News and Match Reports

28th January 2023 - Cribbs Reserves move to top of table

Mark Simpson


Nearly a full fixture list (County Cup still rumbling on) and Cribbs Reserves are the new leaders. Patchway Town move out of the bottom two. Hardwicke are dumped out of the County Cup.

We start at Tewkesbury Road in Cheltenham where Cribbs Reserves were the eventual visitors to Cheltenham Civil Service (County Cup again). The hosts could have taken the lead just three minutes in, solid build up from Jamie Lewis found Chisom Obi down the left who fired a low cross and Lewis Driscoll’s point - blank shot was somehow turned over by Harry Bridgeman. Cribbs responded with a tenth minute lead, a near post corner found Andy Forward’s head for 1-0. Six minutes later it was two, Service failed to deal with a ball into the box and Liam Clayton blasted in from close range. Cribbs had the ball in the net again after 26 minutes but was ruled out for offside. It was nearly three before the break after Dan Burgan found himself behind the defence but his powerful shot was stopped by Brad Pittaway to keep the hosts in with a chance. Into the second half and Teejay Hosking’s second yellow threatened to change the games complexion but Service galvanised and minutes later Obi used his pace to get across Dan Monk in the box for a penalty from which Bridgeman made a great save. The game settled somewhat with chances few and far between. Cribbs grabbed their third 15 minutes from the end when Monk’s cross from just inside the Service half found Tom Headford whose looping header sailed over Pittaway. Overall Cribbs did enough to overcome Service whose positive second half was encouraging enough to hopefully turn their season around.

Next to the Bell Field where it certainly was the proverbial game of two halves between mid-table Frampton United and leaders Gala Wilton. It was Gala who dominated the first period and after twenty minutes thought they had the lead when Elliot Martin’s free kick came off the bar and Dan McNally’s follow up was disallowed for an infringement. The visitors did take the lead on 25 when Martin Smith cut inside from the right and curled in to the top corner. Kyle Gibbs added the second with an unstoppable long ranger. Frampton came out for the second half with more conviction and a good chance for Craig Mills was just over and from a corner Steve Jackson’s header was just wide. United pulled one back after Stuart Maule was brought down in the box and Manolo Espada dispatched the resulting penalty. Ten minutes from time it was level, Jackson neatly turned a couple of defenders and put Freddie Porter through to pass the ball into the net. Billy Curtis then tried his luck from distance and was well saved by Todd Holder. Gala’s Martin Smith had a good chance on receiving a great long ball but blasted over. In the last minute Maule went on a run and got brought down earning Marcus Foxwell a red and from the resultant free kick Holder tipped Espada’s effort on to the post. Sounds quite breath-taking and 2-2 the result.

An image Gallery by Brian Rossiter is available Here

Into the Forest where Ruardean Hill Rangers and Wick fought out a 1-1 draw. Both teams played some nice stuff for the first fifteen. On seventeen Hills Ollie Mason headed against the post but was adjudged offside anyway. Ten minutes on Charley Taylor’s deep cross was headed wide by Alex Stephens. Joe Beardswell’s effort for Wick was dealt with by Aaron Underwood, and five minutes before the break a 25-yard free kick was brilliantly saved by Wick’s Ashton Trott tipping the ball over. The resulting corner was headed over by Fin Jones. Into the second, and on 55 Great defence by Hill cleared the ball off the line. On the hour the visitors took the lead after hesitancy in the defence allowed Beardswell to expertly finish. A few minutes later Wick’s James Fox was dismissed. On 68 minutes Langdon headed over Mason’s deep cross for Ruardean but on seventy minutes Hill earned a penalty for handball, Trott made an excellent save from Mason, then saved the rebound shot but Stephens planted it in for 1-1. Underwood made a great save on seventy-eight minutes from Beardswell after being put through and right at the death Fin Jones looped a volley onto the top of the net. A good sounding game and all square.

An image Gallery by Wick's Matt Davis is available Here

At Stoke Gifford United, Rockleaze Rangers were looking to get their challenge back on line but had to, in the end, settle for a point. The visitors began on the front foot their diamond formation causing their hosts problems. Within 15 minutes however Gifford had worked things out and started to trouble the Rockleaze back line and earned the lead after 21 minutes when Devanti McInerney broke away and fired home from the edge of the box. The remainder of the half generally saw Gifford on top but Rockleaze always threatened from set pieces, Mike Perham twice going close. Rangers equalised early in the second half when a long range strike was bundled clear by Jefferies but allowed Sam Bailey to tuck home. The game was on a knife edge from then on but both teams seemed more concerned with conceding rather than taking the initiative. The nearest Gifford came was when Dan Twomey’s effort was fired straight at Perham. A well contested game but 1-1 the result.

