Les James Cup 2023-24 News and Reports

11th May 2024 - Stoke Gifford win Les James League Cup sponsored by Boca Teamwear

Jon Palmer

Stoke Gifford United 2 Hanham Athletic 1

Stoke Gifford United Captain Ben Shepherd recieves the Les James Cup from League Secretary Mark Simpson, Image courtesy Peter Langley

Stoke Gifford United Les James League Cup Winners 2023-24, Image courtesy Peter Langley

A goal early in each half was enough to secure the Les James League Cup for Stoke Gifford United after a 2-1 win over Hanham Athletic.

Skipper Ben Shepherd gave United the perfect start when he touched in Paul Cronin’s corner from the left less than two minutes into the final, which was hosted by Almondsbury FC.

Mikey Barry caused major problems for Hanham early on and he was denied by the legs of goalkeeper Sam Brown in the 17th minute as the lead was nearly doubled.

Spike Weaver smashed a long range effort over the bar and Jordan Iwhiwhu fired wide from a good position after a free-kick into the box was not dealt with by the Hanham defence.

Iwhiwhu set up Rudy Hill for another chance in the 32nd minute, but he could only slice his effort off target.

After being forced to defender for most the opening half an hour, Hanham threatened for the first time in the 37th minute when Brandon Barnes’ deft touch took him through on goal, but his low effort rolled just past the right post.

Barry’s low ball evaded Spike Weaver at the far post for United and after another Cronin corner, Barry’s shot was blocked by Joel Athey and the follow-up was well saved by Brown.

Just before half-time Barnes’ free-kick from 20 yards appeared destined for the top right corner, but Oli Gargett flew to his left to touch it over the bar with his fingertips, preserving his side’s narrow lead at the break.

Barry added the second less than a minute into the second half, applying a low finish after some skilful play to create a shooting chance for himself.

Hanham’s Paul Coles shot wide on the turn in the 53rd minute and Weaver had a chance to make it 3-0 in the 72nd, but he could not keep his effort down.

Barnes’ corner was deflected in off a defender in the 73rd minute to make it 2-1 and set up a tense finish.

Finn Williams had the ball in the net for Hanham, but a free-kick was awarded for a foul in the box and it was chalked off in the 78th minute.

A final free-kick effort from the left foot of Barnes was touched over by Gargett 10 minutes from the end and Gloucestershire County League runners-up Stoke Gifford saw out the remaining time confidently to round off a highly successful second season at the level.

Stoke Gifford United: Gargett, Tulloch, Hill, Williams, Shepherd, Fagbure, Barry, Garrod, Iwhiwhu, Weaver, Cronin. Subs: Stawrowski, Abraham, Talbot, Taylor, Hodge.

Hanham Athletic: Brown, Gibbs, Athey, Wise, Wathen, Fudgell, Saunders, Simms, Rendall, Coles, Barnes. Subs: Adams, Williams, Wiltshire, Nash.

Referee: Adam Boubrahmi.

1st May 2024 - Les James League Cup sponsored by Boca Teamwear

Please support Our Les James League Cup Sponsors - Boca Teamwear

23rd March 2024 - Hanham Athletic progress to Les James Cup Final - sponsored by Boca Teamwear

Mark Simpson


To the other semi final of the Les James League Cup and on a bright afternoon at Fairmile Gardens Gala Wilton took on Hanham Athletic for the right to a place in the final. Hanham started the stronger and took an early lead on five minutes Karim Rendall slotting past Oscar Bignell. On ten minutes it was two, Jacob Saunders scoring from the spot after a foul in the box. Gala then came into the game a little with two free kicks on the edge of the penalty area but failed to trouble Kai Wilson in the Hanham goal. The remainder of the first half saw neither team threatening. Hanham effectively finished the game on 51 minutes with a superb strike from Rendall following a pull back to the edge of the area. Three became four on 69 minutes with another superb strike from the edge of the box, this time from Brandon Barnes. Rendall secured his hat-trick from the spot on 79 minutes and after Jarmol Dare hit the bar on 83, the closest Gala came to a goal. Only an excellent save by Bignell from Hanham’s third penalty of the game kept the score at 5-0 and a resounding win to send Hanham through to the final.

