30th March 2023 - Electronic Programmes
Gala Wilton v Wick
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What a damaging week for Gala Wilton – two heavy defeats against fellow promotion hopefuls – I won’t say that their chances have been blown out of the water but they’ve not helped themselves.
The first of these games was on Tuesday down at Cribbs Reserves where Gala Wilton were well in the game even taking
the lead on 55 minutes. The home side had the early exchanges and were in front on 19 minutes Jack Guthrie following
up a blocked Dan Monks shot driving home from 15 yards. Gala began to get the upper hand and duly equalised on the
half hour, a partially cleared corner was driven high into the net by Alex Gayner. Having scored Gala were dominating
and had a great chance on the stroke of half time from the spot, Tom Burns fouling, but Connor Walters kick hit the
top of the bar. The visitors started the second period strongly and on 55 Walters atoned for the penalty miss by
heading Gala in front. The game turned around the hour when two quick goals put Cribbs in front, first great work by
Liam Clayton up against some desperate defending the ball falling to Guthrie to level up from 10 yards. Shortly after
it was 3-2 Monk’s in swinging corner was met by Harry Hambly. The game continued end to end before Cribbs got their
fourth when Kieran Clayton created space for Aaron Coleman to clinically finish and putting the game beyond Gala.
Guthrie completed his hat trick late on following pinball in the Gala box and 5-2 to Cribbs Reserves.
A Gallery by Alex Barnham is available Here
Saturday saw Gala making the trip to Hillside Gardens where Rockleaze Rangers completed their home programme. After a scrappy first few minutes few could have expected what was to come with the visitors having the better of the game for the first quarter of the match. On eleven minutes Connor Walters fired narrowly over and Martin Smith and Alex Gayner were really testing Rockleaze’s back line. But it was Rockleaze who found the lead when Jensen Beard volleyed home brilliantly after Brandon Boontam’s free kick. Just before the break Gayner hit the post for the visitors. Fine margins. The second half was strangely one way traffic. Two minutes in Sam Bailey was just wide with a snap shot and the same player looped a header over keeper Holder who despite parrying the ball it was suspected as crossing the line but nothing given! However from the resulting throw in the ball was worked to Bailey who volleyed in superbly for 2-0. A minute later in the 51st Jensen Beard cut the ball back from the bye-line allowing Bailey to smash in from eight yards. On the hour Smith should have done better for Gala but fired wide and they got their goal on 68 when Owen Waters slotted home following good work by Walters. The hosts went straight up the other end and made it 4-1 Bailey completing his hat trick. On 78 minutes Tate Shaw just entering the affray strode past three defenders and confidently struck past Holder. Rockleaze were creating chance after chance and Marcus William’s corner on 81 allowed Fraser Butt to head home and two minutes later a mirror set piece allowed Joe Lewis to complete what was a rout, 7-1 to Rockleaze.
It's worth a look at Henbury, at the bottom, and trip up to the Forest and gaining a creditable victory at one of the most difficult venues to play at - Ruardean Hill Rangers. First chance to Henbury where Ross Jones shot was smothered by Aaron Underwood. Hill then had a couple of chances first on 18 Charley Taylor’s through ball found Ollie Mason whose cross found Tommy Coleman’s head but just wide. Two minutes on an attempted clearance by Henbury keeper Ledbury was charged down by Mason hitting the side netting. Just after a Henbury free kick found Baldwin but his shot was expertly saved by Underwood. Hill took the lead on 35, a deep free kick was flicked on for Tommy Coleman to fire in. Right on half time another deep ball but Coleman’s shot was easily dealt with by Ledbury. Into the second period and an immediate chance for Coleman saved by Ledbury. On fifty one a route one ball by Underwood went straight through to to Walding who tried to lift the ball over Ledbury who made a great save. A few minutes later a collision between two Henbury players left Mason to run through but again Ledbury made a great save. Another chance for Mason on 63 but his shot rattled Henbury’s post. A minute later Rhys Iles tried his luck for the visitors from distance but was denied by Underwood’s great save. Another Underwood save denied Fabian Pereira. Ten minutes from time an overhead bicycle kick by Hill’s Landon was blocked on the line. A minute later it was 1-1 Ross Jones heading in a deep free kick at the back post and 2-1 a minute later Hill failing to clear a cross and Russ Stone scoring for a surprise Henbury win.