Now to the Hawthorns where Broadwell Amateurs hosted Sharpness and another game of two halves but this one with a slight difference. A crowd of 73 supporters endured an uneventful first forty five, the home side guilty of giving the ball away and the visitors content to defend in numbers. Half time arrived much to the relief of the home and travelling supporters. It was either the team talk or someone put something into the tea as the second half burst into life in the first minute with Broadwell’s Liam Thomas latching onto a long ball over the top and volleying into the top corner 1-0. Sharpness resumed the game and from the restart attacked down the left flank driving a low ball into the box which was met by Alex Higgs placing a shot past Watkins for 1-1. Stunned supporters were now witnessing a more open affair with both sides eager to score. Ethan Wilkins duly obliged them three minutes later rising above the Sharks defence to head home Dan Brain’s free kick for 2-1 to the hosts. Broadwell exploited gaps down the Sharpness left and on the hour Wilkins met another free kick from Brain with his head, Taylor saved but Wilkins headed home the rebound for 3-1. Five minutes later referee Holmes pointed to the spot for some incident (handball maybe) and with tension mounting Broadwell’s Jordan Lock blasted the ball over the top. Sharpness now pushed hard for a goal, but a mix up in their defence between Taylor and Tainton on seventy-six minutes saw the alert Nathan Davies capitalise on the loose ball to guide his shot in for 4-1. Sharpness never gave up and during the final minutes Alex Higgs unmarked in the box fired home a cross from Lacey. Home supporters left the ground well rewarded for their entry fee as one said “a game of two halves” Broadwell Amateurs 4 Sharpness 2.

Now to the bottom of the table six pointer at Arnall Drive, Henbury where the visitors Patchway Town came away with a 4-2 victory to come out of the bottom two. A match of some incident and an end to end first half saw the hosts with a 2-1 lead following goals by Shaquille Hunter and Ross Jones. Early in the second half an own goal and a penalty saw Patchway with a 3-2 lead. However on seventy minutes things changed for the hosts when after a foul on a Henbury player two of their players ended up being dismissed. Patchway added another goal for 4-2 before a third Henbury player saw red leaving the hosts playing the last 15 minutes with eight players. Aside from the own goal Kane Bartholomew with two goals and Joe Weare were Town’s scorers.

21st January 2023 - Ruardean Hill Rangers dent Rockleaze Rangers Title hopes

Mark Simpson


Here we go again, weather affected Saturday, two league games played and no County Cup matches- it’s about time they tossed a coin for before the rounds merge or perhaps they could play Subbuteo in the Clubhouse.

Anyway a start at Hillside Gardens where Ruardean Hill Rangers spoiled another of the title challengers weekend with a 1-0 victory over Rockleaze Rangers. It was sunny but bitterly cold afternoon and the visitors produced one piece of magic in an otherwise dour affair. The first half hour was cagey with both teams reduced to long range shots with both Dent and Elghami having their tame shots easily gathered by the impressive Aaron Underwood in the Ruardean goal. Ollie Mason’s freekick for the visitors was also well dealt with by home keeper Dunning. On 37 Dent did well to work some room outside the area and his goalbound shot was brilliantly turned around the post by Underwood. A little later Underwood was in action again turning Webb’s effort away. In the fifth minute of time added on a mistake by Elghami allowed Finn Jones to run at the home defence and fire into the corner of the net for the only goal of the match. In the second period Rockleaze pushed to get back in and Dent nearly equalised, his header hacked off the line. On the hour Bobby Walding should have found the target from a Tom Landon free kick but fired wide of a gaping goal. On seventy-five Dent should have done better turning in the area and firing wide from 10 yards. Just 4 minutes later Underwood made another fantastic save with his legs from a Webb effort. The hosts should have levelled on 83 with Underwood strewn on the ground Bailey contrived to fire over from 6 yards. The last of the action saw Dunning save well from a Josh Sladen drive and Ruardean holding on for three points.

