News and Match Reports

30th March 2024 - Avonmouth secure promotion

Nigel Meaney


Congratulations to Avonmouth who won 2-1 at Almondsbury to ensure their promotion. They got the news in the week that their ground had achieved the necessary ground grading for the promotion. All that remained to confirm promotion was to guarantee they would finish in the top five and above the other applicants which they achieved at the first time of asking. At the other end of the table Wick took a big step towards safety with a second half demolition of Quedgeley Wanderers. Nearly a full programme Today as only the Hardwicke game where they were due to host Frampton United fell victim to a waterlogged pitch. Bank Holiday Monday sees 3 fixtures scheduled as the April fixture catchup begins.

With Almondsbury’s own pitch still saturated their game with Avonmouth was moved across the road to the GFA headquarters at Oaklands Park. With Avonmouth knowing that three points would clinch promotion it was the hosts who made the brighter start with the visitors not settling. On 18 minutes pressure from Omar Alarwi caused a mix up in the box that led to Bradley in the Avonmouth goal picking up a back pass and an indirect free kick inside the box that came to nothing. A clumsy challenge just outside the box gave Almonds a free kick on the left and they took the lead when Loui Ward pinged the ball into the top corner with his left foot, leaving Bradley rooted to the spot. HT 1-0. Avonmouth came out much brighter in the second half and were soon level when an out swinging corner fell to Charlie Aldom who rifled a shot through the crowded box on 52 minutes. Both sides created a lot of half chances with Almondsbury striking the crossbar with a deflected Tom Manley shot probably their best chance. Then on 81 minutes Avonmouth broke after Almonds had been caught offside and the ball was quickly switched from left to right, the winger looked to be trapped in the corner but found room to deliver a cross right onto the head of Charlie Aldom to make it 2-1 to secure the points and promotion for Avonmouth.

At Tewkesbury Road Cheltenham Civil Service played host to Stoke Gifford United both teams in search of points for differing reasons. A competitive opening 15 minutes was very even until Gifford opened the scoring when Devanti McInerny somehow beat 2 challenges, found Jordan Iwhiwhu who’s shot was going wide until it hit the unfortunate Josh Ellin. This knocked Service back and they were given a warning when Gifford stole the ball high and McInerny was played through on the angle only to see his shot go high over the bar. Gifford did double their lead when a corner played in low was missed at the front post & founds its way to Iwhiwhu who shot into the roof of the net Service then created a few openings firstly Lewis Driscoll ran onto a through pass and saw his cute side foot effort hit the side netting, however just before half time Service did pull a goal back when Josh Ellin got in down the left & his fizzed cross found its way to Brett Blake who finished.

Gifford started the 2nd half positively and scored after only 5 minutes when a ball in from Jordan Yeo seemed to be heading into the waiting hands of Harvey Need only for Iwhiwhu to poke home in front of him. The 4th wasn’t far behind when a wicked ball into the box was just missed by Mike Barry but forced Need into a late save, the ball fell however to Posi Fagbure to finish. Gifford eased off slightly and Service started to create opportunities, Chick twice finding space on the edge of the box, but his efforts didn’t trouble Oli Gargett. Driscoll however worked tirelessly and was played in with just Gargett to beat, however his right foot effort went over the bar. The Final goal was again in part Services own doing, giving away cheap possession Mike Barry was played through on goal & he scored emphatically past Need. A solid performance by Gifford but a response needed from Service.

A game of two halves at Oldbury Lane where despite the continued rain the ground was in magnificent condition, thanks to the marvellous efforts of Wick's ground care team to get the pitch ready for the visit of Quedgeley Wanderers. With both teams battling to keep their heads above the drop zone, today was another 6 pointer for both clubs, and in particular Wick. The match started in a lively fashion, with Wick just shading the opening quarter of an hour, however neither goal came under threat. A Wick mistake on 15 minutes could have gifted Quedgeley the opener, when Ashton Trott's scuffed clearance in goal only found a Quedgeley forward, however Trott was just quick enough to race back between the sticks to block the goal bound shot. For the rest of the half both teams huffed and puffed without much quality. On 35 mins Wick came close to taking the lead, when a Quedgeley headed clearance narrowly missed their far post for a corner, from which Jordan Mignott's powerful header crashed against the Quedgeley upright. A half chance for both sides were the only things to note in what was a dour first half that was a hard watch, and which ended without score.

