28th January 2019 - Lebeq legend wants United to finish the job

By Simon Parkinson

LEBEQ legend George Philipou is backing his beloved club to go on and "finish the job" with the promotion line so tantalisingly close.

The famous Bristol amateur club’s founder member and long-serving former Sunday secretary has more recently relinquished most of his commitments but continues to keep a keen eye on affairs, as well as "keeping minutes of club meetings."

Lebeq United, these days the flagship wing of their Stapleton Road-based set-up, headed into away combat with Wick with a five-point lead over second-placed Frampton United to protect.

And the 61-year-old Philipou, who had until recently been helping out with Saturday secretarial duties as assistant to another Lebeq stalwart, Errol Thompson, said: "Our United team seem to be in a much better position now to go up than in previous years.

"There seems to be more strength in depth, helped by having more experienced players in such as Mitchell Page, Aaron Cornwall and Kevin Camargo amongst many others.

"There’s still quite a long way to go, but getting good victories over main rivals like Frampton (5-0) and Ruardean Hill (4-1) has given us impetus, and although we didn’t beat Stonehouse last weekend we at least got a goalless draw."

Philipou admitted: "Last season was very disappointing. We’d been in the ascendancy for much of it but hit a bad patch around November/December. We picked up again and then suffered another little wobble and handed the title and promotion to Thornbury who, to be fair, deserved to win it.

"For us it was extremely sad after all that potential but now we’re in a much healthier position. Everything seems to be going for the team now and unless there’s an absolute disaster, they’ll go on and win the league and hopefully gain that place in the Toolstation or Hellenic League.

"They’ve learnt a lot from last season and I’m sure that determination to succeed will spur them on to finish the job."

Philipou recalled: "As founder member with Owen Smith back in 1982 of what was solely a Sunday side, we went on to enjoy enormous success, the most successful ever side in Bristol.

"We went on to win about 20 league championships and had eight GFA county cup wins, and we won the Fry Club Cup ten times which is a record. And of course we were runners-up in a national FA Sunday Cup final at Anfield in 2007.

"I knew our main Sunday side had been struggling more recently and it was a real shame when they folded recently.

"I was very sad to see it end that way after 36 fantastic years although not altogether surprised. I know there had been problems with fines etc but for me it was as much about the fact we were still winning too easily and the players were getting fed-up of teams pulling out of playing them.

"Perhaps the lads had become blasé: they didn’t have that competitive edge because they didn’t usually need it.

"Still, it’s been our main goal as a Saturday side for some time to gain promotion from the County League and I know the club is ambitious enough to go on and on if possible and make it to the Southern League and even the National League in time.

"These are exciting times. The enthusiasm seems to be there from the current crop of players and management and I think Lebeq will just carry on moving forward."

26th January 2019 - Webb brace seals win for Rockleaze

By Harry Madge

Rockleaze Rangers 2-0 Henbury

A Dan Webb brace was the difference for Rockleaze Rangers as they beat Henbury at Hillside Gardens.

Webb scored either side of half-time for the home-side who also had their ‘keeper Lewis Brodie to thank as they claimed all three points.

On what was a match played in adverse weather conditions at Rockleaze’s new home, the opening stages foreshadowed a cagey affair as both sides tried to establish a foothold.

The contest did spring into life after four minutes when Webb scored his 18th goal of the season. Rockleaze pounced on a stray ball in midfield and when the ball found its way to Webb, the striker cut in from the left and floated an effort into the top corner.

The influential Webb again went close just minutes after his opener. The prolific forward was afforded time and space 20-yards out, but his fiercely struck shot was saved well by Cameron Tarr in the Henbury goal.

With a quarter of an hour played and the home side continuing to threaten, Tarr was once again on hand to deny Rockleaze - this time saving Jay Moore’s rasping effort.

After a spell of dominance from the home side, Henbury began to enforce themselves on proceedings. The away side, playing in light blue rather than their traditional tangerine kit, had three chances in quick succession, but Brodie was equal to them. Simon Lashley was the first to go close when his header glanced narrowly wide, before Brodie comfortably negotiated long-range efforts from Ross Jones and the lively Harvey Moran.

Although Henbury continued to press for an equaliser, it was actually Rockleaze who came closer to scoring. The pace of Nick Jones, Joe Weare, Webb and Moore caused the away side all sorts of problems on the break, and consecutive counter attacks saw Webb go agonizingly close twice. On the first occasion, Webb met Weare’s cross but his header dropped just wide before Rockleaze’s talisman was unable to turn in Jones’ wicked cross from the left.

The second half started at a frantic pace with both sides squandering excellent opportunities. With only five minutes of the half played, Moran showed great feet to get a yard in the box but his tame shot only found its way into Brodie’s gloves. From Brodie’s resulting kick, Weare found himself clear of the Henbury defence but with only Tarr to beat, he shot wide of the goal.

A mere three minuets later, Weare was through on goal again after a superb ball from Mark Ridgway, but the Rockleaze number nine’s effort curled harmlessly wide once more.

