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25th March 2019 - Southmead Secretary reflects on turbulent season

Simon Parkinson

SOUTHMEAD CS Athletic’s long-serving secretary Neil Graham reflected on more turbulent times at a club bordering crisis point but declared: "We’ll keep battling on."

The Jarratts Road strugglers entertain the team immediately beneath them on the Marcliff Gloucestershire County League ladder tomorrow (3pm), bottom-placed Gala Wilton, for a crucial basement bout knowing three points could make all the difference in their fight for survival.

It is a scenario Southmead are well used to – they’ve occupied the last two places for the past three seasons yet managed to survive as a Step 7 operation.

Graham, who has served the club as player and administrator for more than 25 years, admits they will accept their fate with good grace if they are to go down.

Yet he remains hopeful new manager John Henson and his assistant Rob Cumberbatch can at least inspire a positive conclusion to send them into the summer on a high note, irrespective of their status.

Graham, 47, explained: "John is a defender of ours who had played and captained us for virtually all our games this season when he took over as manager late last month.

"Things came to a head after we lost 7-1 at home to Stonehouse (February 16) when four key members left us: manager Simeon Hopkins, who’d taken over from Chazz Gomm at the back end of the 2017-18 season; our chairman Phil Lindo; vice-chairman Bob Bryant and coach Paul Morris.

"It was disappointing as training numbers had improved on previous years and we have had fuller benches for games.

"In fact things were looking up to such an extent that we were even talking about starting up a reserve team.

"Admittedly I considered my own position. I was so fed up with the way things were going and had I left we really would have been in crisis. I’ve been with the club for over 25 years and it’s in my DNA. You don’t get paid and it can be a thankless task. But it’s also a way of life.

"In the end I was persuaded to stay by our physio/coach Steve Roe and with John stepping up to take charge alongside (coach) Rob Cumberbatch, and our central midfielder Otis Francis taking on the captain’s armband from John, we have pressed on unabated.

"We went on to lose 4-2 at Wick and 2-0 at Henbury in our next games but we then gained a very encouraging point from a 1-1 draw at Patchway."

Southmead do approach the Gala cruncher on the back of a 3-0 home reverse by high-flying Frampton United, although Graham insisted: "If we keep playing like we have been then hopefully we’ll go into the summer looking at a brighter picture.

"When we played Gala at their place they won (2-1) with a last-minute goal so it would be nice to reverse that. But we have been perennial strugglers and poor pitch discipline has helped nothing this year.

"It’s a shame because the club had done so well to come through all the divisions from the Suburban League to reach the County League (in 2012) and enjoying two promising years to start with. The downturn came from the moment we lost our best players to higher-level clubs.

"If we do end up in the bottom two again then we’ll just have to accept our fate if the powers-that-be see fit to relegate us."

Southmead have been boosted by the return of talisman striker Rob Sivers to the club, although new-boss Henson is suspended now following his red card in Saturday’s Frampton defeat.

22nd March 2019 - Gala Wilton boss confident of County League survival

Harry Madge

Ahead of his side’s relegation six-pointer against Southmead SC Athletic on Saturday, Gala Wilton boss Ian Merrick insists his side can still beat the drop.

Gala, who are bottom, travel to second from bottom Southmead, trailing the Bristol side by three points as the Gloucestershire County League season moves hastily towards its conclusion.

But despite Southmead having a game in hand over Gala, as well as a three-point cushion, Merrick feels a win on Saturday will set them up perfectly for their two remaining games against Lebeq United and Little Stoke.

The former Lydney Town man said: "The game on Saturday is massive. A win would be a massive boost. Obviously they [Southmead] have a game in hand but it would allow us to take some much-needed momentum into the Lebeq game.

"We’re still fighting and hopefully we can pull a couple of results out of the hat in our last three fixtures. Lebeq is a really tough one but we’ve got Little Stoke last game of the season who have a cup final to look forward to, so their minds might be a little pre-occupied.

"It’ll be tough to bounce back if we go down into the Gloucestershire Northern Senior League, but we’ll be doing our very best to stay in the County league."

The Gloucestershire side haven’t won since a 5-1 victory against Hanham Athletic on December 22.

Merrick, who has been at the helm for three years at Gala, reflects on his side’s struggles this season: "Last season we had Ryan Dobbins who scored 20 goals for us, but he went to play for Tuffley Rovers so we’ve missed his goals.

"If you look at our results, a lot of our games have been quite close and we’ve just lacked a killer instinct in front of goal.

"We’ve not taken many beatings where we’ve been absolutely battered, but when you’re down at the bottom everything seems to go against you.

"We’re all disappointed about where we are this season, but we’re the only ones who can dig us out of this hole."

To make matters worse for Merrick, Gala are expected to be without four key players for the relegation clash. Lewis Skyers, Joel Skyers, Alex Pritchard and Peter Boyle are all set to miss out through suspension.

