News and Match Reports

7th May 2022 -Les James Cup Final Sponsored by Boca Teamwear

Jon Palmer


Little Stoke Les James Cup Winners 2021-22, Images courtesy Neil Brown (Bristol Soccerworld)

Little Stoke 2 Ruardean Hill Rangers 0

Little Stoke retained the Les James League Cup with a deserved 2-0 win over Ruardean Hill Rangers in the final at Stonehouse Town.

They lifted the silverware in 2018/19 with a penalty shoot-out triumph over AEK Boco after a goalless draw and the competition has not been completed for the past two seasons due to Covid.

Their victory this time around was rather more straightforward than three years ago, with a goal in each half from Jack Burgess and Jaidon Holver enough to see off the challenge of Ruardean.

Rangers, who finished five places below their opponents in the final Gloucestershire County League standings, were close to opening the scoring after eight minutes.

Steve Clark’s long-range drive hit the right post after a poor clearance from goalkeeper Connolly Jarrett was almost punished.

But Jarrett was not seriously troubled for the rest of the match as Little Stoke looked the more threatening of the sides in front of a healthy Oldends Lane crowd.

Luke Meacham headed wide from a good position before Jude Scott and Alex Hill both saw shots fly the wrong side of the post as pressure began to mount on Aaron Underwood’s goal.

The deadlock was broken two minutes before half-time when a corner was nodded down into the path of defender Burgess, who applied an expert finish low into the net from 10 yards.

Steve Clark, who has 33 goals to his name this season, nearly broke through on goal early in the second half for Ruardean, but Burgess made an excellent challenge in the 64th minute.

And Holver added the second eight minutes later with a deft flick past Underwood from six yards after a dangerous ball in from the left.

A corner from Steve Clark, which clipped the top of the bar, was the closest Rangers were to reducing the deficit.

Little Stoke were well-organised at the back and restricted them to very few chances, allowing them to celebrate their second Les James Cup success.

Little Stoke: C Jarrett, A Fox, E Moore, J Burgess, N Bailey, L Hughes, J Scott, A Hill, A West, L Meacham, J Holver. Subs: P Kourouma, D Lane, H Moore, J Pugsley, J Bright.

Ruardean Hill Rangers: A Underwood, J Beestone, T Coleman, C Mason, R Tingle, D Matthews, F Jones, H Clark, B Walding, L Johnson, S Clark. Subs: G Ferson, J Sladen, S Tingle, S Cornwell-Boote, B Burke.

Referee: Olly Spender. Assistants: Garry Collier, Adam McAnoy. 4th Official: Sam Myatt.


Little Stoke Captain Alex Fox, recieving the Cup from Rob Boyd of Boca Teamwear, Images courtesy Neil Brown (Bristol Soccerworld)


Match Officials for the Final, Images courtesy Neil Brown (Bristol Soccerworld)

30th April 2022 - Gala Wilton secure fifth place

Ron Holpin


After the previous two incomplete seasons with the covid pandemic it is really nice to be able to complete a full season one again.

Todays last four fixtures all turned out to be away wins which us quite unusual in itself.

After Henbury secured their safety in the league for next season a few matches ago this fixture at home to Gala Wilton never really sparked into life for the home side who played out a goalless 45 minutes. Early in the second half Henbury’s resistance was breached and Gala took control of the game. A two-goal strike from Alex Gayner followed by a goal from Ben Sluman gave the visitors a comfortable 3-0 win.

Little Stoke also lost their last home game of the season when they went down 2-1 at home to late goal by Broadwell Amateurs. A good start by Stoke and had a good chance on 10 minutes when Danny Lane’s strike from the edge of the box was well saved by the visitor’s keeper. With chances far and few between Little Stoke should really have scored on 40 minutes after Alex Hill sent over a great delivery into the box Jaiden Holver directed his header over the bar form very close range. Broadwell took the lead in the 55th minute from a cross out to Dan Brain on the left who cut in to the box and delivered a tremendous curling shot past the home keeper from 20 yards. On 70 minutes the home side brought on Jordan Yeo and from his very first corner delivered a great ball into the box for Jaiden Holver to tap home from close range. However, the visitors were still very determined to win the game and when stoke lost possession in midfield the visitors broke away and the ball was sent into Matt Foxwell who struck a hard low shot into the Stoke net from 12 yards.

