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Local Football News

 

This dedicated page updates daily to provide coverage on all things football in Gloucestershire, written by our Sports Journalist, Simon Parkinson.

 

Something big happening at your club that needs to be shouted about? Have an upcoming event that would benefit from more coverage? 

Then Contact Simon Parkinson via email - simon.parkinson@gloucestershirefa.com

 

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Chalford find a way past gritty Winchcombe to enter Senior Amateur last-eight hat

CHALFORD are amongst eight encouraged sides to have found a route into the quarter-finals of a 2018-19 GFA Senior Amateur North competition starting to get serious!

The high-riding Gloucestershire Northern Senior Division One hopefuls saw off a sterling challenge by Division Two strugglers Winchcombe Town 2-1 on their travels, with goals for James Keylock, Bradley Moore, Lucas Taylor and Matt Whitmore, to keep the silverware dream alive.

The gallant Greet Road hosts replied through Matt Butler and Andrew Parker but couldn’t quite keep on the tails of their higher-status opponents.

Cheltenham Civil Service have been making promising strides around the upper reaches of the Northern Senior’s second tier.

That form continued in the Senior Amateur Cup as goals by Paul Holmes and Joe McCauley delivered a splendid 2-1 home success over fifth-placed First Division triers Tuffley Rovers Reserves, who stayed in the tie courtesy of Essa Sabally’s strike.

Ambitious top-flight pacesetters Sharpness celebrated first-half goals by Joe Blakeney and Ben John away against mid-table Northern Senior rivals Quedgeley Wanderers.

Their hosts, however, fought back gamely in the second half to pull one back through substitute Remel Powell before also bowing out of the tournament 2-1 at the hands of their on-song guests, who stayed on track for a league and county cup double with the victory.

Another all-Northern Senior One affair took place at Longford Lane and a cracker it was too, as Longlevens Reserves and travelling Taverners fought out a 2-2 regular-time stalemate in which Phil Blackburn and Jaybe Kennedy netted for the home side and Dean Neale and Andrew Taylor responded for tenacious Tavs.

Sadly for them their journey was to end in disappointment as Longlevens edged an enthralling shoot-out 5-4 to advance to the last eight.

Lee delight as Challenge Cup chasers Bradley Stoke Ladies continue to thrive

BRADLEY Stoke Ladies manager Martin Lee pointed to a bright future as female football in the town continues to thrive.

The club’s first team recently claimed a place in the quarter-finals of the GFA Women’s Challenge Cup courtesy of a splendid 2-0 away victory over their top-table Gloucestershire County Women’s League Division Two rivals Cotswold Rangers Women.

That success set up a Sunday, February 17 home date with Gloucester City, another County Women’s League operation experiencing ups and downs in equal measure so far this term.

There were mixed fortunes on county cup day for the burgeoning Bradley Stoke Ladies set-up, however, as their Development team, who have been battling it out in the lower reaches of the same league table as their promotion-chasing first XI partners at the opposite end of it, fell to a 5-3 home defeat at the hands of Cribbs, also at the first round stage.

Lee accepts there have been challenges this season relating to the less senior of the Bradley Stoke sides but is adamant the outlook is a rosy one all round.

He acknowledged: “The season has been a disruptive one so far for the Development team, with player availability meaning they have not fielded the same side yet and are having constant change.

“Hopefully this will settle down soon and they can push on more purposefully over the rest of the season.

“Of course Bradley Stoke Ladies FC have two teams which is great for the town and great for female football in the area, allowing more opportunities for players trying to get into football.

“It’s been positive news too that 82 per cent of our players from last year’s under-16 team moved on to ladies football, which is a great retention rate.

“The club has a management committee which is 83 per cent female and we are hoping to attract more female coaches too.

“So we have a clear direction and vision and we’ll continue to focus on being a friendly club providing fun and competitive football in a safe environment.”

As for Bradley Stoke’s first team, they took their impressive league form into the county cup arena with that hard-fought two-goal victory over their fellow County League pacesetters in Whitminster.

Both teams had spells of dominance during the game but it was the visitors who crucially took their chances when they came along to edge through.

Heather Wearmouth opened Bradley Stoke’s account just three minutes into the contest with a well-taken goal.

And three minutes into the second half Emily Holbrook, on her return from a long injury lay-off, celebrated in the best way by rounding several players before finding the corner of the net to double their money.

Cotswold were awarded a lifeline penalty later in the game when away defender Louise Edwards handled the ball in the area.

She soon felt much better as keeper Abbie Pickett managed to make a great save leaping to her left before, right at the death, also turning a goal-bound Rangers shot around her post to preserve Stoke’s 2-0 advantage.

Brimsham Green bag Nicholas Wanderers Reserves Intermediate date with Rocks win

BRISTOL and District Division Three promotion chasers Brimsham Green strolled into the next phase of the GFA Intermediate South competition, writes Simon Parkinson.

They teed up a tough away-day with District One side Nicholas Wanderers Reserves at the turn of December as Joshua Yate’s pair, and Jamie Leslie and Josh Gibbs goals, propelled them past Suburban Three side Tytherington Rocks Reserves 4-0 on the road.

Dontae Johns’ strike for District Three strugglers Roman Glass St George A could not prevent his team tumbling out of the tournament, 2-1, at Downs League Two’s third-placed side Clifton Rockets, who now travel to take on Suburban Three outfit Old Georgians Reserves on the strength of it.

However, lowly Westerleigh Sports emerged delighted winners from their home tie against unbeaten District Three rivals Stokeside thanks to a 4-3 penalty shoot-out success after Brandon Snary (2) and James Mansfield goals for the hosts had secured a 3-3 draw come the 90-minute conclusion.

Westerleigh now hit the road on December 1 for a date with Saints Old Boys Reserves, who are currently battling it out around the lower reaches of the Bristol Downs League Division Two ladder.

To keep up to date with all results and fixtures in the GFA’s competitions north and south of the county, visit the Cups & Competitions section of this website.

GFA Walking Football Week – where to find the action in December spectacle

ORGANISATIONS and venues across the region are preparing to play a full part in Gloucestershire FA’s Walking Football Week programme.

