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Match Reports

29th March - Hardwicke snatch points at Hanham

The match everybody was talking about between Hanham Athletic and Hardwicke the top two teams in the league ended with the visitors snatching a goal in the last ten minutes to take the spoils. Hardwicke were gifted the lead on 35 minutes when Mark Pocock headed the ball past his own keeper, but Hanham hit back and leveled the score with a great strike from Simon Bryant before the break. The deciding and winning goal came when Hardwicke’s Eddie Rimmer broke down the right and squared the ball across goal for Richard James to knock the ball home. This puts Hardwicke three points clear at the top of the table.

AXA head towards goal
A header from AXA goes towards goal.
Image courtesy Nigel Meaney

A nine goal thriller in awful conditions was the way this match was described. Ellwood taking revenge for their defeat at Patchway last week. The star of the match was Ellwood’s Mark Lee scoring a hattrick. Ellwood had taken a 3-1 lead by the break with two goals from Mark Lee and one from Daryl Addis, Patchway’s reply coming through Ashley Brown. Two minutes into the second half Chris Addis made it 4-1 to the home side before Clayton Clark and Ollie Bacon brought the score to 4-3. Mark Lee then netted his third and Marlon Francis netted a fourth for Patchway.

Henbury came away from Taverners with a surprise 2-1 win helping their task to avoid possible relegation. Taverners had most of the possession throughout the game but it was Henbury who took the lead on 40 minutes when Mike Thornton was adjudged to have handled in the box and James Wood scored from the spot kick. The unthinkable happened on 80 minutes when Aaron Rosser netted a second for Henbury with a superbly taken free kick. Five minutes later Taverners pulled a goal back when James Redbond headed home a Stewart Lawrence cross.

Berkeley Town completed the double over Thornbury Town with a goal from Karl Nash on 13 minutes and he netted a second on 64 minutes to see Berkeley home and dry.

A scramble in the DRG goal
A scramble in the DRG goal
Image courtesy Nigel Meaney

Kings Stanley showed no mercy when they hammered five in to the Pucklechurch Sports net with only one conceded in their own. Tony Francis opened the scoring with a 30 yard drive after 13 minutes and three minutes later they were two up with a strike from Martin McDermott. Danny Stephens made it three on 23 minutes before Karl Durston pulled a goal back for Sports. In the second half Stanley netted twice more late in the game through Matt Casey and Mitch Grenfell-Williams.

Axa pulled of the double over D.R.G. Stapleton but the very windy conditions made the game difficult for both sides. The first real chance for Axa came in the 32nd minute when Alex Cook pulled of a good save to deny Danny Thorpe a goal. Both Blyth and Watts had efforts on goal but failed to find the back of the net. D.R.G. had defended stoutly in the first 45 minutes and went into the break with a clean sheet.

Pearce collects the ball
AXA goalkeeper Jim Pearce collects the ball
Image courtesy Nigel Meaney

The second half saw several shots from the visitors from long range but Pearce in the home goal who had barely touched the ball in the first half was equal to the efforts. Noel O’Sullivan had two good chances to give Axa the lead but his efforts on goal were weak and easily dealt with by Cook The winning goal came in the 83rd minute when a poor kick from defence was headed back over the defender by O’Sullivan and Andy Sledge ran through to plant the ball past Cook. D.R.G. could well have grabbed an equaliser with just a few minutes left but Cozens failed to control the ball and it went straight to Pearce in the Axa goal.

22nd March 2008 - Tuffley close gap at top

Both the leading sides lost today allowing Tuffley Rovers to move into third place in the table.

Hardwicke fell to only their second defeat of the season when they went down 1-0 at home to local rivals Tuffley Rovers. Hardwicke had chances in the first half hitting the crossbar on two occasions, but Tuffley were the side up for the game and sealed the three points in the 60th minute when Ben Surman netted from the penalty spot.

Hanham also slipped up at home losing by exactly the same score-line 1-0 to Highridge United. It was a scrappy game with very few chance created throughout the 90 minutes. The only goal of the game was scored by Mike Berry in the 47th minute after he broke free of the Hanham defence to give the keeper no chance with his shot. Hanham thought they had equalised on 90 minutes but it was disallowed which ended in several of the home side ending up in the referees book.