Weare’s misses were forgotten on the hour mark when Webb scored his and Rockleaze’s second of the afternoon. Jones and Webb combined expertly again when the latter got in front of his man to prod Jones’ cross past Tarr.

Despite Rockleaze doubling their advantage, Henbury continued to fashion chances but their endeavors were fruitless as a combination of Brodie and some inspired defending kept Henbury out.

Rockleaze’s young ‘keeper was called into action on numerous occasions in the half hour that remained, saving strikes from Lashley and then Moran as full-time approached.

But the pick of the bunch came two minutes from time when Brodie produced a brilliant reflex save to stop Hayden Lee’s point blank shot finding the net.

The result sees Rockleaze climb to fourth in the MARCLIFF Gloucestershire County League, whilst Henbury remain in 12th.

26th January 2019 - Frampton in hard fought win at Little Stoke

By Ron Holpin

A very hard-fought game at Little Stoke, Frampton United hit back from a goal down to win 2-1. The home side might have taken the lead on 7 minutes from a long ball played up the left to Russ Church who then shot wide of the target. On 15 minutes it was Frampton who had a good chance when Manolo Espada found Sean Lawson on the right to cut in and smash the ball into the side netting. A great chance to go ahead on 21 minutes was wasted by Frampton as Josh Beadle's low cross into the six-yard box was hooked over the bar by Ryan Vincent from 4 yards. On 32 minutes Stokes Reece Hedges saw his shot go just over the bar. The home side had another good chance on 37 minutes from a free kick on the edge of the box but Jordan Yeo’s shot went high over the bar. On 42 minutes a good move down the left by Frampton saw Sean Lawson send a cross behind the home defence but it went unchallenged and drifted out at the far post. Just when it looked like a goalless first half Little Stoke had a corner on the left sent over by Jordan Yeo and centre back Luke Sperring headed the ball in.

Frampton had the slight advantage of the wind in the second half and how Vincent missed in the 49th minute when he tried to chip the ball over the keeper is a mystery. Then a minute later it was Josh Beadles turn to miss the target. The visitors drew level on 59 minutes a superb free kick from the edge of the box wide on the left that was curled in at the far side of the goal by Ryan Vincent. Stoke went up the other end from the kick-off and had to watch a superb header from Ethan Tucker hooked off the line by Liam O’Neil. Frampton keeper Steve Sparrow then saved well from Jordan Yeos low shot to the near post. Then substitute Luke Meacham saw his goal bound effort pushed away by Sparrow for a corner. At the other end Lawson played the ball wide to Beadle who intern played it back inside to Fraser Wilson but his shot was well saved by home keeper Ollie Jones. Stoke were unlucky to fall behind in the 86th minute as substitute Adam Bloomfield sent in a low cross from the right and in his attempt to clear Sperring knocked the ball past his own keeper. The home side retaliated with several good attacks and Yeo’s free kick was knocked away by the united defence but the ball fell straight to Russ Church on the edge of the box who hammered it goal-wards but it went straight to Sparrow. They kept up the pressure and thought they should have had a penalty but it was waved away by the referee, who had been very good throughout.

A 2-0 win at Wick keeps Lebeq United on target at the top of the table. Both teams had chances in the first 20 minutes with Elan Plummer shooting just wide of the post for Lebeq and at the other end Sam Thomas’s shot also went just past the post. Wick were reduced to ten men on 25 minutes when Jordan Scott was shown a straight Red Card for what was deemed to be a reckless challenge. Just before the break home keeper Joe Pople kept out another shot from Plummer. Lebeq took the lead on 60 minutes from a short freekick taken by Elan Plummer who picked up the return and hammered the ball home from 25 yards. On 70 minutes home keeper Pople got his marching orders after picking up a second yellow card for a foul in the box giving away a penalty with Sam Thomas taking over between the sticks to face Cameron Brown who made no mistake from the spot.

Gala Wilton are still rooted to the bottom of the table after going down 3-1 at home to Broadwell Amateurs. Gala started well but failed to find a way through, then on 20 minutes Kristian Burnard struck a wonderful 35-yard shot that dipped over Lewis Skyers in the home goal to put Broadwell one up. A minute before the break the home side levelled the score and it came from a break down the right by Joel Skyers a cross into the box was headed on to the bar by Finlay Kerr with Ben Sluman turning the rebound past keeper Mack Sadler. Broadwell’s Guy Jones then had a great header saved by Skyers on 66 minutes to keep the scores level, but on 75 minutes the visitors took the lead after some uncertainty in the home box and Frankie Johnson was on hand to knock it home. A mix up in the home defence allowed Broadwell in again and Harry Williams scored to make it 3-1.

