News and Match Reports

13th April 2024 - Avonmouth take title in style

Mark Simpson


Avonmouth are now confirmed League Champions. The situation towards the bottom of the League continues with intrigue. To sum up in midweek there were wins for Bromley Heath United 2-1 v Almondsbury, Sharpness away to Hardwicke 2-1, Little Stoke 2-1 v Hanham Athletic, and Broadwell Amateurs 1-0 v Cheltenham Civil Service.

A blustery afternoon at Pomphrey Hill saw Bromley Heath United take on Sharpness with an end-to-end frantic start. Bromley broke the deadlock on fifteen minutes when from a corner Cam Gardiner smashes a volley from the edge of the box into the top corner. The lead lasted less than 5 minutes when The Sharks broke quickly and an exquisite strike from Tom Frankham levelled things. Sharpness on the ascendency saw numerous opportunities quashed by the Bromley defence and Alfie Jones was twice denied by Will Ferguson. Bromley started the second half brightly and ten minutes in a good battle sees Cam Ford win the ball in the box and square to Aidan Noble for 2-1. Again, Sharpness responded well putting Bromley under pressure winning consecutive corners but were unable to affect the scoreline. A quick break on 79 minutes saw Bromley over-load the visitors defence and allowed Oliver Hanham slot in from wide right for 3-1 and three points.

At the Hawthorns Broadwell Amateurs took on Rockleaze Rangers, both teams looking for a result for entirely different reasons. Moments after the start Broadwell launched a blistering attack down the right and Jack Knight’s powerful shot tested Jordan Dunning’s reflexes. This was followed by Jamie Belfitt’s incisive run drawing a foul on the edge of the box for another opportunity for the hosts. But, somewhat against the run a swift exchange of passes from Rockleaze’s left flank found Nick Jones at the far post who calmly slotted past Jack Watkins for 1-0. Undeterred Broadwell rallied and levelled on 39 minutes when again, Belfitt sliced through the visitor’s defence before slotting the ball in the bottom corner. Broadwell started the second half with vigour, launching a number of attacks. Rockleaze remained resilient and were always a threat on the break and scored a second goal on 62 minutes when reckless defending by Broadwell allowed the ball to fall to Sam Bailey who unleashed a shot into the top corner for 2-1 to the visitors. Two minutes later Drew Sawdon received a second yellow to make the Rockleaze task even more challenging. Broadwell made some changes to try to inject some energy but struggled to find a cutting edge. Rockleaze remained resolute in defence but still posed a threat on the break and ultimately held on for a hard fought 2-1 win.

At KGV Avonmouth at last secured the Championship winning points against Ruardean Hill Rangers who were intent on making it a difficult afternoon for the hosts in front of 140 spectators. Hill had the first chance but Ollie Mason’s free kick was dealt with by Tom Bradley. It wasn’t until the tenth minute that Avonmouth caused any problems the firstly calling Aaron Underwood into action and shortly after another chance cleared the bar. A free kick by Hill’s Fin Jones into the box was cleared by the defence and on twenty minutes another half chance for Avonmouth when Underwood parried but Cody Winkler couldn’t find the target. Just after the half hour Avonmouth were in front, Kofi Martin got the ball inside the box turned his marker and shot under Underwood. It was almost two when Charlie Aldom was denied by a smart save. Right on half time a Hill free kick was gathered by Bradley who punted the ball up field to Winkler who calmly finished for 2-0. Just ten minutes into the second half Josh Pearce made it 3-0 with an outstanding finish and halfway through the second half Matt Groves fired in a free kick which was parried by Underwood and Aldom tapped in for 4-0. Avonmouth were now well on top and Groves won the ball deep in the Ruardean half and found Dillon Kerr who placed his shot into the net for a 5-0 win and let the celebrations start.

