News and Match Reports

24th September 2021 - Bromley Heath Boss wants "spirit and commitment"

CRAIG Britton wants his Bromley Heath United battlers to start regularly replicating the “spirit and commitment” they showed in Saturday’s splendid first success of 2021-22.

Strikes by Antonio Nurse and Kaylen Edwards saw the Pomphrey Hill hosts to a 2-0 victory over Rockleaze Rangers, to issue a warning to the rest of the Marcliff Gloucestershire County League membership they can yet be a force to be reckoned with this term.

After three losses and a goalless draw with Hardwicke, Britton’s Bromley were at last able to celebrate the clinching of a prized three points, leading their relieved and delighted manager to chirp: “We’re feeling a lot better now. That’s what can happen when you have 11 players out there running their hearts out for each other.

“Until Saturday we’d struggled to find the net; in fact we’d only scored twice in our first five league and cup games, while at the other end we had been conceding silly goals.

“There were reasons for that, such as not being able to put the same back four out from game to game. Most clubs at our level have struggled with player availability due to festivals and the like, having been effectively locked up for two years because of the pandemic. Injuries have helped nothing either.

“It did help on Saturday having Cam Gardiner back in there at centre-half alongside Olly Amos, as they form a good combination. Cam had been working his way back from injury with our reserves and is a physical and dominating presence.”

Britton is urging more of the same from his rejuvenated team when they set off for an away encounter with Broadwell Amateurs tomorrow (3pm).

And he said of Bromley’s current and future prospects: “I feel that when we’re at our best, and with pretty much everyone available for selection, we should be looking at cementing a position in the top half of the table.

“The club as a whole is in a decent place. Our reserves, under Sam Iles and Aiden Cousins, have potentially the strongest side we’ve put out at the level in a long time, playing in the Suburban Senior Division.

“Our third team, in Suburban League Three, are run by Mitch Williams and Oscar Williams who are trying hard to develop young lads, which can only be good for them and us as a whole. And that’s not to mention a junior section pretty much full with age groups from under-4 to under-16.

“As far as the future goes, if the opportunity came along, funds were in place and our best players could be retained, I’d like to think we could make a push for the Western League.”

Britton said of tomorrow’s Broadwell bout: “It’s always a tough place to go, just like a lot of other Forest of Dean clubs.

“As I said to my players after Saturday’s win, that performance – the standard of work-rate, organisation, attitude and discipline – has set a higher bar now for us to keep targeting.

“We were quite short on numbers against Rockleaze too; but with a few lads coming back, it’s the ones who did so well on Saturday who have the shirts for the minute.”

Rockleaze Rangers, meanwhile, strive to hit back immediately from their Bromley blow when they entertain Sharpness at Hillside Gardens tomorrow.

Game of the day is at the Creek where Shirehampton and Wick, who parade an identical record level pegging at the top with 13 points each after five unbeaten appearances, collide for a tasty top-table tussle, whilst at the opposite end of the table Hanham Athletic aim to peg their first point or more to the board when they host Gala Wilton.

Patchway Town face a tough trip to play a Frampton United team boasting perfect winning four-game form to date, and winless Henbury and Little Stoke, stung by Saturday’s 3-0 home defeat by English Bicknor, also hit the road for meetings with Hardwicke and Quedgeley Wanderers respectively.

All games continue to kick off at 3pm.

18th September 2021 - Sharpness score six as Shirehampton go top

Ron Holpin

results

Shirehampton go top on goal difference with a big victory at Ruardean Hill Rangers while Wick only managed a draw at Patchway Town. At the bottom Hanham Athletic are still pointless whilst Henbury are only one place above.

Sharpness hit six without reply for a second time this season with Hanham Athletic on the receiving end this time. The home side took the lead on 15 minutes when Brad Gibbs hit a defence splitting pass for Alex Higgs to slot the ball in the bottom corner. A second on 23 minutes came from a Fin Small corner Brad Gibbs scoring from close range on the back post. Tom Frankham set up Alex Higgs with a good touch and finish at the back post for a 3-0 lead. Hanham counter attack resulted in Jack Sirl cutting inside from the left and missing the front post by couple yards. On 46 minutes Hanham’s Terry Wise blazed his effort over after a cross by Jack Fry Second half on 47 minutes Hanham had a free kick that was headed home by Ash Alford but ruled out for offside. In the 56th minute Hanham’s Ben Francis had a 30 -yard effort on goal but it did not really trouble keeper Taylor. The home side took a 4-0 lead in the 57th minute - Brad Gibbs through ball to Tom Frankham saw his first effort saved by the visitor’s keeper but the ball rebounded back to him to tap in. Frankham scored again in the 78th minute to make it five and he completed his hattrick in the 85th minute when he took the ball past the visitor’s keeper to score from a tight angle.

