league logo

MARCLIFF Gloucestershire County Football League

sponsor logo

Match Reports

25th May 2008 - League Constitution Season 2008-09

At the League AGM the constitution for next season was confirmed as below.

Hardwicke are promoted to the Hellenic League, Wotton Rovers are relegated to the Gloucestershire Northern Senior League, Pucklechurch Sports are relegated to the Bristol Premier Combination.

Slimbridge join the league as Champions of the Gloucesershire Northern Senior League, Chipping Sodbury Town join the league as Champions of the Bristol Premier Combination. B&W Avonside and Bishops Cleeve Reserves have accepted invitations to join the league to fill vacancies.


Berkeley Town

Bishops Cleeve Reserves

B&W Avonside

Chipping Sodbury Town

DRG Stapleton


Hanham Athletic


Highridge United

Kings Stanley

Patchway Town



Thornbury Town

Tuffley Rovers

Yate Town Reserves

12th May - Hardwicke complete the season with another victory

Hardwicke completed their season with a resounding 6-1 win over Pucklechurch Sports. The home side looked confident throughout the game and went close with a Craig Harris shot in the first few minutes. Pucklechurch tested the home side’s keeper with a well placed Morgan Holmes shot which had the keeper reaching to grab the ball from under the bar. Hardwicke’s Richard James brought the best out of the Sports keeper Mark Webber-Andrews when he saw his fierce drive pushed over the bar. From the resulting corner Hardwicke opened the scoring when James rose above the Sports defence to head the ball over the keeper after 19 minutes. They were 2-0 up after 35 minutes when a corner from the left was neatly diverted into the Sports net by Craig Harris. Fullback Adam Dunsford made it three on 42 minutes striking a low right footed shot into the bottom corner from the edge of the box. Two minutes later Sports pulled a goal back when Jon Wiltshire squeezed the ball into the top corner of the net following a free kick from the right.

Action in the Pucklechurch goalmouth
Action in the Pucklechurch goalmouth.
Image courtesy Ron Holpin

The second half saw Hardwicke with the first attempt on goal with centre-back Justin Powell hitting the target from 40 yards, but the keeper was in position to take the ball. The Sports keeper was kept busy when Harris‘s shot was turned away for a corner. Pucklechurch broke down the right and Adam Hathaway’s shot on the near post was well saved by Evans. At the other end Danny Rasdale went close with a hard drive from the edge of the box. Hardwicke brought on Carl Brown for Craig Harris and he was on the score sheet within minutes when a brilliant piece of passing put Brown clear to dummy the keeper and role the ball into the net. 4-1 up after 78 minutes the home side did not let up and three minutes later Ben Wood lifted the ball over the Sports defence for Brown to nip in and lob the ball over the keeper for his second. Brown completed his hat-trick with just 2 minutes left, Paul Carter picked up a loose ball fired it across goal and Brown was on the far post to score. The game had been played in a very good spirit until the very last minute when Pucklechurch Sports had a player dismissed after an incident in the top corner of the pitch.

Action in the Pucklechurch goalmouth
Action in the Pucklechurch goalmouth.
Image courtesy Ron Holpin

10th May - Hardwicke win at the Creek

Hardwicke won the battle of the top two 2-0 at Highridge. Although both teams knew from the very start that their position in the league would not change regardless of the result they had both made up their minds to go out and try and win the contest. The first scoring chance went to Highridge when Dean Maggs dispossessed Shane Anson to set up Tyrone McNeeley for a clear shot on goal but he pulled it wide of the target. Hardwicke took the lead on 26 minutes when Paul Carter was fouled just inside the box and Richard James netted from the spot. Minute’s later Carl Brown was through on goal but scuffed his shot and the ball rolled gently to Brimble. Mark Pritchett rose above the Highridge defence from a corner but couldn’t keep his header down and it went over the bar. Just before the break Highridge were given a free kick just out side the box and Tyrone McNeeley’s shot cleared the wall but as Evans came across he had to push the ball forward to prevent the ball going over the line as he stumbled into the net. Just on half time Ben Wood’s ball in from the left was met by Brown at the far post his shot was blocked on the line but it was all in vain as the flag went up for offside.

Richard James fires Hardwicke in front
Richard James fires Hardwicke in front.
Image courtesy Nigel Meaney, more images on picasa

Hardwicke headed goalwards right from the kick off in the second half but again Brown’s shot was week when right through on goal. Mickey Adams then had his shot deflected for a corner to Highridge. The best chance to level the score for Highridge came when Mike Berry split the Hardwicke defence with a superb pass that Adams latched on to but Evans narrowed the angle and blocked the shot. A free kick for Highridge in the middle of the park fell kindly for Hancock but he shot straight at Evans. With time running out Hardwicke finished the game off when a long ball up field found Craig Harris to take the ball around Brimble and roll the ball into an empty net.