Quedgeley came racing out of the blocks for the second half and within 3 minutes of the restart, Sean Lawson won the leg race against the Wick defence, to lob a through ball over Trott advancing from goal, to find the top corner of the Wick net and put Quedgeley one up. Ten minutes later Wick were level. Louis Short's first time strike meeting a free kick from the edge of the Quedgeley box found the back of the net. Wick took the lead on the hour mark, when Liam Jenkins shot from the edge of the box found the far corner of the Quedgeley net. 5 minutes later Wick got their third when Todd Carter, fresh on the field, met Liam Jenkins cross to score from close range. On 70 mins Wick miss another golden opportunity when the Quedgeley keeper Nathan Charnock pulls off a point blank save to deny Wick. However, it wasn't long before Wick found the net again following another Quedgeley defensive error, this time Short getting his second of the day and Wick's fourth. On 76 minutes following great work from Mike Hardiman, the ball broke for Short to fire home for his hatrick and Wick's fifth. Understandably Quedgeley's heads were down, and their wheels certainly off, as Wick continued their relentless pressure. Wick's sixth came after 85 mins, a second for Jenkins. Wick's seventh on 88 mins to complete Jenkins hatrick. Finally, Wick's eighth and Short's fourth on 90 mins.

Gala Wilton took on Ruardean Hill Rangers in an entertaining game at Fairmile Gardens. Gala had the first sight of the Ruardean goal on 9 mins with a Jay Dare header that just went over. Both sides then had penalty appeals waved away before the first test for either keeper on 30 mins when Underwood in the Ruardean goal tipped away an Antonio Pirelli shot. There was 37 mins on the clock when Gala took the lead when Tim Hill coolly slotted home from a Jorell Sanniola pass. But it didn’t take Ruardean long to restore parity when Taylor Blaby beat 3 Gala defenders and scored past Elliot Jones in the Gala goal to make it 1-1 at half-time.

Vanylson Silva hit the side netting for Gala at the start of the second half, but it was Ruardean who started the half a little stronger and probably should have scored but shot wide on 52 mins. Tim Hill then nearly scored his second of the game but for a great save from the Underwood on 59 to tip a curling effort round the post. In a second half that threatened to go either way, Ruardean then put another close range effort just wide of the post, but it was Gala who should have taken the points in injury time but for a point blank header that went wide of the post and so the game ended with the points shared.

Rockleaze Rangers made another fast start playing host to Broadwell Amateurs scoring early again at Hillside Gardens and the spectators present could have been forgiven for believing it would be another high scoring match for the home side, however, they didn’t account for a resolute Broadwell side who surely have too much quality to stay out of the relegation zone. Rockleaze took the lead after a frantic start on just 2 minutes when Jenson Beard got to the byline and cut the ball back across the 6 yard box, the defender hacked the ball clear however it just rebounded off the on rushing Drew Sawdon and ricocheted into the net much to the bewilderment of the Broadwell defence. Broadwell were pressing well and Rockleaze weren’t at their fluent best however Jenson Beard had a good chance on 21 minutes after outpacing Harry Nash he was one on one with Jack Watkins the Broadwell goalkeeper who made a superb save to keep the score at 1-0, which is how it remained at the interval.