Henbury failed to hang on to a 2-1 lead and eventually went down 3-2 at home to Quedgeley Wanderers. On 4 minutes Alioune Ndyaie opened the scoring for Henbury, slotting home a pass from Ross Jones. After 16 minutes Quedgeley hit back with a long-range strike from Kyle James Bryant. Then with the last kick of the first half, Adam Rosser put Henbury 2-1 up. In the first minute of the 2nd half Henbury had the ball in the net again but this time the goal was ruled out for a very close offside. 2 minutes later Quedgeley equalised after a long through ball was tucked away by Rory Calkwell. Quedgeley grabbed the winner in the 70th minute when Calkwell scored his second following a goalmouth scramble.

Ruardean Hill Rangers first home game of the season saw them well beaten by Shirehampton 5-1. Shire opened the scoring through Jay Spicer on 24 minutes and that was followed by two goals in the space of 6 minutes from Matt McCall. Then just before the break Richard Brightwell netted number four. An early goal by Brightwell in the second half put the visitors well in control but Rangers managed to hold out until the 90th minute when they grabbed a consolation goal when Steve Clarke scored from the penalty spot.

A very hard-fought game at Gala Wilton where the home side managed to grab all three points with a slender 1-0 win over Hardwicke. The goal was scored in the first 5 minutes of the game a through ball from Craig Howell to Ben Sluman whose shot from the edge of the box went under the body of the Hardwicke keeper. Hardwicke had a great chance to level the score on 30 minutes from the penalty spot but Richard Mansell’s shot from the spot was well saved by Lewis Skyers. The second half failed to produce any real chances and Hardwicke will be ruing that missed penalty.

Little Stoke slipped up again in the league going down 3-0 at home this time at the hands of English Bicknor. The home side enjoyed lots of possession in this game but never found the finish that they needed. Bicknor’s well organised defence and some good goal keeping kept the home forwards at bay. The visitors won this game with three break away goals although the first after 19 minutes was a little fortunate when Jack Burgess scored in his own net. 1-0 at the break Stoke were caught out again on 55 minutes when Jordan Heales broke clear to slide the ball past home keeper Franklin. Jaiden Holver had a great shot on goal on 75 minutes but the Bicknor keeper brought of a good save. Player Manager Darryl Addis came on 5 minutes from the end for Bicknor and a mistake by the Stoke midfield allowed Addis to play a short pass and return to nip the ball past the keeper for a third goal.

Frampton United v Broadwell Amateurs both teams going in to this game undefeated. A good crowd of 91 saw this encounter at the bell field with the home side having an early chance that went over the bar. It was the visitors who took the lead on 20 minutes with a strike from Dan Brain. In the 42nd minute Stuart Maule had a good chance to level as he broke clear but the visitor’s keeper managed to keep the ball out of his net. Frampton got on level terms when Frazer Wilson was fouled in the box and Manolo Espada netted the pot kick. Broadwell were reduced to 10 men in the 47th minute when Kristian Burnard was sent off for a second bookable offence. Frampton took the lead on 56 minutes after Steve Jackson’s shot struck the cross bar the rebound was headed to Manolo Espada who found the back of the Broadwell net. Broadwell’s Liam Thomas almost saved a point but his shot was well saved by the Frampton keeper near the end.

Bromley Heath United have there first win of the season a 2-0 victory over Rockleaze Rangers. Not a lot of goalmouth action in the first 45 minutes. A lot livelier in the second period Alvin Nurse had a shot saved by the Rangers keeper 2 minutes into the second half and a couple of minutes later the same player fired over the bar. United went ahead on 60 minutes when Jack Withey set up Kaylen Edwards to fire the ball home. A second on 66 minutes a great goal from Antonio Nurse put the home side in the driving seat.

