News and Match Reports

3rd March 2020 - Secretary discusses changes for next season

Simon Parkinson

MARCLIFF Gloucestershire County League secretary Ron Holpin welcomed an array of applicants to the popular Step 7 competition next season but stressed: "It’s a very uncertain picture at this time."

Cribbs Reserves and Shaftesbury Crusade are two from the Bristol Premier Combination league bidding to enter, whilst Avonmouth, Filton Athletic and Stoke Gifford United, all Bristol and Suburban League competitors, have also applied to join.

Gloucestershire Northern Senior League outfits Brockworth Albion, Chalford, Charlton Rovers, Cheltenham Civil Service and Harrow Hill, the latter two former County League members, are also vying for places.

There’s another in the shake-up too – Bristol-based Shirehampton, currently sitting pretty at the head of Uhlsport Somerset County Premier Division, who have applied to the FA for "lateral movement" to the equivalent Gloucestershire league.

Holpin said his league’s rules decreed that if two successfully-placed clubs currently operating at Step 8 level on the football pyramid were "ready to join" with the required ground facility grading granted, two clubs would automatically be relegated from Gloucestershire County League.

As it stands, Patchway Town and Hanham Athletic occupy those two unwanted bottom spots although three more sides above them – Broadwell Amateurs, Ruardean Hill Rangers and 2019-20 newcomers Bromley Heath United – are among others striving to keep the trapdoor threat at bay.

Long-serving County League administrator Holpin also revealed: "There’s to be an end-of-season play-off situation involving three high-ranked teams from the Premier Combination, Suburban League and Northern Senior League, provided they meet the ground grading criteria.

"We currently only have 15 clubs in our league and that creates a vacancy as the league plans to operate with 16 clubs next season.

"It could be that Shirehampton, who have applied for a sideways switch to our league, could fill that space although their facilities would still require inspection under the ground grading criteria.

"Promotion and relegation issues have to be decided, however, before any vacancy issues are dealt with."

"Alternatively we could see a team dropping down from a Step 6 league and making up the numbers in the County League. Less likely, but possible, you could have all three teams involved in these end-of-season play-offs in contention to come in.

"As I’ve informed all clubs, though; we really don’t know what will happen. The FA is restructuring its Step 5 and 6 leagues and with league seasons across the board potentially having to be extended because of the bad weather, it’s far too early to speculate.

"With all that uncertainty around we’re unlikely to have a much firmer picture until the end of April."

By then AEK-BOCO, the only County League club to have applied for promotion to Step 6 level, will know more of their likely fate although they have much work to do between now and the campaign’s conclusion if they are to cement the top five place required for potential elevation.

29th February 2020 - Frampton United beat Sharpness to extend lead at top

Ron Holpin

Just one fixture went ahead from the seven scheduled and it was a game that was reversed with Sharpness travelling to Frampton United for this top of the table clash.

A strong start for Frampton earning a corner in the first minute of the game. A well worked routine created the first chance for Jack Bartman whose shot was cleared off the line. The next five minutes or so was evenly matched with both sides feeling their way into the game and getting use to the conditions on the pitch which showed no signs of the amount of rain that has fallen recently. The first chance for Sharpness fell on nine minutes when a free kick given away by Jack Bartman was swung into the box only to be headed wide of the target. A good spell of possession let to a good chance on thirteen minutes when Frampton’s Manolo Espada weaved his way through the defence only to see his shot well saved by keeper Dan Hobbs. The resulting corner saw a good delivery from Fin Blythe but headed over the bar by Nathan Dennis from eight yards. On eighteen minutes Frampton won another corner but the delivery from Manolo Espada was poor and gave Sharpness the chance to break up field but Fin Small failed to get the better of Jack Bartman in the final third. A 30-yard shot from Nathan Dennis was deflected to Jack Bartman but his 25-yard effort was well saved by Hobbs. On thirty-four minutes a cross from James Piateck saw an ambitious overhead kick from Bartman fly several yards wide. An equally ambitious shot from Craig Mills from 40 yards failed to test the keeper. In the fortieth minute Frampton’s Craig Mills gave away a penalty which was taken by Dan Gayner but his shot was poor and Frampton keeper Aaron Taylor saved well. Just before the break with Sharpness on the attack Fin Small got behind the Frampton defence only to see his cross-roll right across the face of the goal with Brad Hewer unable to make any contact.

The second half kicked off in bright Sunshine lifting everyone including the 196 spectators at the game. The deadlock was broken in the 53rd minutes when Dan Martin went on a fantastic run weaving past three Sharpness defenders and nutmegging one in the process before calmly slotting the ball through the keeper’s legs to put Frampton 1-0 up. The next few minutes belonged to the home side with some stout defending by the visitor’s but with Sam Strickland eventually giving away a free kick, keeper Hobbs dropped the cross into the box but there was no Frampton player in close proximity to knock it into the net. Frampton made it 2-0 on sixty-one minutes from a corner sent over by Manolo Espada and dispatched into the net with a powerful header from Jack Bartman. On seventy-two minutes Sharpness had a very good chance to pull a goal back when a cross into the box fell to Alex Gayner but he dragged his shot wide. The visitors had another really good chance on eighty minutes from a long ball up field that dropped nicely onto the head of Jack Higgs but he directed it straight into the arms of Taylor. The home side created several more half chances but none of them came to anything. The win now puts the leader four points ahead with the same number of games played.