The county association has teamed up with a series of sports centres and other football providers to extol the virtues of the slower-paced game between Monday, December 10 and Saturday 15 and demonstrate all that is available to older, possibly infirm, men and women eager to keep active.

GFA football development officer Jack Stanbury said: “There are currently more than 600 players participating at 19 weekly sessions and within the 17 teams in the Walking Football League in Gloucestershire, which is an eye-watering sum.

“We want these numbers to keep on rising so that more and more people can experience the benefits of slower-paced football participation.

“Throughout Walking Football Week we will give emphasis to different areas and versions of the game and visit many sessions throughout the county.”

BBC Radio Bristol will be promoting the project via Geoff Twentyman’s show on Wednesday, December 5 at 5.45pm, and BBC Radio Gloucestershire’s Nicky Price will be doing likewise on Monday, December 10 at 3pm.

The complete itinerary of events and activities is:

Monday, Dec 10: Session launch and FREE turn-up-and-play at Stroud’s Stratford Park Leisure Centre, Stratford Road, Stroud, GL5 4AF (10-11am).

Tuesday, Dec 11: Bristol Walking Football (GFA’s first affiliated walking football club) event at Horfield Leisure Centre (10.30-11.30am). Watch former Bristol Rovers captain and current Radio broadcaster Geoff Twentyman play alongside Bristol’s finest walking footballers.

Wednesday, Dec 12: Disability walking football, Waterwells Sports Centre, Stephenson Dr, Quedgeley, Gloucester GL2 2AG (10.30-11.30am). Witness how walking football is being utilised to engage those in care homes in activity that gets them out of their normal surroundings.

Thursday, Dec 13: Refereeing walking football, Cirencester Arena, Kingshill Lane, Cirencester, GL7 1HS (11am-2pm). See the latest round of the 60+ division of Gloucestershire FA Walking Football League taking place, with live streaming of matches and interviews with the best referees. The GFA will also be releasing information regarding the new FA walking football referees course.

Friday, Dec 14: Free lunchtime turn-up-and-play session (12.30pm-2pm) at Gloucestershire FA, Oaklands Park  Stadium, Almondsbury, BS32 4AG. There will be players from the current WFA England Walking Football team taking part, offering the chance to play with the best walking football talent in the country. The hope is to entice some talent from local professional clubs, past and present, to take part.

Anyone wishing to learn more about GFA Walking Football Week, or what’s available locally to players and would-be participants, can email Jack Stanbury at support@gloucestershirefa.com or call him on 01454 615888 (option 3 at the automated prompt).

Gloucestershire FA Walking Football week all set for December 10 launch

AN exciting and comprehensive series of events is to be staged across Gloucestershire and Bristol as part of Gloucestershire FA’s Walking Football Week.

The feast of profile-raising gentler-paced activity on offer is designed to display the many opportunities now available to men and women who don’t feel suited to playing the traditional full-speed game.

The county association’s drive to generate awareness kicks-off on Monday, December 10 and continues through to Saturday 15 and radio stations across the region, BBC Bristol and BBC Gloucestershire among them, are getting firmly behind it.

GFA football development officer Jack Stanbury explained: “The aim is to highlight opportunities to all who may wish to get involved in this version of football throughout Gloucestershire and Bristol.

“Walking football is an adapted version of the beautiful game, aimed predominantly at older males and females, which can provide an array of benefits such as improvement in general health and balance. It can also enhance psychological wellbeing and reduce stress levels.

“This format of the game is incredibly accessible and is also used across disability football, for injury rehabilitation and for those of any age who don’t feel suited to the full-paced game.

“The other benefit is that those people who do not wish to actively play the walking game can still engage in other aspects of it, such as team management, administration and officiating.”

Stand by for more news of GFA’s December walking football spectacle and where you can find activity near to you!

Lebeq next up in a Christmas Combination Cup cruncher for happy Iron Acton

ENCOURAGED Iron Acton will host Lebeq Saturday in the quarter-finals of the Bristol Premier Combination League Cup on December 22 after overcoming First Division rivals De Veys 2-1 on their second-round travels, writes Simon Parkinson.

An early John Ruff goal had put Acton one-up before Darren Bloomfield made it 1-1 on the hour as the hosts hit back.

De Veys’ hopes of exploiting their breakthrough were dashed in the 75th minute when Acton substitute Danny Coombes scored a fine solo goal to win it for the delighted away side. He set off from the halfway line and beat four players before smashing the ball into the net.

There was overdue encouragement for Lebeq as they kept their first clean sheet of the season in holding Seymour United to a goalless draw at Coronation Park before advancing to the last eight, and that away date with Acton, courtesy of a great save by Ricky Wayte in an equally close-fought shoot-out his jubilant team eventually clinched 5-4.

Seun Adebayo was the hero for Hambrook as his goal proved sufficient to overcome DRG Frenchay 1-0 in a tight tie switched to the victors’ Whiteshill Common facility.

The first half was very even with Hambrook having several chances to score in keeping away goalie Karl Darbyshire firmly on his toes, while DRG looked the sharper upfront.

Hambrook introduced the substitutes for the second half and one of these, first-team debutant Adebayo, marked his call-up by netting in the 73rd minute to see his team safely through to a truly testing away encounter with Sea Mills Park.

Prem leaders Park might have been forgiven for entering their enticing round two clash with second-placed Shaftesbury Crusade at Filton Avenue with some caution.

Instead the visitors demonstrated why they are the Combination league’s undefeated top dogs at this time as Blaine Skuse’s treble and Tom Ahern’s strike propelled Park to a 4-0 win to see them comfortably to that third stage.

Keeper coach Clarke out to heal heartache with GFA U-18 Youth Cup glory

GLOUCESTERSHIRE FA goalkeeping coach Phil Clarke has declared a burning desire to play his part in propelling his team to FA County Youth Cup success this season – and with good reason too, writes Simon Parkinson.

The 21-year-old needed no second invitation when asked to step in to assist GFA Under-18 boss Calum Wands for the representative side’s scintillating 6-2 away success over Kent in a second round encounter at Maidstone United’s impressive HQ in early November.

Clarke’s unscheduled dugout duties came about as Wands’ new No.2 Bertrand Abang, a Bristol Rovers academy coach, was unavailable for the trip.