A second meeting between Patchway Town and Wick this time in the league. The home side hoping to turn the tables on their visitors after that slender 1-0 defeat in the cup last Saturday. An early chance for Town as Adam Porters 30-yard drive struck the crossbar. On 17 minutes Patchway were awarded a penalty and Phil Vice sent the Wick keeper the wrong way to give them a 1-0 lead. Wick had a great chance to level on 35 minutes also from the penalty spot but Patchway’s keeper Sam Burgess saved Mike Hardiman’s spot kick. In the second half Nathan Gore should have levelled the score for Wick but shot over the bar. In the 88th minute Wick were awarded a second penalty and this time Nathan Gore took the spot kick but again Burgess brought off a great save to keep his side in front. Just when it looked like the points were going to the home side Wick salvaged appoint in the 90th minute as Jordan Yeo sent over a cross that found Mike Hardiman to slot the ball past Burgess.

17th September 2021 - Patchway Town manager optimistic

Simon Parkinson

PATCHWAY Town manager Tim Minihane is optimistic his largely rebuilt ranks can soon start to hit the heights on a consistent basis in Marcliff Gloucestershire County League competition.

The Scott Park outfit had shown a marked improvement on their 2019-20 challenges in and around the league’s basement when their season had to end even earlier last term as the Covid pandemic continued to rage.

Then, Minihane’s men signed off with four wins and a draw from an unbeaten mini five-game sequence, promise and potential they hoped to take into a full and successful 2021-22 campaign jostling for prized places in the upper echelons of the table once more.

It hasn’t turned out quite that way, at least not to begin with, although former Oldbury Reserves and Tytherington Rocks supremo Minihane believes there are good reasons for that helter-skelter form.

“We had a great squad last year, one which essentially picked itself,” he reflected. “For various reasons we began to lose some of our most influential players; so it was a case of rebuilding somewhat.

“We’re still in a very healthy place, as can be seen by having a brand-new third team competing in District Four which can only help funnel club players through to our reserves and firsts.

“That is our strategy, to promote players from within the camp rather than have to recruit from outside.”

Minihane has nonetheless overseen the acquisition of several fresh faces, including Adam Porter, an “energetic, influential box-to-box player” promoted from Patchway Reserves duty having previously performed under the same manager’s stewardship at both Oldbury and Tytherington.

“Skilful and direct” wide man Matteo Pali, who Minihane insists captured the attention of Toolstation League clubs having hit a hat-trick in a summer friendly, has been in early scoring form with Patchway’s District Senior second string.

Also aboard now, from Stoke Rangers, is Grant Mathieson, an “out and out pacy winger” who, like Pali, set his reserve team commitments underway with a goal in their 3-2 opening afternoon victory over Real Thornbury.

“All-action” central midfielder from Almondsbury, Harry Tetlow; fast-improving 17-year-old winger Hassan Hussein, and Filton Athletic’s attacking midfielder Carl Lakey, a “well-known local lad,” have all signed up and shown positive signs, in their new manager’s estimation.

Minihane accepted: “We did lose our left-winger Sid Bojang to Hallen; and our central midfielder Muhammed Jeng went to Cadbury Heath. Another performing in that position, Matt Barnes, also left us.

“So we’d lost a few from the squad assembled the previous year and it’s a case at the moment of trying to stabilise it and hoping consistent performances follow.”

The Scott Park supremo admits he and his team were “devastated” at bowing out 1-0 at the weekend in the first round of the Les James League Cup at the hands of undefeated title contenders Wick, who visit Patchway again tomorrow for a swift and enticing reunion, this time in the league.

“We’d matched them pretty much all the way before they nicked a winner at the death,” Minihane mused. “Play as well as we did in that game every week and we’ll win more than we lose.

“It’s a tough period coming up for us with Wick, Frampton United and Shirehampton our next three opponents.

“We’re feeling pleased and encouraged, though; the club as a whole is in a good place with all the fund-raising and facilities improvements.

“With great support from the parish council too, it’s all helping make for a better footballing experience for spectators here.”

Whilst there’s little denying a tasty tussle’s in prospect again at Scott Park tomorrow, there’s plenty else on offer to whet spectators’ appetites in the County League.

Ambitious Rockleaze Rangers expect to face a potentially tricky afternoon at winless Bromley Heath United, while Little Stoke and Henbury play host to visits by newly-promoted English Bicknor, and relative 2019 newcomers Quedgeley Wanderers, respectively.