16th March 2024 - Stoke Gifford United into Les James Cup Final - sponsored by Boca Teamwear

Mark Simpson


To the Les James League Cup first semi final with Stoke Gifford United taking on Sharpness. The opening half was a cagey affair with both teams cancelling each other out. On twelve minutes Devanti McInerny put a marker down against the Sharks defence flying down the left wing and pulling back for Spike Weaver who drew a sharp stop from James Russell. Sharpness looked at their biggest threat from set pieces and on 27 couldn’t quite find the right finish in a goalmouth scramble as Gifford blocked bravely. The remainder of the half saw Sharpness testing the Gifford back line with set pieces that were mostly defended well and Gifford looking to exploit Sharpness down the flanks but neither team creating anything much. The second half began with the Sharks looking the more likely, a Tom Frankham free kick was saved by Oli Gargett and back-to-back corners caused some panic in the Gifford back line. The game changed on seventy minutes, Barry was released down the right wing and looked to have scored but Russell produced a fine save. The resulting corner ended with Rudy Hill firing on target, Russell could only parry but Joe Bridge was on hand to poke home. On 78 minutes Barry caused mayhem again drifting in field he teed up Spike Weaver who was taken down on the edge of the box by James Priday who received his marching orders for two yellows, Weaver picked himself up and fired home the resulting free kick in off the post. The icing was put on the cake when Barry got a deserved goal for a tireless performance, Weaver held the ball up and released Barry who finished into the bottom corner to take Gifford through to the final where they will meet the winners of next weeks second semi between Gala Wilton and Hanham Athletic.

29th December 2023 - Les James League Cup Semi-Final Draw

The Semi Final draw for the Les James League Cup sponsored by Boca Teamwear is as below.

  • Gala Wilton v Hanham Athletic
  • Stoke Gifford United v Sharpness

Games to be played on the 2nd March 2024 (Stoke Gifford) and 9th March 2024 (Gala Wilton)

16th December 2023 - Sharpness and Hanham Athletic progress to the semis

Mark Simpson


In the League Cup potentially a good game at Vicarage Road where Hanham Athletic took on current League leaders Avonmouth who took the opportunity to field some fringe players but did start the stronger of the two with an early penalty shout but play was waved on. Hanham went close on ten minutes Leon Clayton making room for himself in the box but narrowly shot over. Hanham almost took the lead on 62 minutes when Paul Coles shot from the edge the ball cannoning off the bar. Hanham were beginning to dominate and Coles was close again just past the post. Avonmouth went close on 82 minutes when Josh Pearce’s run and shot was brilliantly saved by Sam Brown. Hanham’s winner came in the last minute when Joel Halls shot came off the bar and hit keeper Tom Bradley on the back for an unfortunate own goal, and a 1-0 win to take Hanham Athletic into the semis.

To Sharpness for their delayed cup match against Broadwell Amateurs and a repeat of last seasons final. Sharpness took control in the first half but were unable to put any of their chances away. Broadwell opened the second half well and almost took the lead when Thomas lobbed keeper James Russell but his effort came off the crossbar. This was a warning that Sharpness needed to raise their game and some great forward play from Kieran Bennett earned the Sharks a penalty when he was upended in the box, Will Tainton’s spot kick was well saved by Watkins but Brad Hewer was on hand to bury the rebound. Sharpness continued to create from wide areas but couldn’t find the elusive second. The final 10 minutes saw Broadwell increase their efforts but resolute Sharpness defending kept them out and 1-0 it remained for a semi final spot.

5th November 2023 - Gala Wilton and Stoke Gifford United into Cup Semis - Sponsored by Boca Teamwear

Mark Simpson


Postponements left us with two Les James League Cup quarter final ties and two League fixtures. The cup had one surprise result in Gala Wilton defeating Bromley Heath United. In the League Rockleaze Rangers tumbled to a surprisingly heavy defeat at Little Stoke.