Whilst Abang is set to return to Youth Cup duties for the third round visit by Birmingham FA to Oaklands Park on Saturday, December 8 (2pm), Clarke will be keeping active as keeper coach to his talented shot-stoppers, ensuring no stone is unturned in the team’s quest to go at least one stage further than last year’s semi-final appearance.

Clarke was once an upcoming custodian himself, as a youth protégé with Brentford’s academy, before being released by the club he had long supported.

The aspiring goalie went on to perform for Staines Town youth and first teams, and he was also afforded his big opportunity in FA County Youth Cup action as a Middlesex FA Under-18 performer. That was until it all went horribly wrong.

He explained: “We reached the final at Barnet and I’d played in all the rounds leading up to it, so I was chomping at the bit to play.

“I’d worked really hard and all my family were there on the day. Ninety minutes before kick-off the manager came up and told me I wasn’t playing and gave me no reason for his decision.

“Obviously it was extremely disappointing but what made it worse was that we were 2-0 up with 20 minutes to go and ended up losing 3-2. That was my last association with Middlesex Under-18s.

“It was an experience to take forward into my career and perhaps give me a valuable insight in how to deal with people in these types of difficult situations.

“So to win the FA Youth Cup with Gloucestershire as their keeper coach would be a top experience for me. We’ll need to work hard but we have a great bunch of lads.

“To win it would draw a line for me from a personal perspective but we’re under no illusions how difficult it will be.”

Clarke’s on-field career was to become cruelly and prematurely curtailed after dislocating his shoulder in an accidental collision with his own batting partner whilst playing cricket in Middlesex.

By now the Hartpury University sports coaching academic had broken into Gloucester City’s first team, but having appeared to be on the mend following intensive nine-month rehab, he was to experience a major setback.

“It was pre-season 2017 and the bone came out of the joint and popped back in,” he recalled. “I had more rehab and then had another major dislocation affecting the same shoulder.

“I was advised to stop playing and have reconstructive surgery instead. It was very disappointing but it did open other avenues.

“I manage Hartpury University’s third team; I do goalkeeping coaching with the GFA and I’m now a performance analyst for Gloucester City with a view to, hopefully, getting into the professional game at some point. I’m also undertaking a Masters in coaching science at Hartpury.

“So everything that’s happened could be a blessing in disguise in terms of my career pathway: I like to think everything happens for a reason.

“I struggled originally dealing with the injury but I recognise I’ve been given opportunities I wouldn’t have had and I’m very happy.”

Local Teams join in local drive to back big Rainbow Laces inclusion mission

AVONMOUTH are amongst a clutch of local clubs and organisations enthusiastically embracing the national Rainbow Laces anti-homophobia initiative.

The campaign has been gathering pace right across the region as footballers at all levels, and other athletes in general, have been sporting the colourful boot ties, whilst the crusade to raise awareness and support the inclusion of LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) people in sport has manifested itself in many other original and decorative ways.

Team captains, for example, have paraded rainbow-coloured armbands and even corner flags have adopted the dazzling look in some quarters, Barnsley FC’s Oakwell Stadium one such example.

Gloucestershire FA (GFA) women and girls football development officer Alexis Lunn-Gadd explained: “The campaign involves three focus weekends which started on Saturday, November 17 and continues through until Sunday, December 2.

“Member clubs of certain leagues have been, and will be, wearing their rainbow laces during this time, some for one weekend and others across all three weekends.

“It’s great that so many leagues and individuals have signed up to this on our own patch here in Gloucestershire and Bristol.

“We’ve also been urging those supporting the campaign to make good use of social media and write website articles, while we at the GFA have been active in engaging with participating organisations and individuals and supporting them in their own efforts to draw attention to what is such an important subject.

“The message to everyone is that you don’t have to be LGBT to get behind the campaign, because homophobia and abusive comments cannot be tolerated or accepted at any level of football or sport in general.”

Among the local football bodies participating in the big LGBT inclusion drive are Bristol Women’s Casual League, GFA Women’s Football 9’s League, Gloucestershire County Women’s League, Gloucester and District Sunday League,  Torpedo (Bristol Downs League), Little Stoke (Bristol and Suburban League), Bristol Phoenix (Bristol and Suburban League) and Avonmouth.

Others to join in are Almondsbury Women, of the South West Women’s League; Broadwell Amateurs, Shortwood Youth, Cotswold Rangers Youth and Gloucestershire FA’s England Talent Pathway players involved with the FA Advanced Coaching Centre.

Many referees have also requested rainbow laces in a show of support.

William Masters Fry, chairman of Bristol and Suburban Premier One high-fliers Avonmouth, said: “We are supporting the Rainbow Laces campaign in an ongoing attempt to reach out to people in our local community and show them that our doors and, more importantly, FOOTBALL’S doors are open to everyone.

Football has had this stigma associated with it for decades; that only a certain type of person participates in the sport.

“Campaigns like these are vital in breaking down these preconceived notions and inviting everyone to participate.

Our club has been looking at ways to get this message of equality out to people in our community with help from Bristol City Council, and Rainbow Laces ticks all the boxes with an eye-catching visual campaign that we can use on social media to try and spread this message.”

Alexis, meanwhile, is also a driving force behind Rainbow Laces participators GFA Women’s Football 9’s League.

She said: “Our league is really proud to support the campaign. We fully embrace the fact that football should be for everyone and we strive to provide a fun, supportive, diverse and inclusive environment for women to play the game they love.

“I am really proud to be part of the league both in my role as organiser but as a player also.”

Henbury have what it takes to challenge County League top dogs, insists Richards

TREVOR Richards insists Henbury have what it takes to give the Marcliff Gloucestershire County League big boys a run for their money, writes Simon Parkinson.

The Arnall Drive outfit, whilst hovering just beneath a mid-table berth of late, had been on an encouraging run of five unbeaten league and cup games heading into their November 17 away-day with Little Stoke.

Henbury are also going well in the GFA Challenge Trophy and face league rivals AEK Boco for an enticing third round affair at home on Saturday, November 24 (2pm). 

Richards, who oversees managerial affairs alongside trusty long-term cohort Jason Tarr – the pair occupied hot seats together at Bristol Manor Farm Under-18s and Southmead CS Athletic - is adamant Henbury have what it takes to produce a sustained run to rungs much further up the County League ladder.