Second-placed Shirehampton are at Ruardean Hill Rangers and >Hanham Athletic head for Sharpness seeking their first 2021-22 points.

All games kick off at 3pm.

11th September 2021 - Les James Cup Round One - Sponsored by Boca Teamwear

Ron Holpin

results

A couple of surprises in the first round of the Les James League Cup as Rockleaze Rangers were beaten at home by Hardwicke and Sharpness were held to a 0-0 score line and went out 2-4 on penalties to Ruardean Hill Rangers.

Wick scraped through with a very late goal at Patchway Town. The home side had several early chances but Wicks keeper Ashley Wintle made several saves to deny Phil Vice and Jacob Cox. However, Wick did have the ball in the Patchway net on 26 minutes but it was eventually ruled out for offside. Patchway were unlucky and might have taken the lead but for a great clearance of the line by Ryan Ross from a Jacob Cox shot. The game was a fairly even contest throughout but in the 75th minute Ollie Bacon made a superb clearance off the line from a Mike Hardiman shot on goal. The game looked as though it may have to be decided from the penalty spot as Wick were pushing hard for the winner and in the 93rd minute a free kick sent in by Jordan Yeo was punched away by keeper Burgess but the ball was pumped back in and Ross Woodford headed home.

Broadwell Amateurs march on into the second round with a 3-1 win at home to Quedgeley Wanderers. Liam Thomas gave the home side the lead inside 3 minutes collecting the ball on the right then cutting into the box before driving a low shot just inside the Wanderers post. Thomas was on target again in the 19th minute when a high ball found him free to slip past two defenders and drive the ball in. On 25 minutes Aiden Creighton saw his shot really well saved by Wanderer’s keeper Kieran Derbyshire. Wanderers were limited to just one shot on target in the first 45 minutes a effort from Sean Lawson. Early in the second half Liam Thomas was upended in the box but his penalty kick went straight at keeper Derbyshire who parried the ball but Aiden Creighton was following up and slipped the ball home. Trailing 3-0 Wanderers then had their best spell of the game and in the 70th minute a corner found Daniel Lander free on the far post to volley home.

Rockleaze Rangers suffered their second defeat in row this time going down 2-0 at home to Hardwicke. The home side had an early chance to go ahead but Mike Perham’s shot struck the crossbar in the 13th minute. Hardwicke went ahead in the 31st minute with a goal from Shane Thorp striking the ball past Adams from around 12 yards following a corner. Into the second half and on 61 minutes Adams was in action again to save well from another Forbes strike on goal. At the other end Hardwicke’s Ollie Hall also brought off a great save to deny Marcus Williams. Jordan Dent then missed an open goal which would have seen the score-line change to 1-1 in the 70th minute. Then just 5 minutes later Hardwicke won their place in the second round when Sean Clarke neatly lobbed the ball over keeper Nick Adams.

Gala Wilton are looking forward to the next round after winning by two goals to nil against todays visitors Bromley Heath United. The only real chance was an effort from Sam Webb a header that stuck the cross bar for the home side in the first 45 minutes so 0-0 at the break. Gala broke the deadlock on 52 minutes when a free kick from Sam Webb found Martin Smith to drive his shot under the Bromley keeper. Just a couple of minutes later it was 2-0 a great through ball from Martin Smith found Bradley Loveridge to round a defender before sliding the ball home.

Shirehampton’s Joe Harvey’s hattrick gave them passage into the next round at English Bicknor. It took just 10 minutes for the visitors to open the scoring a corner being headed home by Harvey. Then 5 minutes before the break the home side lost the ball in midfield and Harvey chipped the keeper to make it 2-0. Bicknor lost the ball again in midfield in the 61st minute and a thunderbolt shot from Harvey made it three nil and he completed his hattrick. The home side never gave up and were rewarded for their hard work in the 68th minute when Jordan Heales found Blaine Smith to reduce the score to 3-1. The home side had further chances and struck the crossbar but were unable to find a way through.