Action in the Hardwicke goalmouth
Action in the Hardwicke goalmouth.
Image courtesy Nigel Meaney, more images on picasa

8th May - Hardwicke pounce on DRG mistakes

An awful mistake by D.R.Gs. Andy Lear on 15 minutes gifted Hardwicke the opening goal. Lear tried to head the ball back to his keeper but headed it over his head and Ben Wood had the simple task to nip in and slot the ball into an empty net. Eddie Rimmer made it 2-0 before the break again a defensive mistake from the visitors and Rimmer just lifted the ball over the advancing keeper. D.R.G. Stapleton improved in the second half and pulled a goal back on the hour when Matt Price received the ball 35 yards out saw the Hardwicke keeper off his line and neatly chipped the ball over him and into the Hardwicke net.

3rd May - Highridge claim runners up spot

As the season draws to a close there were only three games played in the Surridge Gloucestershire County League today.

Highridge United claimed the runners up spot in the Surridge Gloucestershire County Football League, despite their ten match winning sequence coming to an end when they were held 1-1 at home by Kings Stanley. The game sprung into life in the 51st minute when home keeper George Brimble brought down the Kings Stanley centre forward and was lucky to stay on the field. The resultant penalty from Sam Prior was pushed onto the post by Brimble but Prior was able to force the rebound home to give Stanley the lead. On 62 minutes a corner for Highridge was floated into the area by Gary Cripps which Pete Davis in the Kings Stanley goal palmed into his own net to hand Highridge a share of the points.

Hanham Athletic completed the season with an emphatic 5-0 win at Thornbury Town, who have now failed to win in their last eight outings. Shane Hobbs and Simon Dew each bagged a brace of goals with Dave Langridge completing the rout for Hanham who will finish third.

Ellwood completed their home games for the season with a 2-0 victory over DRG Stapleton, in a game which they dominated throughout. Matt Foxwell put Ellwood in front after 35 minutes. The home side was reduced to ten men on 70 minutes when Foxwell was dismissed by the referee. Mark Wayman making his first appearance of the season secured the points in the 80th minute.

1st May - Yate and Berkeley share spoils

Yate Town Res and Berkeley Town completed their season with a 1-1 score-line. Yate went a head after 5 minutes when they broke down the left the cross in was dummied by Justin Cattle and Andy Neal was there to knock the ball home from close range. There was no further score until the 90th minute when Berkeley’s Richard Langford levelled to gain them a point.

30th April - Hobbs stars for Hanham

Hanham Athletic finish off their home fixtures with a superb 6-1 victory over close rivals Axa. The star of the game without any doubt with three of the best taken goals I have seen all season was Shane Hobbs. It was Axa who opened the scoring in the 11th minute when Tom Blyth headed home from 12 yards. Hanham levelled the score in the 22nd minute with the first of Hobbs goals a superb curling shot into the top corner of the net giving Pearce no chance to save. Ten minutes later Hobbs again broke into the box from the left leaving the Axa defence wanting he then produced an almost identical finish for his second goal. They went further ahead in the 40th minute from a Dave Langridge shot from the edge of the box, giving Hanham a 3-1 lead at the break.

Hobbs completed his hattrick in the 50th minute with the best of the three goals a lovely well place chip over Pearce from just inside the box. Axa’s Steve Watts should have brought the score back to 4-2 but his shot had beaten the keeper from a tight angle on the right but struck the upright and rebounded into play. Hanham went further ahead in the 53rd minute with a well taken goal by Simon Dew striking the shot out of the reach of the diving Pearce from the edge of the box. Hobbs had caused Axa no end of problems throughout the game and another of his brilliant runs cutting in from the left gave Shaun Morris the chance to make it 6-1. Hanham will be very pleased with this performance and although Axa performed very well on the night the difference between the two teams was the clinical finishing of Hanham

29th April - Highridge extend winning run

Highridge United record their tenth consecutive success with a 3-1 win over Thornbury Town. Dean Maggs gave United the lead in the 8th minute, but Thornbury hit back and levelled the score through Chris Johnston, then just before half time United were back in front when Thornbury put through their own goal. In the 82nd minute Dean Maggs netted his second to give the home side another 3 points. With two games left to play another win would give Highridge the Runners-up position.