“Top three was the aim going into the season and I see no reason why we can’t stick with that,” he insisted.

“Certainly a top-five finish has to be a target at the very least but the longer-term goal remains to try and get all our youth and junior age groups back to the club to ensure there is that proper route for progression for the young-’uns to the senior set-up.

“That section had greatly diminished in recent years but we’re up to about five junior and youth teams now, including our new under-18s.

“We’d also love for our first team to go up to the Toolstation Western League in time and we’re always making enquiries about funding and prospects of putting up floodlights in the future.”

Intriguingly all but one of Henbury’s 14 league and cup games leading up to that Little Stoke game had been decided by one goal or drawn and Richards heaped praise on the “old stagers” for their part.

“The senior heads have been really up for it and enjoying it too,” he said. “There’s a whole raft of them who have served the club so well over many years, the likes of Sean Heal; Adam and Arran Rosser; Ross Johnson; Luke Cox; Jack Bebbington and Ed Wright amongst them.

“Lads like Ross Johnson are invaluable to us. He gives great vocal encouragement and as a centre-half he’s aggressive and no-nonsense, the real old-school type and he’s great with the youngsters too.”

Henbury, meanwhile, have been seeking a new physio and Richards stated: “It could be that it’s someone who is at the training stage of physiotherapy and would like an opportunity in local football, or maybe someone more experienced.

“Whichever way we’d love for someone to get in touch with the club about the role and we’d also welcome anyone keen to join our management set-up, to help Jason and I move the club forward.”

Hallen hail new 3G facility as legendary Anfield ace Barnes wings in to cut the ribbon

HALLEN’S delighted chairman Lee Fairman hailed the unveiling of the club’s brand-new 3G court – and the visit by a very special guest to cut the ribbon, writes Simon Parkinson.

Liverpool and England’s former flying winger John Barnes, who had sold out an evening event hosted by the 55-year-old Anfield legend, was first on hand to declare officially open the state-of-the-art artificial facility at Moorhouse Lane following the first-team’s 2-1 victory over Brislington in the afternoon’s Toolstation Premier Division affair.

Fairman smiled: “John was here primarily to host a special evening in our recently-refurbished clubhouse but we persuaded him to officially unveil our new 3G court at the club after the Bris game.

“It’s a surface which our first team, reserves, eight junior sides and a couple of girls teams will be making good use of and we’ll have goalkeeping coaching there too.

“We’ll also be hiring it out to other sports clubs and organisations, be it rugby, netball or athletics for example, as the carpet and underlay are of such high quality.”

“Tickets for the evening ‘do’ were sold out two days after going on sale and it’s great that a lot of our former players and officials snapped them up. It was a wonderful occasion all round.”

The long-established Western League Prem operation now parade a revamped Hallen Centre HQ gleaming from a major summer refit, whilst foundations had been laid for an £180,000 3G pitch for the provision of adult training sessions, junior games and community activities.

Fairman explained: “We knocked through the building to make two previous rooms one big one while the conservatory, which was a storage space for footballs and a place to serve tea during kids’ matches, is now an extension of the bar.

“We’ve also had a new kitchen built and it’s all funded by our parish council landlords as they’ve had to modernise the facilities so that we can sign another 25-year lease.

“It’s like turning the clock back 25 years when everything was pristine and freshly painted with new furniture.”

Of the new artificial surface, the Hallen chief said: “We revamped our tennis courts to incorporate one seven-a-side and two five-a-side pitches.

“We obtained a community grant for it but Andy Hicks (vice-chairman) and I contributed financially to it too.

“It’s FIFA-quality with a shock pad underneath so it can safely be used by our two adult men’s and four Bristol Ladies Union teams for training purposes, as well as our eight junior sides for their matches.

“All in all it’s been a major turnaround over the past few years as we very nearly went out of business in 2015.

“We managed to sort the club out off the field and we didn’t want to stand still. We were giving away so much money to use other people’s facilities that a couple of us were prepared to put our hands in our own pockets, and we managed to obtain a bit of funding as well, to pay for it as we thought it was such a great idea.”

Barnes himself commented: “It’s a big outlay initially but in the long term it’s worth it as it gives kids a chance to play on a quality surface.

“I grew up playing on terrible mud pitches and how can you develop your skills playing on that? Somehow we did!

“So to be able to play on a surface like Hallen’s is fantastic for them.”

Tormarton-St Andrews set to collide for GFA Intermediate South cruncher

TORMARTON and St Andrews are on collision course for a gripping GFA Intermediate South Cup third round encounter at Old Sodbury Road on Saturday, December 1, writes Simon Parkinson.

Both teams have been leading the way with their respective assaults, as hosts Tormarton have been flying and undefeated at the head of the Bristol and District League’s third tier and Saints have been enjoying similar unbeaten form topping the Bristol Downs League’s second section.

Whilst St Andrews required a penalty shoot-out success to see them past league rivals Jamaica Bell in a closely-fought second round joust on the Downs following a 1-1 regular-time stalemate, Tormarton too were taking their impressive run into the county cup arena.

They seized their place for the third stage with a 2-0 home defeat of Chipping Sodbury Town A, the team they’d beaten 4-2 at home in the league only a fortnight prior.

Lewis Meese and Michael Gonzalo grabbed the goals to send relentless Tormarton safely through.

Ross Terry’s goal for District Two basement battlers Sea Mills Park Reserves proved only a consolation as Suburban Three side Lockleaze Community came away from Kingsweston Sports Ground 3-1 victors to set them up for a home tie with Sneyd Park Reserves, of Downs Division Two, on December 1.

Jake Lansdown and James Moore were amongst the goals as District Two hopefuls Olveston United Reserves marched on to round three thanks to a 3-2 home victory over more Downs League Second Division competitors in Evergreen Athletic, to book another fixture in their own backyard against District Three high-fliers Hillfields Old Boys Reserves.

It had been a much more one-sided affair at Thicket Avenue where Hillfields’ rampant second-string crushed Suburban Three side Port of Bristol Reserves 10-1 through Connor Henning and Jed Fields hat-tricks; Oliver Saunders’ brace and Kyle Thomas and Jordan Mignott efforts.