With Quedgeley’s fixture off at waterlogged Wick Patchway Town had a chance to follow up last weeks victory over Wick this time, again at Scott Park, but against Cribbs Reserves. But, oh dear, it wasn’t to be. On 5 minutes Patchway thought they had scored after a corner from Cameron Adams appeared to go over the line but the Referee and Assistant agreed it hadn’t. But three minutes on and Cribbs were ahead from a corner Andy Forward finding the net after a scramble. On the half hour Town’s Adams was upended by Dan Monk in the box, but Brandon Detain’s penalty was well saved by Harry Bridgeman. A very even first half but unfortunately for Town the second period wasn’t. Cribbs second came after Kieran Clayton’s cross was flicked past Sam Burgess by Jack Guthrie. The third on the hour, came courtesy of Aaron Coleman from just inside the box, giving Burgess no chance. After this Tom Headford weighed in with a hat trick in less than 15 minutes. On seventy two minutes he chipped Burgess from the edge of the box, on 80 he finished another cross and five minutes later Patchway failed to deal with a cross and let him in for the sixth. Patchway’s consolation came in time added on Detain scoring from a free kick on the edge. A 6-1 win for Cribbs following another great second half.
Hardwicke continue to struggle and this time very unfortunately at the Bell Field against Frampton United. Hardwicke were in front on eleven minutes when from a corner Fred Humphries rose highest at the back post to head home. They were two up on 36 minutes from a long kick by keeper Hall which Frampton failed to react to and Humphries nipped in to double the lead. Frampton almost pulled on back on half time when Fin Blythe’s free kick from the edge of the box was tipped onto the bar by Hall. Frampton pulled one back on 48 minutes when a long kick by keeper Kaye was misjudged by the defence leaving Manolo Espada to head over Hall. Hall made another great save to thwart Harvey Cowley. But the equaliser came in the 90th minute Jono Willets running on to a Blythe through ball outpacing the defender and placing into the bottom corner. In time added on with the final play Dom Brown headed home from an Espada corner for an unlikely 3-2 Frampton win.
Cheltenham Civil Service are catching a bit of form lately and this time it was Sharpness who came up short. At a windswept Tewkesbury Road chances were few and far between, but it was Service with their first on seventeen minutes when Deco Chick picked the ball up in The Sharks half and played out to Chisom Obi who passed a defender shifted the ball onto his left and curled a delightful effort into the top corner. The Sharks best chance fell to Marley Thomas who curled a free kick just over. The pitch was surprisingly firm making a passing game difficult, so to the long ball. Service doubled their lead on the hour, Chick collecting the ball in the Sharpness half, set Brett Blake through on goal who slotted past Truan Taylor. Sharpness bucked up a bit with chances in the last ten for Alex Higgs and Thomas saved by home keeper Sam Cheal, and Sam Johnson cleared off the line. Service held out and almost had a third when Blake raced away and poked a shot past Taylor only for Isaac Thurston to clear off the line, the affair ending 2-0 to Service.
Bromley Heath United kept up their title challenge with a 2-1 win over Broadwell Amateurs at Pomphrey Hill. There were few clear chances in a competitive first half and it was Bromley creating the best early on. A long range effort from Jack Withey brought a fine save from Jack Watkins and then again from the resulting corner. Ten minutes later a good through ball from Nathan Rose found Ollie Hanham clean through and Watkins again to the rescue. Goalless at half time the deadlock was broken 10 minutes into the second half. Bromley’s Fenn Willoughby made a wonderful forward run and his shot from just inside the box was well saved by Watkins but the ball fell to Willoughby who found Aiden Noble to score. Minutes later a shot by Antonio Nurse was well saved. Broadwell then had their best spell and were rewarded when a pinpoint free kick was met by Harry Knight at the far post giving the keeper no chance. Later on Bromley were reduced to 10 but Broadwell could not take advantage and with 15 minutes left Bromley were awarded a penalty which was clinically dispatched by Nathan Rose for a valuable 2-1 win.