24th February 2020 - Bromley Heath boss confident of survival

Simon Parkinson

BROMLEY Heath United boss Craig Britton is confident about his team’s survival chances as he braces them for a stiff home test with AEK-BOCO tomorrow (2pm).

Still fresh to Step 7 Marcliff Gloucestershire County League action following their rise as champions of Bristol and Suburban League, the Pomphrey Hill side have experienced a helter-skelter time of it getting to grips with their new-found status.

Whilst the job is far from done when it comes to maintaining their position in the league perched fifth from the foot of the table aware two places come under relegation threat, there’s been plenty to encourage too with five victories behind them including eye-catching 3-0 and 1-0 successes over Rockleaze Rangers and Wick respectively.

Britton stressed: "When we do lose we certainly don’t get battered. Yes, we struggle to take our chances at times and that’s reflected in our results being so tight in the main.

"We all feel we could be doing better than we are but we have adjusted to this league now and hopefully we’ll stay up and be ready for a better crack at it next year.

"What we did find coming into this league was how big a gap there is between County and Suburban leagues in terms of the way teams set up and organise. A lot of clubs at this level also have a clinical striker.

"Anyone can beat anyone on their day as we ourselves know having beaten top sides like Wick and Rockleaze."

The Pomphrey Hill supremo maintained: "We certainly hold our own in most games but the fact we’ve not been taking enough of our chances, and made individual mistakes at the other end, is why we’re not further up the table than we are.

"We’re looking at the bottom two going down but the positive thing is it’s in our hands to stay up with games in hand, although it’s always nice to have the points already on the board.

"Ideally I’d like to think we could push on for a mid-table finish but staying up is obviously the priority."

Britton is heartened too by the club’s off-field status. "It’s a social club with a good close-knit spirit, helped by the fact 75 per cent of us are still here four or five years down the line (since the senior section evolved).

"Everyone cares about how everyone else gets on, whether they’re with our reserves, third team or under-18s.

"Our thirds, which comprises 90 per cent lads aged 18 or below, are going really well in their first-ever season under Dave Taylor’s leadership in Suburban Division Four and looking good to go up, as are our reserves in Suburban Two led by Aiden Cousins and Sam Iles.

"They’re also in a promotion position and doing a really good job supporting our first team as well as doing well in their own right."

The Bromley boss reasoned: "Everybody at the club is ambitious to progress but we have to take it one step at a time before we can begin to think about anything higher.

"We have a committee of three or four people driving it on but they could do with more help if we’re to truly push on from here," emphasised Britton, who is without central midfielder and "our player of the season so far" Jack Withey (work) while centre-back George Foyle and centre-forward Sam Edwards remain long-term sidelined through injury.

Meanwhile, big game of the day on the Hillside Gardens 3G tomorrow sees second-placed Rockleaze Rangers and visiting Wick going head-to-head for a top-four tussle involving two teams very much in contention for first-ever County League crowns.

At the opposite end second-bottom Hanham Athletic, with four straight defeats behind them, have their hands full striving to survive in the league as they target three invaluable points at home against Henbury.

Little Stoke would welcome some joy too amid a barren spell as they host relegation-threatened Broadwell Amateurs whilst Patchway Town, who remain in danger of being marooned at the foot of the table, have at least shown promising signs of late which they hope to turn into something tangible at home to leaders Sharpness.

22nd February 2020 - Wick take points in clash with Rockleaze Rangers

Ron Holpin

Frampton United go back to the top with a win at home to Quedgeley Wanderers and Wick win at Rockleaze Rangers. Sharpness drop to second after their game at Patchway Town was called off.

Top game today was Rockleaze Rangers v Wick with the visitors leaving with the three points. The first chance fell to Wick’s Charlie Stevens who hammered his shot against the Rangers bar. It was the home side who took the lead on 20 minutes when Dan Webb and Nick Jones combined to set up Jordan Dent to fire past Joe Pople. On 28 minutes Rangers keeper Lewis Brodie brilliantly tipped Charlie Stevens free kick over the bar. Just before the break Wick levelled the score Alfie Clarke turning in the box and hit a good shot past Brodie. On 55 minutes Wick took the lead after Brodie initially saved Grant Hewitt’s shot but Charlie Stevens following up and knocked in the rebound. Wick increased their lead in the 72nd minute when Alfie Clark netted from the penalty spot. The home side did manage a second right on time when Rory Langdon burst clear to hit the ball past Pople.