Rockleaze started the 2nd half fast and on 49 minutes Beard should have scored when Fraser Butt got to the touchline and cut the ball back for Beard to tap into an empty net however the ball was hit too hard and rebounded to safety off the crossbar. On 59 minutes Sawdon tapped in at the back post after a delicious cross from fullback Tasman Rook to make it 2-0. On 75 minutes a spell of possession and concerted pressure form Broadwell resulted in Rockleaze custodian Jordan Dunning saving well at the feel of Jamie Belfitt. On 80 minutes a sublime turn on the edge of the Broadwell box from Brandon Boontam saw him turn and dink the ball over Watkins only to watch the ball agonisingly hit the post before the ball was cleared. Broadwell hadn’t given up and on 88 minutes Daniel Brain should have done better from 15 yards out when he blasted over after Rockleaze had given the ball away. Substitute James Goulden should have made it 3 to Rockleaze in time added on but fired wide when one on one with Watkins. Another good performance from Rockleaze who go into next week’s game against Champions elect Avonmouth full of confidence.

At Hamfields two teams playing catchup met as Sharpness hosted Bromley Heath United who started brightly, and Taylor had to be at his best to deny Venton's shot from 20 yards out. Sharpness grew into the game and broke the deadlock midway through the 1st half. A long throw-in found Marley Thomas who did well to create space for himself and pick out Frankham who slotted the ball into the back of the net. Alfie Jones had a chance to double the lead for the Sharks but his effort struck the woodwork. Bromley had more of the ball 2nd half and Sharpness had to dig deep to limit Bromley to very few clear-cut chances. Olly Hanham went close for the visitors when he cut inside but his effort went narrowly wide. George Thomas had a chance to seal the win late on but couldn't convert his effort from a corner, Sharpness had to work hard 2nd half to secure the victory and it took an effort from the entire squad.

Hanham Athletic are another side playing catchup and the hosted Little Stoke. It was a very tight start to the game with both teams sizing each other up but it was Little Stoke who went close 1st when on 22 mins a spectacular volley by Phil Vice went just over the bar. Hanham’s 1st effort on goal came on 28 mins with Karim Rendalls fierce shot bringing a good save from Barry Phillips. Hanham took the lead on 30 mins with a brilliant goal, Josh Gibbs making a brilliant run down the left going past three players before laying the ball off to Brandon Barnes who in turn found Karim Rendall who finished brilliantly left footed into the corner of the net. Sam Brown in the Hanham goal kept the score line at 1 nil on 41 mins with a spectacular save from a Luke Meacham header. The next chance fell to Hanham striker Brandon Barnes but his curling shot hit the crossbar with the keeper well beaten. Hanham went 2 nil up just before half time when Jacob Saunders managed to squeeze the ball over the line after a goal mouth scramble. Little Stoke made it 2-1 on 60 mins when Luke Meacham finished well on the back post from a fine cross from Dan Bendall.

29th March 2024 - Electronic Programmes

Gala Wilton v Ruardean Hill Rangers

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23rd March 2024 - Avonmouth win battle of top two

Mark Simpson


With the top two meeting in front of a good crowd of 162, there was also some interesting meetings involving struggling clubs with bottom side Hardwicke pulling off a shock win away to Little Stoke in a nine-goal thriller. Hanham make it through to the Les James League Cup Final setting up a meeting with Stoke Gifford United. And to recap midweek in the league Almondsbury beat Quedgeley Wanderers 4-0.

Starting at the top at KGV where Avonmouth met second placed Stoke Gifford United on a sunny afternoon and Gifford flew out of the blocks with Rudy Hill’s 20 yarder forcing Tom Bradley into a good save. Bradley was in action again saving from Spike Weaver and Gifford had a goal disallowed for offside after 15 minutes. But as ever, a minute later, Avonmouth’s Kyle O’Donovan played out wide to Jack Williams who found Josh Pearce to smash the ball past Oli Gargett for 1-0. Gifford were sparked into action and Jordan Iwhiwhu’s shot hit the bar. Gifford again hit the bar with ten minutes of the half remaining from Weaver’s 20-yard shot. Avonmouth learnt from the first half and pressed the Gifford defence straight away and three minutes in O’Donovan played in Pearce in who fired into the top corner via the crossbar. Shortly after the hosts had another chance Williams firing just wide. However the third was not long away with Rob Allen finding Cody Winkler and with his first touch shot past Gargett from 20 yards. Weaver had a Gifford shot blocked by the resolute Mark Williams and with five minutes to go the visitors Tunposi Fagbure was on target and saved by Bradley. The final action came when Gargett spilled Maddox Paynes shot on to the post with Matt Groves there to prod home the rebound. Avonmouth’s 4-0 win but it could be said to be rather fortuitous after Giffords first half chances.