Little Stoke cup winner’s a few seasons ago were drawn at home to Hanham Athletic for this first round. Stoke went ahead on 9 minutes from a defence splitting pass to Aaron West to beat the Hanham defence and run clear to lob the ball over the advancing keeper. Both sides had a penalty shout turned down in the first 15 minutes the referee having none of it. Second half saw a good chance for Stoke when a cross into the box by Ethan Moore found John Pugsley clear on goal but his shot was brilliantly saved Sam Brown in the visitor’s goal. A through ball from Aaron West to Lucas Hart was again well saved by Brown. On 75 minutes a delightful run down the flank by Lucas Hart saw his cross over hit but it was laid back to Moore whose shot was well saved by Brown. Stoke made sure of their place in the next round in the 85th minute when Jude Scott’s through ball found Ethan Moore to finish it off.

Henbury’s chance of playing in the second round was scuppered by Frampton United with a 3-1 score-line. A steady opening but Manolo Espada had the first chance for the visitors on 7 minutes but shot wide. Home keeper Theo Hutchinson then saved well from a free kick. Henbury’s Andy Dickinson then saw his shot well saved by the Frampton keeper Aaron Taylor. A break down the right by the home side and a cross in saw Jenson Manning fire wide of the target. 20 minutes saw a Manolo Espada free kick fly high over the Henbury bar. On 28 minutes poor defending by the home side allowed Joe Wilton to run clear to open the scoring for Frampton. At the other end Dickinson’s run down the flank and a good cross found Kane Manning but his shot went well over the bar. Frampton were awarded a penalty 5 minutes before the break and Stuart Maule had the chance to make it 2-0 from the spot, Hutchinson saved the penalty then saved the follow up which struck the crossbar before Frazer Wilson finally got the ball into the Henbury net. A disaster in the 48th minute when both Tyler Burgham-Wilson and keeper Hutchinson getting into a right pickle before the keeper gave away a penalty. Frampton’s Manolo Espada took the penalty and gave the keeper no chance for a 3-0 lead. The home side gave themselves some hope in the 65th minute when a break down the right by Dickinson saw his cross take a deflection and the ball ran through to the unmarked Sam Degg to slip the ball into the net. The home side then rallied and just 2 minutes later Degg had a glorious chance to make it 3-2 but shot wide. Kane Manning then worked his way through but could not get his shot past Taylor. The last chance fell to Frampton but Steve Jackson’s shot struck the upright.

A goalless draw at Sharpness who entertained Ruardean Hill Rangers in this first Round. It seams a tail of missed chances from both sides in the first 45 minutes either failing to hit the target or shots being well saved by the keepers. The second period saw plenty of action from both teams but it was the same old story not being able to get the ball past either keeper or shots being off target. After 90 minutes the game went to penalties to decide the outcome and Ruardean Hill Rangers will be in the next round winning 4-2 on penalties.

10th September 2021 - Wick boss aiming for Title and Promotion

Simon Parkinson

JOE Pople and his Wick colleagues have their eyes trained on two mouthwatering targets this season - Marcliff Gloucestershire County League title and promotion successes.

A well-respected former goalkeeper across the local non-League scene with AEK-BOCO, Bitton and Cadbury Heath together with his current club, Pople, insists anything less than the accomplishment of those two exciting objectives will be deemed unsatisfactory.

There’s much work to be done off the field too, as the Oldbury Lane leader, who turns 30 next Thursday, explained: “Plans for the installation of floodlights and a stand, along with other ground requirements, have been submitted to the local (South Gloucestershire) council.

“We’re looking to apply for promotion to step 6 (Toolstation or Hellenic League) football by the end of this calendar year.

“We’ve recruited well in terms of the coaching side and just being a better club generally, and we certainly feel ready now to push on to wherever life takes us higher up the scale.”

Wick’s off-pitch progression has so far been matched by their form on it, as four wins from four to top the fledgling table testifies ahead of their “tough” League Cup opener away against Patchway Town tomorrow (3pm).

“It’s been good but not always as straightforward as it may seem,” Pople stressed. “In our first game at home to Sharpness, our centre-half James Pocock was sent off for a late challenge just after half-time at 3-1 to us, although we still managed to come through with a win by that same scoreline.

“We were 3-0 up at Gala Wilton in our second game, only for them to pull two goals back before we held on for a 3-2 win.

“Our third game was more comfortable, a 5-0 victory over Henbury, which was followed by a well-deserved 1-0 win at Little Stoke at the weekend, a team like us who had won all three of their games coming into it.

“As we expected, Little Stoke made it really hard for us and the goalless first half was testament to that. But we dominated the second half and felt we could have had more goals than Ben Harris’ winner.”

