News and Match Reports

26th February 2022 - Ruardean Hill Rangers into League Cup Final

Martin Coleman


A crowd of 163 were in attendance as Ruardean Hill Rangers hosted Forest neighbours Broadwell Amateurs in the first Semi-Final of the Les James League Cup sponsored by Boca Teamwear. With both teams looking to reach the final it was probably inevitable for a slow start to the game with a few half chances from Broadwell that didnt bother Underwood in the Ruardean goal. The first real chance came in the 25 minute when the deadlock was broken when a loose ball bounced to Daniel Matthews just outside the box which he hit very well on the half volley and hit the back of the net making it 1-0 to Ruardean Hill. The rest of the half was quiet and both teams cancelled each other out as Ruardean Hill led going into the break.

The second half started scrappy with an early yellow for Ruardean Hill's centre back Charley Mason. A few moments later, Broadwell thought they had equalised, however Ruardean Hill were relieved to see the flag aloft for offside. Broadwell by now were trying to increase the pressure but the Hill worked hard and restricted Broadwell to only a couple of half chances. The game then got more energetic as both teams began to play with more determination with it being pretty even until league top goal scorer Steve Clark finished off the game as a contest with a goal in the 87th minute from a Shaun Tingle knock down.


26th February 2022 - Bromley Heath boss backing team

Simon Parkinson

BROMLEY Heath United boss Craig Britton is backing his team to maintain their improved form and finish a largely challenging Marcliff Gloucestershire County League campaign strongly.

Heath head into important Bristol derby combat with Pomphrey Hill Playing Fields guests Henbury tomorrow (2pm) with both sides, despite respective upturns, still occupying positions fourth and third from the floor of the table.

Britton and Bromley’s cause of late has, he feels, been helped by better game strategy and the return to action from injury of three influential performers in experienced striker Sam Edwards, centre-back Nathan Rose and central midfielder Trai Elliston-Sackett.

The heartened manager, who has overseen a run of one defeat in his team’s last five appearances, remarked: “We’ve definitely picked up since Christmas.

“Having those three lads back from injury has helped, just as it’s helped that we’re playing our football in the right areas now which means we’re not only giving away fewer soft goals, but we’re creating more chances going forward.

“We’ve become harder to beat with all those things combined.”

Of that trio of key returnees in recent weeks, Britton said: “Having Sam back in attack has made a difference with his three goals in six games and general contributions.

“Sam had been out for a couple of years with groin problems, having been one of our consistent players helping us win consecutive promotions from when we were known as Winford PH in Bristol and Suburban Five before merging with Bromley Heath.

“Sam is a proper physical targetman; a leader vocally and good finisher. It’s been good to have him back.

“Nathan and Trai have had on-off seasons for various reasons; so hopefully we’ve got them both back more regularly now.

“Nathan is, like Sam, a good talker with good technical and distributional abilities who had always played his football further forward before helping us out at the back, as he has done capably and reliably. Trai is an energetic box-to-box type who pops up with the occasional goal.

“We’ve also been really pleased with the performances of our young keeper Will Ferguson, who joined us from local under-18s football after our usual goalie, Joel Manning, left us to play in the Toolstation League with Ashton and Backwell and then Welton Rovers.”

Of tomorrow’s first meeting of the season with Henbury, Britton warned: “They are always tough to play against; and their results have picked up too.

“We see it as a bit of a local derby, especially as there are lads in both camps who are friends with each other.

“We want to finish the season strongly and hopefully get up to something like a mid-table area. That would make for a good base to build from going into next season, when a lot of our younger lads will have had a year’s more experience at this competitive level.”

Meanwhile, the league’s top two, Shirehampton and Wick, continue their title and promotion assaults tomorrow. Leaders Shire hit the road for a date with bottom team Hanham Athletic (2pm), while Wick, who trail the table toppers by only three points, bid to stay firmly in touch as they strive to beat Rockleaze Rangers on their Hillside Gardens 3G travels (3pm).

Sixth-placed Little Stoke strive to get closer to third-spot opponents Frampton United, who hold an eight-point advantage over Ash Coles’ men at kick-off, with three points at Bell Field (2pm).

Patchway Town visit Quedgeley Wanderers (also 2pm) hoping for something akin to a repeat of the 5-1 victory inflicted on their Gloucestershire rivals on home Scott Park soil back in late October.