Little Stoke welcomed Hardwicke to the Park and a hectic match it turned out to be with Hardwicke in front after 30 seconds through George Ganley. Little Stoke hit back first through Josh Hull after 20 minutes and then Ethan Moore on 37 minutes. But not to be outdone Callum Blackford levelled for Hardwicke before half time. Marley Johnson gave the visitors the lead in the 52nd minute only for Moore to get his second on 58 for 3-3. On 63 minutes Sam Hill got Hardwicke’s fourth and an own goal made it five on seventy-seven minutes. A two-goal cushion for the visitors but a red card saw them down to ten players to see out the remaining time. Little Stoke did grab a fourth through Nathan Brown four minutes into time added on but Hardwicke held out for a 5-4 win and a valuable three points if they are to have any chance of staying up.

Two more teams somewhat in trouble when Cheltenham Civil Service met Wick at Tewkesbury Road. The early stages were rather cagey and both teams were rather wasteful from promising positions. Service had the better of the chances, firstly a corner delivered in was missed by Charlie Smith with a clear chance up for grabs and then Brett Blake was played through on the angle and his shot was superbly saved by Ashton Trott. A few minutes later Ollie Wilkes ran onto a through pass, and his shot was palmed away at full stretch by Trott. A long throw brought a scramble in the Wick box with Driscoll and Blake seeing bodies being thrown at the ball. Wick then finished the half with Mike Hardiman linking up with Liam Jenkins whose shot was comfortably held by Harvey Need, Hardiman then met a corner only to see his looping effort pushed away by Need. The second half saw a slight shift with Wick now having the wind behind them they forced Service deeper although falling into the trap of over hitting passes. Service were now playing on the counter but lacked any real quality with the final pass. Mikey Goulding saw an effort scuff wide when well placed and from another corner Swift’s header drifted wide of the far post. Wick had a last gasp effort when Hardiman’s free kick from the edge brought loud shouts for handball, nothing was given, and in truth, a fair 0-0 result and possibly a big point for both teams.

At The Hawthorns on a sunny but cold and windy afternoon Broadwell Amateurs met Almondsbury with both teams needing something from the match. Both teams demonstrated talent and determination but it was Broadwell who asserted early dominance and in the 8th minute Kian Skidmore was agonisingly close his powerful shot rattling the woodwork. Broadwell’s persistence paid off when Ethan Wilkins capitalised on an Almonds defensive mistake to round Sam Burgess and put the ball in the net for a 24th minute lead. Almonds made occasional forays into Broadwell’s half and Jack Watkins made some crucial saves to maintain Broadwell’s lead. Nathan Davies then tested Burgess with a well struck effort tipped around the post. Almonds seemed rejuvenated after the break and launched wave after wave of attacks pinning Broadwell back for much of the half, and despite Broadwell’s best efforts to weather the storm Almonds pressure eventually paid off when Matthew Toghill capitalised on a well worked passage of play for a 65th minute equaliser. The hosts then rallied for a winner without creating much and although Almonds Joe Rossiter got a second yellow things ended 1-1 and a good point for both teams.