Hanham Athletic finished their season off with a 4-2 win at Hardwicke. Although the home side were probably the better side in the first 15 minutes, they had to wait just a minute more to take the lead when Gittins ball forward was latched onto by Will Matthews for a 1-0 lead. Straight from the restart Hanham went straight up the other end and Karim Rendall levelled the score. Rendall then forced a save from the home keeper but Jack Jennings was on hand to knock in the rebound. The home side drew level just before the break from free kick that was headed home by Will Matthews, first of all it was ruled out by the linesman but the referee over ruled and allowed the goal to stand. Early in the second half Rendall went close and immediately following that effort Hardwicke also went close from a free kick on the edge of the box. Rendall did however give the visitors a 3-2 lead and Jennings scored his second in the 75th minute to go away with a 4-2 success.

Sharpness signed off their season with 3-2 win at Patchway Town. The home side went ahead on 26 minutes Joe Barnes put Joe Teague through with the one-on-one situation to slot the ball home. Sharpness drew level in the 33rd minute when Will Lacey was brought down by Lewis Toop in the box and James Priday scored the resulting penalty. Sharpness went 2-1 up on 44 minutes from a corner that Jack Higgs turned into the Patchway net. Patchway levelled on 52 minutes from a Sam Finn cross that was poorly dealt with by the visitor’s defence and Joe Barnes was there to make it 2-2. On 54 minutes Sharpness keeper Truan Taylor brought off a great save to deny Kerien Austin. A free kick from Tommy Stewart on the edge of the box was headed just wide by Phil Vice. Sharpness grabbed the winner in the 8rdd minute from a dreadful mistake by Dave Prichard whose weak back pass to the keeper was picked up by Sam Strickland to make it 3-2.

27th April 2022 - Wick claim Title at Hanham Athletic


Wick's Rob Moore and Nathan Gore receive the Trophy from Rob Orchard of Marcliff, Images courtesy Peter Langley


Wick celebrate their title win, Images courtesy Peter Langley


Wick celebrate their title win with fans, Images courtesy Peter Langley

23rd April 2022 - Shirehampton win sets up championship decider

Ron Holpin


Shirehampton finished their season with an excellent 4-0 win at Little Stoke with their leading goal-scorer Scott Bamford signing his season off with a hattrick. They now have to sweat on the result between Hanham Athletic and Wick to find out if they will the championship. Little Stoke produced the fist chance on goal on 16 minutes when Luke Meacham found Jude Scott but he missed the goal from close range. That miss was costley as Shirehampton took the lead in the very next minute Scott Bamford setting up Matt McCall to score. A shot from Alex Hill from the edge of the box struck a visitor’s defender and was cleared. A ludicrous back pass from the half way line on 30 minutes form Little Stoke allowed Bamford the chance to pick it up the loose ball before the keeper, to make it 2-0. In the 37th minute Alex Hill found Luke Meacham in the box but he headed wide. A second goal for Bamford on 50 minutes when he was put clear on goal. 10 minutes later Bamford completed his hattrick when he was brought down in the box, took the penalty to make the final score 4-0.

Patchway Town went down 2-0 with two late goals from Broadwell Amateurs striker Ethan Wilkins. Broadwell had the first chance on goal after 20 minutes when Matt Gore’s cross found Aiden Creighton but his effort cleared the bar from 10 yards. Patchway’s first effort on 25 minutes came from Matt Davies but his shot was saved. In the 28th minute Ethan Wilkins had a ono-on-one situation with the keeper and shot straight at him. A great cross from Town’s Fin Thompson was well struck by Matt Davies but the shot was saved. Town also hit the crossbar from a free kick on 62 minutes. Ethan Wilkins broke into the Patchway box on 75 minutes and hit an unstoppable shot past the home keeper to break the deadlock. Wilkins then netted his second on 85 minutes a shot that flew into the top corner from the edge of the box. With just a couple of minutes left a pass into Grant Mathieson was cleared of the line and then flew up and hit the crossbar and was scrambled away.