Hudson hits hat-trick to fire Greyfriars to Real Thornbury Combination Cup clash

JESSE Hudson leapt off the bench for the start of the second half in devastating fashion as his Greyfriars Athletic team surged into the quarter-finals of the Bristol Premier Combination League Cup, writes Simon Parkinson.

Hot-shot Hudson set his side up for a home date with Division One compatriots Real Thornbury on Saturday, December 22 (2pm) by scoring all three goals in a 3-0 round two success at Bristol Manor Farm Reserves.

 Ross Griffin struck five of the goals and Sam Jones, Jon Miller and Andy Rice all registered as Thorns themselves maintained their place in the competition with an 8-0 away defeat of embattled Oldland Reserves.

Winterbourne United marched into round three by beating Pucklechurch Sports 4-2 in an entertaining Parkside Avenue encounter.

A  James Mainstone penalty and Sam Vile strike had handed First Division pacesetters Bourne a 2-1 interval lead, and although spirited Sports, whose goals came from Rico Williams and Rob Belcher, went on to equalise, Mainstone again and Sam Makepeace wrapped up victory for ambitious Bourne who now travel to The Lawns to confront Cribbs Reserves.

Premier Division high-riders Cribbs didn’t have it all their own way at home against gallant First Division guests Roman Glass St George Reserves.

In the end the divisional gap showed as Dan Monk, Liam Clayton, Dave Truan and Andy Forward supplied the ammo to take the Station Road hosts through 4-2 at the expense of a Saints side responding with Samyan Ismal and Nouradine Bounouh efforts.

Senior Amateur North:

Upton downed as Jed pair propels Lakeside into round three

JUBILANT Jed Griffiths was at the double as FC Lakeside edged through to the third round of the GFA Senior North Cup, writes Simon Parkinson.

Griffiths’ brace and Lewis Dawes’ single proved just enough to overcome Upton St Leonards 3-2 on their Birchall Lane travels, as Ash Bick and Jordan Cooper goals had kept the hosts firmly in the contest until time was blown on their comeback aspirations.

While Lakeside will now enjoy home advantage over Smiths Athletic in the third round on Saturday, November 24, Smiths sealed their own spot at the next stage by beating Leonard Stanley 5-3 at Ashchurch Road thanks to Adam Powis’ brace and Joe Morgan, Jack Daniels and Elliot Bostock goals. Ryan Holden, James Glastonbury and Matt Fanstone strikes had kept Stanley in the hunt.

It was the same scoreline at Cheltenham Road where Falcons emerged victorious, largely through Alex Newport-Black’s treble, at the expense of an FC Barometrics outfit responding with Brett Blake’s brace and Declan Chick’s contribution.

Falcons can experience home comforts next time as they have been paired with Hellenic Two West team Moreton Rangers, who were handed a walkover route to round three over depleted Ellwood.

Moreton’s league rivals Bourton Rovers amply demonstrated why they’ve been leading the Hellenic Two West table as they crushed Northern Senior Two opponents English Bicknor 10-0 at Rissington Road courtesy of Steve Nurse’s six-goal haul plus Connor Teague and Danny Way doubles.

It was too close to call at Bridge Road after normal time had concluded in 3-3 stalemate, as Frampton United Reserves squeezed through 5-4 in a gripping shoot-out scenario against visiting Lydbrook Athletic, to tee-up a third round home tie against Northern Senior Two high-fliers Whitecroft.

Gianni Diurno, Ryan Ford and David Pain had notched for Frampton within the 90-minute scrap while Aiden Creighton and Jack Halson were amongst the goals for Lydbrook.

Joel Giddins and Luke Hutton goals earned Whitecroft a hard-fought 2-1 success at league rivals Abbeymead Rovers, whose Xander Jones notched.

In an all-Hellenic Two West affair, Brimscombe and Thrupp Reserves won through to a home date with another of their league rivals on November 24, Bourton Rovers, via a 4-2 shoot-out victory at Newent Town Reserves.

The sides had been locked at 2-2 at the end of the regular 90 with Ryan Dean’s double providing the home goals and Lewis Bainbridge and Oscar Gomez battling Brimscombe’s contributors.

Senior Amateur South:

Soaraway Sea Mills Park keep on treble course

WHAT a season Sea Mills Park are enjoying as they target a treble trophy haul this season, writes Simon Parkinson.

The Kingsweston Sports Ground fliers have not only been leading the way in the Bristol Premier Combination Premier Division in undefeated mode, but they’re also into round three of both the Combination League Cup AND the GFA Senior Amateur South competition.

Their county cup journey continued in typically uncompromising fashion as they overcame Bristol and Suburban League top-tier equivalents Rockleaze Rangers Reserves 6-1 at home through Tom Ahern and Blaine Skuse braces plus Ciaran Greening and Ryan Hawkins strikes.

At the other end of the spectrum DRG Frenchay’s problems in Combination Division One were taken on to the Senior Amateur stage, Ryan Moore’s goal proving scant consolation as Chipping Sodbury Reserves crushed them 9-1 on their travels.

Lee Gardiner led the demolition with four of Sodbury’s goals while Charlie Davis celebrated a hat-trick and Blake Lakatos and Patryk Rajczyk completed the scoring.

Stapleton, meanwhile, were made to pay for their first-half profligacy as Old Georgians, who had been under the cosh, somehow stole an interval lead via a goalmouth scramble and went on to notch three more times in the second half to win through 4-1 at Begbrook Green Park, thanks to a mix of poor defending by the hosts and clinical finishing on the part of the victors.

Louie Ross had briefly reduced the arrears to 3-1 for Stapleton on 80 minutes before Georgians added a fourth.

Kris Douglas led the Georgians charge with a hat-trick and Jason Fussell supplied the happy Suburban Premier One team’s other goal.

Roman Glass St George progressed in convincing fashion as well as goals for Abdiwahab Muse, Ibrahima Seck , Reece Matthews and Ibrahima Ndiaye earned them a 4-1 home victory over Suburban Premier Two opponents Port of Bristol.

Shirehampton Reserves marched on too courtesy of a 2-0 home win over a “very good” Easton Cowboys side.