Pople did pitch himself between the posts in customary guise for the first two fixtures of the campaign. “Our keeper Ash Wintle was on honeymoon, but thankfully I was soon able to reclaim my seat back in the dugout!” a relieved Wick boss smiled.

“The positive start to the season we’ve made hasn’t surprised me. We have a very good team for the level we’re playing at; many of our lads could and should be playing at higher levels.

“The reason they’re here is largely due to the fact many of them are friends, and that has helped forge a really good spirit throughout the club.

“We’re fortunate and delighted too to have gained the services of Marco Chiavetta as our player-coach and my assistant. He’s 33 and a friend of our right-back Luke Lecrass.

“Marco had been involved in the pro game for 15 years as a coach with Bristol Rovers, Forest Green and Bristol City Women,” enthused Pople, who expects to be without “influential” left-winger Joe Thomas for a further three weeks due to a rib injury.

Also kicking off at 3pm across the County League Cup spectrum tomorrow, Henbury (v Frampton United), Little Stoke (v Hanham Athletic) and Rockleaze Rangers (v Hardwicke), all hope to make home advantage count.

Shirehampton face a first-ever trip to take on league newcomers English Bicknor in the Forest of Dean, while Bromley Heath United, still seeking a first win of 2021-22, go to Gala Wilton.

4th September 2021 - Wick edge tight encounter at Little Stoke

Ron Holpin

results

With two games being called off because of the dreaded Covid Frampton United v Hanham Athletic and Sharpness v Quedgeley Wanderers it gave Wick a chance to take over at the top of the table if they could pick up 3 points with a tough game at Little Stoke. Both Clubs started the day undefeated but in a game that was very tight and limited in chances the winning goal in the 70th minute from a low shot into the bottom corner from the edge of the box by Ben Harris sent Wick to the top of the table.

Broadwell Amateurs are surprising everyone at the start of the season and with three wins and a draw in their first four outings find themselves undefeated and in third place in the table. They got off to a great start against today’s visitors Rockleaze Rangers with a goal after just 5 minutes. A ball squared across the box was picked up by Ethan Wilkins to give them the lead. Rangers were not their usual selves and appeared to be very sluggish and only managed one shot on goal in the first half which came in the 35th minute and was pushed out for a corner by keeper Watkins. Home forward Liam Thomas was a thorn in the side to Rangers and constantly created problems for the visitors. The game came alive in the last 5 minutes with three goals being scored. The first on 88 minutes came from Broadwell’s Jack Meredith who rode two tackles before slotting the ball past Adams in the Rangers goal. Just a minute later with only the second shot on target Rangers Ollie Southwell fired his free kick past Watkins to make it 2-1. Then in the 92nd minute Ben Scotford intercepted a pass in midfield drove forward and fired a low shot past Adams for a 3-1 win.

English Bicknor’s first away game of the season travelling to Gala Wilton for today’s fixture. But it was the home side who took the lead on 21 minutes with a great break down the right by Martin Smith and a superb cross to the far post where Dan Gayner was waiting to head home. A second goal on 31 minutes from Ben Sluman gave the home side a comfortable 2-0 lead. Bicknor rallied and hit back with a goal from George Riley. Gala gave a way a soft free kick and the cross found Riley to slip the ball around the keeper and slide the ball into an empty net. Bicknor levelled the score in the 80th minute with a superb strike from Jordan Heales who took the ball down from a ball that came over his shoulder and then volleyed it into the back of the net for a contender for goal of the season.

Another defeat for Henbury who entertained local rivals Shirehampton this afternoon. The home side put in a poor performance and never really looked like scoring all afternoon. However, they did keep Shire out until the 44th minute when Rhys Sarson capitalised on a defensive mistake to give them the lead. A second goal on 77 minutes a through ball from Sarson found Richard Brightwell whose shot struck the crossbar but he managed to knock in the rebound. Henbury’s only real chance of the afternoon came in the 84th minute from a Sean Heal free kick to the far post where Kane Manning got his header on target but it was pushed around the post for a corner. Jack Parker sealed the three points for Shirehampton in the 88th minute when some poor defending by the home side gave him the chance to fire home from the edge of the box.