First to the League Cup and to Fairmile Gardens where Gala Wilton were keen to make amends for their defeat to Bromley Heath United in the League a few weeks ago. Downpours throughout the afternoon made playing conditions difficult and it was credit to both sides for the quality of football played throughout. The first half was played in a competitive manner with more bookings than goal scoring opportunities, but it was Gala who took the lead on 30 minutes when a Jerzy Marszalek free kick from 25 yards skidded past Will Ferguson and into the bottom left corner of the net. Bromley came close to scoring after fifty minutes when a cross clipped the top of the bar, but were reduced to ten when Trai Elliston-Sackett was sent off for a second yellow. Bromley responded well to being a man down and with Gala unable to score a second goal to secure the win, the inevitable happened when Bromley were awarded a penalty in the last minute and Nathan Rose fired past Elliott Jones to take the game to penalties to decide the result. Gala won the shoot-out with two great saves by Jones and a winning penalty from Wakib Said for a 3-1 win.

15th September 2023 - Les James League Cup Second Round Draw

The Second Round draw for the Les James League Cup sponsored by Boca Teamwear is as below.

  • Gala Wilton v Bromley Heath United
  • Stoke Gifford United v Quedgeley Wanderers
  • Sharpness v Broadwell Amateurs
  • Hanham Athletic v Avonmouth

All games to be played on dates to be arranged

League Cup Sponsor

10th September 2023 - Les James League Cup sponsored by Boca Teamwear - Big win for Avonmouth

Mark Simpson


A break from the League and to the 1st round of The Les James League Cup. Some close encounters and three games decided on a shoot out and perhaps a few surprises on the way.

An eagerly anticipated tie at KGV with Avonmouth entertaining Almondsbury. A close first half with Avonmouth probably seeing most of the ball, but the first real chance fell to Almonds Matt Harmer, mid-way through the half, whose goal bound shot cannoned off the post. Ten minutes on Avonmouth’s Charlie Aldom hit a rocket from outside the box only to be denied by the crossbar. The dangerous Harmer hit a 25 yard free kick pushed over by Tom Bradley. The end to end continued with Aldom next to find space volleying just over the Almonds goal. The hosts pressure paid off just before the break when Tommy Cox cut in from the left and found the top corner for 1-0. Avonmouth made three changes for the second half and were soon two to the good, Kofi Martin’s fantastic pass finding Jack Williams to convert. The third came shortly after, two of the subs combining with Matty Groves laying on for Dillon Kerr to tap in. Groves then played a one-two with Ben Allison with Groves smashing in for 4-0. Following a scramble in the Almonds box O’Donavon chipped over keeper Burgess to Kerr who, after several touches fired in for the fifth. Avonmouth tired a bit in the sweltering conditions letting in Almonds for two late consolations, the first a header by Knight off the bar, post, and keeper and the second shortly after, again from Knight, hammering the ball home, making it a slightly less comprehensive 5-2 win for Avonmouth.

Last seasons winners Broadwell Amateurs had themselves a tricky contest away to Cheltenham Civil Service at Tewkesbury Road. The initial part of the game was a rather sluggish, maybe because of the heat, but Broadwell kicked into gear first, and on twenty minutes Liam Thomas shot wide from a decent position. Broadwell’s pressure was building and Service struggled to put anything together. The game, however, changed five minutes before half time when some neat Broadwell footwork saw the ball find Liam Thomas who finished well into the bottom right. Two minutes on, a long kick from Broadwell keeper Jack Watkins was allowed to bounce and carry a long way before a defensive mix up saw Pete Guite divert his header past the on-rushing Nath Buckland for an own goal and two-nil. Three minutes after the restart it was three-nil, a 25 yard free kick by Jordan Locke struck the upright and rolled across the line for Taylor Blaby to tap in. Broadwell continued to dominate and although a penalty, when Charlie Swift was fouled and Dec Chick scored from a follow up, was the only black mark against them, the game petered out with the holders easing through 3-1.