Patchway Town went behind after 50 seconds to AEK Boco when Rob Caves awful back pass was intercepted by Jacob Saunders to round Burgess in the home goal. The home side levelled on 43 minutes when Paul Vice knocked a long ball to the far post where Dan Rees was waiting to slide it home. Vice netted the second on 58 minutes heading home from a Dave Talbot cross. Town made it 3-1 on 70 minutes after Ben Purdy laid the ball off for Luke Garbacz to thunder his shot home. The last goal was a second for Phil Vice a free kick on the edge of the box and with all the wall jumping the shot ran under them and past Jacques in the Boco goal.

Hardwicke shook Ruardean Hill Rangers running out 4-1 winners on the day with a double from Will Higgins and Kieran Brice-Ingles. The home side went in front on 5 minutes from a ball clipped down the right from Rich Mansell to James Ratcliffe who broke into the box and was brought down for a penalty. Will Higgins blasted the ball home from the spot. On 20 minutes the home side missed a good chance to go 2-0 up by Will Matthews spurned the chance. Rangers levelled on 28 minutes when Bobby Walding fired home from a free kick. Kieran Brice-Ingles made it 2-1 and then contrived to make it 3-1 on 65 minutes with some brilliant individual skill. Then near the end Higgins got in on the act for his second of the afternoon.

Les James Cup - Round 2 sponsored by Boca Teamwear

Stonehouse Town are in the semi-final of the cup for the first time after they beat Hanham Athletic 3-1 at Vicarage Road. It was the home side who opened the scoring on 23 minutes when Sam Brown finished after Brad Lewis had sent him clear. The lead only lasted 3 minutes as Adam Philp ran clear to make it 1-1. The home side were unlucky when Max Barkers shot cannoned of the crossbar before Stonehouse took the lead through Adam Ireland who was unmarked and ran clear to round Mason Hawkins in the home goal. The visitors wrapped it up 2 minutes from the end with a rather spectacular goal from Liam Gale volleying the ball from his own half over the head of keeper Hawkins.

25th January 2019 - Stonehouse Town feeling relaxed amid promotion talk

By Harry Madge

Stonehouse Town manager Ian Soule insists his side will be "taking it one game at a time" after it was revealed the Gloucestershire side has applied to be considered for promotion.

Alongside league leaders Lebeq United, the Magpies are the other MARCLIFF Gloucestershire County League side that has applied for promotion from Step 7 of the National League System.

But Soule believes his squad aren’t feeling the pressure: "I think the players are taking it all in their stride. We’ve got a nice mix of experience and youth within our squad and we’ve got one or two who have already played at Step 6."

"We are where we are but at the end of the day it’s about enjoying yourself. I just tell the lads to go out there, express themselves and go and play without any fear."

After drawing 0-0 away at Lebeq last weekend, Stonehouse find themesleves third - trailing the leaders by 12 points, but with three games in hand.

"Lebeq are a good side and they’re quite rightly at the top," Soule acknowledged. "But I suppose Lebeq have a little bit of pressure on them knowing we are hanging on to their coat-tails a little bit."

"It was a good game. There was a lot of mutual respect between the two sides and personally I don’t think there’s an awful lot between the two."

"I do think we had the clearer chances so the lads were a little bit disappointed that we didn’t just knick it and take the three points. But it’s one of those that if we got offered a point before the game, we probably would have taken it."

"I told the lads after the game that this is the benchmark. We’ve set it, and now it’s a case of seeing how many points we accumulate between now and April and we’ll see where that puts us."

The Magpies’ point at Lebeq ensures Stonehouse are now unbeaten in eight league fixtures – a run that stretches back to early November. Next up for Soule and his ambitious side is a trip to Hanham Athletic in the quarterfinals of the Les James Cup.

But with promotion a realistic ambition, Soule admits the league will take priority: "In the grand scheme of things obviously the aim is trying to get to Step 6 football. We’ll take it one game at a time. I told the lads they can have a little breather from the league and see what happens but everything has been geared towards the league."

Regardless, former Forest Green Rovers and Cheltenham Town coach Soule is expecting a tough encounter.

"I think it’ll be just as tough as the game against Lebeq. I genuinely believe the Gloucestershire County League is a lot stronger than it has been previously," Soule added.

"From Hanham’s point of view, they’re probably not going up or down so it’s an opportunity for them to get hold of some silverware so we’re expecting a really tough game and we’re going to have to be on our metal, that’s for sure."

Whilst Stonehouse Town continue to impress on the pitch, Soule is keen to stress the importance of the work being done behind the scenes to ensure Stonehouse are in the best possible position.

Local boy Soule beams: "I grew up in Stonehouse so I’ve seen the peaks and the troughs of Stonehouse Town from when I was a little lad."

"There’s been a significant amount of work done by the committee and by the players in improving the facilities massively. We’ve also got a playing surface that is just about as good as anything in the league."

"So, when Step 6 does come, we’ll have the facilities to go alongside it."

21st January 2019 - Henbury boss wants focus on league

By Simon Parkinson

TREVOR Richards insists his Henbury team must put to one side their exciting county cup adventure in order to focus fully on their league challenges.