19th February 2022 - Rockleaze Rangers bounce back

Ron Holpin


Ruardean Hill Rangers visitors today were Rockleaze Rangers who bounced back from that heavy defeat last Saturday to grab 3 points with just a single goal sealing the deal. The first 15 minutes of the game saw both sides struggle to keep hold of the ball then in the 17th minute Steve Clark fashioned a half chance that saw his looping effort drop just the wrong side of the post. Rockleaze first effort on goal came in the 30th minute from a cross in that found Aiden Nylander unmarked but his shot went straight to keeper Arron Underwood. In the 39th minute Ruardean thought they had a good shout for handball in the box but the referee turned it down. A minute before half time Steve Clark went close when his shot whistled just the wrong side of the post. On 50 minutes the deadlock was broken by Rockleaze Rangers Aiden Nylander when he met a low cross on the far post to slip the ball past Underwood. Ruardean’s Stuart Cornwall-Boot had a chance in the 6-yard box but the Rockleaze keeper Dunning saved at his near post. The home side piled on the pressure to try and get on level terms in the last 15 minutes but Rockleaze were quite content to soak up the pressure and hang onto that one goal lead.

After a very blustery few days and on a very soft pitch, Wick kicked off this local derby in their orange home strip and Hanham Athletic sporting their all-yellow away kit. Wick had made 3 changes to last weeks starting line-up Ky Curtis in for Longhurst, Nathan Gore in for Joel Smith and Sam Thomas in for the unwell Rob Moore. Hanham made 3 changes from last week’s game and gave debuts to 5 players. Wick kicked off the game in front of their biggest crowd this season of 107 spectators with the wind blowing right to left across the pitch. Both teams didn’t take long to accustom to the conditions and the game was very competitive in the midfield. Hanham received their first yellow card, Paul Coles going into the book for a rash tackle on Joe Thomas after 6 minutes. One minute later Hanham got their first sight of goal but Owen McCallum cross failed to trouble the Wick back four. Wick first opportunity came after 13 minutes, when Joe Thomas received a pass from Nathan Gore, but Thomas’s cross skimmed across the 6-yard area and Ben Weaver was unable to connect. Hanham had another chance two minutes later, this time Paul Coles found himself free with the ball at his feet but his shot was well saved by Wick’s keeper Jamie Powell. The first goal of the game for Wick came after 20 minutes, following a Ben Harris corner, the ball was headed back into the box by Sam Thomas for James Pocock to smashed the ball into the roof of Hanham’s net. Hanham had no answer to the composure and organisation in their back four and they were very rarely troubled. On 30 minutes Wick doubled their lead, Luke Lecrass’s corner from the right was not cleared by the visitor’s and Ben Harris picked the ball up just outside the penalty box, back heeled it into Joe Thomas path, who curled his 35 yard shot round keeper, Josh Compton 2-0 to Wick. Hanham did get into the Wick half in 43 minutes when Owen McCallum was fouled on the edge of the penalty area, Hanham were unable to capitalise on the advantage, Joel Athey floated ball was well headed away by Wick’s Russ Woodford. The first half finished with Wick on top.

The visitor’s started the second half well with some good interchange of passing between Kristian Lee and Cash Vinell, but Lee’s cross as a result of beating Wick’s Kyle Curtis failed to find anyone in the Wick six yard area. However, Wick then started to take control and a Ben Harris cross after 52 minutes was met by James Pocock but his header tipped the crossbar. With 55 minutes on the clock, Jay Malpas fed Joe Thomas, his shot was only parred onto the crossbar by Compton, and Ben Weaver was quickest to react guiding the loose ball into the net. Five minutes later, Wick made it 4, another Ben Harris corner found an unmarked Sam Thomas who expertly guided his header into the back of the Hanham net. Wick were well on top at this stage, and increased their lead again after 65 minutes when Joe Thomas dispossessed Hanham’s captain Matt Curnock in the edge of the box and coolly slid his shot inside the near post. Wick’s sixth and final goal came two minutes later, when a through ball from Ben Harris found Jay Malpas whose back heel sent Ben Weaver in on goal and he calming finished to make it 6-0. Hanham did get a consolation goal, with 4 minutes remaining, Luke Bryan guiding his shot past the out stretched Powell after winning the ball from Sam Thomas. Wick played some spectacular football on what was a very heavy pitch in very windy conditions and thoroughly deserved the win to take them within three points of Shire at the top of the league.