Last years finalists Sharpness had a tough nut to crack in a repeat of last seasons semi-final against Little Stoke. It was the Sharks who were first to threaten the scoresheet when Kieran Bennett’s shot from the edge hit the foot of the post. Both teams sought a foothold and Stoke had a couple of opportunities midway through the half, first Lewis Hughes with good composure evading a couple of defenders shot straight at Russell, and then Archer was slipped in by Hill, again Russell saving. Both teams took a while to get going in the second half, but it was Stoke who were closest with West’s cross-cum-shot coming off the bar. Lane was sin-binned for the visitors, who still went closest to breaking the deadlock when West had a thunderous strike from distance dealt with by Russell. Sharpness were showing plenty of running twenty minutes from time and broke the deadlock with15 minutes remaining, Will Tainton collecting the ball, cutting inside onto his “weaker” left and let rip with an unstoppable strike past Gigov into the top corner. However Stoke equalised soon after, the Sharks defence failed to deal with things, Hardiman stole the ball and crossed deep for Holver to loop his effort into the far corner. Sharpness wouldn’t be denied and retook the lead with 5 minutes to go. A good run and cross from Mears down the left found Tainton ahead of the defence to make it 2-1, and although both sides had chances after this Sharpness held on for 2-1 and round two.

An interesting one at Stoke Gifford United where Rockleaze Rangers were the visitors for a very competitive game. Gifford dominated early on and should’ve led on 7 minutes Spike Weaver close after excellent wing play by Devanti McInerney. Five minutes on Marcus Thatcher whipped in a great cross but skipper Ben Shepherd couldn’t convert. Rockleaze responded and Sam Bailey should’ve done better after excellent build up play. But, it was Gifford who went in front Shepherd this time making no mistake from Weaver’s great ball in. Five minutes before the break Rockleaze’s Brandon Boomtan was denied by the impressive Ash Eyles and a few minutes later Paul Cronin was denied by a fantastic save by Rangers keeper Peter Bradbury. Into the second, and Weaver struck the post on 49 after being sent clear by Shepherd, and it was Gifford who increased the lead on 52 when Cronin stroked home after good work by Weaver. The last thirty minutes was a different story with Rockleaze looking for a way back in but finding Eyles in fine form. He was eventually beaten with twenty minutes to go, a quick free kick allowed James Goulden to fire home to put some life into the tie. Despite Dejeun Tulloch’s suspected bad injury Gifford held strong and booked their name in the hat for the next round.

To Green Lane, where local rivals Hardwicke and Quedgeley Wanderers always produce a competitive edge and free flowing football. The spectators to this latest dual were not to be disappointed. Both teams sought an early goal and Wanderers Sean Lawson was closest when his 25 yard volley was well saved by Matt Prosser. Prosser was in action again on the half hour mark tipping the ball over from Rory Hunt’s cross with the eager Lawson waiting. The Wanderers appeared to have taken control of matters but were surprised by a swift Hardwicke counter 5 minutes from the break, Harley Mustoe sweeping the ball over the advancing defence for Taro Weston to cooly draw Nathan Charnock off his line and his low shot finding the bottom corner for the lead. Quedgeley equalised just before the break after Prosser brought down Rio Spencer who got up and put the spot kick away. Five minutes into the second period Spencer got another jinking past two defenders and smashing the ball past Prosser. The game continued at a hectic pace in the scorching heat and the home side levelled things on 65 minutes when a through ball from Rudi Kyfinn fell to the on running Pat Vernall who volleyed past Charnock. Lawson was looking to put Quedgeley into the next round but his shot flew past Prosser only to strike a post. The result was fair, so the game weny to penalties. Both keepers saved their initial kicks but it was Quedgeley who progressed to the next round 4-3.

At the Bell Field Frampton United and Hanham Athletic had close tie written all over it and so it was. Hanham opened the scoring after only five minutes when from a free kick on the edge was curled into the top corner by Brandon Barnes. On 18 the hosts equalised when Jon Lewis headed home Manalo Espada’s corner. Frampton keeper Tom Kaye pulled off a great save to deny Jacob Saunders whilst up the other end Lewis had a good chance but his attempted lob was just too high. Karim Randall ran through but was thwarted by a last-ditch Dom Brown tackle. In the 76th minute Frampton took the lead when a ball into the box was missed by Hanham keeper Sam Brown and Freddie Fisher was on hand to finish. Two minutes later it was level, the ball falling nicely to Joel Athey. Freddie Porter and Jono Willets had decent chances to win the game but Brown made good saves to send the game to penalties which were won 8-7 by Hanham.