With both teams keen to play Stoke Gifford United and Bromley Heath United switched the fixture with Bromley’s pitch unplayable and a 1-1 draw was fought out. Bromley flew out of the traps and were ahead on five minutes when Jack Withey nodded home unchallenged from a corner. Gifford’s response was almost instant, Kray Foster and Devanti McInerney linked well for Kerem Karakus to fire home from the edge of the area. The remainder of the half saw Bromley threaten from set pieces and Gifford exploring the wide areas but nothing came. The second period continued at a good tempo with Gifford having the first big chance Karakus firing straight at the keeper. Bromley still looked a big threat from set pieces with Withey close and Sam Edwards fired wide from twelve yards after a defensive scramble. The hosts pushed for a winner but were held back a little when Tauren Williams got a second yellow. Despite this Gifford nearly snatched it late on when Marcus Thatcher unleashed a thunderbolt from 25 yards the ball clipping the outside of the post. All in all a pretty even affair that both teams would contest they could have won, the visitors move up to second in the table.

17th January 2023 - Electronic Programmes

Gala Wilton v Broadwell Amateurs

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14th January 2023 - Ruardean Hill Rangers share spoils with Bromley Heath United

Mark Simpson


Only two league matches survived this weather and county cup disrupted weekend. Broadwell Amateurs got through in the County Cup, Gala Wilton, Rockleaze Rangers and Frampton United crashed out and Hardwicke and Cribbs Reserves playing next week, so more league disruption, and with snow forecast who knows. It’s going to be a busy April!

Anyway, enough of that and we start at Ruardean Hill Rangers where league challengers Bromley Heath United came away with a point. After a fairly even first quarter of an hour the last Bromley defender lost his footing allowing Luke Johnson through on goal but a poor touch allowed Will Ferguson to save at his feet. After 35 minutes Hill’s Fin Jones had a 35 yarder from out wide but a back - pedalling Ferguson tipped it over. The second period was much of the same thing with sporadic chances and on 55 minutes a long free kick from Luke Bessill almost caught Aaron Underwood out in the home goal but he managed to tip wide. After seventy minutes Alex Stephens volleyed over a deep Ruardean corner. Five minutes later Troy Morgan’s long shot flew just wide of Ferguson’s post. The final fifteen minutes played out with both sides seeking a break through but with no real chances the game petered out for a goalless draw.

To Cheltenham now where Cheltenham Civil Service entertained Stoke Gifford United, and after a lengthy break from football for the hosts started with them on the front foot with chances for wingers Lewis Driscoll and Brett Blake coming thick and fast. It was, however, the visitors who came closest with 15 minutes played when Kareem Karakus fired in a free kick off the crossbar allowing Service to clear. Service replied with more attacking threat through Blake but his shot from the edge of the box lacked power allowing Owen Onslow to easily save. Jamie Lewis then looped a free kick in from the right with Onslow’s fingertips saving the day. Service still pressed with Lewis finding Driscoll advancing down the middle and his shot towards the right corner found the head of Blake but he was adjudged offside. Half time, and Gifford really needing to change things to stem the tide and they managed to keep Service quiet for 10 minutes before opening the scoring when Mike Barry swung in a cross which bounced awkwardly for centre half Mike Oliver and the ball fell for Tom Hodge who rifled into the top corner. After seventy the hosts responded. Oliver’s long ball set Driscoll free and this time he slipped past Onslow and slotted home for 1-1. Service sensed a winner with substitute Gareth Jones going close on two occasions. However it was Gifford who showed quality on 83 minutes through Barry, receiving the ball on the left shifted it to his right before beating Sam Cheal’s dive into the bottom corner for a 2-1 victory which in hindsight was probably harsh on the hosts.

7th January 2023 - Gala Wilton stay top after comeback at Quedgeley

Mark Simpson


After a somewhat extended break down came the rain and extended it further for some teams. Anyway four matches survived and some cracking football was played with four of the top five in action and with just three points between them.