Frampton United are the leaders after today’s fixtures were completed. Quedgeley Wanderers thought they had bundled the ball over the line on 5 minutes but the assistant referee ruled that out. Frampton’s first effort on goal on 12 minutes was a rasping shot from Manolo Espada that rattle the crossbar. In the 40th minute the visitors had a great chance to take the lead when the Frampton keeper Aaron Taylor completely misjudged a cross and Kyle James-Bryan headed wide. A minute before half time Frampton took the lead when Fin Blythe’s free kick came back off the bar and Nathan Dennis was there to head in the rebound. Early in the second half Frampton went 2-0 up when Craig Mills sent a great ball through for Steve Jackson to score. Quedgeley got a goal back late in the game when Lewis Payton scored from the penalty spot.

An interesting game at Little Stoke where the home side won 4-2 against today’s visitors Broadwell Amateurs. Broadwell got off to a great start taking the lead after just 2 minutes Adam Fowler striking a 20-yard shot into the bottom corner. The home side levelled the score in the 17th minute when Ethan Moore turned the ball in form a Russ Church cross. A superb solo goal from Jaiden Holver hitting a 25 yards screamer giving keeper Ben Reed in the Broadwell goal no chance and put the home side 2-1 up. The visitors went down to ten men in the 29th minute when Alex Brown was sent off for allegedly striking an opponent. Right on half time Stoke went 3-1 up a throw in on the halfway line was headed on by Russ Church and Alex Hill struck the ball home from a full 30 yards. In the 63rd minute Broadwell missed a penalty the kick that was saved by the home keeper. Liam Thomas made it 3-2 on 65 minutes from a free kick, but in the 73rd minute after a lot of shoving and pushing in which several cards were issued Luke Sperring of Little Stoke was sent off. Little Stoke got their fourth and final goal in time added when Reece Buss went through on goal to hit the ball past Reed.

It seems that Hanham Athletic are creating chances to score in games but failure to put them away is costing them dearly. They got off to a bad start in today’s home game with Henbury conceding in the 1st minute to a Dawid Regula goal. They hit back within 2 minutes from a George Latham corner headed home by Darius Davey. Jamie Fry should have put the home side 2-1 up but blasted over in a one-on-one situation. Then on 35 minutes Sam Brown was also guilty of missing an open goal he to blasted over the bar. In the second half Luke Corbiere latched onto a good cross but then with the goal gaping he stabbed the ball straight to the Henbury keeper Lewis Jefferies. Those missed chances came back to bite them when Henbury scored two quick goals the first from Kane Manning’s that skimmed under the diving Mason Hawkins and a second from Dawid Regula shortly after. On 70 minutes George Davey who had come on as a substitute got a second for Hanham but they could not find another to level the score.

A 1-1 score-line at Ruardean Hill Rangers who played host to Hardwicke. With the wind at their back Hardwicke took charge of the opening exchanges and took the lead on 10 minutes when a corner was missed by all the home defenders and Kieran Squires was on hand to slip the ball home from close range. The home side got back on level terms in the 20th minute with some good combination work from Bobby Walding who gained possession in midfield who then slipped the ball to Shaun Tingle who intern fed it through to Steve Clarke to turn the last defender and fire the ball past keeper Tom Kaye. Another good move by the home side should have brought a second goal but Luke Brown shot wide. Will Higgins and Tobie Webb combined well together before the latter brought a great one handed save from home keeper Aaron Underwood. A short back pass from Hardwicke was latched onto by Mitch Griffin but his shot hit the upright. The second half saw chances for both sides with Clarke shooting wide for the home side early on. Then Will Higgins went close for the visitors. Keeper Tom Kaye then saved well from Mitch Griffin. Rangers Luke Johnson was clean through on goal but stubbed his shot and Kaye collected the loose ball. The last real chance fell to Rangers Luke Brown but his shot cleared the bar.

20th February 2020 - Referees Appointment Officer

Gloucestershire County Football League is looking to appoint a dedicated Referees Appointment Officer who will be responsible for attaining 100% coverage across matches for season 2020 / 2021.

The successful applicant will join a very progressive League Management team and be expected to appoint officials to matches and maintain records on their performance.

The ideal person would be someone who has previously refereed or is refereeing and can develop relationships with local Leagues / County / FA to ensure the development of match officials by providing them with opportunities to learn and progress.

Ensure that all Match officials adhere to FA Regulations in respect of registration.

Ability to work to tight deadlines.

Knowledge of the structure and organisations in local Football.

Experience of working with volunteers.

Strong IT skills and can be contacted by telephone, text and email.

The successful candidate will receive an honorarium along with any travel expenses when on League business.

If you wish to make an application outlining your experience, to be considered for the position, submit details to Peter Langley (Chairman) 07941 360398 or email

Closing date Monday 23 March 2020. (Noon)

17th February 2020 - AEK Boco looking for necessary promotion

Simon Parkinson

AEK-BOCO chairman John Winter insists his club will do "everything in our power" to secure a coveted and "necessary" promotion – and hasn’t ruled it out for this season.

The Hanham-based mid-table Marcliff Gloucestershire County League outfit and 2016 title winners urgently want to push on to non-League step 6 status in order to satisfy the demands and expectations of a burgeoning set-up involving youth, female and senior male performers.

Winter, who is also first team manager, takes BOCO into league combat tomorrow at Greenbank Road HQ for a date with Little Stoke.