Two teams in the top few with Bromley Heath United meeting Rockleaze Rangers at Pomphrey Hill for a game played in all weathers, rain, wind, hail and glorious sunshine providing difficult playing conditions at times. The game was played at pace from the start with Rockleaze taking the initiative with some crisp passing and Bromley doing well to hold out for the first 10 minutes. Bromley thought they had scored after 10 minutes when an excellent through ball from Cam Ford set up Ben Ackerman whose goal was ruled out for offside. But, almost straight after a terrible mix up in the Bromley defence left Drew Sawdon an easy chance to put Rockleaze one up. Unfortunately Bromley lost captain and talisman Jack Withey to injury forcing a reshuffle. The rest of the first half was then mainly played out in Bromley’s half with Rockleaze’s Marcus Williams outstanding down the left flank. The second half started with Bromley playing some neat one touch football with good threat coming from both wings. The first chance, however, fell to the visitors Dan Webb whose shot was well saved by Will Ferguson. After 70 minutes a brilliant run and solo goal by James Fenton brought the scores level. Almost immediately Rockleaze had a great chance to retake the lead but were denied by a brilliant save by Ferguson. The game was then end to end for the last twenty but finished 1-1 and on the day a fair result.

The match between Frampton United and Ruardean Hill Rangers at the Bell Field started at a frenetic pace and fifteen minutes in a Frampton free kick on the edge of the box was deflected off the wall for a corner from which Jacob Geddes out jumped the defence to head in for 1-0. In the 32nd minute Fin Jones equalised for Hill scoring from a corner. Three minutes before half time Geddes headed in a cross for his second and a minute later a Freddie Porter cross beat the defender and Will Hawes nipped in for 3-1. On 55 minutes a ball was fed into the box and Henry Driver-Dickerson lobbed Aaron Underwood for a fourth. Hill then pulled one back when Steve Clarke unleashed a screamer from 25 yards into the top corner but Driver-Dickerson was able to finally put the game to bed when a beat a defender and fired into the bottom corner for 5-2 to Frampton.

23rd March 2024 - Hanham Athletic progress to Les James Cup Final - sponsored by Boca Teamwear

Mark Simpson


To the other semi final of the Les James League Cup and on a bright afternoon at Fairmile Gardens Gala Wilton took on Hanham Athletic for the right to a place in the final. Hanham started the stronger and took an early lead on five minutes Karim Rendall slotting past Oscar Bignell. On ten minutes it was two, Jacob Saunders scoring from the spot after a foul in the box. Gala then came into the game a little with two free kicks on the edge of the penalty area but failed to trouble Kai Wilson in the Hanham goal. The remainder of the first half saw neither team threatening. Hanham effectively finished the game on 51 minutes with a superb strike from Rendall following a pull back to the edge of the area. Three became four on 69 minutes with another superb strike from the edge of the box, this time from Brandon Barnes. Rendall secured his hat-trick from the spot on 79 minutes and after Jarmol Dare hit the bar on 83, the closest Gala came to a goal. Only an excellent save by Bignell from Hanham’s third penalty of the game kept the score at 5-0 and a resounding win to send Hanham through to the final.

22nd March 2024 - Electronic Programmes

Avonmouth v Stoke Gifford United

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Gala Wilton v Hanham Athletic

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Little Stoke v Hardwicke

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16th March 2024 - Avonmouth march on

Mark Simpson


Avonmouth continue their relentless pursuit of the title, Hanham Athletic manage to play a home game, Gala Wilton were battered at Rockleaze Rangers and will have to somehow turn it around for their league cup semi final next week if they are to have any hope of meeting Stoke Gifford United in the final.

Starting at Avonmouth who took on struggling Cheltenham Civil Service at KGV. A good crowd of 85 were delighted that the game was on after recent heavy rain which made the surface slippery but totally playable. It was Service who had the better of the opening fifteen minutes with Declan Chick firing over on 7 minutes after good work by Ollie Wilkes. It wasn’t until nearly the 20th minute that Avonmouth threatened with a great move down the left and a deflected shot forcing Harvey Need into a good save. Just a minute later a corner by Matty Groves found Charlie Aldom at the back post and his header sneaked under a defenders legs for 1-0. Unfortunately Aldom soon got injured and was replaced. Service had a good chance on 38 when a corner bounced around the box but was cleared. With a minute of the half remaining Kyle O’Donovan doubled the score with a well placed shot from the edge of the box. Service started the second half on top and Brett Blake scored a minute in to reduce the arrears and nearly equalised a minute later with Lewis O’Driscoll’s shot forcing Tom Bradley to tip over. However, on the hour a pass over the defence by Avonmouth’s George Brown found Josh Pearce who calmly slotted home to restore a two goal lead. It was then Groves turn to find Pearce to fire past Need for 4-1. The home side now in control, Mark Williams striding forward and firing just over, but Service kept at it and Bradley was busy confidently plucking several crosses out of the air. In the final minutes arguably the best goal of the game was from Service’s Blake who fired an unstoppable shot into the top corner but 4-2 to Avonmouth it was.