Patchway Town v Ruardean Hill Rangers ended all square in a 1-1 draw at Scott Park. Rangers went ahead on 15 minutes after Steve Clarke capitalised on a defensive mistake to round the keeper and slot the ball home. The score remained 1-0 to the visitors until the 51st minute when Jacob Cox’s cross into the box saw Ricky Tingle give away a penalty which Phil Vice coolly slotted home. The home side had a vast amount of possession throughout the game but failed to take advantage. Jacob Cox had several good chances but Aaron Underwood in the Rangers goal brought off several good saves to deny him. Rangers Steve Clarke also had a good chance in the second half but could not finish it off.

On a lovely warm September afternoon Bromley Heath United entertained Hardwicke at Pomphrey Hill Playing Field’s. Both sides were looking for their first win of the season with the home side having played three and lost three and the visitors Hardwicke played three and drawn one. The first 45 minutes produced very little in the way of chances with both goalkeepers having an easy afternoon. The second half saw the home side improve on their performance and started to look as though they might break the deadlock. They had several good chances but the elusive goal did not come and with Hardwicke defending very well it looks as though only a mistake by one side or the other would settle the outcome. That never came and the final score finished 0-0 with Bromley Heath gaining their first point of the season and Hardwicke their second.

3rd September 2021 - Shirehampton Boss “Promotion remains our No.1 objective.”

Simon Parkinson

LIAM Greening cast an upbeat eye over Shirehampton’s “solid” start to their ambitious 2021-22 Marcliff Gloucestershire County League programme and maintained: “Promotion remains our No.1 objective.”

Hampered, he concedes, by threadbare ranks spanning Shire’s first three hard-fought fixtures, Greening, who took charge late last year after switching from his role as No.2 to Andy Gurney with Roman Glass St George in the Toolstation Western League, is adamant there is much more to come from his team once more bodies are back to bolster them.

The Shire supremo admits he is still getting to grips with the County League scene. But in a bid to address frontline shortcomings, Greening has pitched in for two forwards he believes can make a difference in the bid to spearhead a top-table challenge.

“I’m hoping to get them both signed up ahead of our trip to Henbury on Saturday,” Greening revealed. “I’m really happy with the keeper Matt Turner and our defence and midfield unit. I just need to improve the balance and chemistry of the side in terms of better width and attacking options.

“It’s credit to the lads that, despite the squad being so depleted, our first three games have seen us beating both Bromley Heath United and Sharpness 2-0 and then holding a very capable Gala Wilton team to a 1-1 draw at the weekend.

“It’s been a case of square pegs in round holes, especially in attacking areas, and we’ve been getting by because our defending, helped by having my brother Ciaran dropping back from up top to centre-half, has been solid and reliable, as one goal conceded so far tells you.

“We’ve been picking up injuries left, right and centre and to be fair to the lads, they have really dug in hard to try and compensate, knowing we’re nowhere near where we can be.

“Gala on Saturday was a prime example of where we’re at: had we not gifted them a goal, we’d have ground out a 1-0 win, even though they battered us in the second half without ever truly testing our keeper, whilst at the other end we offered very little threat of our own.”

Of that ultimate prize, Greening said: “The objective remains promotion to step 6 football, be it Hellenic or Toolstation League.

“Earlier in the year our club entered a groundshare agreement to play home games at Bristol Manor Farm, so everything is set up facility-wise there and there’s no getting away from it.

“A floodlight application is now going in to the local authority concerning our own ground at Penpole Lane, so there’s lots going on and I’ve been asked to oversee it all and do my best to achieve our aims.

“The County League is still new to me; but I’m prepared and ready to act quickly as I go along and as the picture becomes clearer to me.

“I’m confident that once we get the balance of the team right we can soon get closer to the high standards of attacking play needed to compete at the top end of the table.”

Shirehampton are in good company when it comes to unbeaten starts made by Bristol clubs.

Two of them, Little Stoke and tomorrow’s guests Wick, occupy third and second spots respectively in the table each with three wins from three, meaning something will have to give in a mouthwatering encounter between the pair.

Fourth-placed Rockleaze Rangers head for the Forest of Dean to lock horns with a sixth-placed Broadwell Amateurs outfit parading the same unbeaten record as their visitors of two wins and a draw from three outings to date.

Further down the ladder, Patchway Town entertain Ruardean Hill Rangers, and Bromley Heath United and Hanham Athletic target their first points of the fledgling campaign at home to Hardwicke, and away at Frampton United, respectively.

All games kick off at 3pm.