And while that takes immediate priority it’s the bigger picture that is soaking up so much of Winter’s and his colleagues’ time and energy, with elevation "as soon as possible" to the Toolstation Western League, or equivalent Hellenic League, of pressing concern.

He explained: "We have under-18, under-17 and three under-16 teams packed with lads all eligible to move into senior men’s football. If we can’t progress as a club we’ll continue losing them to other clubs. So it’s a real key time for us.

"We also have two under-16 girls’ teams doing well and ready to move into successful women’s football here at BOCO. Again, if we don’t demonstrate we have the facilities to stage higher-level football they’ll move on too.

"You can only do so much as a club and we’ve been held back by red tape for far too long."

BOCO are making strides to upgrade their facilities in readiness for a potential move up the pyramid.

"We’re working at laying a solid pathway around two sides of our pitch and the V-mesh fencing around the pitch needs to be installed," Winter outlined.

"We’re on course to meet ground grading criteria for the next level up and we’re just awaiting South Gloucestershire Council final planning confirmation and landlord permission.

"We understand too that we’re the only club in the County League this season to apply for promotion and that a top five finish could be sufficient.

"If we can get the go-ahead to carry out these necessary ground works it would give everyone a lift and incentive to press on hard for that top five place and I see no reason, with games in hand, why we couldn’t achieve it."

Of his team’s on-field battles, Winter stressed: "We’re doing okay and we’re in the semi-finals of the League Cup where we play the current leaders Sharpness at home (on Saturday, April 4, 3pm).

"Our Jake Slocombe is top scorer in the league with 23 goals although we could really do with others pitching in with goals as we are creating chances.

"Everyone tells us we play good football and we just need to find the finishing touch more often to cap it off.

"It’s also encouraging to see so many of our successful under-16 Avon Youth League players going so well under the guidance of their manager ‘Spenny’ Thomas.

"Joel Manning has stepped up to us and done really well in goal and we’re gradually introducing others such as Kai Stenner (central midfielder), who was in the squad last week, and Liam Jones, a winger, with a view to getting them their first senior starts," added the BOCO leader, who can recall central midfielder Jason Thatcher and centre-half and captain Austen Shopland tomorrow.

He is, however, without Kalum Withey and Liam Powell, who scored in the 2-2 weekend draw with Broadwell Amateurs.

13th February 2020 - Representative Game

Gloucestershire Northern Senior League


Marcliff Gloucestershire County Football League

Wednesday 11th March 2020

at Slimbridge Football Club

Kick-off 7.30pm.

£2 entry fee with programme

10th February 2020 - Promotion Applicants and other movements

The following clubs have applied for promotion to the league for season 2020/21

  • Cribbs Reserves (Bristol Premier Combination)
  • Shaftsbury Crusade (Bristol Premier Combination)
  • Avonmouth (Bristol and Suburban League)
  • Filton Athletic (Bristol and Suburban League)
  • Stoke Gifford United (Bristol and Suburban League)
  • Brockworth Albion (Gloucestershire Northern Senior League)
  • Chalford (Gloucestershire Northern Senior League)
  • Charlton Rovers (Gloucestershire Northern Senior League)
  • Cheltenham Civil Service (Gloucestershire Northern Senior League)
  • Harrow Hill (Gloucestershire Northern Senior League)

The following club has applied to the FA for a lateral movement into the Gloucestershire County League

  • Shirehampton (Somerset County League)

Two clubs will be promoted to the league in accordance with the Gloucestershire FA Local Football Pyramid Regulations. The Relevant Regulation is reproduced below, Step 7 is the Gloucestershire County League, Step 8 is the Bristol Premier Combination Premier Division, Bristol & Suburban League Premier Division One, Gloucestershire Northern Senior League Division One and Hellenic League Division Two (Gloucestershire Affiliated Clubs).

Any vacancies will be dealt with after the promotion/relegation has been resolved as above and the FA have dealt with promotion to/from Step 6 Leagues.