Finally to the Stoke Gifford United stadium and a local derby of “two halves” against Little Stoke. The visitors nearly scored a few minutes in Ethan Moore’s cross evading Josh Swarovski but he recovered and with the help of Tom Hodge cleared their lines. Gifford began to assert themselves and took the lead on 11 minutes Harry Johnson releasing the lively Paul Cronin who beat his man and set up Brad Probert to score from ten yards. Gifford should’ve been two up Probert releasing Cronin but fired straight at Russell. Little Stoke remained a threat from set pieces and created a threat of their own when John Pugsley found Keir Williams whose fierce shot was dealt with by Swarovski. Five minutes before the break Gifford were in behind Little Stoke’s back line Mike Barry shooting from a narrow angle on the stroke of half time Gifford had a corner the ball dropped to Dave Talbot but it was clawed out. Little Stoke started the second period with more zest and began to really push Gifford’s defence back and back. Aaron West was played in down the right but was denied by Swarovski. The equaliser came quarter of an hour before time, Lewis Hughes smashing in a 25 yard free kick. Both teams searched for a winner but it wasn’t to be and matters ended at 1-1.
I do believe that this is the first full League fixture list for some time. Cribbs Reserves, Gala Wilton, and Rockleaze Rangers keep the pressure on at the top whilst Patchway Town did themselves a power of good at the bottom.
At Scott Park Patchway Town opened an albeit small gap over the two below them with a good win over a useful Wick side. First chance fell to Wick’s Seb Scott whose shot from distance didn’t really trouble Burgess. Patchway’s first effort was from Hassan Hussein and his first time shot following Adam Porter’s long throw was just wide. On fifteen minutes a Wick corner led to a goalmouth scramble with the shot saved and cleared. Wick took the lead on 23 minutes, Paul Noyes initial shot was dealt with but the ball fell to James Fox who rounded two players and gave Burgess no chance. The hosts drew level not long after when a Porter corner found the head of Harrison Murdock-McCormack who rose highest to nod past Trott. Patchway came storming out for the second half and within two minutes a strong run out of defence by Murdock-McCormack found Sam Finn who put Porter through and a hard shot found the net for 2-1 to Patchway. On 77 minutes it was 3-1, a free kick on the edge by Brandon Detain saw a great save by Trott but the ball spilled to Joe Dalby whose shot hit one post then the other and then the net.
Two matches for Cribbs Reserves this week and the first on Tuesday under the lights at The Lawns against fellow top side Bromley Heath United saw a goalless draw from a hard-fought affair. A tight game In blustery conditions and the nearest to a goal came on 75 minutes when substitute Dan Monk’s viscious shot from 15 yards hit the outside of the post.
For Saturday came a visit to Hamfields where Sharpness knew they’d have to be at their best. Cribbs Reserves started brightly and were denied by a great save early on when Clayton’s shot found Taylor at full stretch. Cribbs controlled possession but The Sharks were dangerous on the break and Dan Taylor had a good chance from Bennett’s pass but smashed his shot wide. Cribbs continued to pressure the hosts back line who held firm for 30 minutes until Dan Burgen made another useful run into the box and was brought down by George Thomas and Liam Clayton made no mistake from the spot. The Sharks, however, equalised on the stroke of half time when a free kick on the half way was flicked on by Thurston and Paterson was there to finish with a left foot volley. The second period was similar to the first with Cribbs controlling possession but the hosts defence again holding firm. Jack Guthrie had a good chance latching onto a through ball but lifting his effort over the advancing Taylor and the bar. Cribbs went ahead with 20 minutes left. A through ball found Clayton who cooly rounded Taylor and finished. Cribbs had a succession of corners but nothing came from them. Sharpness had two good opportunities late on to grab a point, first Tainton’s ball over the top found Strickland whose shot was deflected for a corner and minutes later Tainton showed great composure to cut in onto his left foot only for a Cribbs defender to block the ball. Cribbs take the three points 2-1 but were well pushed by Sharpness.
Down to the other end and to Henbury’s fight at the bottom this week at Arnall Drive against Cheltenham Civil Service First chance fell to the hosts on 15 minutes when a free kick from Service keeper Cheal was intercepted by Rhys Iles who drove into the area and with a shot on goal looking likely he chose to pass and was intercepted by the Service defence. The deadlock was broken on 34 minutes when good work on the Service right resulted in a cross into the Henbury box and Brett Blake was on hand from six yards for 1-0. Henbury started the second half brightly going close with efforts from Fabian Pereira and Chigo Ude and on 55 minutes a goal bound shot was thought to have struck the arm of a Cheltenham player …… but play on. On 70 minutes the visitors came close to doubling the lead but the shot whistled past the goal. Cheltenham’s second goal came from Mike Oliver and completed a 2-0 victory.