On a Cold and Blustery afternoon Hardwicke entertained Ruardean Hill Rangers at Green Lane. Ruardean took an early lead when Steve Clark crossed the ball for Ricky Tingle to head past the stranded keeper Hall. Ruardean started to dominate the game and scored again after 16 minutes. Defender Tommy Coleman ran swiftly towards the Hardwicke defence and he rifled his shot from 20 yards, past the advancing Hall but his shot flew off the post. Dan Mathews followed up and fired home from 15 yards. Hardwicke responded and 5 minutes later James Ratcliffe headed towards the Ruardean goal but keeper Aaron Underwood produced a fine save. Immediately after the break Ruardean increased their lead to 3 goals when a corner was tapped in by Steve Clark. After 75 minutes Ruardean scored their fourth when a Stuart Cornwall-Boote cross was volleyed into the back of the net by Steve Clark. Hardwicke did attempt to get back into the game with their closest effort coming in the 80th minute, when a Freddie Humphries overhead kick hit the post. Ruardean Manager, Brian Burke would have left Green Lane impressed by his Teams away performance.

Henbury travelled to Quedgeley Wanderers knowing that the point they gained in midweek would keep them up so the pressure was off. A chance for Quedgeley's Henry Birkett on 20th minutes saw his shot from 18 yards go wide. First goal of the game saw a great strike from Henbury’s Jenson Manning’s from 30 yards out. Then in the 42nd minute Brandon Dack tapped in from close range to make it 2-0. A 45-minute penalty saw Quedgeley's Jack Hornsby make it 2-1. Henbury got their 3rd goal on 70 minutes, Quedgeley were sloppy in midfield and Brandon Dack made it 3-1. On 78th minutes Wanderers Dan Lander saw his good strike saved. In the very last minute a great strike from Henbury, brought the best out of Wanderers keeper Ben Holborough.

With two games to play Wick knew exactly what was required. Two wins would crown them champions regardless of today's Shirehampton result. Hosting Bromley Heath United at Oldbury Lane Wick began in their normal fashion, looking to play their patient passing game, whilst Bromley Heath looked to hit Wick on the break with a quick ball forward. With the pitch hard and conditions windy, chances were few and far between until Bromley's keeper Will Ferguson saved low to his right but failed to gather the ball which Wick regained, however Ferguson recovered well to save the second shot. Within minutes both sides created chances at either end. First Bromley failed to have someone connect with a dangerous free kick played into the Wick 6-yard box, and then Wick failed to get a touch to a cross played across the Bromley goal. Wick did take the lead on 37 mins when Ben Weaver's cross was met at the far post by Joe Thomas who smashed a volley into the Bromley net. With half time looming Bromley drew level with the last play of the half, when Cameron Gardiner met a well taken corner to nod down beating the Wick player defending the far post.

The whistle blew for half time one apiece. With the wind behind them Wick started the second half brightly forcing two corners in the first few minutes, but Bromley's defence stood firm. Wick thought that they had won a penalty in 55 mins when Ben Weaver appeared to be pulled down in the box but the ref waved play on. Wick did however retake the lead after 55 mins when Jay Malpas stroked home a loose ball from 20 yards into the corner of the Bromley net. On 65 mins Bromley's Will Ferguson saved well from Ben Weaver's shot diverting his effort around the post force corner. With minutes to go Ferguson again saved well denying Wick which set up a tense finish to the game. Wick eventually ran out winners to keep intact their unbeaten home record.

Sharpness v English Bicknor the last fixture for the Forrest side who will be playing their football outside the Gloucestershire County Football League next season. The first effort from Sharpness after 7 minutes came from a corner by Dan Turner that was headed over the bar by Ben Gibbs Turner opened the scoring just a minute later when his long-range effort hit the underside of the crossbar and bounces over the line On 12 minutes- Dom Small increased Sharpness' lead when heading in a Callum Dummelow cross at the back post. In the 16th minute Bicknor reduced the deficit when a cross from the left by Devin Holmes looped over Truan Taylor to make it 2-1. The home side continued to score frequently and on 21 minutes- An Alex Higgs cross was controlled and tapped home by Dan Turner. That became 4-1 when a great run and cross from George Thomas was side footed home by from Dan Turner The home side extended their lead early in the 2nd half when a Dan Turner corner was bundled home by Alex Higgs Dummelow’s pull back to Frankham who past one player and put it through keepers’ legs to make it 6-1. Just 2 minutes later Alex Higgs made it 7-1 when he hit a rocket left footed shot past the keeper from 20 yards out. Sharpness finished the rout on 75 minutes when Priday smashed in a low cross & Dom Small fired home to make it 8-1

16th April 2022 - Wick close gap at top of table

Ron Holpin


Wick continued in their winning ways with a 3-0 victory at Ruardean Hill Rangers. Both teams took a little while to settled down. Then a poor clearance from a corner by the Rangers defence on 19 minutes saw the ball fall straight to Austin Shopland to smash the ball into the Rangers net. 6 minutes later Wick went 2-0 up when a long ball from the keeper over the home defence found Luke Bryan who took a touch turned and drove the ball home. The visitors went 3-0 up on 28 minutes with a good build up from the front three with Ben Weaver turning his marker to drive the ball home. The rest of the game was played out with both sides creating half chances but no further score.