18th February 2022 - Hanham Athletic Manager challenges players

Simon Parkinson

HANHAM Athletic’s stoic manager Tom Morgan has challenged his players to rise to the challenge of turning their crucial final ten games into the “great escape.”

The Vicarage Road side continue to prop up the rest of the Marcliff Gloucestershire County League table heading towards an away fixture tomorrow that could hardly be any more testing in the shape of second-placed title hopefuls Wick at Oldbury Lane (2pm).

Hanham enter the contest believing all things are possible after securing their only victory of a long and arduous campaign so far – 3-2 in the run up to Christmas – at the expense of ever-competitive Frampton United loitering with intent third in the standings at this time.

Since then it’s been downhill all the way, five straight defeats making life increasingly uncomfortable entrenched inside the league’s basement.

That frustrating run has clearly failed to break the spirit of Morgan and his assistant Jason Side, who were swept into the Hanham hot seat soon into the season having made the switch from established Bristol Premier Combination outfit Seymour United.

Morgan acknowledged: “Obviously it was a tough situation to come into. In my view we have been pretty much in every game until the last whistle when it comes to our competitiveness.

“For all Hanham’s difficulties when we came in, I could see how well-established they were and how much potential the club had, with a good clubhouse, committee and infrastructure.

“It’s all geared up for a better standard of football; it’s just we’re going through a torrid time, the same as many other clubs at all levels of the game experience. I can see that potential even now as we prepare for ten more make-or-break games that can yet lead us to the great escape. That is the big and exciting challenge.”

It’s been all change on the pitch too, as the 35-year-old confirmed: “We’ve brought in up to a dozen new players since we’ve been in; and from the existing squad, only a handful of long-serving players remain.

“It has taken me a bit longer than anticipated, getting enough lads in capable of competing at this standard. But it was never going to be easy given our position down there in the table.

“There has been plenty to learn from along the way. We like to play football, and when you come up against big, physical, route one sides that tend to be hallmarks of Gloucester-based sides in particular, it’s important we don’t give away cheap set-pieces, as these teams tend to score a lot of goals from corners and free-kicks.”

Morgan believes Hanham have reason to attack their final ten games with confidence. “The new players we’ve brought in have transformed the atmosphere; they’ve all bought into what we’re trying to do.

“The new lads have all played at a good semi-pro standard and all are footballers with a winning mentality.

“It feels as though we’re getting closer, that it’s only a matter of time before it all clicks. We’re nine points off English Bicknor who are second from bottom, and we have to play them again as well as Bromley Heath, who are two places above Bicknor, twice. Those are the sort of games we’re targeting for a decent points haul.

“In the meantime, we have the top two to try and get past, Wick on Saturday and Shirehampton at home the following Saturday.

“No one expects us to beat either of them; they both have reasons to want the points as much as we do. But make no mistake, we’ll be going into both games looking to win and not just soak up pressure.

“Sometimes you just have to rip up the script and start again. We’ve done that here and hopefully it won’t be too little, too late.”

More important County League fixtures tomorrow include Shirehampton’s home clash with Hardwicke at the Creek as Liam Greening’s table toppers look to extend their current six-point advantage over a Wick team eyeing three more points at home to Hanham.

Henbury, eager to return to winning ways after the setback of a 2-0 defeat by Broadwell Amateurs last time out, entertain Frampton United; Little Stoke, by contrast in red-hot form en route to sixth spot for now, host Broadwell Amateurs, and Patchway Town hope to make it back-to-back wins as they welcome Sharpness to Scott Park.

Bromley Heath United are at Gala Wilton and Rockleaze Rangers, smarting from Saturday’s 5-0 home defeat by Little Stoke, also hit the road for an away-day with Ruardean Hill Rangers.

All games, aside from the Shire-Hardwicke affair which kicks off at 3pm, commence at 2pm.