The struggle continues for Quedgeley Wanderers who hosted Rockleaze Rangers at Waterwells. The games first chance fell to the hosts with Ellis Woodland just over from 20 yards. Rockleaze opened the scoring on five minutes following an error by keeper Evan Coombs who gifted George James a goal from twenty yards. Rory Hunt had a chance for the hosts but was blocked. Quedgeley’s Jack Bright showed good defending skills to prevent a chance for the visitors and on 33 minutes Quedgeley equalised after Connor Webb’s free kick bounced off a defender and landed for Dorian Colling to slot home, and he almost scored again but keeper Jordan Dunning was on hand. Rockleaze’s Marcus Williams slotted his team into the lead despite the efforts of Kory Taylor in the hosts defence. The first chance of the second half fell to the hosts Connor Webb whose cross drifted over, and Rory Hunt had another go but the ball was well gathered by Dunning. Rangers Marcus Williams was denied by Coombs with an excellent double save. In an end-to-end affair it was the turn of the host’s Ollie Curtis to shoot over. In the 74th minute Rockleaze’s Tate Shaw had a shot saved by Coombs. With quarter of an hour to go a penalty was given in Rockleaze’s favour and Zaki Elgami slotted home. Quedgeley kept going with a Connor Webb effort and with five minutes left Coombs was on hand to stop Elgami. Rangers got their fourth with two minutes left Sam Bailey obliging. A 4-1 scoreline in favour of the visitors but Quedgeley never gave up.
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Still at the bottom and Hardwicke’s visit to Broadwell Amateurs ended in a 1-0 defeat despite playing 50 minutes against ten men. A scrappy north of the border game saw Hardwicke the livelier for the first ten minutes but Broadwell had the first chance with Kristian Burnard through on goal blasted straight at keeper Hall. Both sides were guilty of giving the ball away and the game lacked any fluency. On 40 minutes Dan Hudson made a thirty-yard run and lost the ball and his outstretched tackle to retrieve the ball was deemed a red card. Broadwell worked hard down the flanks in the second period but the final pass was always lacking, Hardwicke’s defence held firm. The visitors should have had the lead on 68 Jack Twyman unmarked in the box scooped over with the goal at his mercy. Unfortunate injuries including Burnard who was later found to have broken his ankle led to Broadwell making changes and the crowd sought of woke up for the final ten and home keeper Jack Watkins pulled off a great save from Twyman on 82. A minute later Liam Thomas saw his mis-kick at goal deceive Hall and deflect over his head and in for 1-0 to Broadwell. Hardwicke were the reduced to ten following confrontation near the home supporters shed and with the final whistle due to be blown Thomas fired over from six yards for Broadwell.
Back to the top and to Fairmile Gardens where Gala Wilton kept up their title challenge against fellow challengers
Bromley Heath United with a deserved 1-0 win. Gala started brightly and scored what was to be the games only goal on 7
minutes. Martin Smith won his aerial battle to flick onto the energetic Jordan Molyneux who danced round the oncoming
defender to slide in Kyle Gibbs who rounded Will Ferguson and tapped in. Gala continued to press with Connor Walters
working tirelessly and the Bromley defenders restricting the hosts to strike long. Reaction came from Bromley in the
second half who worked well in phases but rarely threatened Gala’s Holder. Sam Edwards held the ball up well for
Bromley but had little support to play off. Ferguson made two outstanding saves firstly a fierce drive from Smith and
a curled effort from Walters to keep the visitors in it. Gala’s defence held strong cancelling out any threat from
Bromley and protecting Holder well and keeping their title challenge up well.
A Gallery by Helen Warwick is available Here
At the Bell Field Frampton United held up any title ambitions that Stoke Gifford United may have had with a 3-2 win. First effort on goal came from the hosts when Manolo Espada’s cross found Jonno Willets whose overhead kick from the edge of the box was just over. Gifford’s Rudy Hill beat a couple of defenders but shot way off. Frampton opened the scoring on 35 when Harvey Cowley played a good through ball and Tom Mangan beat the keeper to the ball and shot in off the post. The hosts second came from an Espada free kick from 35 yards which the keeper failed to stop. Two minutes into the second period it was 3-0 from a Mangan cross tapped in by Espada. Gifford replied when Brad Probert’s shot was well struck and Tom Kaye could only parry into the goal. On the hour Rudy Hill pulled another back and the last 30 had both teams on the attack but the score remained 3-2 in Frampton’s favour.