28th April - Patchway snatch win at Yate

Patchway Town rounded their season off with a 2-1 win at Yate Town Res. A very good contest with both sides competing for every ball throughout. It was Patchway Town who created the first effort on goal with a Justin Bishop shot just off target. Patchway opened the scoring on 17 minutes when Rohan King met Matt Webb’s free kick just inside the box and headed the ball past Matthews as the keeper came to collect. Yate should have levelled on 27 minutes when Justin Cattle had a clear shot on goal but Martin Alford the Patchway keeper saved diving to his left. Yate’s Neil Simons then saw Alford push his shot around the post for a corner. At the other end Danny Cockram’s header went just over the bar, then Mark Palmer got right through on goal but his shot was really well saved by Matthews. Just before the break Paul Dempsey saw his long range shot finish well wide of the target.

At the start of the second period it was Patchway who almost scored again but Matthews foiled Bishop with a good tackle as the strike bore down on goal. Yate were on level terms after 51 minutes when a free kick from the right by Yate was bundled goal-wards and as Alford took the ball the keeper stepped back into his net just carrying the ball over the line. The Assistant Referee confirming the goal. Matthews then had to push the ball over the bar from a header by Cockram. Yate were awarded a free kick on the edge of the box on the right with Jenkins got his head to the ball to give away a corner in a very crowded box. In the next Patchway attack Bishop got to the ball before Matthews turned away from goal giving the keeper enough time to recover his position between the posts but Bishop sent in a superb cross to the far post and Mark Palmer was there to head Patchway into the lead. Yate’s Neil Simons had a good chance to level but his header from close in went just the wrong side of the post. Alford then brought off a brilliant diving save to deny Justin Cattle getting on the score sheet. Patchway almost made it three in the last few minutes, but Mark Palmers curling free kick was pushed around the post by the diving Matthews.

26th April - Hardwicke smash seven to seal championship

Hardwicke win the championship in style as they crushed Thornbury Town 7-0.

Hardwicke AFC - Surridge Gloucestershire County Foootball League Champions 2007-08
Hardwicke AFC - Surridge Gloucestershire County Foootball League Champions 2007-08.
Image courtesy Nigel Meaney, more images on picasa

Hardwicke won this game with ease as they came up against a very poor Thornbury Town side. Hardwicke should have opened the scoring after 2 minutes but Mike Taitt headed a Paul Carter corner over the top. The home side opened the scoring on 11 minutes from a free kick out on the left Mark Pritchett firing home a low shat past Lippiatt. It was Pritchett who should have increased that lead in the 25th minute but his well struck shot was saved by Lippiatt’s legs. Then Craig Beaton was just wide with a left foot drive from 25 yards. Hardwicke’s second goal was a brilliant piece of individual skill from Carl Brown who took the ball on the edge of the box turned made space and drove the ball into the corner of the net from just inside the box. Thornbury were on the back foot for most of the first half and only managed one shot on target after 28 minutes Dave Greaves’ shot went straight to Evans. Richard James set up Carl Brown but the strikers shot went just wide of the post.

Mark Pritchett heads Hardwicke in front
Mark Pritchett heads Hardwicke in front.
Image courtesy Nigel Meaney, more images on picasa

Hardwicke were 3-0 up after 48 minutes after Lippiatt had saved the first shot from Richard James but the striker followed up and pushed the ball into the net. Paul Carter then created space to net number four after 56 minutes. Then Craig Beaton had his effort well saved by Lippiatt and Pritchett headed against the crossbar from a corner. Carl Brown rounded the keeper for number five on 70 minutes, with Richard James netting his second for a 6-0 lead. James then scored again in the 84th minute with an overhead kick to complete his hat-trick.

After the game the Officials of the Surridge Gloucestershire County Football League were there to present Hardwicke with their trophies as the new champions.

Hardwicke captain Ben Wood, accepts the trophy from league Chairman Bob Stewart
Hardwicke captain Ben Wood, accepts the trophy from league Chairman Bob Stewart.
Image courtesy Nigel Meaney, more images on picasa

Yate Town Res went down to Tuffley Rovers by three goals to one. On target for the home side was Ross Watson, but the visitors replied with goals from Jon Corbett, Marcus Foxwell and Warren Mann.

Wotton Rovers finish bottom of the table after their 3-0 home defeat by Patchway Town. Town were gifted the lead after just 3 minutes when Owain Clement put the ball into his own net. Patchway scored twice in the second half through Chris Chinnick and an absolute brilliant volley from just inside the box from Matt Webb.

D.R.G. Stapleton are safe from relegation after their 3-1 home win over Berkeley Town. The home side created several good chances early on and took the lead in the 26th minute when Sam Glanvill fired home a free kick from just outside the box. Several more chance in the second half went begging by the home side before Rob Talbot netted a second for D.R.G. Then in the 85th minute Berkeley’s Richard Langford pulled a goal back, but in time added on Sam Glanvill dispossessed a town defender to run through and score to make the game safe.