7. Local Football Pyramid Management

  1. Gloucestershire FA will appoint members to any Joint League Liaison Committee (JLLC) convened to discuss issues related to these Regulations. The Committee shall meet at least once per season or at the request of an affiliated League.
  2. A Promotion and Relegation Link shall exist between Competitions at Step 7 and Step 8 as agreed and/or amended by the JLLC and approved by Council from time to time.
  3. Promotion to Step 7 is subject to the Team’s proposed facilities meeting the FA Step 7 minimum ground grading criteria as published from time to time and;
    1. Applying to the Step 7 Competition for membership, in writing, on or before 31st January, enclosing the application fee agreed by the JLLC from time to time.
    2. Evidencing security of tenure at a playing facility that meets the FA ground grading criteria from 1st August to 30th April in the following season.
    3. The Club being affiliated to Gloucestershire FA as its ‘Parent County FA’
  4. Affiliated Clubs may appeal to the Association against a decision made by a Competition in respect of promotion eligibility in accordance with FA Regulations.
  5. Subject to 7c, a minimum of two Teams will be promoted to the Step 7 Competition from Step 8 Competitions each season as approved by the JLLC.
  6. A maximum of two teams may be promoted from any one Competition at Step 8 unless otherwise agreed by the JLLC.
  7. Should a Champion Team not wish for promotion to Step 7 or, alternatively, not meet the necessary ground grading criteria, then the second, third or fourth placed Team in that Competition will be eligible under the same conditions.
    1. The JLCC shall prioritise promotion for the Champion Teams, then the Runners-up followed by the third or fourth placed Teams, subject to Regulation 7c.
  8. In the event of there being more than two Teams equally eligible for promotion to Step 7, promotion shall be determined by virtue of being the winners of a play-off match or series of matches. The eligibility criteria and format of the Play-offs shall be determined by the JLLC. Play-offs shall be managed by Gloucestershire FA at a suitable venue.
  9. The bottom two Teams in the Step 7 Competition shall be relegated to Step 8.
    1. Should one or more Teams withdraw from the Step 7 Competition after the Playing Season has commenced an equal number of Teams to those withdrawing in that division shall not be automatically relegated
    2. Each relegated Team will be consulted and allocated to the Competition recommended as most appropriate by the JLLC.
  10. In the event of there being no eligible Club in any Step 8 Competition wishing for promotion or not having the necessary grading criteria, this will reduce the number of Clubs to be relegated from the Step 7 Competition.
    1. If only one Team is eligible or wish for promotion, only the bottom Team in the Step 7 Competition will be relegated.
    2. If no Clubs are eligible, or wish for promotion, no Clubs will be relegated from the Step 7 Competition.

10th February 2020 - Wick have everything to play for

Simon Parkinson

WICK manager Mike Strawford admitted a bold promotion attempt this season by his high-flying Marcliff Gloucestershire County League team was looking "increasingly unlikely" but declared: "There’s everything else to play for."

The South Gloucestershire outfit not only loiter with intent in fourth spot where their league title aspirations lie but they are in the semi-final of the Les James League Cup – Gala Wilton are the visitors on April 4 – as well as the last eight of the GFA Challenge Trophy, which they confront with a short trip to Bath Road to take on Toolstation Prem big boys Bitton this Tuesday night (7.30pm).

In the meantime Strawford’s men have a key appointment to meet in the shape of tomorrow’s hosts Frampton United, current leaders they have already beaten twice this term in league (3-2 home) and Les James Cup (1-0 away).

"Frampton are always a threat and they’re in the box seat right now," the Oldbury Lane leader acknowledged.

"I also know that on our day we can beat anyone at this level and if we can get a win on Saturday we’ll draw level on points with them.

"It’s a massive month all round for us with Gala Wilton and Rockleaze to play among others but we can only think about this one important game. Get that safely out of the way and we can begin to think about Bitton."

Wick travel to Bell Field tomorrow with four consecutive wins under their belt although their demanding boss wasn’t altogether enamoured with what he witnessed to start with in last weekend’s 3-2 home win over Patchway Town’s strugglers.

"We were atrocious in the first half to trail 2-0 and I threatened the lads with three substitutions after ten to 15 minutes of the second half if things didn’t improve," Strawford revealed.

"By 64 minutes we were 3-2 up so thankfully it didn’t happen and to be fair the boys’ response was magnificent.

"They’d been as good as gold all season until then and some big lessons were hopefully taken from it. As I told the lads at half-time, you can’t be resting on your laurels; you can’t just rock up to games expecting to win them.

"Frustrations were kicking in during that first half and you can’t be getting like that when things go against you."

Asked about their promotion aspirations, Strawford, who is without Jordan Scott for several weeks again now after the luckless centre-forward’s foot injury was recently found to have been triggered by a break, accepted: "It’s looking unlikely we’ll go for it this year due to our facilities needing upgrading, which includes having floodlights in place by April.

"It won’t stop us pushing the club on regardless over the next few months and pushing to win the league this season and seeing where it takes us.

"There’s certainly all to play for as we’re also in those two cup competitions still.

"Everyone other than Jordan should be fit and ready for Frampton who, as I say, are a dangerous side and will no doubt be doubly determined to get one over on us after those two victories of ours over them.

"So we have to be ready for that."

8th February 2020 - Sharpness go top with narrow victory at Bromley Heath

Ron Holpin

Sharpness go top after winning 1-0 at Bromley Heath United while Frampton United and Wick draw 1-1 at the Bell Field.

The game at Bromley Heath United was far from a spectacular but both teams did their best with a very strong cross wind blowing the whole game. The visitors Sharpness have a very strong tall side and won most everything in the air especially in defence. Because of the condition very little passing football was dished up and long balls from both sides were the flavour of the afternoon. The opening chance fell to the home sides Dan Fowler who walked away with his hands covering his face after shooting straight at keeper Dan Hobbs in the 4th minute of the game. A Sharpness free kick on 15 minutes was pushed over the bar by keeper Tom Sheppard. The keeper was in action again midway through the half this time saving well from a Dan Gayner shot. Sharpness had two corners in succession curled in from the right side and the home defence did really well to defend both. Sharpness took the lead on 30 minutes when Dan Gayner hit a left foot shot which Sheppard saved with his feet but then saw the Referee point to the penalty spot. Dan Gayner hit the ball really hard to Sheppard’s left the keeper went the right way and got a hand to it but failed to keep it out of his net. On 36 minutes there was a scramble in the Sharpness goalmouth but the ball ran loose for Hobbs to collect.