12th February 2022 - Patchway take points at English Bicknor

Ron Holpin


English Bicknor still find themselves in the relegation zone after going down 2-0 at home to Patchway Town Both sides need points from today’s game, and it was the visitors who opened the scoring on 25 minutes with a tremendous drive into the bottom corner from Jerrell Kerr. The home side did their best to get back into the game but gave another goal away on 60 minutes Matt Davis finishing off a cross into the box.

A close game at Frampton United who entertained Gala Wilton for today’s game. A goal on 8 minutes from Manolo Espada beating his defender before slotting the ball past keeper Lewis Skyers. On 27 minutes home keeper Tom Kaye brought of a great save to deny Ben Sluman levelling the score. Frampton went 2-0 up on 36 minutes from a long ball out of defence which caught out a Gala defender and the keeper and Jonathan Lewis nipped into score. Home keeper Kaye brought off a great save 5 minutes before the break to deny Alex Gayner’s shot going in. Kaye was in action again straight after the half time break pulling off another great save. Gala pulled a goal back on 60 minutes when Martin Smith’s volley struck the underside of the crossbar on its way in. 10 minutes later Gala were level when Dan McNally heads in from a corner. Then right on 90 minutes a foul by the Gala keeper gave away a penalty and Manolo Espada netted the winner from the spot.

Bromley Heath United continue to pick up points to help them climb the table and they did that again today with a 1-1 draw at home to Sharpness. It was the visitors with the first effort on goal a 25-yard shot from Alex Higgs that scraped the post. On 33 minutes the visitors took the lead a shot from Alex Higgs was adjudged to have been handled by a Bromley defender and James Priday netted the resulting spot kick. Bromley drew level on 40 minutes from a corner sent over by Joe Goss that was met by Sam Edwards and he sent a bullet header in to the visitor’s net. The second half failed to produce any further goals but the Sharpness keeper brought on a great double save to deny Bessell and Edwards on 65 minutes and with 5 minutes left Alex Higgs saw his 25-yard shot finger tipped over the bar by home keeper Will Ferguson.

Hanham Athletic went down 2-0 with two late goals form Ruardean Hill Rangers. The home side had created numerous chances throughout the game striking the crossbar and the post and several shots that might have ended in goals but were hit straight at the keeper. The opening goal came om 82 minutes a break down the left which Fin Jones finished off and then with 2 minutes to go Steve Clark made it 2-0.

Rockleaze Rangers suffered a heavy 5-0 defeat at home to local rivals Little Stoke. The visitors dominated the game throughout with the home side offering very little. Jack Burgess opened the scoring early on for Stoke then on 18 minutes Jude Scott headed in from 4 yards. Rangers did have their first shot on goal after 30 minutes but Reece Shaw in the Stoke goal was equal to Sam Bailey’s effort. Alex Hill chipped the ball into the top corner and on 39 minutes then Jaiden Holver netted his first of the afternoon the other coming in the 80th minute a tap in from close range.

Broadwell Amateurs continued their good home form with a 2-0 win over Henbury The visitors were the much better side for the first 15 minutes and were unlucky when Harvey Sealey’s 25-yard shot struck the crossbar. On 12 minutes Erhan Wilkins struck the post. Henbury’s Andrew Dickinson had a great chance on 22 minutes but his final effort went over the bar. Henbury had a glorious chance to take the lead on 25 minutes from the penalty spot after Aaron Anglin had been brought down, Anglin himself took the kick but it was brilliantly saved by Watkins in the home goal. On 55 minutes Ethan Wilkins picked up a poor clearance from the Henbury Defence turned and volleyed the ball into the bottom corner for a 1-0 lead. With 70 minutes gone a good build up down the Broadwell right and some good interchanging of passes from Brain and Powell they found Kieran James free to fire a second into the Henbury net.

At Quedgeley Wanderers there were numerous chances for both teams throughout the game with visitors Shirehampton taking the first on 18 minutes when James Kenway scored. Quedgeley equalised on 75 minutes when Harry Reynolds set up Jack Hornsby to score. A very late winner by the visitors a goal from Daniel Morne in the 89th minute saw them go away with the 3 points.