A poor atmosphere at Gala Wilton where the home side took on Bromley Heath United. There were two really good scoring chance created by the home side in the first 6 minutes the first from Dan McNally and the second by Connor Walters but the Bromley keeper Will Ferguson did well to save both. In the 15th minute the game changed when Bromley’s Sam Edwards was sent off for a bad challenge, a melee then erupted and Gala Wilton’s goalkeeper Lewis Skyers also received a red card whilst Sam Webb was sent to the Sin-Bin. Dan Gayner almost gave the home side the lead on 25 minutes but his shot went just wide. Gala did eventually break the deadlock on 42 minutes a free-kick come cross from Sam Webb eluded everyone and finished up in the back of the visitor’s net. There was another red card in the 80th minute a second for Bromley Heath United Nathan Rose also taking an early shower. The home side made it 2-0 in the 81st minute when they were awarded a penalty and Dan Gayner made no mistake from the spot. Bromley did manage a late goal with a shot from Cam Ford from the edge of the box.

The first 20 minutes of the game between Sharpness and Hardwicke went by without a lot of goalmouth action from either side. The first sight on goal came from Sharks Tom Frankham whose left foot strike was pushed behind for a corner by keeper Ollie Hall. Hall was on hand again 5 minutes later to deny Brad Hewer. Hardwicke had a chance to test Truan Taylor in the home goal from a free kick but Adam Bloomfield hit the effort off target. Sharpness broke the deadlock 5 minutes before half time when Alex Higgs turned in a Dan Turner corner. Second half Hardwicke put Sharpness under sustained pressure without creating any clear chances. On the hour mark Alex Higgs had a good chance to double the Sharks advantage but struck his shot straight at Hall. Hardwicke had a really good chance to level with 20 minutes to go when the ball fell to Fred Humphries in the Sharpness box but he dragged his effort wide. Sharpness kept looking for a second goal and went close when a great bit of skill from Will Lacey out wide, saw him go past the full back and hit a cross into the box that was met by Dom Small but he turned the ball over the bar from just a few yards out.

A local derby at Little Stoke Park where Little Stoke entertained their nearest rivals Patchway Town. 105 spectators turned out to watch this game which was controlled by the home side for 90% of the game. The home side took the lead on 15 minutes with a spectacular strike from 30 yards from Alex Hill which flew into the top corner and the keeper could nothing about it. 5 minutes later they scored a second when Aaron West put Jaiden Holver through to drive his shot past the Patchway keeper. Alex Hill almost got a second on the 30-minute mark but his free kick struck the crossbar. The second half did not quit live up to the second half with the home side having plenty of possession but Patchway very rarely threatened the home goal. The visitors had one good chance midway through the second half from a good move down the right the ball came in from the right straight to Joe Barnes who then missed a guilt edge chance to pull a goal back. With just a few minutes left Patchway did get a consolation goal from a long ball down the right to Sidou Bojang who cut in from the flank and hit a great shot across the keeper into the far corner.

A surprise result at Frampton United where today’s visitors were bottom club Hanham Athletic. The visitors went into a 1-0 lead when Jack Jennings broke through the home defence on 14 minutes. Frampton’s Manolo Espada latched onto a long ball on 25 minutes but then shot over the bar. Just 2 minutes later Hanham got a second, a corner to the far post was headed back across goal for Paul Coles to head home. On 44-minutes Jenning’s got his second when he turned his defender to slot home. Early in the second half the visitors score moved on to 4-0 when Paul Coles got his second of the afternoon. Frampton did pull one back on 55 minutes when Ryan Ford lobbed the keeper. Near the end Espada should have netted a second for the home side but his shot was well saved by the keeper. This win lifted Hanham off the bottom of the table.