Hanham Athletic got back to winning ways with 4-2 win over Ellwood. Hanham’s leading goalscorer Simon Dew scoring a hat trick backed up by a goal from Shane Hobbs. Ellwood’s scorers were the Addis brothers Julian and Matt.

Highridge United move into second place with a 4-1 win over Henbury. 2-0 at the break with a goal a piece from Mickey Adams and Dean Maggs after 23 and 27 minutes. They went further ahead on the hour with Mickey Adams netting his second. Henbury hit back on 70 minutes with a Pat Mathison strike but Dean Maggs grabbed his second nine minutes from the end to give United a comfortable win.

Six goals shared at Kings Stanley all coming in the second half. Noel O’Sullivan opened the scoring for Axa in 47th minute with Andy Sledge making it 2-0 after 58 minutes. Then came four goals on the last 10 minutes the first was Martin McDermott for Stanley then Andy Sledge making it 3-1 to Axa before Ross Casey netting for Stanley on 88 minutes and then heading the equaliser in time added on to level the score.

25th April - Photos from County League games

When he's not in the middle one of our referees Brian Durie has been taking some photos at some games this season, click on the games below to view Brian's galleries.

The triple penalty save from Hardwicke Keeper Dave Evans is well worth a look.

Hardwicke V Patchway Town - 22 April 2008
Taverners V Axa - 26 January 2008
Thornbury V Taverners - 29 December 2007

22nd April - Evans at the Treble

Hardwicke AFC now have one hand on the Surridge County league Trophy after recording their 19th win of the season at Green Lane last night.

Their visitors Patchway Town, one of only two teams to have beaten them, started the brighter and were rewarded with a penalty after 5 mins. Hardwicke keeper Dave Evans saved brilliantly but referee Pete Daly adjudged he had moved and awarded a retake. Again Evans saved, but again the referee ordered a retake. Evans amazingly saved the second retake. The visitors continued to play the better football as Hardwicke took time to settle but rarely tested Evans. As the half continued the home side came move into the match and Rob Hine was unlucky to see a header crash off the crossbar. At half time Manager Warren Evans gave his side a much needed pep talk and they came out a different side. With Ben Wood & Hine commanding midfield chances started to appear. Hardwicke went in front on the hour following the best move of the match. The move involved four players before a Craig Beaton cross was headed home by Richard James for his 17th goal of the season. The goal allowed Hardwicke to settle and play some neat football. Carl Brown almost doubled the hosts lead after 75 mins but narrowly headed wide after a Paul Carter cross. With Patchway rarely troubling Evans goal a victory always looked likely for the Champion’s elect but they had to wait until ten minutes from time before Brown slotted home a second with an neat individual goal to sent the crowd home happy.

Hardwicke need two points from their remaining five matches but will be hoping to be crowned Champions after this Saturday’s home fixture against Thornbury Town. (2pm kick-off). On 1st May Hardwicke attempt to complete a remarkable treble when they travel to Almondsbury to play Western League side Bitton in the final of the GFA Challenge Trophy. (7:30 pm kick-off)

Axa’s hopes of finishing in second place took a set back when they were beaten 3-2 at home to Ellwood. The contest in which both teams played some very good football opened up in the 24th minute when Andy Sledge broke down the left but drove his shot into the side netting. The first attempt from Ellwood was a shot from Daryl Addis that went wide of the target. The visitors opened the scoring with a well worked move down the right involving brothers Daryl and Matt Addis with Matt supplying the pass that found Matt Foxwell to drive the ball past Pearce from 14 yards. Axa should have levelled the score in the 39th minute when Ryan McKillop missed a golden opportunity from just 6 yards hitting the ball straight into the arms of keeper Alex Goode.

Axa looked a more determined side in the early stages of the second half penning Ellwood back in their own half for the first 15 minutes. The home sides pressure paid of after 56 minutes when Alex Lang headed home from a corner from the right. Minutes later Steve Watts headed a very good chance over the bar. Then in the 62nd minute Axa took a quick throw on the left, O’Sullivan who was completely unmarked cut into the box before striking a tremendous shot against the Ellwood crossbar. Ryan McKillop was next on target but his shot was well saved by Goode. Ellwood started to put their game together and Matt Addis was put through on the edge of the box only to see his attempted chip over Pearce finger tipped away by the keeper for a corner. The visitors grabbed the lead in the 84th minute when Ryan Pendry drove a 20 yard left foot shot into the bottom corner of the Axa net. Four minutes later Axa were level. Danny Thorpe’s brilliant cross from the right was met by Noel O’Sullivan on the far post to power his header past Goode. Ellwood’s Matt Addis then pulled his shot just wide of the post, but in time added on Ellwood snatched a victory when Craig Broadman’s cross from the right was neatly headed home by Matt Addis.

