4 minutes then three strikes from Harsant on 47, 51, and 75 minutes with Chamberlin?s goal coming in the 50th minute. Alex lee netted a consolation for Wotton in the 87th minute.
Hardwicke march on at the top of the table with a 3-1 win over basement club Henbury. Richard James opened for Hardwicke on 40 minutes but Scott Bamford leveled in the second half. A Rob Hine screamer from a corner gave Hardwicke the lead and Carl brown netted a third with 5 minutes left on the clock.
Pucklechurch Sports earned a good point at home to high riding Axa. Rees Morgan gave Sports the lead from a corner on 25 minutes but Alex Lang leveled in the 42nd minute after Andy Sledge?s header dropped kindly when it came back off the crossbar. Ian Savage could have given Sports the lead but missed a golden opportunity from close range. Both teams created several chances in the second period but failed to find the back of the net again.
Near the bottom of the table Berkeley Town sneaked home with a 2-1 win over D.R.G. Stapleton. Richard Langford gave Town the lead after just 3 minutes but Dave Healey leveled for the visitor?s midway through the first half. The winner for Berkeley came in the 83rd minute when a corner ended up in a goalmouth scramble with the final touch coming from Andy Hobbs.
15th December 2007 - Henbury up for the cup
Henbury?s second win of the season came in the Les James League Cup second round a 3-2 victory over Tuffley Rovers. Tuffley were much the better side in the first half and created several very good chances. Their approach work was very neat, passing the ball around with ease, but their finishing was poor. They could well have been three goals to the good when against the run of play Henbury took the lead in the 36th minute when Aaron Rosser dispossessed a Tuffley defender and planted as sweet shot into the far corner of the net. Tuffley still pushed forward and Boyd should have equalised when through on goal but struck his shot straight at Winkler. Henbury change their tactics after the break closing the Tuffley threat down much quicker and not giving them the space they had in the first 45 minutes. As the game progressed and Tuffley pushing forward looking to level the score, the Henbury forwards began to look more threatening with Pat Mathison going close with a shot just wide of the upright. But Henbury?s trump card came in the form of substitute Gary Clark who created the opening for Pat Mathison to give Henbury a 2-0 lead in the 75th minute. A second substitution for the home side in the form of Scott Bamford also paying dividends when he netted the third to give them a 3-0 lead. Within minutes of the third goal for Henbury Mark Wallington pulled a goal back for the visitors with a shot from the edge of the box. Then a mass brawl on the far side of the pitch ended with both teams having a player sent off. In time added on Tuffley scored again this time it was Lee Wallington?s shot that took a deflection that left Winkler stranded. Within a few seconds of the restart the referee brought the game to a close.
Ellwood hammered six into the Wotton Rovers net with the visitors only scoring one in reply. The man of the match for Ellwood was Julian Addis who found the back of the Wotton net on four occasions. Julian Addis opened the scoring on 5 minutes but Wotton were level when Kier Cox scored from the penalty spot after 15 minutes. Julian Addis netted for the home side on 25 minutes to give them a 2-1 lead at the break. Tom Creed made it 3-1 on 55 minutes and a double strike on 60 and 75 minutes from Julian Addis put the home side in the driving. Matt Addis who had come on as a substitute hit the sixth and final goal of the afternoon for the home side.
Taverners found themselves trailing 4-0 to Patchway Town with just 5 minutes to go when Jamie Bish netted a consolation goal for the home side. Earlier Mark Palmer opened the scoring for town after 20 minutes and Sam Murphy made it 2-0 on 35 minutes. Palmer netted the third for town with a superb free kick into the top corner of the net on 50 minutes and Adam Searle made it four on 70 minutes.
Hanham Athletic took the 3 points at Berkeley Town gaining a 3-0 victory with goals from Simon Dew on 28 minutes a header from Matt Baird on 52 minutes and the final goal being netted by David Langridge on 72 minutes.
Hardwicke continue their good form with a 2-1 victory at Pucklechurch Sports thanks to a lucky goal from Richard Warden whose cross come shot floated over the Sports keeper on 20 minutes. Sports leveled just before the break with a Jon Wiltshire penalty. Both teams were reduced to ten men in two separate incidents midway through the second half. Hardwicke?s Richard James netted the winner when he headed home from a corner with 10 minutes to go.
D.R.G. Stapleton almost pulled of a surprise win at Highridge United but ended up sharing a point each. Mark Richards and Ben Trace gave the visitors a 2-1 lead at the break with the Highridge goal coming from Dean Maggs but a second half leveler from Tyrone McNeeley denied the visitors all three points.
Yate Town Res who are struggling to score goals this season suffered a 2-1 home defeat at the hands of Thornbury Town. Yate went down to ten men on 25 minutes when they had a player sent off for handball, Thornbury?s Chris Johnston netting from the penalty spot. Yate drew level on 65 minutes through Eddie Howells but Thornbury snatched all the points with the very last kick of the game, a second strike from Chris Johnston.
8th December 2007 - Hardwicke sink AXA in Trophy as league program wiped out
All league games postponed due to the terrible wet weather which swept across the country.
One game survived in the GFA Challenge Trophy, where two Surridge Gloucestershire County Football league sides were draw against each other. The playing surface was excellent at Axa where visitors Hardwicke had already gained a victory in the league this season went away with a convincing 4-0 win to carry them into the Quarter finals of the competition.
A very strong wind which gusted from time to time made things difficult for both sides and twenty minutes of the game had passed before the opening goal came. Hardwicke were awarded a free kick near the touchline on the left which Paul Carter floated the ball into the box against the wind and although it looked as though it was heading for the far post the wind caught the ball and took it past Rice into the Axa net. Axa who were kicking with the wind behind them in the first half struggled to find their usual rhythm but were unlucky when they had a shot cleared off the line. Hardwicke were the better side in the second half and went further ahead on 55 minutes when Ben Wood drove an unstoppable free kick from 30 yards into the roof of the Axa net. Axa?s Andy sledge could have reduced the arrears but his shot struck the crossbar and rebounded into play and was cleared up field.
The score-line changed dramatically in the last seven minutes with a double strike from Eddie Rimmer the second of which came from a superb through ball from Rob Hine.
1st December 2007 - Hardwicke avoid wash out to extend lead
The very bad weather devastated the fixture list with only two games going ahead. Three games were called of in the morning with waterlogged pitches and two were called off just before they were due to kick-off then the heavens opened up and the Match Officials were left with no choice.
Leaders Hardwicke extended their lead to six points with a narrow 1-0 victory at home to close rivals Taverners. The only goal of the game came in the 5th minute from a break down the right flank which was intercepted by a Taverners defender who then made the mistake of under hitting a back pass to his keeper, Eddie Rimmer was onto the ball in a flash and although the keeper saved the shot it ricochet to Danny Rasdale who squared the ball for Michael Noakes to slot the ball home. Ben Woods had a further chance to increase the lead in the second half but again the Taverners keeper pulled off a good save to prevent any further score.
Pucklechurch Sports went down 1-0 to visitors Tuffley Rovers but according to their spokesman create enough chances to have gained something from the game. Sports had the better of the first period but failed to find the back of the net and although honours were even after 45 minutes they finally succumbed to a goal in the 75th minute when Pat Boyd controlled and turned to fire a shot out of the reach of the sports keeper. Sports might have levelled when they hit the crossbar but unfortunately had to settle for a very narrow defeat.