Today`s clash at Arnall Drive between Henbury and English Bicknor was a must win game for both teams to avoid finishing in a relegation position. The first 45 minutes of the game saw both sides struggle to create very few chances to put the ball into their opponent’s net and a 0-0 score line looked to be the final outcome. How wrong it proved to be in the second half of the game. Ten minutes into the second half saw Henbury awarded a free kick just outside to Bicknor penalty area and Warren Collins shot deceived the keeper as the ball trickled into the net. Six minutes later Henbury scored again with Bradley Dack smashing the ball home in the six-yard box. Bicknor had the opportunity to pull a goal back from the penalty spot which was saved by Lewis Jefferies diving to his right. This was a turning point that saw Henbury score a further three goals in a deadly six-minute spell with Jenson Mannings, Kane Mannings and substitute Aaron Anglin all finding the back of the net. Regardless of the score line, Bicknor continued to battle on for the remainder of the game but it was not enough to save them from dropping to bottom place in the table.

13th April 2022 - Wick edge out Shirehampton

Dave Beer

Score: Wick 2 - Shirehampton 1


Wick - Ben Harris, Luke Bryan

Shirehampton - Ciaran Greening

Attendance: 448

In front of a record breaking crowd well in excess of 400, for a much anticipated match up between the two top County League teams, and for what could be a title deciding fixture, both sides took the field. With vocal support (and one drum) from both sets of supporters, which created a fantastic atmosphere the game began at pace with both sides testing each other across the park. A Shirehampton corner after 10 minutes saw Shire's Oliver Woodhouse crash a towering header just over the Wick crossbar. This was a foretaste of the aerial threat Shire were to pose throughout the game. Inside a minute Wick were on the attack, and some magical skill from Ben Harris saw him cut inside from the right and thunder his 20 yard strike into the back of the Shire net, giving keeper Matthew Turner no chance. The game continued nip and tuck, with neither side giving an inch and strong challenges made across the park, with little further goalmouth action. A snap shot by Shire on the half hour, brought a save from Wick's Jamie Powell with his feet. On 36 minutes a bad and late challenge on Wick's captain Rob Moore, saw the ref produce a straight red reducing Shire to 10 men. The challenge resulted in the injured Rob Moore having to leave the pitch, taking no more part in this finely balanced game. Both teams had a half chance apiece as the first half drew to a close.

HT Wick 1 Shire 0

The second half saw Shire making a tactical change by pushing one of their centre backs forward. This put Shire on the front foot for much of the second half and Wick failed to match their superb first half performance. The first real chance after the break came on 55 minutes, when a powerful Shire header from a corner just cleared the Wick crossbar. Shire were again unlucky on the hour mark when following another corner, a snap shot cannoned off the Wick crossbar. Shire continued to ask the questions with their 10 men as Wick dropped deep. On 75 mins Shire drew level when an excellent cross from the right, was met by Ciaran Greening whose header found the far corner of the Wick net, to the delight of the visiting Shire fans. The equalizer fired Wick back into life, having been pushed back for much of the half, however the Shire defence stood firm. With 2 minutes of normal time left, a corner from Ben Harris found Wick's Luke Bryan at the far post to head home Wick's second, to eruptions of noise from the massed home support . As tensions rose in the final minutes, a rash challenge by Wick's Mike Hardiman saw the second straight red of the game, which set up a nail biting finish as the ref managed to find 5 minutes of added time. The game finally finished with Wick the victors, after both sides had given their all in what was a great advert for County League football.

9th April 2022 - Frampton United take points at Broadwell Amateurs

Ron Holpin


Frampton’s United’s Trip to Broadwell Amateurs turned out to be a fruitful afternoon when they came back from a goal down to win 2-1. A typical end of season game according to the report with both sides well placed in the table but basically going nowhere for this season. Frampton had a good spell midway through the first half but failed to really create any chances and Broadwell had very little affect on the Frampton defence. The home side opened the scoring from a curling corner from Dan Brain that found Ryan Davies on the back post to send a powerful header into the Frampton net. United got a break through in the 72nd minute when they were awarded a penalty Manolo Espada netting from the spot. The visitors grabbed victory in the 88th minute from a cross into the box that found Espada unmarked and he drove the ball hard and low into the net.