6 minutes into the second half Sharpness managed to scramble the ball out for a corner from a Dan Fowler free kick. Fowler had another chance in the 61st minute but shot wide. In the 74th minute a high cross into the Sharpness goalmouth was excellently dealt with by keeper Dan Hobbs. The best chance of the second half for the home side fell to Jay Malpas in the 88th minute his flying header just clearing the bar.

Just the one goal at Gala Wilton where today’s visitors were Henbury. A goal in the very first minute of the game came from a Craig Howell cross to the far post that was headed back across goal by Martin Smith and John Clay was on hand to tap the ball in. The rest of the half was played out with no chances from either side created. Ryan Dobbins had a chance for the home side when he turned in the box but shot wide and the only other chance fell to Ben Sluman in the 78th minute but his shot was well saved by Henbury keeper Jack Bebbington.

Unbelievable, at Hillside Gardens where Rockleaze Rangers and Hanham Athletic were drawing 0-0 after 45 minutes but the home side hammered seven into the visitor’s net in the second half. There were chances in the first half the first falling to Marcus Williams of Rangers his shot just clipping the crossbar. On 15 minutes Rangers keeper Lewis Brodie saved well from a Luke Corbiere’s shot on target. Right-on half-time Mike Perham struck the crossbar for Rangers following a corner but it remained 0-0. Rangers started well in the second half and went 1-0 up in the 46th minute from a corner that was flicked on at the near post and Jordan Dent finished it off. Dent scored again in the 64th minute when he struck fierce drive from the edge of the box that gave Mason Hawkins in the Hanham goal no chance. 3 minutes later Nick Jones got in on the action to score from the edge of the box. Then just 2 minutes later Dan Webb scored the first of his three goals when Dent set up the chance. Webb got his second on 72 minutes when he broke clear to make it 5-0. Jay Connor came on as a substitute and scored with a great lob over the keeper in the 79th minute and Webb rounded the scoring off on 84 minutes to complete his hattrick.

Frampton United slipped down to third place in the table after they were held to a 1-1 score-line at home to Wick. The visitors had much the better of the first half and went ahead after 12 minutes when Sam Thomas scored following a corner. Frampton equalised 2 minutes into the second half following a great run by Manolo Espada and a cross in for Jack Bartman to slot home. Joe Pople the Wick keeper then saved well from an Espada shot on target in the 55th minute and 10 minutes later Sam Thomas had a great chance to put Wick ahead again but shot straight at substitute keeper Davis who took over in goal when Sparrow had to leave the field with a damaged hand. Right at the death Joe Thomas could have won it for Wick but his header flashed the wrong side of the post.

Little Stoke are producing some indifferent performances of late and today was no exception when they were well beaten at home by Hardwicke. They went behind after just 2 minutes when Will Matthews headed in from a cross. On 27 minutes Stuart Nelson struck the crossbar for Little Stoke and on 36 minutes Kieran Williams had his shot well saved by the visitor’s keeper. Hardwicke were quick of the mark in the second half and went 2-0 up when Steve Bick hit a low drive into the bottom corner. Bick struck again in the 70th minute and Keiron Squires headed home a fourth in the 78th minute.

AEK Boco led 2-1 in this game where they missed numerous chances throughout but the visitors hit back to go away with a valuable point. In fact, it was Broadwell Amateurs who took the lead on 22 minutes after Alex Browns shot rebounded to Adan Fowler to drive home. 5 minutes before the break the home side levelled the score from a Liam Powell shot that sped through a crowded box to finish up in the back of the net. Boco were awarded a penalty on the hour mark and Jake Slocombe put the home side 2-1 up. However, as the game went in to time added at the end of 90 minutes Dan Brain scored a fantastic goal from an overhead kick to give the visitor’s a point to take home.

Ruardean Hill Rangers are struggling with inconsistency this season and were beaten 2-1 at home by Quedgeley Wanderers. The home side got off to a dreadful start conceding after just 2 minutes from a long ball into the box and defenders thinking the flag was going up saw Dorian Colling made ground to head past keeper Bowles. Just 3 minutes later Ricky Tingle had the ball in the back of the Wanderers net but it was ruled out for offside. Wanderers Karl James -Bryan could have made it 2-0 but shot wide. Then on 21 minutes after a good passing movement up field Luke Brown effort on goal went wide. On 25 minutes Tingle had a great chance to level but was tackled at the last moment by Dan Lander. The home side saw Brown go down in the box just before the break but nothing was given. Luke Brown hit a great 25-yard shot on the hour mark to level the score and then Tingle had two great chances to score both set up by Brown but poor finishing let him down. On 77 minutes Ruardean’s Steve Coombs was sent off following a foul and from the free kick Karl James-Bryan netted the winner for Wanderers

3rd February 2020 - Les James League Cup Semi-Final Draw

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

  • AEK Boco v Sharpness
  • Wick v Gala Wilton

All games to be played on Saturday 4th April with a 3 PM kick-off

3rd February 2020 - Rockleaze manager hopeful "harsh lessons learned"

Simon Parkinson

ROCKLEAZE Rangers manager Peter Bradbury is hopeful "harsh lessons" have been heeded as he takes his talented team to Broadwell Amateurs tomorrow eager to capitalise on their lofty status.