19th April - Henbury make it two wins in a week

Henbury did their chances the world of good with a 3-1 success at home to Ellwood this result lifts then up another place in the table in their quest to avoid possible relegation. They had to come from behind after Daryl Addis had given Ellwood the lead after 2 minutes, but just before half time Pat Mathison leveled. Two minutes into the second half Henbury were in the lead when Wayne Jenkins netted then had to wait until the 80th minute before Scott Bamford scored the third. They should have made it four in the 88th minute but Mark Winkler missed from the penalty spot.

Wotton clear
Wotton Rovers clear their lines against Tuffley
Image courtesy Nigel Meaney

Leaders Hardwicke take a step closer to winning the championship with a 3-0 win at Taverners who have now completed their fixtures for the season. Paul Carter gave Hardwicke the lead as early as the 3rd minute when the Taverners keeper misjudged a cross. Ben Wood headed the second from a corner on 28 minutes and Carter wrapped up the points with a penalty on the hour. Taverners did have a chance to get back in the game after 12 minutes but Russ Chamberlian hit the post from the spot kick.

Tuffley Rovers last home game of the season was against bottom club Wotton Rovers. The home side controlled the game for most of the 90 minutes leaving the young Wotton side wondering where they were going to get a goal from. Wotton might have had some good fortune and taken the lead when a back pass to Harris was misjudged by the keeper but he got back to clear before it reached the goal. Tuffley’s passing was excellent in the early stages but the opening goal came from a corner on 25 minutes the ball was hit to the far post and defender Rob Cook headed wide of Fox into the far corner. Tuffley’s keeper Harris was trying his best to give Wotton a goal when his throw went straight to a Wotton forward but his strike was weak. Tuffley increased their lead in the 34th minute when Peter Thomas crashed home a 25 yard shot well wide of Fox’s outstretched hands. In the 39th minute the home side went 3-0 up as John Corbett fired home from a Mark Wallington cross. Wotton’s only chance in the first half came just before the break when Steve Summerell made an awful mistake and allowed Marcus Taylor through on goal but keeper Mark Harris made up for some earlier mistakes with a brilliant save to deny the young striker.

Wotton did shows a bit more inventiveness in the second half getting into the Tuffley box more often but again their weak finishing let them down. Jon Lang was clear on one occasion but the final shot was well saved by Harris who was well off of his line. Nick Bird had a shot on target for the visitors but Harris was there again to save. Just before the end a cross from the right was punched away by Harris and was cleared up field. Tuffley never looked in any real danger throughout the game and were worthy winners.

Tuffley head over Chris Fox's goal
Tuffley head just over Chris Fox's goal
Image courtesy Nigel Meaney

Thornbury Town were defeated by just the one goal at home to Highridge United with Mike Berry getting on the score sheet for the visitors. Highridge have now won the last eight games in a row to push them into third place in the table.

D.R.G. Stapleton faced Kings Stanley for the second time in 4 days this time at home. After going down 5-0 last Tuesday they were unable to halt the slide and went down 3-0 Martin McDermott gave Stanley the lead with a header on 12 minutes and although the home side did create chances in the first half they failed to find the back of the Stanley net. Stanley went 2-0 up after 47 minutes through Jon Embling and a couple of minutes later Matt Casey headed the third and final goal.

Axa move back into second spot with the 4-0 defeat of Pucklechurch Sports. Alex Lang opened the scoring on 25 minutes with a 20 yard drive with Danny Thorpe making it 2-0 on 35 minutes. Matt Thomas headed home the third on the hour with Danny Thorpe grabbing a second 5 minutes from time.

Patchway Town and Yate Town Reserves shared a point each with a 1-1 score-line. Jack Smyth gave the visitors the lead in the 18th minute but Patchway hit back with a Neil Blunden goal in the 65th minute.

16th April - Hardwicke strengthen grip at top of table

Hardwicke march on towards the title with a 3-0 victory over local rivals Tuffley Rovers. Hardwicke took the lead in the 31st minute when the Tuffley keeper misjudged the flight of the ball and Richard James nipped in behind him to head home. They were two up eight minutes later Richard James claiming his second from the penalty spot. Tuffley's performance was not up to the usual standard although they did create a couple of chances in a ten minute spell early in the second half. Hardwicke made sure of the points when Carl Brown netted a third in 67 minutes.

Big shock of the night was the 1-0 defeat of Hanham Athletic by next to bottom Henbury. The only goal of the game came in the 43rd minute when Ralph Timms rose above the Hanham defence to head the ball home. This win will move Henbury a little way above the relegation zone.