The Arnall Drive outfit booked a place in the semi-finals of the GFA Challenge Trophy with a shock 2-1 away victory over a Fairford Town team who perform two divisions above them as a mid-table Hellenic Premier competitor.

Henbury followed up that midweek success with a 2-1 home defeat by Frampton United back in the Marcliff Gloucestershire County League on Saturday, which has left them fourth from the foot of the table and two points adrift of Hanham immediately above them.

Co-boss Richards glowed: "The win at Fairford gave everyone a lift. It was unbelievable. Harvey Moran gave us a second-half lead by steering in an awkward bouncing ball inside their 18-yard box and then Rex Mannings sped down the right and beat a couple of defenders before putting it into the box for his brother Kane to control, spin and finish well for 2-0.

"Fairford got one back and we had to absorb a fair bit of pressure then. They brought on a very tall and experienced manager (Jody Bevan) who bossed it a bit up there, but we rode it out.

"There were five minutes of stoppage time and it felt like ten minutes, such was the tension at the end!

"To be fair to Fairford, who maybe felt it might be a stroll in the park for them with the divisional gap and where we’re at in the league, we enjoyed a massive feed afterwards. None of the lads wanted to leave and perhaps that’s what slowed them down against Frampton, that and the hard work they put in on the night!

"Their manager came up to us afterwards and said we’d deserved it."

It’s been far from plain sailing for Henbury where their league campaign is concerned, not least in falling prey – 3-1 - to a Southmead side three days prior battling to haul their way out of the County League basement.

"We were lethargic and disappointing in that one," Richards accepted. "Southmead were more passionate and wanted it more. We had to bounce back from it. Of course we went to Fairford with nothing to lose given their much higher status.

"Having the brothers Rex and Kane in attack made a massive difference on the Fairford night as part of a 3-5-2 shape. Rex is on dual registration with Frome whilst Kane also plays for Stapleton in the Bristol Premier Combination, so they’re not available on Saturdays to us generally. If we had the outlet they offer more often, I’m sure we’d be better placed in the league.

"Their other brother Jensen, and George Loud, were both excellent in central midfield too but the whole team were fantastic and they did play as a team.

"I’d gone into the game a bit apprehensive after what happened at Southmead, but the guys did brilliantly and we’re looking forward to whoever we face in the semis."

Richards admitted: "Saturday’s Frampton defeat was very frustrating. Overall we deserved to win it but we took our eye off the ball for their winner when our defending has been sublime all season.

"Frampton didn’t have their strongest side out but they’re always a good and strong unit.

"Now we face Hanham and it’s a six-pointer as they’re down there with us. They’re a good team too who don’t give up and like the physical side, so it should be a decent battle.

"We’re not happy with where we are in the table but we’re still trying to introduce the young players and they’re not letting us down."

19th January 2019 - Broadwell Amateurs edge out Wick

By Ron Holpin

Broadwell Amateurs defended for a lot of their game with Wick with the visitors knocking the ball around on their approach to the goal and that is where it ended as the home defence were outstanding breaking up the Wick play. Broadwell won this game 2-1 and both goals came after they had soaked up loads of pressure. The first real chance fell to Wick on 19 minutes when Pocock’s long ball up to Joe Thomas on the left was pulled back for brother Sam whose fierce shot was well saved by home keeper Mack Sadler. The visitors had another good chance to open the scoring on 23 minutes when Sam Thomas was brought down on the corner of the box on the left, Grant Hewitt curled the ball to the far post but it was just over the top. At the other end Liam Jacques made a good run into the Wick box but failed to control the ball when challenged and it ran clear to keeper Joe Pople. A few minutes later Broadwell’s Ben Fishwick had a clear sight of goal but shot straight at Pople from the edge of the box. The home side grabbed the lead on 39 minutes from a free kick near the halfway mark wide on the right and Ben Schiller sent the ball to the far post where Greg Lewis headed it back across the six yard box to the unmarked Liam Jacques to finish it off. Following the goal the home side could have scored again minutes later when Pople saved well from a Liam Jacques shot punching it away but the ball fell for Jacob English who then tried to chip it back over the keeper but it cleared the bar.

Wick had a great chance to equalise a minute into the second half but Jordan Scott failed to rise high enough from a great cross from the left. They had to wait just a couple of minutes more before getting the equalising goal and it came from a corner sent over from the right that was bobbling around in the area before Charlie Stevens wacked it in to the Broadwell net. A few minutes later Broadwell’s Harry Williams had latched on to a long ball cut in but hit his shot against the post. Williams had another chance on 68 minutes from a great ball that split the Wick defence but his shot across the keeper to the far post was clipped away by Pople for a corner. Wick almost made it 2-1 on 72 minutes but Scott’s header was blocked on the line and cleared away for a corner. On 78 minutes Broadwell went in front from a corner knocked in from the left and Paul Manns drove a great shot from 25 yards past the Wick defence and their keeper. Williams broke clear again on 86 minutes but shot wide of the target, then he did get the ball in the net but it had already crossed the by-line to the right of the goal and a corner was given. The game had been a tough fought affair with both sides giving everything.