Shire opened the scoring on nine minutes through Sidou Bojang but home keeper Sam Thomas did have to pull off a string of fine saves to deny Cowboys an equaliser.

The hosts stepped up a gear in the second half and midway through it Scott Bamford added a second goal to seal Shire’s victory.

Two Dominic Holver goals weren’t sufficient as Lebeq Saturday continued their helter-skelter season by losing 6-2 at home against gallant Combination Division One side Greyfriars Athletic.

Tom Haim hit five of the goals and Harrison Hardy the other as Greyfriars cruised into a six-goal lead before Holver’s two responses.

Winterbourne United were indebted to Dave Herbert’s pair and James Mainstone’s two penalties, all stemming from swift and clinical breakaways, for seeing them into round three at the expense of Bromley Heath United guests, of Suburban Prem One, Bourne boss Ben Hopson branded “the best team we have met so far.”

Junior South Cup: Stoke Gifford Reserves shake off strong Nics challenge to march on

STOKE Gifford United Reserves have been flying high in and around the Bristol and Suburban Division Two summit – and their county cup project is shaping up nicely too, writes Simon Parkinson.

The on-song North Road team emerged from a fascinating and hard-fought GFA Junior South Cup second round spectacle away against Bristol and District League Senior Division pacesetters Nicholas Wanderers with a 3-2 victory to take their place in round three.

Aaron Jones, Darren Edwards and Ian Welland shared the scoring for the delighted victors, while Billy Arnold and Jordan West goals kept the Dundridge Fields hosts, who had won all of their league games approaching the tie, in the contest until the very end.

Patchway Town Reserves also emerged unscathed from a tense second round joust at home against Suburban One guests North Bristol Trust.

The District Senior Division strugglers gave themselves a timely boost by progressing 5-4 on penalties after Shane Heal and Jamie Matthews had scored the Town goals to take the tie to a shoot-out following a 2-2 normal-time draw.

Patchway’s league compatriots AEK Boco A are through, and in more straightforward fashion too, after dispensing of Suburban Division Two outfit Avonmouth Reserves 3-0 on their travels thanks to Fred Taylor-Fox, Matthew Weymouth and Tom Gould goals.

Harry Sutor’s hat-trick and Ben Stevens’ effort saw District Senior side Cribbs A to a splendid 4-1 Lawns success over unbeaten Suburban Division One fliers Wanderers.

Lewis Risdale netted District Division One hosts Hanham Athletic Reserves’ consolation as they were beaten 3-1 by battling Downs League top-tier side Wellington Wanderers.

Women’s Challenge Cup: Nicola’s hat-trick propels Cribbs to Bristol Union date

JOHN Shepherd is backing his enthusiastic Cribbs Women team to make a name for themselves on the local female football scene – and hopes a splendid county cup win can fuel the drive, writes Simon Parkinson.

Whilst they have been battling it out in the lower reaches of Gloucestershire County Women’s League’s second tier and taken some heavy defeats firmly on the chin, Cribbs had pinned two spirit-lifting league victories, both against struggling Bishops Cleeve Ladies, to their board ahead of a tough-looking Sunday, November 11 away date with second-placed Bradley Stoke Ladies.

Cribbs also booked themselves a place in the quarter-finals of the GFA Women’s Challenge Cup, and an away-day once more against Bristol Ladies Union Development on February 17, courtesy of a pulsating 5-3 first-round victory at league rivals Bradley Stoke Ladies Development.

They achieved it via a Nicola Nolan hat-trick and Natasha Ireland and Kerry Britton strikes, prompting satisfied boss Shepherd to smile: “Despite being a striker by trade, Nicola had been our goalkeeper and done well too.

“I managed to get a new keeper, Amy Green, in so Nicola played upfront in our county cup game and actually had the ball in the net four times, although one was chalked off for a marginal offside decision.

“So it looks like, on the evidence of that, she’ll stay up top for now!”

Of an absorbing contest, Shepherd reflected: “It was a close and nail-biting one, for sure. At 3-1 up and looking good, Bradley Stoke got a goal back and did the same thing after we went 4-2 up to make it 4-3.

“I’d had 13 players going into the tie but three went on to injure themselves, so we finished up with ten which made it a backs-to-the-wall operation over the last ten minutes.

“That had been the first time we’d fielded subs this season but of course we’re always looking for new players.”

The Cribbs supremo added: “Although the girls enjoy playing, their work and other commitments don’t always allow them to be available.

“We’ve not been doing the best results-wise so far but a lot of our girls had never played football before and the more they’ve played, the better they’ve done.

“Throwing them in at the deep end is what it’s been about and they’ve responded really well, despite the ups and downs.”

Anyone wishing to get in touch with John about the potential for joining his team can email him at shepsjohn@yahoo.co.uk

Ford’s Almondsbury Women fliers on rise and rise in league and county cup

ALMONDSBURY Women boss Garry Ford says he is “excited” by the potential shown from his players on the league AND cup fronts, writes Simon Parkinson.

The summer signing watched on encouraged from the sidelines as his team hit back from a slow start to their South West Women’s League Eastern Division mission with some force of late to pitch themselves into a mid-table position with the potential for further progression.

Almondsbury have also been making strides in the GFA Women’s Trophy competition, a recent 2-1 away defeat of Bristol Ladies Union securing them a place in round two thanks to Sophie Cooper’s brace.

Ford enthused of the striker: “I happily gave her player-of-the-match. Aside from the two goals she turned in a great overall performance and we’re delighted she’s back with us having been with the club prior to me taking over as manager.

“She’s a real physical presence up top who can hold the ball up very well.

“For the first couple of games she had to watch from the sidelines because competition for places was so fierce, but she’s been patient and bided her time and made a real contribution since.

“Sophie followed up her two county cup goals with another in our 4-1 win at Swindon Development in our next game, so she’s taken her chance with both hands.

“Our left-winger Jessica Bessell has gone from strength to strength too with six goals so far and eight in pre-season following her move from Downend Flyers.”

Almondsbury were beaten 2-1 and 3-1 at home by AEK Boco and Cheltenham Town Development respectively in their opening two league outings but have responded with some gusto with a series of wins.

Ford insisted, however: “Our early-season results really didn’t reflect our performances. Even the Boco manager admitted after all the chances we missed that the game could easily have gone our way.