The game at Yate Town reserves and Axa ended in a 1-1 score-line and probably a fair reflection of the game. The first 20 minutes both teams failed to find a rhythm to their play. Jack Smyth made several good runs down the left but the final ball into the box was poor. The game came to life in the 38th minute after Axa was given a free kick on the left, Nathan Lumbers cross found Tim O'Loughlin unmarked just inside the box and his powerful shot fizzed into the net past the helpless Matthews. This was a wake up call to the home side as they decided to start to push forward more. Karl Reese was wide of the target with a shot from the edge of the box for Yate. From the goal kick the ball was slotted into space for Sledge to move onto, but lucky for Yate Matthews had read the situation and cleared the danger. Two minutes to half time Yate drew level another goal coming from a set piece. Yate were given a free kick just inside the Axa half wide on the right the ball was pumped into the box and Eddie Howells running across goal flicked his header past Pearce.

In the second half Yate pushed Axa back on defence for the first 10 minutes and a Howells almost scores again when his low shot was half stopped by Pearce's legs and as the ball ran towards the goal Thorpe managed to get back and clear the danger. Jack Smyth always looked dangerous with his runs down the left and a couple of good crosses into the box but the Yate forwards failed to get on the end of them. Axa might well have stolen the game right at the end when Steve Watts broke down the right and sent in a great cross for substitute Noel O'Sullivan whose glancing header went just wide of the post.

15th April - Wotton win at last

Wotton Rovers picked up their first win since 10th November giving local rivals Berkeley Town a lesson on finishing in a brilliant 5-1 victory. Town kicked down the slope in the first half and looked the most likely to score in the first 20 minutes but their failure to get their shots on target and a couple of saves from the Wotton custodian Chris Fox kept the home side with a clean sheet. Rovers very young side worked their way into the game and took the lead on 30 minutes when Richard Howes headed home a free kick from the right.

In the early stages of the second half a Rovers defender cleared a Peter Lavis shot off the line, but it was the home side that went further ahead in the 55th minute when Richard Howes netted his second. Rovers scored a third in 65 minutes when a brilliant through ball found Jon Lang who lifted the ball over the Berkeley keeper and then just slide the ball into an empty net. Town hit back and were awarded a penalty for handball a couple of minutes later with Pete Lavis giving Fox no chance with the spot kick. Rovers then had to defend for several minutes whilst Berkeley hammered balls at goal, but Fox brought off three stunning saves to deny any further score. Having weathered the storm Rovers took a 4-1 lead through Marcus Taylor then had a goal disallowed for offside before Nick Bird made it 5-1 to give Wotton a well deserved 3 points.

In the other game played tonight Kings Stanley defeated D.R.G. Stapleton 5-0. Stanley bossed the game right from the off and squandered numerous chance in the first 45 minutes leaving the first 45 minutes goalless. Stanley continued to dominate the game but had to wait until the 70th minute before Martin McDermott opened the scoring. This opened the floodgates and Stanley netted another four goals in the next 19 minutes. Sam Prior made it 2-0 from the penalty spot after 75 minutes, four minutes later it was Mike Beckingham turn to get on the score sheet. Matt Casey headed home the fourth and Tin Haddock rounded off the scoring in the last minute of the game.

12th April - Hardwicke go clear with hard fought win at Henbury

Hardwicke go five points clear at the top with a 1-0 win at Henbury. This could well have been a different result if Henbury had put away their early chances. Hardwicke started the better side and pushed the home side back on defence in the early stages, but the home side should have taken the lead on 17 minutes when Pat Mathison?s through ball was picked up by Scott Bamford who ran into the box rounded the keeper and fired the ball goalwards, Ashley Davies came from nowhere to block the shot which rebounded straight to Bamford for a second effort on goal only to find Evans the Hardwicke custodian had recovered and blocked the second attempt. Two minutes later a pin point cross from Aaron Rosser found Bamford unmarked but he headed over the bar. Hardwicke?s Ben wood had a shot punched clear by Lave in the Henbury goal, before the best chance for the visitors came in 27th minute when a cross from Carter wide on the left fell nicely for Eddie Rimmer on the far post, but his diving header was well saved by the Henbury custodian. Henbury played some very good passing football in the latter stages of the first 45 minutes and Hardwicke had to pull out all the stops to block shots from Bamford and Mathison. Danny Rasdale had replaced Rob Hine for Hardwicke and Lane was really tested with a very good shot just before the break.

Ken Malala gets a tackle in for Henbury
Ken Malala gets a tackle in for Henbury.
Image courtesy Nigel Meaney, more images on picasa

The second half saw Hardwicke push the home side right from the kick off and Richard James should have scored from a Davies cross but headed over the bar. Then a bad mistake by Dan Hole let James in on goal but Lane brought of a brilliant point blank save to deny the striker, the ball ran to Rimmer whose shot from six yards was again brilliantly saved by the Henbury keeper. Hardwicke kept up the constant pressure and eventually took the lead through Luke Kavanagh who headed home after 59 minutes. Hardwicke had plenty of possession and should have capitalised but Henbury were in no mood to give in and defended stoutly. With time running out Mark Winkler was brought on by Henbury and pushed up front and it almost paid off in the last minute when a corner from the left was met by Winkler but he failed to keep the ball down and it flew over the bar. Henbury?s performance on the day does not belie their low position in the table.