To Waterwells and two teams still in the mire at the bottom, Quedgeley Wanderers and Wick. And I believe the first match in quite a while where we’ve had a goalkeeper score a goal (for his own side!). An end-to-end start and Wick were first to test Nathan Charnock and four minutes in James Stanbury put Sean Lawson in and Wick’s Ashton Trott making a good save. Wick had a couple of corners which didn’t cause any trouble and then on twelve minutes Quedgeley’s Dylan Venn sent Sean Lawson through but Trott won the footrace. A few minutes on a corner to the front post for Quedgeley and Venn’s flick was well saved by Trott. On 21 a Wick free kick was well saved by Charnock and Mike Hardiman was well wide with the rebound. The match continued end-to-end with half chances for both sides, but, on 41 a Quedgeley corner was cleared to Lawson who put Rio Spencer through wide who crossed to Stanbury who was all alone to tap in from two yards for 1-0. Quedgeley continued to press looking for a second before the break. The second half started end-to-end with both keepers in action. But, on 52 a Quedgeley handball was adjudged a penalty and Sam Roberts converted for 1-1. Further half chances continued to be created by both sides which usually ended up wide, over, or blocked. Ten minutes from time Wick gained another penalty for handball and again, Sam Roberts converted to put Wick in front. Quedgeley pressed and Sean Lawson’s effort came off the post and a minute from time a Harry Reynolds volley from the edge was well saved by Trott. Four minutes into added time Quedgeley had a long free kick, keeper Charnock went up from his goal……… and, yes, the ball fell to him in the Wick box and he smashed it into the bottom corner. 2-2 it ended and a valuable point for each side.

Stoke Gifford United and Gala Wilton played out a goalless draw on a bright breezy afternoon at the Stoke Gifford Stadium. The first half was fairly even. Gifford had more of the ball but Gala worked tirelessly and broke well on occasions. Mike Barry and Paul Cronin tested Elliott Jones in the Gala goal but otherwise there was little threat. Gifford upped their game in the second half and pinned Gala back in their own half but the visitor’s three-man midfield was incredibly disciplined and disrupted Gifford’s build up time after time. Gifford looked to have finally broken through on 67 when Spike Weaver rounded Jones but his strike from 20 yards at an angle struck the post. Gifford continued to dominate, Barry was a constant threat but the final touch evaded their front line. Gala dug in well and will be happy with a point.

Tewkesbury Road played host to a must win game for Cheltenham Civil Service while visitor’s Little Stoke looked to upset the home support. Service were first to pounce, Lewis Driscoll picking up a loose ball but fired over when well placed. Next it was Ollie Wilkes who got on the end of a long ball and shot straight at Barry Phillips. The game caught light after 25 minutes, first a ball delivered into the box by Stu Midwinter was met by Ollie Whelan who, from 4 yards, managed to head the ball against the post and into Phillips arms. Five minutes later Wilkes got on to the end of a through ball and whilst he beat Phillips he hit the post, the loose ball somehow didn’t cross the line. Service did eventually take the lead, a shot from Midwinter was spilled by Phillips into the path of Driscoll who finished for 1-0. Little Stoke came into the last ten minutes of the half with both Alex Hill and Phil Vice shooting over. Little Stoke upped their game in the second half and put Service under pressure but were restricted to going long in the main. Jaidon Holver was very lively for the visitors and got into a few good positions but unfortunately no clear cut chances came. Service grew into the half and Charlie Swift, off the bench, drove forward and played in Ollie Wilkes and, still with plenty to do, his quick feet took him past Phillips to score his first goal for the team from the angle. Moments later another Service chance - Midwinter crossed and Driscoll, 6 yards out, managed to side footed over. However, Little Stoke were not finished applying plenty of pressure and hitting the bar, and then followed up with a goal, Ethan Moore meeting a cross to score past Nath Buckland. Despite a couple of late Little Stoke free kicks in dangerous positions Service held out for a deserved 2-1 win.

To the Hallet Construction Pavilion and a reverse of last weeks fixture this time Hanham Athletic hosting Frampton United. Hanham had the first chance when Andy Nash broke through on eight minutes but his shot was well saved by Tom Kaye. Freddie Porter should have opened the scoring on 38 minutes for Frampton but shot well over when well placed. However, it was Hanham to score first when Mitch Wise headed in from a Brandon Barnes corner. Sam Brown made two good saves to keep it at 1-0 until half time. Frampton were gifted an equaliser five minutes into the second half when Brown’s clearance was charged down by Zak Tyers allowing him to run the ball into the back of the net. Frampton took the lead on 61 minutes a free kick knocked past Brown by Jacob Geddes. There were few chances after this and 2-1 to Frampton it remained.