Ruardean Hill Rangers met Little Stoke in the Forest with Hill in good form. Hill looked for an early goal but a third minute header from Tom Landon crashed off the bar. A few minutes later a Hill free kick in their own half found Max Telling who flicked a header towards goal but Little Stoke cleared off the line. On 22 minutes Hill opened the scoring, Kane Fellows slamming the ball home from 20 yards. Little Stoke finished the half with a series of corners with one resulting in Lewis Hughes heading wide from six yards. On the hour with Stoke still pressing they almost created an equaliser but superb defending kept them at bay. With 70 minutes gone and both teams searching for a goal it was Hill who increased their lead, when a flick on from Kane Sansom found Ollie Mason running through who cooly slots past Phillips in the Stoke goal. Five minutes on it arguably should have been three for Hill as a superb ball out wide by Telling found Fellows arriving at the back post and heading against the bar. On 82 Little Stoke got a lifeline when Tommy Coleman fouled and Jack Watts scored the resulting penalty. Little Stoke had plenty of time for an equaliser but Hill sat out the 10 minutes of added time for a 2-1 win.

To Hillside Gardens where Rockleaze Rangers put on a fantastic display of finishing against a shell- shocked Gala Wilton. On just two minutes George James found the ball at his feet on the edge of the box and calmly stroked the ball past the advancing Oscar Bignell, and the dream start got even better with two more goals before seven minutes was up, firstly Ben Adam played the ball over the top to Dan Webb who got to the byline before pulling back for Drew Sawdon to slide the ball home from six yards, then two minutes later Webb struck a superb shot past the hapless Bignell. Webb almost scored again on 10 minutes, his back post header superbly clawed away by Bignell. On 12 minutes Gala had their first sight on goal when a dipping swerving effort by Antonio Pirelli was smartly saved by Jordan Dunning. On nineteen minutes Webb got his second of the match with another good finish after being played through by Brandon Boontam and on 26 minutes Boontam himself struck a free kick from the edge of the box which curled around the wall and nestled in the corner of the net. On thirty-two James got back in the act with a smart flicked finish again from a cross by the impressive Webb. Gala started the second half pressing Rockleaze with no signs of heads dropping. But soon the hosts were back on the attack and Webb’s shot was well saved by Bignell. With twenty minutes to go Marcus Williams got behind the Gala defence and pulled the ball back for James Goulden to pass it into the net from six yards. Five minutes later Tate Shaw on for man of the match Webb smashed the ball past Bignell from the edge of the box for the eighth Rockleaze goal and the scoring was completed on 84 minutes with a really good header by Jenson Beard from a Sam Bailey corner. It was a game where the hosts took their chances and there could have been a few more but for some inspired goalkeeping from Oscar Bignell, but 9-0 it finished.

To Vicarage Road, where Hanham Athletic played Wick for a desperately needed home match. For the first 25 minutes both sides were sizing each other up with several chances going begging but it was Wick who took the lead on 26 when Brad Abraham charged down a clearance from keeper Sam Brown for the ball to spin slowly into the bottom of the net. Hanham almost equalised on the half hour but Karim Rendall’s shot was well saved by Ashton Trott. Wick started the second half well and it took a fine save by Sam Brown to deny Micky Goulding a second for the visitors. Hanham’s equaliser came on 75 minutes from the spot, Jacob Saunders stepping up to thunder the ball into the top left-hand corner of the Wick goal. Hanham got an unlikely second goal on eighty minutes when Richard Wathens flick on was somehow allowed to go in by keeper Trott. Hanham added another when Karim Rendall headed home a superb Brandon Barnes free kick and a final score of 3-1 for Hanham.