For the second week running Rockleaze Rangers were involved in a seven-goal score-line but this time they were the winners with a 5-2 victory over Hardwicke. Since they moved to their new ground their away form is much better than their home. Hardwicke went ahead on 7 minutes from a James Ratcliffe run down the right side and a cross come shot that flew over the head of Rangers keeper Lewis Brobie into the far corner. A brilliant flick on by Dan Webb put Ali Boyer clear in the 13th minute to level the score. Rangers took the lead on 17 minutes from an accurate cross from Rory Langdon for Ali Boyer to clip the ball home. Rangers made it 3-1 on 30 minutes with Dan Webb shot that clipped the inside of the post on its way in. Then right on half time it became 4-1 when Mike Perham headed in a Mark Ridgeway cross. 2 minutes into the second half Hardwicke pulled one back when Will Higgins slid the ball to Kieron Bryce-Ingles to tap in. The home side pushed hard to reduce the arrears and against the run of play Rangers broke away and Joe Weare’s cross was tapped home by Dan Webb.

Henbury picked up a valuable point in a 1-1 draw at home to Hanham Athletic, although they had to come from behind to do it. Hanham had the ball in the net on 30 minutes but it was ruled out for offside to the relief of the home team, but just 6 minutes later Hanham did take the lead from a great shot by Sam Brown from just inside the box. The home side had to wait until the 78th minute to grab the equaliser and it came from a great cross from Adam Rosser to the far post where debutant Simon Lashley was waiting to hammer home.

Frampton United keep up their challenge with a 3-1 win at home to Patchway Town. Patchway had a great chance on 10 minutes but Ben Purdy failed to take the opportunity. First chance for the home side fell to Fraser Wilson who shot straight at keeper Burgess. Patchway did take the lead midway through the half from a corner that was hit to the far post where Ash Wells headed it back across goal and Ben Purdy finished it off. On 35 minutes Josh Beadle sent Ryan Vincent clear but his shot hit the crossbar. Just 3 minutes later Vincent made up for that miss by levelling the score. On 46 minutes the home side went ahead from a corner Patchway keeper Burgess attempted to pushed the ball away but it hit one of his defenders and rolled into the net. Patchway almost levelled on 74 minutes from an Ash Wells shot that just went over the top. Frampton’s third goal came from Adam Bloomfield who charged down a clearance and then cheekily chipped the ball over Burgess.

The dual at the bottom of the table between AEK Boco and Gala Wilton was crucial for both Clubs with both of them looking to gain the three points to climb the table. The visitors looked the better side in the early stages but it was the home team who took the lead on 15 minutes from a Harrison Kyte through ball to Harvey Sealey who then rounded the advancing keeper to cooley slot the ball home. Gala did have a good chance in the second half from a free kick but home keeper Liam Jacques was on hand to make a very good save. Both sides in the second half failed to create many chances so the goal from Boco early on gave them a lift in their quest to avoid the drop.

Another defeat for Southmead CS Athletic this time going down 3-1 at home to Little Stoke. Stoke took the lead on 16 minutes from a corner swung over and headed in by Sam Hill. On 20 minutes a shot from Stoke hit the post and crossbar where they meet and rebounded out to Kieran Williams to drive the ball in from the edge of the box. On 30 minutes it was 3-0 as Ethan Tucker cut in from the right and cooley lifted the ball over the home keeper. Stoke were reduced to ten men on 40 minutes. On 48 minutes the home side pulled a goal back when the ball was played in to John Henson to drive home. The game then finished ten aside as Southmead also had a player sent off.

In the game of the day between leaders Lebeq United and third place Stonehouse Town it turned out to be bit of a damp squib as far as chances were concerned. The home side lost the services of Fabian McCarthy on 32 minutes and although they still played some good approach football, they were unable to break down a very stubborn Stonehouse defence. The visitors were also at a loss to make a break through and a point apiece is probably right for the game.

12th January 2019 - Little Stoke win cracker at Rockleaze

By Ron Holpin

A cracking game of football between Rockleaze Rangers and Little Stoke with seven goals and plenty of action throughout. Little Stokes Ruben Neuvo-Draper had Rangers keeper Lewis Brodie pushing the ball out for a corner in the very first minute and from the corner Russ Church fired over the bar. Rangers left full back Nick Jones sent over a great cross but it was cut out by Stoke keeper Ollie Jones. After several close shaves by both sides Stoke took the lead on 6 minutes from a long cross that found Russ Church to head the ball back across goal for the incoming Matt Tovey to strike past Brodie. Rangers Ali Boyer had a great chance to level on 12 minutes but he headed wide from 8 yards. A mistake in the Rangers defence almost cost them dearly as Tovey broke into the box but his shot was deflected wide. A long ball from Stoke keeper found Russ Church on the left and his cross just needed a head on it to make it count. Tovey was causing the home side a few problems and a run from the halfway line saw his shot strike the crossbar. Rangers got the equaliser on 27 minutes from a long ball into Dan Webb who fired across keeper Jones who got a hand to the shot but it crept into the far corner. Rory Langdon picked up a long cross from the right and was on target with his shot but it was deflected out for a corner. The home side scored again on 32 minutes from a long ball pumped to the far post from the right Rory Langdon was there to head it back across goal and Dan Webb had the simple task of nodding it in. On 36 minutes Rangers had a great chance to make it 3-1 when they were awarded a penalty, up stepped Webb to complete his hattrick but the spot kick flew over the bar.

