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4th May 2019 - 50th Anniversary Match - Marcliff Gloucestershire County League 1 Toolstation Western League 4
In a fixture staged to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Gloucestershire County League, a side comprising of players from across the league were defeated by a strong Toolstation Western League representative team.
The Western League side dominated the initial exchanges but did fall behind to a spectacular Nathan Hall free kick. Nick Beaverstock’s side responded immediately through Adam Wright who then doubled his and his side’s tally before the break.
The second half was a fairly tight affair but as the game entered its final minutes, the Western League side added a third and then a fourth through Tom Knighton and Douglas Cammilo to seal a deserved win.
Wick FC’s Mike Strawford led the Glos County League side for the second time this season, and he selected players from nine of the league’s 15 clubs for the game at the home of Stonehouse Town.
Nick Beaverstock of Welton Rovers managed the Western League side, which included five representatives from Toolstation Western League Division 1 champions Keynsham Town.
After a scrappy opening five minutes, the first chance of the game fell to the Toolstation side. Toby Cole met Harley Purnell’s driven corner at the front post, but his glancing header flashed wide.
Moments later, Cole went close again, this time dragging his volley just wide after he had raced clear of the Glos County side’s back four.
The Toolstation side maintained their pressure, and with 18 minutes played they again went close to an opener. Another Purnell corner was driven out to Adam Wright whose fierce volley failed to test Steve Sparrow in goal.
Despite having to withstand heavy pressure, it was actually Strawford’s Glos County side that took the lead with 25 minutes on the clock. After Danny Webb was hauled down 25-yards from goal, Nathan Hall took ownership of the resulting free-kick and fired it over the wall and past Adam Clatworthy.
The lead was short-lived however and just five minutes later the Toolstation outfit leveled the scores. Purnell, who continued to pull the strings from centre midfield, sprayed a precise ball over the top for Wright who this time made no mistake, drilling the ball into the bottom corner.
Now looking to take full control of the fixture, Keynsham Town’s Purnell then almost turned scorer but his strike from a narrow angle cannoned back off the post.
With half-time fast approaching, the Glos County side had a golden opportunity to reclaim an unlikely lead. Strawford’s side’s relentless pressing saw Edward Bamfo win possession in the final third, but his whipped cross into the box was just too high for the unmarked Webb.
That missed chance would prove costly though, and with only two minutes of the half remaining the impressive Wright added his and his side’s second. The front man sped onto Jack Miluk’s cross and curled an unstoppable shot past the sprawling Sparrow to give the Toolstation side a 2-1 lead at the break.
The start of the second half maintained a similar pattern to the first but despite Wright, Miluk and Tom Knighton fashioning half chances, the Toolstation side could not add to their one goal lead.
The Gloucester County rep side did still carry a threat on the break, though. Some last ditch defending by substitute Luke Ingram was the only thing that stood in the way of Hall adding a routine second. From the resulting corner, Alex Kibble’s corner struck the bar but dropped just short of an onrushing Webb.
A slightly low-key period ensued but in the 75th minute the game exploded back into life as the Western League representatives extended their lead. Substitute Knighton latched onto a Douglas Camillo through ball, rounded Sparrow and coolly slotted into an empty net.
Minutes later Camillo scored his side’s fourth to seal a comprehensive victory. The Western League outfit was awarded a free-kick just outside the box when Purnell was hacked down on his way into the box. Camillo then stepped up and nonchalantly placed the ball into the bottom corner despite the best efforts of Sparrow in the Glos County League goal.
With victory already sealed, Wright had the opportunity to seal his hattrick with mere minutes left but with only Sparrow to beat the striker surprisingly blazed his shot over the bar.
The final minutes of the celebratory fixture played out without incident as the Western League side ran out 4-1 winners despite the valiant efforts of the representative side from the Gloucestershire County League.
Attendance : 90
Marcliff Gloucestershire County and Toolstation Western Teams and management committees, Images courtesy Hilary Isaac
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