Davies and Bamford challenge for the ball
Davies and Bamford challenge for the ball.
Image courtesy Nigel Meaney, more images on picasa

Highridge United move into third place after their seventh successive win at Berkeley Town. Berkeley took the lead after just 16 minutes when Richard Langford?s shot from the edge of the box beat the visitors keeper. Town held on to the lead until the 50th minute when Mike Berry headed home from a free kick. Highridge eventually got the winner after 78 minutes when Craig Liddell headed home a cross from the right.

Tuffley Rovers and Hanham Athletic shared a point each in a 2-2 score-line. Tuffley took the lead after just 3 minutes when a cross into the box was heade back across goal by John Corbett and Adam hacker was there to slot the ball home. Hanham leveled through Simon Dew after 35 minutes and took the lead three minutes into the second half through Nathan Baird. But the home side leveled the score on 80 minutes when a mix up in the Hanham defence allowed Hacker to hammer the ball home for his second.

Hardwicke must make it 2-0 surely
Hardwicke must make it 2-0 !
Image courtesy Nigel Meaney, more images on picasa

Yate Town Res ran out 4-0 winners at home to Kings Stanley Justin Cattle gave them the lead after 10 minutes from the penalty spot with Ross Watson making it 2-0 after 20 minutes. Jack Smyth netted a third just before the break and then netted a second in the second half to round off the scoring.

Bottom Club Wotton Rovers took a battering at home to Ellwood going down 5-0. The home side held out until the 41st minute when Tom Creed netted. The second half Matt Foxwell netted twice in the space of three minutes the 50th and 53 minute. Alan Williams made it 4-0 on the hour and Matt Addis completed the rout on 82 minutes.

D.R.G. Stapleton did themselves a lot of good when they came away from Taverners with a 1-0 victory to ease their possible relegation worries. The only goal of the game came after 11 minutes when Sam Glanvill netted a superb cross from the left. The visitors also hit the crossbar in the first half and put in a performance that was described by the Taverners spokesman as they thoroughly deserved to win the game.

Pucklechurch Sports held Patchway Town to a goalless first 45 minutes but the visitors had much the better of the game. Patchway took the lead in the 50th minute through Matt Webb and the same player netted a second 10 minutes later to give the visitors the three points

9th April - Tuffley slip past Thornbury

The game opened up in a tremendous heavy storm which lasted about 20 minutes and made the surface very slippery. Tuffley took the early initiative with Steve Farr in the Thornbury goal pulling of a great save to deny Steve Summerell?s header going in. A few minutes later Farr was in action again diving to his left to stop a well driven shot by Adam Hacker. Thornbury had there chance to open the scoring after 17 minutes but Mark Winder pulled his shot wide of the goal. Tom Rees should definitely have given Thornbury the lead as he rose above the Tuffley defence but then headed over the bar from 8 yards. Winder got free and was heading for goal but lost control and Harris collected the loose ball. Just before the break Gary Toal headed over from a corner.

Tuffley opened the scoring with a fortuitous goal 2 minute into the second half Michael Oakes hit a looping cross come shot towards the Thornbury goal and it suddenly dipped and dropped into the top of the net with Farr unable to do anything about it. A mistake in the Thornbury defence let in Marcus Foxwell whose shot was well saved by Farr at the near post. With time running out a long ball over the Thornbury defence was well read by Hacker and as he headed for goal he was brought down by Farr well outside the box. The referee gave the keeper a yellow card but it could well have been red. A last ditch attack by Thornbury almost brought an equalising goal but Mark Harris brought of a great save from a Ricky Lippiatt shot.

8th April - Highridge edge out Hanham

Highridge United make it six consecutive wins with a 3-2 victory over Hanham Athletic at the creek. Highridge took the lead in the 6th minute when Mike Berry?s header squeezed past Wilson at the near post from a Gary Cripps corner. The first real signs of a chance for Hanham came after 22 minutes when Gary Macreths free kick went just over the bar. Highridge contained the Hanham forwards to long range shots from outside the box in the first half going into the break with the one goal lead. Highridge were two up 3 minutes into the second half when a brilliant three man move between Liddell, Maggs and Cripps with the latter planting the ball past Wilson from 12 yards.