After the disappointment of losing a nine match unbeaten run last week Little Stoke got back on track with a narrow win over Ruardean Hill Rangers. Little Stoke dominated early possession without creating much but that changed on 22 minutes when a long diagonal ball from Alex Hill found Ethan Moore galloping down the left who found John Pugsley on the edge who twisting and turning found Harvey Sealey who drove low and hard into the bottom corner. Little Stoke started to turn their dominance into good chances with Jack Burgess heading over Hill’s cross on 35. Further chances followed at the end of the first and start of the second the most notable from Sealey just over from Aaron West’s pass. Ruardean rallied on the hour and had a good 10 minute spell but failed to make any impression. Twenty minutes from time Little Stoke broke on the counter with West again feeding Sealey but Aaron Underwood saved the one on one with his legs. Two minutes later Little Stoke weren’t to be denied when West dribbled down the right, back heeled to Pugsley whose superb right footer found the top corner from 15 yards for 2-0. The hosts were in the ascendancy and on 82 Mike Hardiman thought he had a penalty but the Referee thought otherwise. Hardiman was inches wide 5 minutes later when his curling left footer from 15 yards was narrowly wide. Ruardean again rallied for the final two minutes and found the net when a whipped in corner was headed back across goal for Connor Dallimore to head into the top corner. Hill applied more pressure but Little Stoke held on for 2-1.
They did not play on Saturday but they were at it again and current leaders Stoke Gifford United fell at home to……….. Ruardean Hill Rangers on a Tuesday evening. Cribbs Reserves took full opportunity to regain top spot with a cracking 7-3 away win over Wick. Hard luck on Broadwell Amateurs who lost their County Cup semi-final.
To Tuesday and a sixth game in three weeks was perhaps one too many for Stoke Gifford United who put in a subdued performance against a well organised Ruardean Hill Rangers. The first half was a cat and mouse affair with Gifford dominant in possession but unable to penetrate Hill’s deep block. Thatcher, McRae, and Weaver all had efforts saved pretty comfortably by the impressive Aaron Underwood. The second half followed a similar pattern but on the hour mark a long clearance was completely misjudged by the Gifford back line allowing Oliver Mason to burst clear and finish expertly into the bottom corner. Gifford made changes and continued to probe but were mostly restricted to long range efforts and Hill held on for a 1-0 win without too many scares.
For Saturday’ games our first stop is to Green Lane where Gala Wilton maintained their title challenge against struggling Hardwicke. Gala Wilton were quick out of the stalls and were 2 -0 up inside five minutes. Their first came in the first minute when Kyle Gibbs put through full back Dan Parry who crossed for Alex Gayner to tap in. Four minutes later another fluent Gala move lead to Jordan Molyneaux flicking the ball over the defence with Gayner beating the offside trap and smashing the ball past the advancing Ollie Hall. On the half hour it was three, Parry raced down the right and crossed for Craig Hower to volley in. However Hardwicke responded a minute later when Taro Weston crossed from the right for Jack Twyman to head in. Two minutes into the second half the rampant Gala were further in front when Parry again became the provider for Elliot Martin to tap in. Hardwicke came back again when Twyman crossed for Nathan Barnett to powerfully head home. Hardwicke were poor in the first half but rallied in the second and nearly had a third when Twyman’s twenty yarder beat Todd Holder but was just wide and it finished 4-2 to Gala.
Another of the title challengers Rockleaze Rangers took a useful point at Cribbs Reserves last week despite conceding late on and would have expected three points against Patchway Town – but guess what – they conceded late on yet again, something they seem to have a problem with. Patchway started the stronger at Hillside Gardens and on four minutes the ball skimmed off the head of Joe Lewis and fell nicely to Joe Dalby who slipped the ball past Jordan Dunning for 1-0. A few minutes later the host’s had their first chance when a great touch from George James after a Marcus Williams cross found him one on one with keeper Sam Burgess but he screwed wide. Rockleaze equalised on 25 minutes when a fizzing drive from Brandon Boontam from 25 yards found the corner of the net. Two minutes later Dunning was alert to tip over Hassan Hussein’s header and then a few minutes on Burgess made two excellent saves first from Dent and then from Boontam. Sustained pressure from the hosts at the start of the second period led to the lead when Boontam scored from the edge of the area lobbing both Burgess and two goal line defenders. James should have done better on 63 minutes with a header from a corner just over. With twenty minutes left Patchway’s Adam Porter hit the bar and a few minutes later Rockleaze should have put the game to rest but Frazer Butt contrived to miss an open goal after Burgess had saved from Webb. This inspired the visitors and Dalby fired past Dunning after the hosts failed to deal with a long free kick for 2-2.