The Hillside Gardens outfit are in impressive form third on the Marcliff Gloucestershire County League ladder and only four points adrift of Frampton United pacesetters who do have two vital games to make up on Bradbury’s battlers.

That picture could have been looking an even rosier one had Rangers not experienced a painful late crash a fortnight back to lose 3-2 on their slick 3G surface to Frampton fliers who never know when they’re beaten as they eye a first coveted title triumph, something they have threatened for several years now.

Of that last-gasp agony, Bradbury explained: “We’d been 2-1 up on 91 minutes and good value for it, only to throw it all away inside 65 horrible seconds. After playing so well it was pretty devastating.

"Credit to Frampton, they’d weathered the storm and stayed in the game but you have to keep going until the very last whistle. We didn’t and paid the price.

"Even our chairman Andy Myland reckoned we’d played some of the best football seen at Rockleaze in many a year.

"We’d coped so comfortably with everything Frampton threw at us, right up until they launched the ball up the pitch twice at the end to undo us."

Bradbury accepted: "On hindsight, after conceding the equalising goal, we should maybe have kept calmer heads and taken it rather than go gung-ho in a desperate attempt to rectify it as a draw wouldn’t have been a disaster.

"Instead we over-committed on the right side at the restart and one cross and finish and it was in the back of our net again.

"Still, we’d scored twice at the death to beat Hardwicke 2-1 a few weeks back so what goes around comes around I suppose!"

Bradbury was nonetheless impressed with the manner in which his team dusted themselves down seven short days on to overcome a much more competitive Gala Wilton side 3-1 in Gloucester at the weekend.

"It was pleasing as Gala were clearly up for it, pressing us effectively from the off," he said.

"It was hard for us to get any rhythm going but Gala simply couldn’t maintain that level of early pressing and more and more space became available to us as the game went on.

"We really turned it on in the second half and on a heavy grass pitch too which we’re not that accustomed to."

Of important and potentially exciting weeks ahead, the Rockleaze supremo observed: "We have ten games left and we’ll do our level best to win them all and pressure the likes of Frampton and Sharpness above us into having to win all theirs too.

"Our lads are doing fantastically well and if we keep maintaining the standards we have set then we stand a chance of victory every time we play.

"Broadwell are next for us and they’re never easy opposition: they’ll be up for it as they have relegation issues to address.

"But our boys are enjoying their football and it means I can count on 18 to 20 lads each week hungry to play," insisted Bradbury, who could hand a debut to attacking midfielder Miles Hatfield for tomorrow’s Forest of Dean trip, one of a clutch of recent arrivals from Tytherington Rocks which includes Jordan Buckett and Jordan Dent.

1st February 2020 - Hardwicke start fast to beat AEK Boco

Ron Holpin

AEK Boco’s push to get up the table came unstuck today at Hardwicke where the home side struck twice in the first 10 minutes giving Boco an uphill task to get back into the game. They will be disappointed as they had a majority of possession throughout the game but could not find that finishing touch. It was the visitors who had the first effort on goal on 3 minutes when Tom Kaye brilliantly pushed the ball out for a corner from a Jason Thatcher 25-yard shot. On 8 minutes a looping ball into Steve Bick saw the first goal for Hardwicke as he struck it cleanly past Joel Manning in the Boco goal. Just 2 minutes later Bick slid the ball through to Richard Mansell to make it 2-0. Manning then brought off a good save from Mansell to deny him a second goal. 5 minutes before the break Hardwicke keeper Kaye saved well to deny Jake Slocombe scoring from a free kick. The visitor’s pushed hard in the second half and were eventually rewarded in the 65th minute when Toby Webb gave away a penalty which Jake Slocombe slotted past Kaye. Almost at the end Boco also gave away a penalty but Manning brought of a great save to deny Richard Mansell’s shot from the spot.

A surprise result at Henbury where the home side inflicted only the second defeat of the season on leaders Frampton United. Henbury were fortunate to take a 9th minute lead when Ryan Ford headed into his own goal from a cross by Adam Rosser. From that point Frampton took charge of the game and created numerous chances but failed to find the back of the net until right on half time when a long ball out of defence from Frampton found Ryan Ford who was clear on goal Henbury keeper Bebbington challenged for the ball it spun clear and Ford recover it to run through and slip the ball into an empty net. Henbury made it 2-1 in the 71st minute from a free kick on the edge of the box taken by Adam Rosser he got it past the wall the keeper saved but the ball ran loose to defender Dom Brown but his attempted clearance struck Joe Cox and finished up the back of the Frampton net. Frampton should have levelled the score on 85 minutes when Ryan Vincent broke clear and with just the keeper to beat shot wide.

