26th November 2023 - Quedgeley Wanderers gain vital points in basement Derby
Nothing much changes at the top with four of the top five winning, all five won if you count Bromley Heath United’s delayed County Cup victory and at the bottom Quedgeley Wanderers had a six pointer against Hardwicke.
Better start at Waterwells on a cold day where Quedgeley Wanderers hosted Hardwicke. There was nothing to write home about until the 19th minute when Quedgeley’s Sean Lawson won a penalty which was dispatched by Kory Taylor for 1-0. Two minutes later Connor Webb missed a good chance when Taylor set him up. Hardwicke keeper Evan Coombs collected the ball to spare his blushes in a goalmouth scramble. Other than a few yellow cards the half ended with a stick to the day job bicycle kick by Lawson wide of the goal. Just after the break Oli Curtis had the ball in the Hardwicke net but was denied by the offside flag. Some good Quedgeley pressure with Stanbury denied by Coombs’ good save and some sound Hardwicke defending, Hardwicke themselves applying pressure and home keeper Nathan Charnock on form from a set piece and Harley Mustoe missed one on one in the six yard box. Some huffing and puffing towards the end by both sides came to nothing and 1-0 to Quedgeley it ended.
To an interesting one at Fairmile Gardens where Gala Wilton towards the bottom and Rockleaze Rangers towards the top were both needing points. A pretty even start with defences on top for the first 30 minutes but it was Rockleaze who took the lead slightly against the run of play Dan Webb scoring at the far post from a corner. As the game moved towards half time Rockleaze took it away from Gala with two quick fire goals, Drew Sawdon from close range and Jenson Beard capitalising on a defensive error. The second half started with defences on top until the visitors ensured the win, Webb scoring from close range from another productive cross into the box. On 82 Gala scored the goal that their efforts deserved when Tim Hill volleyed home Antonio Pirelli’s cross, but it was Rockleaze who had the final say with another close range goal this time a header from James Goulden to make it a resounding 5-1 win for them.
To the fringes of the top where Frampton United entertained Sharpness at the Bell Field and the Sharks opened the scoring on twelve minutes a cross was met by Archie Mears who fired into the bottom corner. Frampton’s first effort came from Stuart Maule whose shot was well dealt with by keeper James Russell pushing the ball around the post, the Jono Willets beat his defender and put in a cross which eluded everyone. Sharpness had a good chance to increase their lead from a ball over the top but Tom Kaye saved Kieran Bennett’s shot but it didn’t take long for them to score their second when a cross into the box fell to Tom Frankham to score and take the three points 2-0.
To the middle of the table and more good work by the ground care team after a heavy overnight frost enabled Wick against Hanham Athletic to take place at Oldbury Lane where the first half an hour was fairly even with Jai Macloed for Wick twice firing over and Ty Fudgell hitting the post for Hanham, but it was Hanham who scored first when Jacob Saunders headed home from a corner in a crowded penalty area. Karim Rendall then doubled Hanham’s lead on the stroke of half time when he volleyed a high defensive clearance into the top corner. After an even start to the second half a much improved Wick were looking for a way back into the game and the opportunity came when Todd Carter was fouled in the box and Liam Towler made no mistake from the spot. Wick levelled on 73 when Louis Short pounced on a loose ball in the box to fire home. Both sides then went looking for a winner with the best chance falling to Wick’s Brad Clark who headed over in the last minute to finish the game honours even.
Top of the table Avonmouth were the visitors to Tewkesbury Road to take on Cheltenham Civil Service. In a lively start it was Avonmouth who had the first real opening when Josh Pearce burst down the left wing and his pull back saw Alfie Taylor shoot wide. Pearce was at it again a few minutes later this time leaping high to head a cross goalwards, the initial effort blocked but the ball fell to him to volley in. The game settled until Avonmouth sprung Pearce through on goal producing a great save from Harvey Need. The game turned on 2 incidents in 2 minutes firstly a through ball by Services Liam Hope found Lewis Driscoll one on one but his effort was saved by Tom Bradley, from this Avonmouth countered and Pearce was caught in the box for a penalty which Alfie Taylor converted. Just before half time it was 3-0 when a header from Mike Oliver landed at the feet of Pearce who finished past Need. Service started the second half brightly and got their rewards when a deflection landed to Paul Smith on the edge and he shot past Bradley. Service had their best spell but a second goal would not come. Instead a 70 minute long ball was half cleared only to fall to Charlie Aldom who slotted past Need. Five minutes on Avonmouth were awarded a second penalty but Taylor sent his kick high over the top. Pearce, looking for his hat trick went on a great solo run only to see his shot go wide. On eighty minutes however, he wasn’t to be denied when a long ball over the top was missed by the Service defence and was cooly finished by Pearce for 5-1 and Avonmouth seven clear at the top.
At a bright and cold Little Stoke Park Ruardean Hill Rangers got a well deserved point away to Little Stoke. The host's had been forced to change the spine of the side due to player availability and made a slightly disjointed start to the game, with a lot of moves breaking down on the edge of the area with misplaced passes. The well organised Ruardean side were content to absorb the pressure and try and utilise the combination of Sampsom and Clark up front to hit on the break. On most occasions Little Stoke got through the Ruardean defence their shots went wide or turned into passes to Aaron Underwood in the Ruardean goal, the shot they got right went hard to Underwood's right but his arm shot out to push the ball out for a corner. Then disaster for Little Stoke as Ruardean punted the ball clear, two home defenders missed the opportunity to clear it leaving the livewire Steve Clark to run onto the ball on the edge of the centre circle, he drove into the box, drew Gigov in the home goal out and dinked the ball into the corner.
Whatever was said in the home dressing room as half time had a big effect as Little Stoke got on top, with the visitors reduced to defending and a few counter attacks. Little Stoke created several clear chances but the shots either went straight to Underwood or wide of the post. As the game was drawing to a close Stoke got a series of a free kicks in very dangerous positions. The first sailed over, the second beat Underwood and bounced off the bar, the final one was cleared but the ball was recycled and a cross deep to the back post allowed Mike Hardiman to force an equaliser with 30 seconds left on the clock.
In the other match Stoke Gifford United kept up their unbeaten run up away to Broadwell Amateurs with two goals from Rudy Hill and another from Kerem Karakus, Jamie Powell replying for Broadwell giving Stoke Gifford a 3-1 win.More Here