It was a goal feast everywhere this week and a mid-table affair at Tewkesbury Road saw Cheltenham Civil Serviceand Little Stoke following the script. Little Stoke were on a nine-match unbeaten league run. The game started evenly with neither side creating much. But on twenty minutes the hosts burst into life with a swift passage of play Jamie Lewis feeding Lewis Driscoll who drove into the box and slotted home. Two minutes on and it was 2-0, a counter attack off a Little Stoke corner Deco Chick forcing a defensive error allowing Chisom Obi to roll his shot into the bottom corner. Little Stoke halved the deficit when Ethan Moore found Aaron West and after a tidy first touch looped a fantastic volley in off the bar. Service grabbed their third on 58 minutes, Deco who was having a great game controlled under pressure and weighted a through ball to Driscoll who advanced down the left and into the box and fired past keeper Blake Dutton for 3-1. Little Stoke reduced the deficit again when centre half Mike Oliver inadvertently put through his own goal. However he responded perfectly when he arrived at the back post to head home Lewis’s free kick for Service’s fourth. Service grabbed their fifth on 71 minutes when on the counter again Brett Blake advanced down the right, played into Lewis who found Obi with an early cross and 5-2. Little Stoke never stopped working and were rewarded with a third in the final minute with a goal from skipper Alex Hill, but it was Service who took it 5-3.
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To another challenger Sharpness at Arnall Drive against basement side Henbury and The Sharks were definitely fastest out of the blocks and were three up inside 10 minutes. The first on three when a near post corner was bundled in by Callum Dummelow. On seven Jack Higgs slotted home the second and on ten made it three tapping home unmarked from close range at the far post after good work down the Sharpness left. The home side eventually played themselves back into the game and on 55 minutes a Will Baldwin corner was scrambled home by Adam Walding. Two minutes later Fabian Pereira played through Paul Coles who calmly slotted home Henbury’s second – game on! Henbury continued to press and came close on 80 minutes when impressive substitute and debutant George Brown struck a 40 yard thunderbolt which struck the crossbar. Sharpness held out for three useful points and 3-2.
To Pomphrey Hill where the game was in some doubt following snow and rain during the week but the pitch passed fit allowing Bromley Heath United to get their title challenge back on track against Quedgeley Wanderers. All things considered both teams played some good football and the first half was fairly even in terms of possession but the best chances fell to Bromley with Sam Edwards, Ollie Hanham, Aiden Noble, and skipper Jack Withey all going close. Quedgeley’s best chance came late in the half when a really dangerous cross from the left saw Nathan Rose’s head just reach the ball first denying Sean Lawson. The second half saw Bromley up the ante with Nathan Charnock pulling off a string of fine saves in the visitor’s goal. Quedgeley’s lively Steve Norwood did have a very good chance but his long-range effort was just wide. The deadlock was finally broken with twenty minutes remaining when from a corner the ball dropped for Hanham to place the ball wide of Charnock. Ten minutes later more Bromley pressure led to a second from Aiden Noble scoring to finish a good passing move. A few minutes from time Sam Edwards scrambled another for a final score of 3-0 to Bromley Heath United.