We begin at bottom versus top at Waterwells where Gala Wilton maintained top spot coming away with the three points with a last minute winner against hosts Quedgeley Wanderers. A good crowd of 74 saw Quedgeley’s Sean Lawson make a run from halfway, took on and beat a defender to fire into the bottom corner for a seventh minute lead. Gala drew level in the 14th minute when Connor Walters found the back of the net. The hosts were in front when Lawson tapped one past Todd Holder following a corner. The leveller came in the 22nd minute when Marcus Foxwell fired past keeper Ali Jefferies. The non-stop action continued when Lawson played a great ball through for Ollie Curtis to give Quedgeley a 3-2 half time lead. The second period started with a great save from Jefferies to keep Gala out. But it was Wanderers who extended their lead when Lawson and Curtis played some great counter attacking football leading to Jack Plant’s first goal for the Club. Half an hour into the half Gala were awarded a penalty which Dan Gayner slotted home. Seven minutes on another penalty for the visitors and Gayner this time struck the bar. The visitors eventually equalised with six minutes to go, an initial shot blocked allowing Dan Gayner to tap in for 4-4. The final goal came for Gala in the last minute with Kyle Gibbs scoring for 5-4 and a somewhat unfortunate end for the bottom side.

A miserable day at Hillside Gardens saw a ‘late’ show for Rockleaze Rangers to take three points off Henbury and move up to third. Rangers started the better with the dangerous Brandon Boontam dominating affairs and on twelve minutes Jordan Dent sent Dan Webb through only to strike the post from an acute angle. A few minutes later the same two combined when Dent’s cross found Webb only to be denied by the linesman’s flag. The visitors played their part with Ben Harris and Will Baldwin occupying both fullbacks. Dent was still causing problems and a rasping volley on twenty four found the side netting and later he fired at Damien Chlopecki in the visitors goal with probably the best chance of the half. Henbury rallied and Harris’s vicious effort was turned round the post by Dunning. The second period started with Rangers dominating possession and Boontam again at the centre of it. The hosts were striking efforts at goal seemingly at will and denied by Chlopecki several times – on 48 Dent struck the bar with dipping effort, on 55 a brilliant Webb cross was met by Dent three yards out who contrived to miss and on 65 a Henry Jones corner was met by Mike Perham and brilliantly turned over by Chlopecki. The somewhat inevitable came six minutes later when an on rushing Dent was hauled down for a penalty which he dusted off and converted himself. Henbury would not give up and ten minutes of pressure with numerous corners and free kicks were dealt with by Rangers defence. On 81 minutes Chlopecki was sin binned for Sam Allen to take over and guess what! Jones on the halfway saw Allen way off his line and struck from nearly 50 yards out for it to nestle in the back of the net. Two minutes later Rockleaze made sure of the points when Webb struck from the just outside the area giving Allen no chance for 3-0 and a deserved three points against a Henbury side who never gave up.

Frampton United entertained Cribbs Reserves at the Bell Field and ended up on the wrong side of a 5-2 scoreline. The visitors took a deserved lead after nineteen minutes when Duru latched onto a through ball and fired home. A minute later it was two when Jack Guthrie finished well. Frampton’s first effort came from Jonathan Willets whose tame effort was straight at keeper Harry Bridgeman. A scramble in the goal led to Cribbs third Guthrie stroking home before the hosts pulled one back on 40. Freddie Porter sending Willets through to reduce the deficit. The visitors capitalised on a mix up in the home defence and Duru made it 4-1. Guthrie got his hat trick after good interplay and giving Holder in the home goal no chance. United got another consolation when Stuart Maule was bundled over in the box but he still managed to poke the ball home, nevertheless a convincing 5-2 win for a very good Cribbs side.

Finally to Stoke Gifford United who took on Sharpness at the Stadium where a very good crowd, including groundhoppers from the Capital, saw a competitive affair. Sharpness started on the front foot but it was the hosts who struck first when Tom Hodge released Mike Barry, with a superb through ball, to cooly slot home on twelve minutes. The game went from end to end, but both teams struggled to make any impression for the rest of the half. Gifford began the second period at a good tempo with the wind at their backs and a defensive blunder almost led to a second with Paul Cronin heading over. The Sharks then caught Gifford on the counter and a high cross from the right was misjudged by the defence leaving Alex Higgs to fire past Josh Stawovski on 55 minutes. Gifford looked a little stunned and the visitors were able to take the lead on 69 minutes when Will Tainton crossed to the unmarked Higgs to tuck home from six yards. The hosts began to fight back and were aided when Isaac Thurston got a second yellow twelve minute from the end. The Sharks then went down to nine with a few minutes to go after Callum Dummelow was a bit late. But in the end it made no difference, Gifford huffed and puffed but a lack of quality saw the Sharks hang on for a valuable 2-1 win.