On a cold and windy afternoon at Green Lane Hardwicke entertained second placed Wick. The initial 30 minutes of the game were evenly contested with no clear goal scoring opportunities for either side. However, the first opportunity fell to Wick after the half hour mark when Ben Weaver had a powerful shot superbly parried away by Hardwicke’s Ollie Hall. Both Teams went into the break frustrated by the controlling wind. Wick almost took the lead after 50 minutes when Rob Moore waltzed past the Hardwicke defence only for his well taken shot to be saved by Halls legs. Wick took the lead on 73 minutes when the influential Weaver crossed the ball over the Hardwicke defence for the diminutive Mike Hardiman to head home on the far post. The goal inspired the away team and scored two minutes later. After a defensive mix up Weaver dispossessed Pat Vernall and crossed the ball for Joe Thomas to fire home. Hardwicke responded immediately and from the kick-off Will Higgins strode into the Wick Penalty area and was fouled. Adam Bloomfield scored the resultant penalty. Wick could have extended the score line when on 85 minutes again the provider Weaver crossed the ball across the Hardwicke box only for Todd Carter to put the ball wide from 3 yards. Wick will be pleased to leave Green Lane with three points and keep their promotion prospects alive.

10th February 2022 - Promotion and Relegation

Nigel Meaney

The following clubs have applied for promotion to Step 6 of the National League System for Seaaon 2022/3

  • Sharpness
  • Shirehampton
  • Wick

Two clubs will be relegated and replaced by the two successful applicants as determined by the GFA rules for promotion in the local football pyramid. This may involve playoff matches arranged by the GFA between applicants if necessary

Clubs applying to join the league for next season are as follows

Bristol Premier Combination
  • Cribbs Reserves
  • Nicholas Wanderers
Bristol and Suburban League
  • Avonmouth
  • Filton Athletic
  • Stoke Gifford United
Gloucestershire Northern Senior League
  • Berkeley Town
  • Chalford
  • Charlton Rovers
  • Cheltenham Civil Service
  • Dursley Town
Hellenic League Division 2 West
  • Slimbridge Reserves

5th February 2022 - Little Stoke blow away Hanham Athletic in second half

Ron Holpin


Most fixtures today were affected by very high winds no more so than the game at Little Stoke where today’s visitors Hanham Athletic. The visitors did very well in the first 45 minutes and went into the break trailing by the odd goal in three. Little Stoke kicking against the wind in the first half took the lead on 13 minute taking advantage of a mistake made by the Hanham defence and allowing Jaiden Holver to nip in and chip the ball over the Hanham keeper. The visitor’s hit back to level on 20 minutes from a corner from the right that had the full force of the wind behind it and it curled in nicely for Jamie Fry to power his header home. Then on the half hour mark the home side got their noses back in front from an Ethan Moore cross that found Holver to volley home. In the 60th minute a ball from Lewis Hughes to Jaiden Holver saw a great ball squared across the box for Luke Meacham to finish off. 65 minutes saw another goal for Stoke and it came from a clip over the visitor’s defence from Dan Lane to Meacham to drive the ball home from the edge of the box. Just 3 minutes later Stoke were awarded a penalty when Holver was brought down in the box. Holver himself took the kick to make the score at this stage 5-1. It became six on 75 minutes when a poor clearance for Hanham keeper saw Alex Hill hit a 25-yard curling shot into the net. A run down the left by Alex Fox in the 78th minute and a good cross to Aaron West made it 7-1 and then in the very last minute Stoke rounded it up to eight when Lucas Hart set up Meacham to score from the edge of the box.

Just the one goal between Patchway Town and Bromley Heath United at Scott Park with the visitors taking away the three points. On 18 minutes a cross from Matt Davies bobbled about a bit in the box before Adam Porter headed wide of the Bromley goal. Then on 25 minutes a long range shot from Phil Vice was well saved by the visitor’s keeper. At the other end Dave Pritchard did well to block a shot from Bromley’s Sam Edwards on the edge of the 6-yard box. Patchway’s Fin Thomas then had an effort on goal cleared away. A Sam Edwards shot on target in the 84th minute was brilliantly saved by Sam Burgess. The knock-out punch came in the very last minute of the game when Sam Edwards slotted home after a scramble in the box.

Wick are keeping up their challenge for the title with a 2-1 win at home to Quedgeley Wanderers. Wick started well and took an early lead with a goal from Mike Hardiman, but Wanderers levelled almost immediately with a goal from Kyle James-Bryan. Both teams were playing some very good football on an excellent surface, then in the 30th minute Wick took the lead fortuitously when a shot on target took a big deflection and left Wanderer’s keeper Ben Holbrough stranded as the ball flew past him. The second half did throw up a few chances for both sides but the score remained 2-1 to Wick.