To one of the games of the day, certainly in terms of the number of goals scored, Cribbs Reserves putting in an excellent scoring display coming out 7-3 victors at Wick’s Oldbury Lane. After an even start to the game the deadlock was broken on 27 minutes when Wick’s Seb Scott struck a free kick low into the bottom corner of the net for 1-0 to the hosts. This spurred Cribbs into life for an equaliser from Joe Hillard who headed into the bottom corner. On 41 minutes Cribbs were awarded a penalty when Hillard’s header was adjudged to have been handled, Andrew Forward scoring from the spot. Cribbs increased their lead just before the break when Jack Guthrie slotted home after finding himself in acres of space following a fortuitous pass from Hillard. Wick’s Liam Towler was then sin binned adding to the hosts woes. Just after the break Hillard increased the lead to 4-1 with his second of the day. Wick pulled one back on the hour when Joe Beardwell headed home a cross from Karim Rendall. Wick briefly threatened a fight back but it was the visitors who scored again when Headford played in Aaron Coleman to dink it in. Kieran Clayton added a sixth for Cribbs on 77 minutes bursting through the middle taking a return pass to slot home. Things went from bad to worse for Wick when a defensive mix up allowed Headford in for 7-2. To make matters worse for the home side Karim Rendall saw red and Liam Towler got a second sin binning. However despite playing with 9 Joe Beardwell struck into the top corner on 87 minutes to reduce the deficit but only to conclude a bad day at the office.
Well, who’d have thought it. All season it’s essentially been the same few Clubs at the top but this weekend Stoke Gifford United who have been sort of mid-table have suddenly shot to the top with an incredible run of goal scoring. At the bottom Quedgeley Wanderers certainly learned lessons from last weeks humbling and bounced back with a win.
Let’s start with the new leaders, firstly back to Tuesday with their fourth win in 10 days, and a 7-0 home thumping of Hardwicke. It was the visitors who started more brightly playing some nice stuff without really threatening. Gifford made a tactical change and started to get a foothold and on 25 minutes Devanti McInerney broke free and finished brilliantly from twelve yards. Mike Barry then went on a mazy run and his shot was parried by Ollie Hall but Spike Weaver was on hand to poke home. It was 3-0 on 40 minutes when a brilliantly disguised free kick from Scott Taylor found McInerney on the edge of the box to rifle past the helpless Hall. Just before the break it was Barry’s turn to get in on the action when he jinked clear and expertly finished for 4-0. Hardwicke regrouped at the start of the second half and seemed more resolute but as they tried to push forward McInerney completed his hat-trick on 55 minutes and performed another questionable celebration! Hardwicke should have had a consolation but Taro Weston lashed over from 6 yards. It was six on seventy when the tireless Weaver finished well. The game slowed with numerous substitutions but the seventh came from Weaver who completed his hat-trick with a slight deflection.
Now to Saturday and a trip to Fairmile Gardens to face title challengers Gala Wilton but there was no stopping them – 5-1 this time – no problem. The first half saw chances fall to the home side and Martin Smith had the ball in the net only to be adjudged offside. Gala carved out more opportunities but lacked composure in front of goal. The only noticeable chance for Gifford was clinically dispatched, a long range effort was well saved by Holder but Spike Weaver was on hand to poke home. At the start of the second period Gala came out of the blocks with pace and energy, Alex Gayner causing his man problems was brought down in the box and Craig Howell fired in the penalty for 1-1. The game was fairly even for 70 minutes but the visitors then stepped up their performance levels and a crazy last twenty saw Gala crumble. Tom Hodge had the visitors in front with a low drive and moments later the lively Devanti McInerney increased the lead with a neat finish past a helpless Holder. McInerney grabbed his second and a five star performance was rounded off in the 88th minute when a clearance from Holder fell to Rudy Hill whose lobbed effort sailed beautifully into the Gala net for 5-1 and 28 goals for Stoke Gifford in five straight wins.
Another top of the table match was played out at The Lawns with Rockleaze Rangers conceding late on to drop a point against leaders Cribbs Reserves. The hosts started brightly but in the tenth minute Rockleaze counter-attacked a good through ball dissected the home defence leading to a cross that Tate Shaw calmly finished. Cribbs equaliser came on 15 minutes, Jack Guthrie teased his marker before unleashing an off-target shot which Aaron Coleman re-directed into the bottom corner for 1-1. Cribbs continued to press but the Rockleaze defence and goalkeeper were resolute. But it was another counter and a long ball cleared the Cribbs defence and Jordan Dent ran onto it, cut back and finished with aplomb. Both teams had second half chances but good defensive and goalkeeping form made it likely that the visitors were going to take three points. However Cribbs had a series of corners late on and from one of them centre half Harry Hambly volleyed in from the edge of the box to square it at 2-2 deep into added time.