Wotton Rovers gained their first point for 14 games when the held Yate Town Reserves to a 1-1 draw. Yate took the lead in the 16th minute through Eddie Howells but Wotton grabbed that valuable point when Marcus Taylor netted from the penalty spot after 59 minutes.

Axa improved their chance of challenging for the title with a 3-0 win at D.R.G. Stapleton. Axa created several early chances but Fletcher was in good for to deny them. Leon Couzens had a good chance for the home side but Branch brought off a good save to keep Axa in the game. Two quick goals just before the break the first from Steve Watts on 40 minutes and Alex Lang a couple of minutes later gave Axa a 2-0 margin at the break. Danny Thorpe netted a third for Axa on 53 minutes with a screamer of a shot. Matt Price could have pulled a goal back for the home side but got his shot well off target.

Patchway Town got back to winning ways after their lay off last week with a 3-1 success over Ellwood. Ashley Brown gave Town the lead after 22 minutes with Keith Williams netting a second on 51 minutes. Town went three goals clear in the 82 minute when Matt Webb netted direct from a corner. Ellwood kicked off and went straight up the other end to grab their only goal with a Matt Addis strike.

Out of luck Henbury were defeated by a goal scored in the 85th minute by Taverners Stewart Lawrence heading home from a free kick. In the first half Henbury had struck the crossbar on several occasions, but when you are near the bottom they don’t go in.

Pucklechurch Sports went down to a late goal scored by Mitch Grenfell-Williams after Ian Savaged had equalised in the 75th minute. Earlier Stanley had taken the lead when a dreadful back pass was latched onto by Matt Casey to give Stanley the lead in the 65th minute. The winner was a long ball over the Sports defence which deceived the keeper and Grenfell Williams had the simple task of running the ball into an empty net.

Thornbury Town went down 3-1 at home to Berkeley Town with the visitors taking the lead in the first minute. A mix up in the home defence allowed Ben Gillison the opportunity fire past the home keeper. Berkeley went further ahead after 30 minutes when Richard Langford struck a superb shot from the edge of the box with the keeper well beaten. Thornbury scrambled a goal back on the hour when Gary Toal toe poked the ball into the Berkeley net. Thornbury were never at the races and Berkeley made the game safe when Mike Bryant netted a third following a free kick.

15th March 2008 - Hanham late show at AXA to top table

Heavy rain put pay to three fixtures but the other four were completed.

The big game of the afternoon was between Axa and Hanham Athletic at Cribbs Causeway. It rained throughout the game but the pitch at Axa is superb and stood up well. With Hardwicke’s game at Taverners called off Hanham only needed a point to top the table.

Hanham started well and pushed Axa back on defence right from the start, but were caught out in the 6th minute when Axa’s Tom Blyth scored with a tremendous shot from a very tight angle. Hanham were always in the game and after 12 minutes leveled the score when Simon Bryant hit a superb volley past Branch from 30 yards. Hanham enjoyed more of the possession and might have taken the lead on 25 minutes when Simon Dew put his shot well over the bar. Gareth Mackreth then headed a good cross over the top in the 34th minute. Axa thought they had taken the lead just before the break when Tom Blyth’s cross was netted only for the Referee to up hold the decision made by the Assistant that the player was offside.

Action in the AXA goalmouth
A scramble in the AXA goalmouth
Image courtesy Nigel Meaney

The second half started well for Axa when Andy Sledge made space to chip the ball over Wilson from a tight angle after just 3 minutes. Steve Watts then lifted a good chance to increase their lead over the bar and his next effort was well saved by Wilson. Tom Blyth broke through on the right but his shot was deflected for a corner at the last moment. The home side went into a 3-1 lead when Andy Sledge hammered the ball past Wilson midway through the half and it looked all over for Hanham. They never gave up and Branch had to pull of a diving save to deny Shane Hobbs and a minute later they struck the upright with Branch well out of position. Watts could have put the game beyond the visitors but he pulled his shot wide of the target. With time running out Hanham netted a second when a cross from the right was headed home by Richard Thomas. With time added on being played Hanham grabbed a deserved equaliser with a last ditch header from Matt Baird. Right from the kick-off Axa broke into the Hanham box and Watts had a glorious chance to grab the winner but the strikers shot was well saved by Wilson and pushed away for a corner.