Hanham Athletic slipped to another defeat this time at the hands of Gala Wilton. Gala’s Ben Sluman gave them an 18th minute lead with a crisp shot from the edge of the box. On 27 minutes Martin Smith missed from six yards and that would have given Gala a 2-0 lead. The home side failed to get a chance on goal until the 52nd minute when Sam Brown’s shot went just wide. However, Gala did take a 2-0 lead in the 62nd minute when Martin Smith headed in from a cross. The visitors got a third on 75 minutes after they broke away following a Hanham corner and Ben Sluman drove home his second of the afternoon.

Quedgeley Wanderers bounced back from last week’s heavy defeat to gain a 2-1 win over Bromley Heath United. There was an early chance for Kyle James-Bryan for the home side but he shot wide and at the other end Todd Carter did the same for the visitors. Wanderers took the lead on 30 minutes when Henry Birkett set up Kyle James-Bryan to slot home. James-Bryan had another good chance to increase that lead before the break but was wide of the target. Just after the restart Josh Wilson’s effort was really well saved by the Bromley keeper before Henry Birkett set up a second goal for Wanderers this time laying it on for Sean Lawson to score. Bromley did manage to get a goal back late on when Ben Hargett scored but too little too late.

Rockleaze Rangers are going strong a present and picked up another 3 points at Broadwell Amateurs today. Rangers were in front after just 2 minutes when a mix up in the home defence allowed the alert Dan Webb to score from 10 yards. The home side pulled themselves together and really gave Rangers something to think about until the 30th minute when Alex Brown gave away a penalty but luckily keeper Ben Reed pulled off a great save to keep the score at 1-0. 7 minutes later Rangers changed that score-line when Jordan Dent fired the ball into the bottom corner for a 2-0 lead. The home side clawed their way back into the game in the 39th minute when Alex Brown’s back header found the unmarked Steve Belfitt to head home. The second half started with the home side pushing hard and only a string of fine saves by Rangers keeper Lewis Brodie kept them out. Rangers then scored a third in the 90th minute after breaking clear following a Broadwell corner with Jordan Dent striking the ball cleanly only to see Reed save it but Webb was following up and knocked the ball home.

Sharpness are now level on points with leaders Frampton but have an inferior goal difference so have to settle for second spot in the table at present. In the 10th minute after good build up play the ball was knocked into the box by Sam Strickland - Alex Gayner and the Little Stoke goalkeeper Provis challenged for the ball, it ran clear and Gayner drove it home. A minute later Holver missed a good chance for the visitors blasting over the bar. The Sharks went two up in the 22nd minute from a cross into the box - a Stoke defender in trying to clear struck the ball straight into Sam Strickland and it deflected off his head into the net. On 33 minutes Stoke were back in the game as Luke Meacham latched on to a ball from Russ Church and ran clear to fire the ball past keeper Dan Hobbs. Sharpness made it 3-1 after the break when Dan Gayner was played in by Brad Hewer. Stokes Etan Moore then missed a good chance to score a second on the hour mark. The Sharks got a fourth on 68 minutes when Dan Gayner finished off a cross from Sam Strickland.

This was a potential banana skin for Wick with a rejuvenated Patchway Town back to the nest on a very sunny afternoon, which unfortunately didn’t draw the crowds in with an attendance of 26. The wind made it difficult for Wick in the first 10 minutes, but they managed to settle down and had most of the possession, however, Patchway did look threatening on the counter. On 15 minutes, Wick’s Mike Hardiman received the ball and sild the ball in the path of Alfie Clarke, who felled to trouble the Sam Burgess in the Town goal with a weak shot from just outside the penalty box. Wick wasted another couple of chances and after 22 minutes, Town broke the deadlock when Phil Vice opened the scoring with a headed goal after a low curling cross from Dave Pritchard. Vice was involved in Patchway’s second, which came after 34 minutes after his cross from the left was headed home by the lively Lewis Toop after he evaded Wick’s Ben Stiff.

Wick started brightly in the second-half after a stern dusting down at the interval from Wick’s manager, Mike Strawford. With the wind behind them, Wick had an early second half chance, but Sam Thomas’s shot was well wide. Pressure was mounting on the Patchway’s goal and within ten minutes the game was turned on its head. Wick got their first after Mike Hardiman headed home a Max Barker cross on 56 minutes. Six minutes later, Wick scored an equalised, this time Joe Thomas collected the ball on the left, beat two Patchway defenders to cross the ball for Charlie Stevens to poke the ball into the net from 2 yards. Wick took the lead on 64 minutes when Joe Thomas collected the ball wide on the left, cut into the Town box and his shot was deflected into the Town goal, leaving Burgess wrong footed. On 73 minutes Patchway, nearly grabbed an equaliser, but Tom Haim’s shot was blocked well by Wick’s Keeper, Joe Pople. Both teams made a number of substitutions in the closing stages of the game to try and influence the score line, but this felled to make a difference, however Danny Sheldon’s 83rd minute shot from 30 yards rattled the crossbar. A much improved second half performance to turn the game around and take 3 important point and maintain their 100% home record.