Little Stoke went at the home defence right from the off of the second half with Ethan Tucker just wide with a good shot. Stoke drew level in the 49th minute when Ethan Tuckers cross was smashed home by Russ Church. In the 53rd minutes a cross in by Rangers Marcus Williams found Webb but his effort went just over the bar. Ali Boyer was clear on goal for Rangers but shot too quick and hit it straight to Jones. Little Stoke made it 3-2 on 59 minutes Ethan Tucker firing home after the first shot was blocked. Stoke went 4-2 up on 69 minutes when Ranger gave away a penalty and Jordan Yeo’s thunderous shot struck the underside of the crossbar on its way in. Rangers pushed hard and Rory Langdon had Jones at full stretch on several occasions. Rangers pushed hard and were eventually rewarded with a third goal 4 minutes into time added when Ali Boyer scrambled the ball home.

Hanham Athletic poor run continued when they went down 3-0 at home to Patchway Town. The home side almost took the lead in the 25th minute whwn a Max Barker header struck the cross bar from a Jack Fry cross. 8 minutes later Patchway took the lead from a Dave Talbot header. Then right on 45 minutes a dreadful mistake by home keeper Mason Hawkins making a right mess from a back pass throwing straight to Josh Morris to shoot into an empty net. It was not Hawkins day as he failed to judge a long goal-kick from Patchway defender Ash Wells and Joe Dolby was there to make it 3-0.

Henbury are also struggling for goals at present and were beaten 2-1 at home by title challengers Frampton United. The home side got off to a great start going ahead after just 5 minutes when a shot on goal was defected into his own net by a Frampton defender. United levelled the score on 37 minutes from a corner to the back post where Sean Lawson was waiting to head home. The winner from Frampton in the 50th minute was unfortunate for the home side as the ball was being cleared it struck another Henbury player dropped to Sean Lawson who buried his shot and gave the visitors the 3 points.

Hardwicke entertained Southmead SC Athletic who were buoyant after their win at home to Henbury last week and started the game really well, but it was the home side that grabbed the lead on 5 minutes from a James Ratcliffe corner turned in by Pat Vernall. Hardwicke’s Kerion Brice-Ingles then forced a very good save from the Southmead keeper Alvin Quaye on 12 minutes. On 30 minutes Rob Hine missed a great chance to increase the lead when he headed wide from Matthews cross. On 47 minutes the home side made it 2-0 from a James Ratcliffe free kick that went through the wall deceived keeper Quaye and rolled into the net. The home side made it three on 55 minutes Kieron Brice-Ingles firing past Quaye after a great ball from Will Higgins. The home side were reduced to ten men giving the visitors a chance to possibly come back but they could only manage the one goal from a cross from Leon Clayton-Clarke turned in by Reece Evans.

Wick carried on from last week with a 4-2 win at home to Gala Wilton. The home side had their first shot on goal after 15 minutes from Dan Wingfield that was well saved by keeper Lewis Skyers. On 20 minutes Sam Thomas turned the defence but his shot was well saved by Skyers. The home side went ahead on 22 minutes Sam Thomas tuning the ball home after good build up. Gala equalised almost immediately from a Dan Creed free kick that went through the home wall beating Pople in the home goal. On 26 minutes the visitors almost went ahead but Pople pulled off a good save to deny Martin Colley. Five minutes before the break Wick retook the lead when Dan Wingfield’s through ball to Dan Stephens was finished off nicely. Just a minute later it was 3-1 as Charlie Stevens headed home a Wingfield cross. Liam Henderson then had his shot well saved by Skyers on 55 minutes and it was a Liam Henderson cross that found Joe Thomas to make it 4-1. The home side had a great chance to make it five on 70 minutes when Charlie Stevens was brought down in the box but his penalty was well saved by Skyers. On 80 minutes Gala scored their second and that came from the penalty spot after a foul by Kieran Hutson had given them the chance. Dan Creed took the kick and double his tally for the day.

Broadwell Amateurs home form has helped their cause this season and they recorded a 3-1 win over today’s visitors AEK Boco. Harry Williams netted all three for the home side and got the first on 2 minutes from a long ball that he chipped over keeper Jacques as he came out. Ben Fishwick skimmed the bar for the home side on 40 minutes, then a mix-up in the visitor’s defence on 48 minutes allowed Williams to pounce for his second. It was 3-0 on 56 minutes when Williams completed his hattrick from the penalty spot after a handball incident. Boco got a consolation goal late on when a low cross into the box was finished off by Harvey Sealey.