“We were then one-up at half-time against Cheltenham and playing well, although to be fair to Cheltenham they came out stronger for the second half. They scored straight after half-time from a corner and we never recovered.

“After that we had a group meeting and went through the importance of individuals taking responsibility and not blaming others or hiding when leaders are what is needed.

“In our next game against a fantastic young Frampton Rangers side we went 1-0 up once more, only for them to come back and lead 2-1.

“This time we kept banging and banging away and eventually equalised with four minutes to go and that seemed to be a pivotal moment, a turning point.”

Almondsbury went on to win their next four league and cup games ahead of a Sunday, November 11 away appointment with Wootton Bassett Ladies and an upbeat Ford maintained: “These things can galvanise you and lead you to good things, although I’m not saying we’ll win the league.

“We’re looking to develop players through the spine and hopefully we can finish the season strongly.

“I’m happy with the squad although availability of players does fluctuate as you might expect.

“We recently signed Rosie Harris from Larkhall Ladies, a very experienced player who once played alongside my daughter at St Nics when they went through the County League to National League South under John Seymour’s leadership.

“She has been a real calming presence amongst our back four while her partner Blyth has been assisting me.

“Sam Kodola has been on a goalscoring roll too with three goals from midfield, so all in all I’m excited about the possibilities for us.

“I’m still quite new to this league but I want to make a difference with this team and players.”

Dan’s a hat-trick man as Pucklechurch Reserves hand St Vincents six of the best

YATE Athletic and their Bristol and District League Four fellows Pucklechurch Sports Reserves made no mistake as both raced into round three of the GFA Minor South Cup in convincing fashion.

Dan Preddy hit a hat-trick and Scott Laird, Harrison Backwell and Rhys Iles swelled the scoring as ’Church dispensed of visiting Downs League Division Three team Clifton St Vincents A 6-1 at Abson Road.

And in another District Four-Downs Three affair, Yate proved just too strong for Bengal Tigers as Richard Gardener and Lee Robinson pairs, along with Leigh Sanders and Russell Perkins strikes, propelled Athletic to a 6-3 home success.

District Five draw specialists Hanham Abbotonians showed a more lethal touch in front of target and resilience at the back in the county cup as they emerged emphatic 5-0 away victors over Suburban League Division Four strugglers Corinthian Sports Reserves thanks to two Sam Cooper strikes and Sam Thompson, Kieran Lambert and Toby Werrett goals.

Marcus Lambourne’s goal for undefeated District League Five pacesetters Shaftesbury Crusade Reserves was not enough to stop Bristol Churches League hopefuls VCF Santos clinching a fine 2-1 win on their travels.

Jake Hill’s hat-trick and an own goal saw District Four side Crosscourt United safely into the third round courtesy of a 4-1 home defeat of Downs Three competitors Torpedo A.

And in a pulsating Suburban Four versus District Three tussle respectively, Cosmos Reserves edged a 5-4 away victory over Nicholas Wanderers A thanks to two Callum Paul goals plus Daniel Iusan, Tirgovet Razvan and Jordan Silk efforts.

Dan Cox (2), Paul Challoner and George Harrold kept Wanderers in an absorbing contest until the last whistle.

Meanwhile, in the GFA Primary South competition, Bristol and District Five side Seymour United A had Joe Gane and Dan Williams goals to thank as they squeezed past Suburban Five high-fliers Socius United 2-1 at Coronation Park to reach the third round.

But two Aaron Powell goals for District Five’s bottom team Greyfriars Athletic B couldn’t stop undefeated league rivals Winterbourne United Reserves roaring to the next stage with an 8-2 away romp.

Jack Barnard scored District Five strugglers AFC Grace’s consolation in a 4-1 away defeat at the hands of Suburban Five’s rejuvenated yet winless basement battlers Cosmos A.

Oldland Abbotonians Colts, going well at the top end of District Five, had an Alexander Robertson brace and Dominic Parish, Aldo Marku and Jack Knowlson efforts to thank as they breezed past Bristol Churches Two team Castle Green Reserves 6-2.

Part 2: How Roger came to oversee Roman Glass’ rapid rise to Toolstation contention

BRISTOL Post award winner Roger Hudd’s long and remarkable association with Roman Glass St George began 55 years back - when he performed goalkeeping duties for Brislington-based Wyndham Wanderers Under-16s, writes Simon Parkinson.

The Knowle West-raised chairman and former manager, who was presented with an Outstanding Services to Sport award at the recent annual Bristol Post Sports Awards held at Bristol City’s Ashton Gate Stadium, explained: “Everything we enjoy today at the club stemmed from then. We started that side ourselves, as a street team, something you’d struggle to do in the same way today.

“Wyndham performed in the old Bristol Church of England League and in our second year we operated as an under-18 set-up called Wyndham United, where I played for a number of years until I began officiating as a referee and linesman in the early 1980s at Western League, County League and Premier Combination levels.

“Our secretary Martin Gill joined our old Wyndham Youth side in its second year in the early 60s and has been with us ever since after retiring from playing early, the same as I have.

“Wyndham became sponsored by Roman Glass in the mid-70s (a glazing company formed by Hudd and three partners in Bath in 1974) and as a men’s side by then we went on to reach the Bristol and District League Senior Division.

“Like a lot of clubs we had a first team and reserves before hitting on hard times and running with just the one side.

“In the late 80s we dropped all the way down to District Four and yet that was where our journey all the way to where we are today in the Toolstation Western League Premier Division began.”

The dedicated Saints chief explained: “I’d just finished refereeing when I took up the managerial reins in 1990-91. The year before that we’d finished second from bottom of Division Four and although I’d once had a stint in charge at Bromley Heath Youth where my son Matthew played, I’d never managed at senior level.

“That first year at the Roman Glass helm couldn’t have gone too badly as we finished up as champions, and that with virtually the same side that had struggled the previous season!

“We enjoyed a series of promotions from there but it was in the mid-90s we amalgamated with Bristol St George at Whiteway Road. They were in a lot of trouble and in danger of folding from Division One of the Premier Combination.