Hanham shoot just wide
A Hanham shot goes just wide
Image courtesy Nigel Meaney

The shock result of the day was at Tuffley Rovers in their home game with strugglers Pucklechurch Sports. Sports came away with all three points when Jon Wiltshire headed home in the 83 minute. Earlier in the game Tuffley’s Mark Harris had saved a penalty and the home side was given the chance to take at least a point right at the end of the game when Gary Cornwall was upended in the box but Warren Mann’s penalty kick was wide of the target.

Ellwood and Henbury met for the second time in three days, following Ellwood’s win on penalties in the Les James cup semi final. From the score-line Ellwood were never in trouble and opened the scoring through Byron Ranford after 10 minutes. Four minutes later they were 2-0 up with a strike from Alan Williams. Two further goals from Ryan Pendry and substitute Gary Wildin on his return to the club in the second half finished the visitors off.

Berkeley Town only managed a single goal in their home game with bottom club Wotton Rovers but it was enough to take the three points. The game which was played in very heavy conditions came in the 55th minute from a Paul Brooks strike.

8th March 2008 - Hanham close the gap

Hanham Athletic closed the gap on leaders Hardwicke to one point with a 4-1 home success over Kings Stanley. Shane Hobbs opened the scoring for Hanham in the 25th minute but Stanley were level two minutes later through Matt Davis. Hobbs then added two more to his tally and completed a hat-trick in the second half, with Simon Dew netting a fourth in the 87th minute.

Wotton Rovers slump to another 4-0 defeat at home this time at the hands of Highridge United. The home side got off to a bad start when Jamie Workman put the ball into his own net after 17 minutes. Mike Berry netted a second for Highridge after 36 minutes and Dean Maggs made it 3-0 just before the break. Mike Berry got his second in the 75th minute to round off a comfortable afternoon.

Tuffley Rovers and Taverners both had a player dismissed in this scrappy game. Rovers almost took the lead when Pete Thomas saw his header cleared of the line then in the 35th minute Taverners were down to ten men. Although both sides had chances to score it remained 0-0 at the break. Adam Hacker gave Tuffley the lead on 55 minutes but minutes later he was sent off. Taverners leveled the score in the 75th minute when Mark Harsant was left unmarked on the far post and he drove the ball home. With just 4 minutes left Gary Cornwall hit a shot on goal it took a wicked deflection and flew into the net over the keepers head.

Patchway Town could only manage a 1-1 draw at home to Berkeley Town and although they had the better of the first half neither team could find the back of the net. Berkeley took a surprise lead on the hour through Matt Bryant and Patchway had to wait until time added on at the end before Brad Harris netted the equalising goal.

Thornbury Town pulled of the surprise of the day with a 2-0 win at home to Axa. Town who had failed to score in their last 3 outings went ahead after Gary Toal got the ball into the net through a crowd of players. The goal of the day as far as Town were concerned came in the 35th minute when Richard Sage curled the ball round the Axa defenders and just inside the post from a free kick outside the box.

Two clubs struggling near the foot of the table Pucklechurch Sports and D.R.G. Stapleton ended all square after ninety minutes. Mark Richards opened the score for the visitors after just 5 minutes and a minute into the second half D.R.G. went further ahead with a goal from Rob Talbot. The home side fought back and Rees Morgan netted from the edge of the box on 75 minutes. Three minutes later Sports were level when Andy Grangers shot from the edge of the box gave the visitor’s keeper very little chance.

Yate Town Reserves gained a 2-0 victory over Henbury at Lodge Road but didn’t have things all their own way. Henbury might be lying next to bottom in the table but their performance on the day was very good. They certainly do not lack commitment and have a good attitude when the chips are down. Yate should have gone ahead in the 16th minute when Eddie Howells was clear on goal but was foiled by Winklers legs. The opening goal came in the 26th minute when Justin Cattle was put clear to fire the ball past Winkler from just inside the box. The first chance of the game had fallen to Henbury’s Pat Mathison which brought a good save from Amin Jones in the Yate goal. There was no doubting who was the busier of the two keeper when Winkler saved a Dominic Holver shot from very close range. But Jones was called upon to push the ball around the post from a Wood free kick which had been given away by Dempsey just before half time.