5th January 2019 - Wick take the points at Patchway

By Ron Holpin

Patchway Town will be rueing the two good chances that they missed in the first minute of the second half after the first half had failed to produce any real chances and Wick went away with a 3-1 win and the 3 points.

45 seconds into the second half Patchway’s Ben Purdie missed a golden opportunity from 8 yards when he sliced the ball wide from a cross that had come to him following a slight deflection, then on the minute mark Luke Garbacz had a very good chance but keeper Joe Pople pushed the ball out for a corner. From the corner Wick cleared their lines and broke clear with the ball played out to Liam Henderson to cut in and fire it past keeper Sam Burgess. Wick created another good chance in the 56th minute when they broke from defence again down the left, the ball was played to Harry Madge to make it 2-0. Both sides made changes but the most profitable came from Wick in the 67th minute when the ball was knocked across from the right and sub Sam Thomas who had only been on a couple of minutes made it 3-0. The visitors were well on top at this stage and the home side were defending for quite a long period following the goals until the 79th minute when a long free kick from Ash Wells ran clear in the Wick box Luke Garbacz latched onto the loose ball but was brought down and the referee pointed to the spot. Dan Bendall who had given the Wick the most problems throughout sent Pople the wrong way to make it 3-1. This lifted the home side but they were unable to get the ball past Pople again.

Southmead CS Athletic gained their first ever victory over close rivals Henbury that lifted them off the bottom of the table. The home side took the lead on 31 minutes from a good cross in from the right by Remi Ferguson and Kyle Wootten found the back of the Henbury net. It stayed like that until the 51st minute when the home side scored again from a long ball played out to the right for Frank Stallard and he cut into the box and drove the ball past the Henbury keeper. On 58 minutes Henbury pulled a goal back when the Southmead keeper Alvin Quaye made a terrible mistake and threw the ball straight to Henbury’s Harvey Moran to drive the ball home. Any chance of the visitors levelling the score was thrown away on 64 minutes when an attempted back pass went wrong and Remi Ferguson nipped in round the keeper to slide the ball home.

Lebeq United recorded a 3-0 win at AEK Boco to keep them top of the pile. Frank Taylor-Fox and Jacob Saunders squandered early chances for Boco and the first effort on goal from the leaders was shot from Dan Payne that cleared the bar on 26 minutes. Right on half time Lebeq took the lead from the penalty spot after Cameron Brown had been brought -down he got up to safely netted the spot kick for a 1-0 lead. In time added at the end of the half Harrison Kyte missed a glorious chance to level for Boco. Lebeq went 2-0 up on 57 minutes when Jack Mills deflected a James Hall shot into his own net. A few minutes later it was almost three but Elan Plummer’s shot cleared the bar. The visitors grabbed a third goal on 80 minutes James Hall firing home from the edge of the box. On a bad note the home side finished with 10 men when Cash Vinall was sent off in the 89th minute.

Gala Wilton dropped to the bottom of the table after losing 4-1 at home to Stonehouse Town. The home side looked the better side in the opening stages and took the lead on 10 minutes when a corner eventually found Jason Littleton who smashed his shot through a crowd of players into the Stonehouse net. Stonehouse’s Adam Philp had two great chances to level the score first he rounded keeper Lewis Skyers then shot wide and the second effort he had a clear shot on goal but Skyers saved. Three minutes before the break Town did manage to level from an Alex Kibble 25-yard free kick that took deflection on its way in. At the start of the second half the home side were unlucky when Sam Prosser crossed into the box it eventually fell to Dan Knight but his shot was just wide. At the other end Adam Philp missed an open goal for Town. The visitors managed to take the lead on 76 minutes when Liam Gale managed to dispossess Sam Prosser and ran clear to slide the ball past Skyers. The home side had several chances with Tom Boyle giving Pedrick in the visitor’s goal something to do. The final nail in the coffin came in the very last minute of the game when Mike Ashenhurst scored a fourth for Stonehouse.

An eight-goal thriller at Ruardean Hill Rangers where the home side ran out 5-3 winners over Hardwicke. Hardwicke’s Will Higgins had the first effort on goal but his 20-yard shot went just over. Rangers Luke Johnson then brought keeper Chris Perks into action on 15 minutes and Higgins had home keeper at full stretch to save his 25-yard shot. Rangers Shaun Tingle had his shot cleared of the line on 25 minutes then 3 minutes later Rangers took the lead when Luke Brown volleyed home from the edge of the box. Hardwicke almost got on level terms on 36 minutes when Rangers defender Coombs saw his keeper Underwood just manage to stop his back header going in for an own goal. Brown then made it 2-0 to Rangers in the 37th minute picking up the ball in his own half and just drifting past numerous Hardwicke defenders before slotting the ball home. It went to 3-0 on 60 minutes when Luke Johnson scored after being set up by Luke Brown. Hardwicke pulled one back on 70 minutes when Kieran Brice-Ingles second attempt went past Underwood. Just 2 minute later Luke Brown was at it again picking the ball up in his own half to go on another mazy run to make it 4-1. Hardwicke got a second goal on 80 minutes when a lucky rebound fell to Lewis Grisley to fire home. Things got a little tight on 85 minutes when Hardwicke scored again through Connor Dallimore. Hardwicke forced a corner with just a couple of minutes to go and their keeper Chris Perks arrived in the box to support. Unfortunately, Rangers cleared the danger and the ball was played up to Luke Johnson to score the final goal.