Regardless of team selection, Merrick admits he’s expecting a tightly fought encounter. He added: "Southmead are a tough team. They’re physical and they’ve usually got a lot of players with pace and power.

"It won’t be a game for the purists I doubt, it’s going to be a real scrap and a battle for the whole 90 minutes."

Defeat at the hands of Southmead would all-but consign Gala to a bottom placed finish as both sides seek to retain their Gloucestershire County League status ahead of the 2019/2020 season.

21st March 2019 - Anniversary Representative Game

Rep Game

10th March 2019 - Les James Cup Final

Les James Cup Final

2 nd February 2019 - Promotion Applicants

To step 6

The following clubs have applied for promotion to step 6.

  • Lebeq United
  • Stonehouse Town

To be considered for promotion by the FA the club must meet the required ground grading and finish in the top 5, only one club can be promoted from each league.. The FA will decide who is promoted at the end of the season

To the Gloucestershire County League

Applications have been received from the following clubs.

  1. Gloucestershire Northern Senior League
    1. Chalford
    2. Charlton Rovers
    3. Quedgeley Wanderers
    4. Sharpness
  2. Bristol Premier Combination
    1. Olveston United
  3. Bristol and Suburban League
    1. Avonmouth
    2. Bromley Heath United
    3. Filton Athletic

Two clubs will be promoted subject to passing a ground grading and finishing in the top three of their league.

Relegation and other movements

The bottom two clubs will be relegated. For the purpose of this rule Kingswood who withdrew earlier in the season are counted as the bottom club. The number of relegations will be reduced if less than two clubs are promoted from the feeder leagues

It may be necesary to accept teams from the Hellenic League, Western League or other step 6/7 leagues if the FA place teams in this league.

Any vacancies in the league will be filled after promotion, relegation and lateral movements are resolved. The constitution will be subject to FA approval

2nd February 2019 - Respect Table 2018/19

DissentReportedStart 100
PosTeamPlayedYellow2 YellowsRedTechnical AreaAfter MatchPoints
1Frampton United2200000100
2Rockleaze Rangers2000000100
3Ruardean Hill Rangers181000095
4Hanham Athletic193000085
5Stonehouse Town187000065
8Patchway Town219000055
9Broadwell Amateurs212101050
10AEK Boco205011035
11Gala Wilton2111100025
12Lebeq United2211010025
14Little Stoke194001215
15Southmead CS Athletic18101011-10

2nd February 2019 - Other Cards Table 2018/19

1Rockleaze Rangers2011011
2Frampton United2213118
3Gala Wilton2118123
4Hanham Athletic1917227
5Little Stoke1920230
6Patchway Town2116331
10Stonehouse Town1826236
11Ruardean Hill Rangers1824339
12Broadwell Amateurs2124444
13AEK Boco2027447
14Lebeq United2232347
15Southmead CS Athletic1837667

Yellow - 1 point
Red - 5 points

17th January 2019 - 50th Anniversary Dinner

Anniversary Dinner

6th May 2018 - Thornbury Town Champions 2017/18

Cliff Orchard Managing Director Marcliff presenting the Trophy to Pete Fowler

Thornbury Town - Champions Marcliff Gloucestershire County Football League 2017/18

Thornbury Town - Champions Marcliff Gloucestershire County Football League 2017/18

Thornbury Town - Champions Marcliff Gloucestershire County Football League 2017/18

Craig Lancastle Leading Goalscorer 2017/18

11th September 2016 - Marcliff Plumbing Supplies Sponsorship

The signing of a new 2 Year sponsorship deal between Marcliff and the league took place at Little Stoke before the game.

Sponsorship signing
Cliff Orchard (Managing Director Marcliff) - Bob Stewart (Chairman League)

Sponsorship signing
Ron Holpin General Secretary League – Rob Orchard (Director Marcliff) Cliff Orchard (Managing Director Marcliff) Bob Stewart (Chairman League)

Match Reports

23rd March 2019 - Gala Wilton take vital points at Southmead

Ron Holpin

The bottom two teams Southmead CS Athletic & Gala Wilton met at Southmead both knowing that a win was essential to try and prevent finishing in a relegation position. With both Clubs having just 2 fixtures to play following this game. It was an early shock for the home side when they went 1-0 down after 2 minutes from a free kick after Ryan Dobbins had been fouled 35 yards out on the left side of the penalty area. Jay Dare lifted the ball high towards the home goal and keeper Alvin Quaye came a yard too far off his line and the ball just clipped his finger tips on its way into the net. Southmead’s first chance after 8 minutes came from a long ball into the Gala area where Leon Clayton-Clark got up well but his header cleared the bar. Gala went 2-0 up on 18 minutes from a looping ball into the Southmead box that was well taken by Ryan Dobbins who controlled it and fired across Quaye into the far corner. The home side went close again on 29 minutes when a low shot from wide on the left from Mohamed Rabia just skimmed past the far post.