English Bicknor are still battling it out at the foot of the table and gained a 1-1 draw at home to Quedgeley Wanderers. In fact, they were handed the lead on 15 minutes when a cross into the box was turned into his own net by Wanderers Dan Lander. Quedgeley responded by stepping up the pace but the home side held firm until the 40th minute when Wanderers hit the home side with a quick break and across into the box and Jack Hornsby finished it off.

For the third week running Hanham Athletic had to be content with a draw and this time it was at Bromley Heath United where both sides failed to score. Hanham did create a chance on 25 minutes from a Brandon Barnes free kick out wide but it was missed by everyone in the box. A chance for the home side on 28 minutes when under pressure Antonio Nurse pulled his shot wide of the post. The visitors had a good spell in the second half and forced two great saves from home keeper Will Ferguson the first from Liam Jenkins and the second from Matt Currnock. Bromley had one last chance on 87 minutes when Joe Goss hit the upright and the ball was cleared up field.

A different looking Hardwicke from the team who beat Shirehampton earlier in the season arrived at the Creek looking to do the double over the league leaders. It was Shirehampton who started the brighter with Scott Bamford smashing the ball towards the Hardwicke net drawing a superb save from Keeper Oliver Hall only for the ball to fall into the path of Ryan Radford who strike deflected off an unfortunate Hardwicke player and past Hall into the net with less than two minutes on the clock. Hardwicke settled following that early setback and began to grow into the game as Shirehampton continued to keep the pressure on. It wasn’t until the 43rd minute that the home side created another clear opportunity when Jamie Turner arrived at the back post and side footed the ball towards goal only for Hall to save brilliantly with his left foot. Shortly after the home side got a corner and Rich Brightwell’s neat delivery gave James Kenway the chance to head the ball home only for the ball to just land the wrong side of the post. Hardwicke countered and created their best chance of the first half on 45 mins only to be denied from 6 yards by a Matt Turner save low to his left to leave the score at 1-0 at the break.

The second half started as the first half had with the home side dominating the game and just before the hour mark Charlie Pollinger headed a loose ball back across Hall and into the top corner to give them a two-goal cushion. Hall continued to pull off a number of excellent saves to keep Hardwicke in the game until the killer blow was struck just two minutes from time with a bullet header from Ciaran Greening following a Rich Brightwell corner to leave the final score 3-0.

At Wick the game with visitors Rockleaze Rangers began at a good tempo with both teams looking to play their football on the deck. Both teams were evenly matched for the first 35 minutes looking to create an opening, but neither side troubling either keeper. On 40 minutes Rockleaze were awarded a free kick 40 yards out, and Miles Hadfield fierce drive saw Wick's Jay Powell tip the shot over his bar for a corner. The half-finished goalless with neither side able to find a final pass to unlock two determined defences.

The second half continued much as the first with neither side able to break the deadlock. On 60 minutes Wick thought they had won a penalty when Mike Hardiman went down in the box, but this was waved away by the referee. Minutes later Wick's Tommy Longhurst hit the Rockleaze bar with his cross come shot. On 70 minutes Wick's Ben Harris let fly from 25 yards but his effort just cleared the cross bar. The game then began to open up. Firstly, Rockleaze wasted an opportunity and then Wick squandered a golden opportunity at the other. The deadlock was finally broken on 75 minutes following a move down the right when Luke Lecrass delivered a pin point cross for Mile Hardiman to rise above two Rockleaze defenders to head the ball into the far corner. On 85 minutes Rockleaze keeper Jordan Dunning saved well with his feet from Harrison Kyte. As the game drew to a close Ben Harris weaved his way into the box and unleashed a cracking drive which was brilliantly saved by Jordan Dunning diving to his right.

Little Stoke took on Gala Wilton today but failed to stop the visitor’s from grabbing a winner midway through the second half. Stokes Jayden Holver had an early chance but blated the ball over the bar. Then in the 25th minute Holver cut into the box from the right was brought down and a penalty was awarded. Holver took the spot kick and put his side in front. But within a minute Gala were level as they to were awarded a penalty when Stokes goal keeper failed to get to the ball in time and brought their striker down. Dan Gayner then planted the ball into the Little Stoke net from the penalty spot. On 70 minutes Connor Walters was put through on goal and just had to beat the Stoke keeper and did so with a low shot into the bottom corner. The home side had a great chance to level on 87 minutes when Ethan Moore sent over a great cross but Harrison Moore headed over the bar

8th April 2022 - Wick boss optimistic on title chance

Simon Parkinson

JOE Pople optimistically scanned enthralling Marcliff Gloucestershire County League title potential for his Wick hopefuls whilst accepting: “We may need to win all our games to stand a chance now.”