On a blustery afternoon Shirehampton welcomed English Bicknor to the Creek and continued on their winning ways against a structured and well-disciplined away side who had made the long journey from the Forest of Dean. Within the first minute Steven Fitzpatrick headed the ball over the Bicknor crossbar. Then on 10 minutes Ryan Radford latched onto a long ball from keeper Matt Turner and casually lobbed the ball over visiting keeper Craig Edwards head to put the league leaders in front. The game was severely tested as a contest with 18 minutes gone when English Bicknor found themselves down to 10 following a straight red for handball on the goal line with Radford calmly stepping up to dispatch his second of the afternoon from the penalty spot. Shire increased their lead further after 30 minutes with a 30-yard wonder strike from Richard Brightwell and with just 5 minutes to go before half time Ben Purdy was allowed too much space to turn in the area and duly added a fourth following yet more brilliant work from the outstanding debutant Radford. The second half saw Shirehampton come close to scoring a fifth when Ben Purdy headed the ball straight at the keeper when it looked easier to score. Bicknor were given a golden opportunity to pull one back on the hour when Richard Brightwell sloppily gave possession away and his recovering challenge was deemed a foul by the official resulting in English Bicknor being awarded a penalty. However, Bicknor were unable to capitalise on the opportunity striking the crossbar and Turner was able to block the follow up allowing Shirehampton to clear the ball away. The remaining 30 minutes were played out without much incident with Shirehampton happy to keep possession and maintain their 6-point lead at the top of the table.

Top game at Hamfield’s where Sharpness took on Frampton United. On 20 minutes the shark broke the deadlock when Will Payne’s crossed to Will Lacey at the back post, he slipped the ball around the defender and then tucked it into the bottom corner. A 27th minute Fin Blythe free kick went just over the top for Frampton, then on 30 minutes Frampton’s Manolo Espada shot between the defenders’ legs, keeper Taylor spilt the ball but regathered immediately. Early in the second half Sharks' Brad Hewer crossed to Dan Turner who evaded his defender but then shot wide. A second goal on 55 minutes came from ball out of defence by Will Payne to Alex Higgs he in turn sent WIll Lacey away down the right, Lacey squared the ball to Turner who ran it on to Frankham and he made no mistake by smashing the ball high into the net. A Lacey free kick to Ponting saw his effort on goal tipped over the bar.

Ruardean Hill Rangers took on Hardwicke this week in a very even game that ended 1-1. Rangers took the lead on 7 minutes from a ball into Steve Cark who intern set up Luke Johnson to score. The visitors first effort on goal on 34 minutes was well saved by keeper Underwood. Then in the 41st minute Will Higgins should have levelled the score but his shot struck the post. Then just before the break Steve Clark should have made it 2-0 when he was put through on goal by Luke Johnson but then pulled his shot wide. Higgins missed another glorious chance for Hardwicke on 65 minutes hitting his shot wide. Just 2 minutes later Hardwicke levelled the score when Rob Hine scored following a corner. Hardwicke were unlucky on 81 minutes when Paul Carters shot rattled the frame of the goal. Then with just 2 minutes left Will Matthews also missed a golden opportunity to snatch all three points for Hardwicke.

Gala Wilton and Broadwell Amateurs also had to settle for a point each in a 1-1 result at Gala. A great opening goal for Gala after 15 minutes when Alex Gaynor chested the ball down then turned his marker before planting the ball into the back of the Broadwell net. The home side had a great chance to increase that lead on 24 minutes when Alex Gaynor was brought down in the box but the resulting spot kick taken by brother Dan was brilliantly saved by the Broadwell keeper. A minute into the second half Broadwell levelled with some good build up play that found Ben Fishwick free in the box and he stabbed the ball past keeper Lewis Skyers. A second chance to snatch the three points fell to Gala on 54 minutes but Craig Howell’s free kick was again brilliantly saved by the Broadwell keeper.