13th April 2024 - Electronic Programmes

Avonmouth v Ruardean Hill Rangers

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6th April 2024 - Gala Wilton win the basement battle

Mark Simpson


As so often happens, you ensure promotion and maybe the foot comes off the gas a little and perhaps you relax too much, did this happen at Rockleaze. Probably of more interest were the clashes at the lower end of the League with four of the bottom six playing each other. In the week there were wins for Bromley Heath United v Cheltenham Civil Service 3-0, Wick at Ruardean Hill Rangers 3-1 and for Stoke Gifford United v Broadwell Amateurs 4-0 in absolutely appalling weather so well done to Broadwell for making the long journey in midweek.

Gala Wilton took on Hardwicke at Fairmile Gardens in a clash where both sides needed to win in their bid to avoid relegation. The majority of the first half saw both sides sizing each other up with the first forty minutes seeing one half chance each that both came to nothing. Gala however missed a good chance on the stroke of half time but Vanylson Silva fired over after Cam Wilce had spilled Antonio Pirelli’s free kick. Gala came out firing in the second half and had a couple of chances when Tim Hill saw an effort saved by Wilce and a lobbed attempt landed wide of the goal on 62. But Gala took the lead on 68 minutes when Silva cut in from the right from Jacob Eakers long pass and fired home from the edge of the box. Silva then followed this up with an even better one on 80 minutes when he again cut in from the right but this time curled one in to the top corner for 2-0. Hardwicke pushed forward and forced two good saves by Oscar Bignell and at the other end Jurek Marszalek had a good chance but put it over and 2-0 to Gala it ended.

At Waterwells both Quedgeley Wanderers and Cheltenham Civil Service could have done with the points, Service had the first chance with a free kick that came to nothing but on eight minutes Quedgeley countered and Luke Holder was just wide from the edge of the box and a few minutes on Sean Lawson was over the top but keeper Harvey Need had it covered. Service started to press and on 24 Lewis O’Driscoll was well wide from outside the box, and a cross from the left and the shot that followed hit Nathan Charnock. On the half hour Lawson was through but Need got there first on the edge of the box. For Service Dec Chick blasted over from close range on 37 and a corner for Service was blasted over. Just into the second half Need was on hand to deal with a home 30 yarder and on 55 an Alfie Pledger free kick was straight at Need. There were chances at both ends with both keepers in action and on 72 Ollie Wilkes shot for Service was brilliantly dealt with by Charnock. A goal eventually came in the eighty-second minute Sean Lawson finding the net from Pledger’s superb assist. Both sides continued to press, Rio Spencer made a break but Service’s defence shepherded him away and into time added on a good through ball from Harry Reynolds found Diwash Kerung who couldn’t quite bring the ball down and right near the end Charnock denied Service with a brilliant save after the ball came through a crowd of players so 1-0 for Quedgeley it ended.

On a very windy day at the Stoke Gifford Stadium it was visitors Almondsbury who really needed the points in their struggle at the wrong end of the League and for the first fifteen minutes it was a very cagey affair with Gifford having the best of the openings but not really threatening. However, Gifford went in front on seventeen minutes Sam Garrod’s pass broke the Almonds defence and Michael Barry made a great run in behind to open the scoring. Gifford continued pressing testing keeper Sam Burgess a number of times but couldn’t score. The second half begun as cagey as the first with the wind having a massive impact on the game. Gifford doubled their lead on 75 minutes firstly Devanti McInerney was released down the left wing and pulled it back to Spike Weaver on the edge of the box who played a cutting pass to Barry who squared it for Paul Cronin to tap in, and 2-0 to Gifford it ended.

To another clash where three points would be handy for Broadwell Amateurs at The Hawthorns against Sharpness. Broadwell showed their attacking intent in the first twenty minutes and created several scoring chances. Sharpness, however, utilised the strong wind to their advantage launching direct attacks that tested the home defence. The breakthrough came for Broadwell on 22 when a free kick on the edge from Kian Skidmore was expertly curled into the bottom corner. Despite the setback The Sharks renewed their efforts and were given a penalty on 26 only for Elliot Martin to send it wide. Sharpness continued to press forward and Martin came close on 37 his shot finding the side netting. Just before the break another Sharpness opportunity from a free kick sailed over. With the wind at their backs for the second half Broadwell launched sustained attacks on The Sharks goal and their efforts paid off on 67 when Kris Burnard’s cross found Dan Brain to slot home from close range. Broadwell’s persistence paid off when a clinical finish from young Jamie Belfitt made it 3-0. Despite Sharpness’ efforts to get something from the game they found a resolute home defence and 3-0 to Broadwell it finished.