Wick head into a next vital game with visiting Rockleaze Rangers tomorrow determined to follow up their 3-0 weekend win at Henbury with another prized three points in the fight to stay in touch with table topping Shirehampton they trail by seven points.

Wick also have two games in hand on the leaders in the full knowledge the pair lock horns this Wednesday night at Oldbury Lane (6.30pm) for a truly vital game that is sure to whet the appetite of many ardent local football followers.

A focused Pople is clearly taking nothing for granted knowing the size of the task in store.

But with a lengthy 17-game run without loss to draw strength from, the Wick leader is far from dismissing his team’s title claims and ultimate hopes of a promotion leap into Step 6 football for the first time in their history.

“I’m really happy; our unbeaten record speaks for itself,” Pople said. “We have a really good group of lads who suffered a bit with injury lately. But they’ve pulled through.

“Our goalless draw with Ruardean Hill the week before the Henbury win was a disappointment. We didn’t hit our usual heights, although their keeper was excellent.

“Prior to that, we’d also drawn nil-nil with Frampton United at their place who were third at the time and had two or three higher-level Slimbridge players in to help them that day. We played well and almost nicked it at the death when Ben Harris’ free-kick hit the bar and Shaun Morris follow-up attempt was somehow blocked by their keeper.”

Pople insisted: “We’re still in the title race with five games to go and two games in hand. But there’s every chance we’ll need to win all five if we’re to catch Shire.

“It’s amazing to think that we’re where we are having played up to now with no recognised striker. Ben Harris scored a hat-trick for us on Saturday, including one from the penalty spot and a great 25-yard third goal from Jay Malpas’ touch. Yet Ben’s really a winger.

“Henbury are a physical side; so we played him through the middle there to stop our boys launching the ball long as you would to a targetman. It meant we were inclined to keep possession, which is much more our game.”

Of this Wednesday’s Shirehampton showdown, Pople acknowledged: “We have to win it, while Shire can come to us with a view not to lose. It’s a huge one for the area.

“Our club has never geared up for a match of this size and we’re expecting a big crowd. But we can’t be getting ahead of ourselves with Rockleaze to tackle first on Saturday when a win is just as important.

“If we can stay in the title mix then we’re confident, after getting an encouraging Toolstation League ground inspection, that we’ll be in position to get all the work done required this summer to allow us in.”

On a “disappointing” note, the Oldbury Lane supremo admitted: “We’re upset and frustrated that a genuine admin error means we can’t now take part in the Les James League Cup final against Ruardean Hill.

“Basically it’s because our keeper, Jamie Powell, had played 18 times for Longwell Green in Toolstation One this season. Even though he was able to play in our quarter-final win over Shire, the County League rules that any player who has made more than ten appearances for a club at Step 6 level cannot play in the semi-finals.

“We beat Little Stoke 4-0 in those semis with Jamie in the side, something we didn’t attempt to deny. The fact we weren’t able to at least play the game again felt harsh; and it was a huge shame for devoted people like our long-serving secretary Dave Beer who, in his five decades or so at the club, had never had a cup final occasion like this to look forward to.”

Whilst Wick tomorrow attempt to keep their championship hopes alive with victory over their Rockleaze guests, Shirehampton aim to enhance their own prospects with three points at the expense of Creek visitors Hardwicke.

Hanham Athletic bid to boost their chances of lifting themselves off the County League floor with victory at local rivals Bromley Heath United, as ninth-placed Little Stoke entertain Gala Wilton knowing a win would hoist Ash Coles’ men above sixth-spot Gloucester-based opponents they’ve twice beaten in league and cup competition this term.

2nd April 2022 - Hardwicke win big at Frampton United

Ron Holpin


Hardwicke’s visit to Frampton United turned out to very fruitful as they returned home with a 3-0 win and the three points. Hardwicke took the lead on 12 minutes when Fred Humphries headed home. The visitors increased their lead on 36 minutes from a mistake made by the home side that let Will Matthews in to score. Frampton’s Stuart Maule had a great chance to reduce the arrears when he latched on to a poor back pass but his goal bound effort was cleared off the line by Rob Hine. Steve Jackson should have score when clear on goal but blasted over the bar. The final straw came for the home side in the 81st minute when Will Matthews grabbed his second of the afternoon for that 3-0 win.