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Let’s take a break from the excitement at the top and move to the other end where there seems to have been a number of six pointers recently. And here’s another at Waterwells where Quedgeley Wanderers entertained a local derby with Hardwicke in front of 101 spectators. The hosts started well and the first chance fell to Rory Hunt who shot straight at Ollie Hall. Six minutes and Ollie Curtis struck the Hardwicke bar. Hall had to be on form to stop Sean Lawson’s fantastic effort. The first chance for the visitors came on 17 but Quedgeley keeper Nathan Charnock did well on the edge of his box. A few minutes later Hunt had another chance and followed up by Lawson’s long-range effort. Hardwicke had a few chances one from 45 yards and another cleared off the line. On 31 another chance for the hosts when Lawson’s ball in from the right was headed over by Curtis. Hardwicke had a few more chances- a Ryan Webb free kick into the wall, a counter by Ben King straight at Charnock who again saved just before the break. It was certainly all action in the second period with a number of chances for both sides. Connor Webb’s corner headed wide by Dave Cummings for the hosts, Ryan Webb’s free kick for Hardwicke punched away by Charnock, another chance for King in the 67th minute which was wide. Five minutes on a flurry of chances for the hosts finished with a Hunt header saved by Hall. It was Quedgeley who found the net in the seventy fourth minute when Dorian Colling headed home Curtis’s cross. From then on Hardwicke pushed for the equaliser, Jordan Dowdeswell shot straight at Charnock who dealt with another dangerous chance, ten minutes from time a further chance drifted wide. Right on time Hunt had the final chance for Quedgeley with a header just over. So a seemingly frantic affair ends with a valuable 1-0 win for Quedgeley who live to fight another day.
A difficult one for Henbury who were the visitors to Little Stoke Park, and once again Henbury had a fairly even opening twenty minutes but it was Matt Simons bullet header from Jordan Yeo’s corner putting the hosts in front and from then on a period of home dominance followed. The lead was increased on 25 minutes when a low cross drilled in by Ethan Moore found Yeo whose deft first touch took him past his marker and then fired low and hard into the bottom corner. After half an hour Yeo struck the post from a 25 yard free kick. Henbury tried to claw there way back in and were denied by Jack Burgess saving well in a one on one. Early in the second half Henbury pulled a goal back through Fabian Pereira with a strong finish. Little Stoke got back into things and extended their lead on the hour, Yeo’s corner headed back across goal by Mike Hardiman for Aaron West to finish. The hosts were now back in control and nearly added a fourth after 75 minutes Hardiman’s header crashing against the post. Little Stoke weren’t to be denied and a good Yeo corner was diverted into the top corner by Danny Lane. Henbury almost had the last say when a free kick was well saved by Burgess to leave the score on 4-1 to Little Stoke.
Patchway Town were somewhat optimistic following Bromley Heath United’s recent dip in form. It was a scrappy start at Scott Park and the game took a while to settle. The first noticeable chance fell to Bromley’s Sam Edwards on twenty-five who perhaps should have done better. 32 minutes and it was 1-0 to Patchway, Paul Noyes, on his return to action, passed into the net following a scramble after a corner. The lead lasted just four minutes when Jack Wells thought the ball was going out for a goal kick but Cameron Ford had other ideas and his cross was turned in by Aiden Noble. Bromley’s second goal came on 55 minutes , another mistake in the hosts defence and Noble cashing in giving Burgess no chance. Both teams had more chances with the best in added time for the hosts, Adam Porter’s free kick on the left swung in and a despairing dive by Joe Dalby just failed to connect and leaving the score 2-1 to Bromley Heath.
A mid-table affair at the Bell Field where Frampton United entertained Cheltenham Civil Service. Frampton dominated the game and the first decent chance fell to Harvey Cowley on 6 minutes but his shot was just over. Frampton thought that they had scored on twenty when Freddie Porter lobbed the keeper but the flag was up. A few minutes later Frampton opened their account, Cowley beating the defender and slotting past the oncoming Service keeper Cheal. Willets was next through one on one but Cheal was equal to it. The visitors were denied an equaliser when Brett Blake had the ball in the net but again the flag was up. Two minutes in to the second half Frampton increased their lead Fin Blythe playing a good through ball for Jono Willets to turn the defender on the edge and fire home. Dom Brown scored the final goal dispatching a corner. Service almost got a consolation in the dying minutes but Dec Chicks shot went narrowly wide and it remained 3-0 to Frampton.