In the 53rd minute Gala were awarded a penalty for pushing and Ryan Dobbins made no mistake from the spot. Gala keeper Dan Brabham tried a cheeky free kick from just inside his half which bounced just in front of Quaye but over the bar. The home side pushed hard and Brabham in the Gala goal was in action on numerous occasions but always managed to keep the ball out of his net. It is going to be tough for both sides but Southmead have two home games left whilst Gala have to travel for their two.

Stonehouse Town pulled off a convincing 4-0 win at Broadwell Amateurs to keep their hopes alive. The game got off to a hectic start with home keeper Mack Sadler being called into action on several occasions. Then in the 21st minute Town took the lead as Chris Earle cut in from the left and curled a perfect low shot past Sadler. A brilliant five man move on 28 minutes brought the second goal with Adam Philp sending in a low cross for Luke Soule to tuck away. Into the second half and on 52 minutes the home side lost the ball in midfield Alex Kibble pounced on the loose ball and neatly chipped the ball over Sadler for the third. Just 4 minutes later the home side lost the ball again in the middle of the park with Kibble picking it up again striving forward and striking a low shat past Sadler.

  • Southmead CS Athletic (Green) v Gala Wilton (Yellow/Black), Images courtesy Peter Langley

  • Southmead CS Athletic (Green) v Gala Wilton (Yellow/Black), Images courtesy Peter Langley

  • Southmead CS Athletic (Green) v Gala Wilton (Yellow/Black), Images courtesy Peter Langley

  • Southmead CS Athletic (Green) v Gala Wilton (Yellow/Black), Images courtesy Peter Langley

  • Southmead CS Athletic (Green) v Gala Wilton (Yellow/Black), Images courtesy Peter Langley

  • Southmead CS Athletic (Green) v Gala Wilton (Yellow/Black), Images courtesy Peter Langley

  • Southmead CS Athletic (Green) v Gala Wilton (Yellow/Black), Images courtesy Peter Langley

  • Southmead CS Athletic (Green) v Gala Wilton (Yellow/Black), Images courtesy Peter Langley

  • Southmead CS Athletic (Green) v Gala Wilton (Yellow/Black), Images courtesy Peter Langley

  • Southmead CS Athletic (Green) v Gala Wilton (Yellow/Black), Images courtesy Peter Langley

  • Southmead CS Athletic (Green) v Gala Wilton (Yellow/Black), Images courtesy Peter Langley

A last-minute goal was the down fall of Henbury in their home fixture with Rockleaze Rangers. Henbury were appealing for a penalty in the 15th minute when Jensen Manning went down in the box but the match official waved play on. Rangers Rory Langdon should have scored in the 20th minute but headed past the post. Henbury went close on 35 minutes when Jack Dempsey fired his free kick just past the upright. George Loud then had his shot well saved by the Rangers keeper Lewis Brodie. The home side almost handed Rangers a gift just before the break when Dan Webb latched onto a bad back pass but his chipped ball over the keeper was headed away by Aaron Rosser. In the second half A Jack Dempsey shot was deflected by Ross Jones towards the goal but it flew over the bar. The killer blow came right at the end when home keeper Cameron Tarr got his hand to a Rory Langdon shot but it snuck into the net.

A 2-0 win for Little Stoke at Hanham Athletic with a double from Luke Meacham. The first on 39 minutes came from Jordan Yeo corner where he rose high above everyone to head in off the bar. A great bit of defending by Stokes Reece Hedges denied a certain equaliser for George Cryer, but in the 72nd minute Meacham rounded the keeper to net his second.

AEK Boco v Wick with just a few miles between the Club it attracted 117 spectators to watch the game. Wick were the better side in the first 45 minutes and home keeper Liam Jacques kept them at bay on numerous occasions. The second half produced very little in the way of chances until the 75th minute when Wicks Sam Thomas produced a bit of magic on the edge of the Boco box before laying the ball back for Joe Thomas whose cracking shot was on target but was deflected past Jacques into the top corner.

Eight goals in the late Kick off at Almondsbury where Lebeq United won the game 5-3 against today’s visitors Hardwicke. Lebeq went ahead from a long ball out of defence that found Tom Collett whose first shot was saved but he followed up to put the rebound away. Hardwicke levelled when James Ratcliffe cut in from the left and fired into the bottom corner. Hardwicke then went ahead with Tobie Webb firing home from just outside the box but the home side hit back with a second from Tom Collett a half volley just inside the box. Just before the break Lebeq went 3-2 up when Kristian Miller broke down the right flank sent in a powerful cross that was fumbled by the Hardwicke keeper and finished up in the back of the net for an own goal. Dan Payne increased the lead to 4-2 and then a bullet header from Kevin Camargo following a corner gave the home side a 5-2 lead. Hardwicke got a third against the run of play and an appeal by the home side for offside that never came and Tobie Webb netted his second.