Yate shoot just wide
A Yate freekick goes just wide of Winklers goal
Image courtesy Nigel Meaney

Holver had a good chance early on in the second half but his shot was weak. Henbury had plenty of possession and on a very slippery pitch pushed the ball around well, but their lack of fire power up front is probably the reason that they are struggling near the foot of then table this season. They did manage several shots on target in the second half firstly Hobbs shot went just over the bar and then Clark was just wide with his effort. The final nail in the coffin came in time added on when a corner from the left was only half cleared and defender Luke Coles who had moved up for the corner volleyed the ball into the top of the net from the edge of the box.

1st March 2008 - Ellwood edge out Tuffley

In the game at Ellwood it was Tuffley Rovers Pete Thomas who went close after 6 minutes and the visitors were the better side for the first 20 minutes. Ollie Everitt should have put Tuffley ahead on 13 minutes but shot wide from just 6 yards. Then Ellwood’s keeper Alex Goode made a great diving save to deny Mark Wallington. After 20 minutes Ellwood woke up and Daryl Addis broke down the right only to see his cross deflected out for a corner with Foxwell closing in. A minute later Alan Williams sent over a superb cross from the right but again a defender stuck out a boot and deflected the ball away for a corner. From the corner Matt Foxwell contrived to miss the easiest of chance when he drove his shot from 6 yards wide enough for the ball to go out for a throw on the far side. Foxwell was just wide with his header from a free kick on the left and the half closed with no goals but a catalogue of missed chances.

Patterson gets his head to the ball
Patterson gets his head to the ball
Image courtesy Nigel Meaney, more images on picasa

The winning goal came in the 57th minute when Adam Stradling moved up for a free kick and headed the ball into the far corner from just inside the box leaving keeper Harris stranded. The home side had the better of the half and had several half chances to increase the score as Tuffley pushed forward for the equaliser. The nearest they came to leveling was in the 80th minute when substitute Pat Boyd let fly with a tremendous shot that was really well saved by Goode.

Leaders Hardwicke were held to a 1-1 draw by Yate Town Res the first points they have dropped for a month. Hardwicke took the lead just five minutes into the game when Craig Harris was pushed in the box and Richard James netted from the penalty spot. Yate were the better side in the second half but had to wait until the 85th minute grab a well deserved equalising goal a 20 yard drive into the roof of the net from Stuart Nelson.

Harris clears for Tuffley
Harris clears for Tuffley.
Image courtesy Nigel Meaney, more images on picasa

Highridge United gained a 2-0 win at home to Patchway Town with the opening goal coming in the 44th minute Jon Berry slotting home a Dean Maggs cross. In a scrappy game in which few chances were created United second goal came in time added on at the end Micky Adams scoring to make the three points safe.

Hanham Athletic closed the gap at the top with a 4-0 victory at D.R.G. Stapleton. Hanham took the lead on 4 minutes when D.R.G’s Jason Howland headed the ball into his own net. The home side had several good chance to level the score Hanham’s keeper Nick Wilson pulling off a tremendous save from Leon Couzens. Matt Price then headed a Jason Howland free kick over the bar. In the second half Hanham went further ahead through Shane Hobbs in the 56th minute, then in the 75th minute Simon Dew rounded three home defenders before driving the ball home. Five minutes later Hobbs got a second to complete the scoring.

Henbury recorded their second league win of the season at Berkeley Town but fell behind to a Paul Brookes goal afetr 15 minutes. Ralph Timms leveled three minutes before the break and then Ashley Bruno gave Henbury the lead on 62 minutes. Pat Mathison netted a third for the visitors with 7 minutes to go and Mike Bryant hit a second for Berkeley in the 85th minute.

In a very scrappy game with very few chances Kings Stanley secured the three points against visitors Thornbury Town. The only goal of the game came from a Sam Prior penalty.

Taverners were 2-0 winners at home to Pucklechurch Sports. Taverners took the lead right on half time when the unfortunate Andy Grainger headed into his own net. Earlier in the game Craig Barnfield had kept the home side in the game with a point blank save. Taverners made the game safe in the 68th minute when Russ Chamberlain got the slightest of touches the ball rolling just over the goal line and the Assistant Referee indicating a goal.

Axa went behind after 20 minutes when Wotton Rovers Nick Bird headed home a good cross from the right. Five minutes later Axa were level when Ryan McKillop netted the first of his two goals. The second from McKillop on the half hour was a superb 20 yard drive. Right on half time Andy sledge made it 3-1 to the home side. Axa made it 4-1 when a seven pass move was neatly finished off by Nathan Lumber.