GFA Challenge Trophy Round 3 - Henbury 1 AEK Boco 7

At Henbury visitors AEK Boco took the lead on 5 minutes with a clinical strike from Jenkins from the edge of the box proving to be the pick of the bunch in the away sides tally of goals. 10 minutes later a Jensen Manning’s chip beat the AEK keeper but came back off the bar. 24 minutes into the game Henbury got on level terms after a 35-yard curling effort from Matt Jones sailed over the Boco goalkeeper into the top corner. In the 35th minute a dubious penalty was awarded after a challenge on Jenkins who duly dispatched the resulting spot kick to make it 1-2. Shortly after, the away side killed the game after sloppy defending in the six-yard box from a free kick led to a goal from close range. Yarde with the finish. However, 2 minutes into the second half the away side sealed the win when, again sloppy defending in the 6-yard box led to the ball being smuggled into the Henbury net. Unfortunately, at this point the home side checked out, and with a lack of application and effort over the next 10 minutes, AEK Boco added two more goals to make it 1-6 which with goals that were disappointingly easy from the home sides point of view. At this point with AEK Boco in rampant form the home side were looking down the barrel of a double-digit defeat. The last 15 minutes were about damage limitation for Henbury. Manager David Greaves was called into action in the last 10 minutes such was the lack of depth in the home squad. Thankfully Henbury managed to see out the game by conceding just once more, the game ending in a 1-7 victory for the visitors.

4th February 2022 - Little Stoke manager looking to end Jekyll and Hyde performances

Simon Parkinson

LITTLE Stoke manager Ash Coles is hopeful serious attacking options he now has at his disposal can ignite a consistent upturn for his Jekyll and Hyde team.

Stoke entertain rock bottom Hanham Athletic tomorrow fully aware their struggling guests have only a solitary victory for the Marcliff Gloucestershire County League campaign under their belts thus far.

Coles, however, is taking absolutely nothing for granted given his own undeniably talented team’s helter-skelter showings that have led them to head into tomorrow’s important all-Bristol bout from a ninth-placed position rather than higher up the ladder, where he feels they really should be competing at this time.

“It’s a little frustrating as we play well one week, then hit the opposite end of the scale the next time we’re out there,” he said. “We can go to tough places like Wick, Gala Wilton and, on Saturday when we won 4-1 with a fantastic display, Hardwicke, and get positive results, only to drop points against teams further down the table with below-par performances.

“That is why we are where we are in the table. Maybe subconsciously it’s because we’ll have a good win, only to get a little complacent going into the next game.

“We’d lost 4-2 at home to Quedgeley in our previous match, only to turn in an excellent performance and score four times at Hardwicke.

“We beat Gala Wilton 4-0 at their place a few weeks back by playing the better football. So it was pleasing to see us able to mix things up when required on Saturday, as we played the conditions and howling wind really well in what we knew would always be a physical contest at Hardwicke.

“Our away form is pretty good; we just need to become harder to break down at home, where we’ve conceded a lot of sloppy goals and given up leads when we should have been killing teams off.”

Coles remarked of an improving attacking picture: “Aaron West and Danny Lane, who we signed from Almondsbury before Christmas, are now back from injury.

“Bailey Turner, who came to us recently from Hengrove Athletic, and Matt Tovey, who has played the last three games since getting injured in pre-season, are both looking the part together.

“So there’s good competition for places up there now, and that’s not to mention our winger Lucas Hart, who is in contention for a return on Saturday after his own injury problems, and Luke Meacham, who encouragingly scored twice at Hardwicke after three months out with a serious quad injury.”

The wary manager warned, however: “I’m expecting nothing more than a tough battle against Hanham. They’ve made a few signings, have a relatively new manager in Tom Morgan, and they’re fighting for their lives as a long-established County League club.

“Make no mistake; they’ll be doing everything they can to try and ensure they stay in this league.”

There are more Bristol derbies concerning the County League tomorrow, as Patchway Town welcome Bromley Heath United to Scott Park while Henbury turn attentions to GFA Challenge Trophy third round action in entertaining Toolstation First Division guests AEK-BOCO at Arnall Drive.

Back to the league, and there are more crucial games for leaders Shirehampton, who welcome English Bicknor to the Creek, and second-placed Wick, who host Quedgeley Wanderers.

All above games, aside from the Shire-Bicknor meeting which kicks off at 3pm, start at 2pm.