Shirehampton travelled to Gloucester to meet Gala Wilton and came away with a 2-0 victory to keep them well clear at the top of the table. Only one real effort on goal in the first 45 minutes that came from the visitors a shot from Scott Bamford that was well saved by young keeper Curtis Wilks. The home side were unlucky just before the break when a shot from Jordan Molineux was deflected by a defender and went just the wrong side of the post. Scott Bamford was put clear in the 57th minute and coolly slotted the ball home for a 1-0 lead to shirehampton. The visitors grabbed a second in the 75th minute when Ryan Radford took the ball wide and then hit it back across goal that went into the far corner.

Wick travelled to Henbury today knowing that a win was needed to keep up their challenge for the title. The first 25 minutes were relatively equal but Wick took control for a 10-minute spell and scored twice. The first came on 38 minutes when the ball was wrestled from Toby Vosper on the halfway line, could have been a foul but the ref played on and Wick took full advantage with Ben Harris slotting home. Another mistake on the halfway line for Henbury allowed Harris a clear run-on goal and he was brought down for a penalty. Harris stepped up to convert the penalty to make it 2-0 to Wick on the stroke of Halftime. The second half was a largely uneventful affair. The highlight being a strike of quality from Harris again which eluded the grasp of Jefferies in the Henbury goal to make the points safe for Wick.

Bromley Heath United have gradually eased themselves into the safety zone and did well to take the points with a 3-1 over Quedgeley Wanderers today. They started well and almost went one up following a corner on 2 minutes. Wanderers’ keeper was in action again just a few minutes later to deny the home side taking the lead. Bromley did however open the scoring on 10 minutes with a goal from Sam Edwards and Jack Withey made it 2-0 from a corner on 17 minutes. In the 30th minute a third goal for the home side when Cameron Ford spotted the Wanderers keeper of his line and drove a 40-Yard shot that cleared the keeper into the net. Quedgeley created very little but Jordan Rouse did hit the cross bar on 80 minutes and a couple of minutes later Jack Hornsby grabbed them a consolation goal.

Just the one goal in it at Patchway Town where today’s visitors were Rockleaze Rangers. That goal came in the 35th minute from a cross from Tommy Stewart that was flicked on at the near post and Matt Davies was there at the far post to knock it in. Dan Webb had a great chance to level the score on 55 minutes put through on goal he shot into the side netting. Rangers Zayd Alli worked his way into a scoring position for Rangers but his final shot was cleared off the line. Dan Webb had another chance for Rangers but Sam Burgess in the home goal kept him out. Then in time added Burgess brought of a point blank save from George James to deny the equalising goal.

Ruardean Hill Rangers entertained Little Stoke today and unfortunately failed to find the back of the Stoke net but let in two themselves. Little Stoke had much of the first half with Rangers on the back foot and the visitors took the lead on 26 minutes when a cross into the box by Moore found Phil Kourouma to head past Underwood. In the second half Underwood was in action again pulling off a double save to deny Stoke a second goal. Rangers Luke Johnson should have scored midway through the half but with a one-on-one situation he shot straight at the keeper. Little Stoke netted a second on 75 minutes Arron West getting on the score sheet and although Rangers tried hard to get back in the game it wasn’t to be on this occasion.

For the second week running Hanham Athletic were held to a 1-1 draw this time it was away to Broadwell Amateurs The home side fashioned two early chances in the first 6 minutes Jordan Locke hitting the bar with a 30-yard shot and a minute later Kristian Burnard hit the post. Hanham created a great chance on 20 minutes when Brandon Barnes split the home defence with a pass that found Karim Rendall who saw his shot turned around the post by keeper Watkins in the home goal. In the second half Barnes was clear on goal but once again Watkins denied the Hanham striker. In the 50th minute Broadwell took an awful throw in the ball went to Mitch Wise who moved it very quickly to Karim Rendall to drive the ball past Watkins. In the 75th minute Broadwell were awarded a penalty when Dan Brain was brought down in the box, but unfortunately Kerion Skidmore hit the spot kick well over the bar. Just when it looked like Hanham were going home with the 3 points a long cross into the box from Dan Brain found Ethan Wilkins to drill the ball past Bamford.