16th March 2024 - Stoke Gifford United into Les James Cup Final - sponsored by Boca Teamwear

Mark Simpson


To the Les James League Cup first semi final with Stoke Gifford United taking on Sharpness. The opening half was a cagey affair with both teams cancelling each other out. On twelve minutes Devanti McInerny put a marker down against the Sharks defence flying down the left wing and pulling back for Spike Weaver who drew a sharp stop from James Russell. Sharpness looked at their biggest threat from set pieces and on 27 couldn’t quite find the right finish in a goalmouth scramble as Gifford blocked bravely. The remainder of the half saw Sharpness testing the Gifford back line with set pieces that were mostly defended well and Gifford looking to exploit Sharpness down the flanks but neither team creating anything much. The second half began with the Sharks looking the more likely, a Tom Frankham free kick was saved by Oli Gargett and back-to-back corners caused some panic in the Gifford back line. The game changed on seventy minutes, Barry was released down the right wing and looked to have scored but Russell produced a fine save. The resulting corner ended with Rudy Hill firing on target, Russell could only parry but Joe Bridge was on hand to poke home. On 78 minutes Barry caused mayhem again drifting in field he teed up Spike Weaver who was taken down on the edge of the box by James Priday who received his marching orders for two yellows, Weaver picked himself up and fired home the resulting free kick in off the post. The icing was put on the cake when Barry got a deserved goal for a tireless performance, Weaver held the ball up and released Barry who finished into the bottom corner to take Gifford through to the final where they will meet the winners of next weeks second semi between Gala Wilton and Hanham Athletic.

16th March 2024 - Electronic Programmes

Avonmouth v Cheltenham Civil Service

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Ruardean Hill Rangers v Wick

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9th March 2024 - Gala Wilton grab the points

Mark Simpson


Leaders Avonmouth drop a rare point, and at the more interesting end four of the bottom five met each other with Gala Wilton and Wick picking up useful wins. Well done to Hanham Athletic on reaching the GFA Senior Amateur County Cup Final where Brockworth Albion await them.

Gala Wilton took on Almondsbury with both sides needing a win to help in their battle against relegation. Almonds made the brighter start and could have been in the lead after two minutes, a header from a corner just wide, and shortly after Gala had to scramble another corner away. With the half generally lacking any quality Gala had to wait until the 35th minute for their first effort on goal Jerzy Marszalek shooting wide. Gala had another couple of efforts at goal without really troubling Sam Burgess. Burgess made a good save from Antonio Pirelli in the 53rd minute and was the saviour again on the hour when Jacob Eakers was one on one with him stopping the initial effort, Eakers missing the follow up. Gala took the lead on 78 Tim Hill finishing from close range from a corner. Almonds responded well and forced a good save from Oscar Bignall. And as Almonds sent extra men forward to get a leveller Eakers ran through from his own half for Gala and cleverly finished chipping the ball over Burgess for a 2-0 win on 93 minutes.

Broadwell Amateurs, themselves not totally out of trouble took on leaders Avonmouth at the Hawthorns, with football enthusiasts witnessing an enthralling battle. Both teams tried to assert early dominance for completely different reasons, and Broadwell struck first blood in the fifteenth minute with a swift move down the right culminating with Kristian Burnard delivering a pinpoint cross for Kian Skidmore to finish. Undeterred Avonmouth launched relentless attacks, but Broadwell’s resolute defence stood firm. Indeed it was Broadwell who defied expectations when a 24th minute Avonmouth clearance only found Harry Nash whose header back found Jarred Liddington whose remarkable composure allowed him to bypass the advancing Tom Bradley for 2-0. Avonmouth trailing by two rallied to salvage some pride and their perseverance bore fruit when awarded a 34th minute penalty converted by Alfie Taylor. Avonmouth intensified their onslaught to complete their comeback but their pressure was absorbed by the home defence until the 72nd minute when they were awarded another penalty, again duly converted by Charlie Aldom. Both teams searched for a winner but it wasn’t to be and a hard fought 2-2 draw it ended.