Some good recent form has lifted Wick up the table a bit and the visit to Little Stoke Park can be as tough as it gets, although Little Stoke have unusually lost four on the bounce. But it was Little Stoke who took the lead on eighteen minutes from a Lewis Hughes penalty with an Ethan Moore assist. Three minutes on it was two, Jack Burgess from an Alex Hill assist. Unfortunately for Wick, Little Stoke got their third just before half time, Sam Archer scoring. And that’s how things finished, a top result for Little Stoke against a competitive Wick side.

To The Bell Field where Frampton United took on Hanham Athletic, who are technically the only side who can overhaul Avonmouth at the top. The first real chance in this encounter came from a 14th minute Frampton free kick which was headed back across goal evading everyone and creeping past the post. Frampton conceded a free kick on the edge of their box but Brandon Barnes fired it straight at the wall. On the half hour a deflected pass fell into the path of Jacob Saunders but keeper Tom Kaye made a good save. The opening goal came when Manola Espada let fly from long range into the top corner. On the stroke of half time Hanham equalised after a bit of head tennis Mitch Wise finally headed past Kaye. Frampton thought they had scored when Steve Jackson ran on to a through ball from Driver-Dickerson, rounded Sam Brown but a defender on the line prevented the goal. Hanham scored the winning goal in the 68th minute when Saunders headed home from a corner for a 2-1 win.

On a blustery afternoon at Hillside Gardens a dominant display from Rockleaze Rangers saw them inflict champions elect Avonmouth to only the second league defeat in two seasons. Both keepers were joint top of the “golden gloves” award before the game but it was Tom Bradley in Avonmouth’s goal who had the busier start. Sam Bailey had a decent chance for Rockleaze on 8 minutes but couldn’t get enough on a cross from Jenson Beard and at the other end the dangerous Matt Groves curled a shot wide. Rockleaze thought they had taken a 31st minute lead but Drew Sawdon’s effort was ruled out for an earlier offside. Just before the break, Bradley scrambled to keep out Nick Jones’ curling effort. The second half was a much better affair with the wind dying down a bit. Just into the half Tasman Rooke flashed a great cross along the six-yard line but no-one was there, and on 49 minutes Dan Webb’s effort was just wide from 20 yards. On the hour Avonmouth’s Groves swivelled and hooked the ball goal bound but Jordan Dunning tipped over. Rockleaze made a few changes and one change, James Goulden, had presentable chances on 68 and 70 minutes both well saved by Bradley, and a few minutes later Webb flashed a shot wide with Bradley stranded. On 76 minutes the huge Avonmouth contingent was silenced when Brandon Boontam lobbed Bradley from 25 yards for 1-0. The move of the game came on 82 minutes with Sawdon, Rooke, and Boontam all involved to create a chance for Kacper Kalkowski whose effort was saved by Bradley. Rockleaze were pushing for a second and got it with the last kick of the game, Marcus Williams crossed to the back post where Boontam headed back across for Goulden to smash into an empty net to take the points 2-0. Rockleaze deservedly won the game just as Avonmouth will win the League over the next game or so.

The windy conditions at Pomphrey Hill played a big part in the Bromley Heath United clash against Ruardean Hill Rangers. Both sides found it difficult to string anything together in the first half with only one shot on target for each side in the first half. A fierce shot by Aidan Noble for the hosts and a good effort by Ollie Mason for Hill both dealt with by the keepers. Bromley started the second period the brighter and Ben Ackerman should have scored when clean through ten minutes in but couldn’t get a clean strike. However, his hard work was rewarded when he provided an assist for Aiden Noble to shoot past Aaron Underwood. Hill had their best chance on 65 when Charlie Taylor hit a fierce shot that was moving all over the place but watched all the way by Will Ferguson who tipped over. Bromley made sure of the win with 15 minutes left with a slightly bizarre goal from Ollie Hanham his cross shot completely fooled Underwood when it seemed to hold up in the wind and then take a bounce which completely altered its direction. Strange – but as they say they all count and Hill fought to the end but couldn’t penetrate the Bromley defence and 2-0 for the hosts it was.

4th April 2024 - Electronic Programmes

Gala Wilton v Hardwicke

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Little Stoke v Wick

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