Hanham kicking down the slope in the second half fought their way back into the game and pulled a goal back when Simon Warrens free kick from the left found Simon Dew completely unmarked and he headed past Brimble with ease. Liddell almost made it three for the home side when Maggs set up a good chance with a little flick gaol-wards was read by Wilson. Hanham levelled the score on 71 minute with some brilliant individual skill from Simon Dew who flicked the ball over the defender before volleying it into the net. Highridge?s winner was a little fortuitous, substitute Tyrone McNeeley picked up a loose ball just outside the box hammered it goal-wards and it took a wicked deflection of central defender Justin Cartledge and end up in the Hanham net.

D.R.G. Stapleton picked up another valuable point in a 2-2 draw at home to Patchway Town. Just as Saturday?s game they went into a 2-0 lead with a goal from Rob Talbot that looked like a cross but deceived town?s keeper and finished up in the back of the net. Matt Price then put them 2-0 up on the hour before Chris Chinnick pulled one back for the visitors on 80 minutes. Five minutes later Town were level when Ashley Brown scored with a superb drive to salvage a point.

Eight goals at Berkeley Town with the visitors Yate Town Res coming away with a 6-2 victory. Andy Neal gave Yate the lead after 13 minutes with Neil Simons making it 2-0 five minute later. Aaron Day chipped in with a third on 36 minutes and Karl Nash pulled a goal back for Town two minutes before the break. It was Nash again on 78 minutes to make it 3-2 and getting interesting but a Justin Cattle hat-trick in the last 8 minutes gave Yate a very comfortable win.

5th April 2008 - AXA move into top two

The top two teams Hardwicke and Hanham Athletic were not in action today which gave Axa a chance to move into second spot in the table if they could overcome Kings Stanley at home.

Axa pulled off a 2-0 win over Kings Stanley with a superb 20 yard drive after 25 minutes by Tom Blyth. They continued to make chances but poor finishing let them down until the 75th minute when Alex Lang set up Steve Watts to grab a second.

Patchway Town went down 1-0 at home to Highridge United the only goal of the game coming in the 42nd minute when Highridge were awarded a free kick 25 yards out and centre of the Patchway goal. Dean Maggs hit a left footed drive towards goal and as Alford moved across in line with the ball Mitch Kavanagh deflected it into the other corner leaving the keeper stranded. Highridge shaded the game on possession but never really stretched towns keeper Alford. Patchway?s Bradley Harris opened up the Highridge defence a couple of times in the second half but his final cross was poor and the danger adverted. The visitors were unlucky when a cross from Dean Maggs was met by Gary Cripps but the shot hit the upright and was cleared. Cripps should have got on the end of an Andy Talbot cross but was just beaten to it by Ford.

Brimble collects the ball
Highridge goalkeeper George Brimble collects the ball
Image courtesy Nigel Meaney

Patchway had a good chance to level after 62 minutes when Marlon Francis broke into the Highridge box but shot horribly wide with just the keeper to beat. Alford had to clear the danger when a cross from Liddell was punched away by the keeper. United?s Ashley Curry gave his keeper a scare when his back header caught Brimble out and the keeper had to scramble back towards goal to advert the danger.

Yate Town Reserves were held to a 0-0 score-line in the first 45 minutes against bottom club Wotton Rovers. Neil Simons free kick gave Yate the lead on 55 minutes. Justin Cattle then netted a second ten minutes later to take the points.

D.R.G. Stapleton went 2-0 up at home to Tuffley Rovers with a double from Matt Price. He opened the scoring in the 17th minute converting a good cross from Sam Glanville, then headed home a second on 33 minutes from a free kick. Tuffley had the wind assisting them in the second half and pulled a goal back through Michael Oakes on 51 minutes. Tuffley applied a lot of pressure on the home goal and after striking the upright finally leveled the score with a 35 yard drive from Jonathan Corbett on 75 minutes. The home side had several good chances to have won the game but both Leon Cozens and Matt Price failed to hit the target.

Thornbury Town and Henbury ended 1-1 with both sides playing well below par on the day. Town took the lead when Nick Week?s cross was turned in by Mark Winder on the half hour. Henbury who are looking to move out of the danger zone leveled on 50 minutes after a shot struck the upright rebounded on to Thornbury defender Peter Fowler and landed up in the back of the net.

Action from Patchway V Highridge
Action from Patchway Town V Highridge United.
Image courtesy Nigel Meaney

Ellwood and Taverners also share a point each with a 1-1 draw. A barren 45 minutes but with Taverners taking the lead on 70 minutes through Russell Chamberlain. Ellwood got out of jail when Taverners Paul Jennings put through his own goal to level the score. Ellwood finished with 10 men after having their keeper sent off.

In the clash between Berkeley Town and Pucklechurch Sports neither side could manage a goal through out a very uneventful afternoon?s football.