28th January 2023 - Cribbs Reserves move to top of table
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
Click on Image for larger version
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.