“In our first season as Roman Glass St George we won promotion as runners-up in a rare play-off scenario and we went on to become champions of the league (in 1998-99) to reach the Gloucestershire County League, as double winners too as we’d also won the Combination League Cup that same year.”

The success story continued unabated as Hudd’s Roman Glass scooped two County League titles, the first in 2001-02 before the second, five years later, finally met with coveted elevation to the Western League.

“With that first league title in the early noughties we’d come from literally nowhere to win it,” he recalled.

“Nobody, us included, expected us to achieve it. We’d had a 19-match unbeaten run but because it was so out of the blue our Whiteway Road ground wasn’t ready for the next level up, so we stayed put.

“When we won the league again in 2006-07 we were ready for the next step up and back then you didn’t need floodlights to get into the second tier of the Western League.”

When regulations changed and lights were required to maintain the club’s non-League Step 6 status, Saints struck an agreement with Gloucestershire FA at Oaklands Park to perform home fixtures there during 2011-12.

“We’d not been able to attain planning consent at Whiteway Road for lights so we had to do something,” Hudd stressed.

 “Of course we’ve been at the GFA ever since.”

Roman Glass St George’s award-winning servant Roger still reaching for the stars

ROGER Hudd reflected on his beloved Roman Glass St George’s meteoric rise over the decades and smiled: “It’s been a great achievement, to go all the way from Bristol and District League Four to where we are now,” writes Simon Parkinson

The devoted Saints chairman and former manager was the recipient of a prestigious Outstanding Services to Sport accolade at the recent annual Bristol Post Sports Awards handed to him by BBC presenter and compere for the occasion John Inverdale, amid warm and deserved applause from a packed Lansdown Suite at Ashton Gate Stadium.

A string of promotions from lower District League obscurity eventually landed Roman Glass a much-coveted place in the Western League as Marcliff Gloucestershire County League champions in 2007 and Hudd said: “We were 11 years in Division One and while we never looked like going up until last season’s promotion success, we were never in danger of going down either, although we flirted with it at times.

“Every season we were competitive and surprised many a top side. I had as much pride at us staying in the Western League as us getting there.

“We’ve tried several managers down the years but Andy Gurney came in four years ago and after taking some time to adjust to this level after all his experiences as a pro, he’s been instrumental in our success along with his assistant Liam Greening.

“Andy has something like 500 Football League appearances behind him (for Bristol Rovers, Torquay, Reading, Swindon and Swansea) and that background has played a part in where we are now.

“Liam is always on the lookout for players and has a great knowledge of the local scene, so they complement each other really well.

“Sometimes teams just come naturally together; they gel; and it all falls into place.”

Hudd recalled with a faint wince: “Last season’s run-in was frustrating as we picked up injuries at vital times. But we squeezed in as our rivals Keynsham were held to a draw, even though it hadn’t been in our hands at the end when previously it had been ours to lose.

“It was nailbiting but for me it was more nerve-racking winning the County League for the first time as that was my first time managing at that sort of level.

 “Over the years we’ve punched above our weight; sometimes looked down on as the poor relations. But you always have to look to improve. And it’s a team thing.”

The Saints chief maintained: “For me you should always look forward. The minute you start looking back is the moment you stop looking forward. Getting in the Western League was what it was all about, and getting into the FA Cup.

“I was pleased and surprised to win the Bristol Post award given the standard of the other two candidates (Longwell Green Sports Juniors FC coach Paul Griffin and Clifton Robinsons Hockey Club star Isabel Palmer) I was up against.

“I still wash all the kit; fold it and hang it. You have to keep going and have something to aim for, to always have a dream.

 “It’s always nice to be recognised although I like to stay in the background as much as I can. I like to keep a low profile and let football do the talking. That’s what it’s all about.

“We have ambitions to reach the Southern League but of course you need the right infrastructure, on and off the pitch.”

  • Stand by for Part 2 of Roger Hudd’s fascinating story, here on Local Football News

Morgan hat-trick sends super Seymour into third Senior Amateur South stage

TOM Morgan notched his tenth goal in only four fixtures as his hat-trick in Seymour United’s 6-2 away success over AFC Mangotsfield did much to catapult them into the third round of the GFA Senior Amateur South Cup, writes Simon Parkinson.

The first half had more resembled a basketball game as it seemed every attack resulted in a goal.

Newly-promoted Bristol Premier Combination Prem side Seymour led their Suburban top-section hosts 3-2 at half-time through Morgan’s brace and Jack Gore’s strike, before their team’s superior quality and fitness shone after the break and Nathan Gore, James Williams and Morgan again secured Seymour’s safe passage.

Pucklechurch Sports came through an enthralling away encounter against Olveston United with a 5-4 penalty shoot-out success.

The sides had been locked at 4-4 on 90 minutes after Combination Premier Division strugglers Olveston had hit back from early 1-0 arrears to lead 3-1 on 20 minutes and then 4-2 65 minutes in, despite having been reduced to ten men courtesy of a red card to their centre-back Joe Forss 25 minutes into an epic contest.

However another ’Church strike ten minutes from the end, and a dramatic equaliser with the final touch of the game, tied up the scores and took the tie to spot kicks where the delighted visitors narrowly prevailed.

Nathan Parker (2), Ross Talbot and George Robbins were the Sports marksmen in regular time while Matt Knight, Phil Williams (2) and Leo Glew netted for Olveston.

Shaftesbury Crusade emerged victorious following an absorbing experience of their own at Old Cothamians.

A ten-goal thriller was eventually won by the high-riding Premier Combination top-flight team 6-4, as braces each for Clinton Wilson and Elliot Morris, plus James White and George Neill strikes, propelled Crusade to a 6-4 success at the home of the Suburban Premier One hopefuls.

Liam Oswin and Marc Ashley supplied the goals as jubilant Longwell Green Sports Reserves edged a hard-fought 2-1 away win over a Stoke Gifford United team enjoying unbeaten status at the Suburban Premier Two summit, prompting Sports boss Nick Peters to hail “a great result against a very good side.”

Hallen exited the competition with a narrow 3-2 away defeat by Suburban Premier One outfit St Aldhems.

Goals from top scorer Marcin Taras and Henry Obiakor had made it 2-2, only for their team to hand Saints victory, and a place in the third round, via an unfortunate own goal in the dying minutes.

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