To the upper end of the league and an interesting clash at Pomphrey Hill where Bromley Heath United took on Stoke Gifford United and the visitors started well with their wide attacking players Jordan Iwhiwhu and Micky Barry looking dangerous. But both teams were cancelling each other out and it wasn’t until the stroke of half time that the deadlock was almost broken when Gifford’s Spike Weaver struck a fierce close range shot that was pushed onto the bar by Will Ferguson. Gifford started the second half the stronger of the sides and were rewarded 10 minutes in when Iwhiwhu showed great footwork going around defenders and scoring with an excellent strike, and deservedly went two up when Iwhiwhu made a diagonal run infield and reversed the ball for Jordan Yeo to score. Gifford looked comfortable at this point but Bromley to their credit showed great spirit and were rewarded when Cam Gardener flighted a clever ball to the back post for Ted Willoughby to head home. As Bromley pressed for an equaliser they were undone by substitute Devanti McInerney who came on and wrapped things up for Gifford 3-1.

With Quedgeley Wanderers just outside the trouble zone and Ruardean Hill Rangers now well clear an interesting match was awaited and it took Hill only 5 minutes to find the back of the net through Kane Fellows. Quedgeley’s response was limited and both sides had a number of free kicks but never capitalised. Ruardean Hill came out fighting for the second half resulting in a number of good saves by Nathan Charnock in the Quedgeley goal with a notable one from Ollie Mason’s effort. Hill’s second goal came as a result of a horrendously short back pass which allowed Fin Jones to round Charnock and find the net with ten minutes remaining. Hill continued to press forward and strong attempts by Mason and Charlie Taylor were repelled by Quedgeley and 2-0 to the visitors it finished.

Sharpness were the visitors to Little Stoke Park and the game had a pedestrian start with neither team having much of a cutting edge. The deadlock was eventually broken on 27 minutes with a Sharks free kick being headed home by James Priday. Little Stoke started the second half superbly with Alex Hill setting up Ethan Moore to level the scores. A rather freak goal put Sharpness in front as a Little Stoke clearance was deflected in by Sean Heal. Little Stoke pushed for an equaliser but unfortunately left themselves open to the counter and Sharpness eventually capitalised and Will Tainton made it 3-1 on seventy minutes. A late penalty for Little Stoke converted by Lewis Hughes was not enough the Sharks taking it 3-2.

Finally to Oldbury Lane with two more strugglers in competition Wick taking on Hardwicke. A scruffy start to the game with nothing much to report for the first fifteen minutes, Callum Blackford had a chance for Hardwicke which he fired over and Brad Abraham shot wide for Wick in the opening half hour. Eventually the deadlock was broken on 35 minutes, a straight through ball down the middle and Liam Jenkins dinks Cameron Wilce only to rebound off the post and he followed up his own shot for 1-0. The second half was again a tight affair with a few chances missed by Wick, Abraham and Louis Short both denied by Wilce. Hardwicke almost equalised in the 62nd minute George Ganley a good header against the post. Wick made it 2-0 five minutes later when a Mike Hardiman shot from twenty yards took a bobble over Wilce’s dive. Wick went down to ten on 79 minutes, Billy Fletcher seeing red and were down to nine ten minutes later Abraham being sin binned and conceded a penalty converted by Harley Mustoe for a nervy ending with eight minutes of time added on, but a 2-1 win for Wick.

8th March 2024 - Electronic Programmes

Gala Wilton v Almondsbury

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Little Stoke v Sharpness

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1st March 2024 - Electronic Programmes

Avonmouth v Bromley Heath United

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Ruardean Hill Rangers v Wick

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