Down to Wick who entertained a Gala Wilton side who’ve made a rather indifferent start to the season, but they came out of the blocks sprightly, pegging Wick back for the opening 5 minutes. Wick settled and went close on a couple of times. However sloppy defending by Wick led to a 25th minute chance for Gala, the post saving Wick. The hosts carved out a chance in the 35th minute when Jordan Mignott’s rasping shot was tipped over by Curtis Wilkins, but it was Gala who were ahead a minute later when Jay Dare nodded home a great cross. Ashton Trott came to Wick’s rescue a few minutes on saving well to keep them in it, but he had no chance when Antonio Pirelli’s 40 yard screamer found the net to leave Gala two up. Wick came back at Gala but were wasteful in front of goal. On the hour a breakdown in Wick possession gifted Gala a chance but with Trott rounded young Levi Brown on his debut cleared what seemed a certain goal. Wick pulled a goal back on 70 and on 80 Gala had a player dismissed. It was all Wick and when Wilkins picked up a back pass Jamie Johnson found the net from the resulting free kick. Wick had further chances to win it but it wasn’t to be and to penalties it went. Wilkins saved two of Wick’s opening four to win the tie or Gala 4-2.

Finally to Ruardean Hill Rangers, who took on Bromley Heath United. Both teams went toe-to-toe in a very even first half with chances limited. The best chance of the half fell to Hills' Kane Fellows but his shot from the edge brought about a good save from Ferguson and it was somewhat inevitable that the first half was goalless. Anyone who thought the second half might follow a similar pattern couldn’t have been more wrong, Bromley taking the lead straight from the kick off as a slick move saw Ben Ackerman put the finishing touch to a good team move. The next 30 minutes returned to both teams cancelling each other out until the 80th minute when Bromley were awarded a free kick on the edge ending with Cameron Gardiner scoring from close range. Two minutes later the game was killed off with Bromley’s third, Joel Mitchelmore heading in. The fourth came in the final minute when Liam O’Donoghue’s shot from outside the area crept into the far corner. The scoreline perhaps flattered the visitors as for long periods Hill were very much in the game, but then, Bromley Heath won’t care as they are into the next round 4-0

Les James Cup 2023-24

Stoke Gifford United 2 Hanham Athletic 1
Stoke Gifford United 3 Sharpness 0
Gala Wilton 0 Hanham Athletic 5
Round Two
Gala Wilton 1 Bromley Heath United 1 Gala Wilton win 3-1 on penalties
Stoke Gifford United 3 Quedgeley Wanderers 1
Sharpness 1 Broadwell Amateurs 0
Hanham Athletic 1 Avonmouth 0
Round One
Avonmouth 5 Almondsbury 2
Cheltenham Civil Service 1 Broadwell Amateurs 3
Frampton United 2 Hanham Athletic 2 Hanham Athletic win 8-7 on penalties
Hardwicke 2 Quedgeley Wanderers 2 Quedgeley Wanderers win 4-3 on penalties
Ruardean Hill Rangers 0 Bromley Heath United 4
Sharpness 2 Little Stoke 1
Stoke Gifford United 2 Rockleaze Rangers 1
Wick 2 Gala Wilton 2 Gala Wilton win 4-2 on penalties

Les James League Cup Honours List

Season Cup Winner Runners up
2023-24 Stoke Gifford United Hanham Athletic
2022-23 Broadwell Amateurs Sharpness
2021-22 Little Stoke Ruardean Hill Rangers
2020-21 Season Abandoned Competition Unfinished
2019-20 Season Abandoned Competition Unfinished
2018-19 Little Stoke AEK Boco
2017-18 Thornbury Town Frampton United
2016-17 AEK Boco Broadwell Amateurs
2015-16 Hardwicke Rockleaze Rangers
2014-15 Thornbury Town Cheltenham Civil Service
2013-14 Longlevens Rockleaze Rangers
2012-13 Kings Stanley Taverners
2011-12 Cribbs Friends Life Longlevens
2010-11 Henbury Thornbury Town
2009-10 Taverners Kings Stanley
2008-09 Kings Stanley Henbury
2007-08 Hardwicke Ellwood
2006-07 Patchway Town Yate Town Reserves
2005-06 Highridge United Lydney Town
2004-05 Patchway Town Ellwood
2003-04 Patchway Town Tytherington Rocks
2002-03 Henbury Old Boys Roman Glass St. George