Frampton United shook off their defeat from last week and hit back with a 3-1 win at home to Broadwell Amateurs. In a game that was dominated by the home side they should have taken the lead in the 8th minute when Josh Beadle played the ball through to Adam Bloomfield but he shot wide. Then Sean Lawson hit the bar on 20 minutes. On 22 minutes the home side went 1-0 up as Joe Wilton’s first attempt was blocked, he followed up to make no mistake with the second. On 26 minutes Josh Beadle struck the upright. On 41 minutes Broadwell drew level when Ian Price bundled the ball into the net from a corner for their only real chance in the game. The home side went 2-1 up on 73 minutes when Fraser Wilson sent Jonathan Lewis clear to score. Lewis was unlucky in the 84th minute when his shot went just the wrong side of the upright. Frampton sewed the points up on 82 minutes when Liam Harper let fly from 25 yards and the ball flew into the top corner.

Last but not least Little Stoke had a comfortable 3-0 win over today’s visitors Hanham Athletic. The home side went ahead on 25 minutes when Dean Patterson drove home a great through ball from Ethan Tucker. Two minutes into the second half a long ball in from Russ Church found Patterson to turn it in for a 2-0 lead. On 60 minutes Jordan Yeo rattled the crossbar for the home side, then on 65 minutes Ethan Tucker sent a great ball across the edge of the box for Kieron Williams to slot home.

2nd January 2019 - Little Stoke Chief hails teams attitude

By Simon Parkinson

ASH Coles says an "all-for-one" spirit has helped his Little Stoke side out of a hole and into brighter climes ahead of their New Year Marcliff Gloucestershire County League challenges.

His team turned the tide following testing earlier-season spells and whilst they remain entrenched in the lower realms of the table following a 3-0 weekend home defeat by a strong Stonehouse Town set-up, results have improved generally.

A recent penalty shoot-out success at high-flying Frampton United, the second-placed team who whacked them 7-1 in an early-October mauling at Bell Field, also secured them a place in the Les James League Cup semi-finals to further raise spirits.

"We’d hit a difficult spell during which we couldn’t buy a win," Stoke supremo Coles accepted.

"It was a case of everyone pulling together and getting that all-for-one spirit back. We’d been having decent moments in games but not creating many chances, and when we’d fall behind to silly goals we’d struggle to recover.

"A prime example was when we played Lebeq early last month. A draw would have been a fair result but we conceded an early goal, didn’t take our chances to level up and they got another at the death.

"The turning point seemed to come against Henbury at home when we found ourselves 2-0 down at half-time as a consequence of two costly errors.

"We’d been beaten 4-1 by Hardwicke in our previous game and that had been horrible. We really didn’t want that to happen again and we said to the lads that we had to give everything in the second half to get ourselves out of this situation.

"The boys came out flying for the second half and showed real passion and determination to come back and win 3-2 and that gave everyone a lift. We went on to beat Ruardean Hill, who were in the top three at the time, 2-0 at their place.”

A rejuvenated Little Stoke did suffer the setback of a 3-2 away defeat by Patchway Town in the Scott Park derby, although Coles pointed out: "We shot ourselves in the foot in that one as we committed three errors and they punished us each and every time.

"Had we gone in at half-time 4-0 up there could have been no arguments. Our performance levels weren’t bad and we played good football, it was just Patchway, to their credit, exploited our individual mistakes.

"It hurt given it happened against our local rivals but we could take heart from our display. Aside from the silly mistakes we just didn’t have enough conviction in the final third.

"Again, to the lads’ credit, they went to Frampton for the cup tie and took them to a penalty shoot-out after a goalless draw before winning 8-7 on pens.

"We’d previously come away from Frampton completely embarrassed at losing 7-1 against a good and quick side. But this time we matched them all over the park.

"We defended really well when we were under the cosh and it was a great effort. To get ourselves into a semi-final has given us all a boost because it offers the potential for a cup final and keeps our season alive."

Coles conceded that his Little Stoke side had been "poor" by comparison in Saturday’s Stonehouse reverse.

But as he prepared them for a trip to face Wick tomorrow (Dec 29, 2pm) he insisted: "The lads have been fantastic over the last few weeks but we just need to try and find some consistency levels in order to get up into the top half of the table."