GFA U18 vs Cornwall Match Report
Cornwall’s Josh Penrose scored the winner after two first half goals from Jack Rapsey and Olly Walker were cancelled out by both Harry Walker and Jack Freeman for Gloucestershire.
The result means Cornwall now top the group and are now reliant on a Gloucestershire side taking points against Somerset to ensure their chance at league glory.
Gloucestershire will take great heart from the performance after showing strength of character to fight back from two goals down and will no doubt leave them it great shape ahead of next season.
Cornwall started the stronger of the two sides with a corner by Cam Turner nearly resulting in volleyed goal by captain Charlie Hambly but it was well blocked by Gloucestershire’s Henry Newman.
The smooth link up play from the away side finally paid off when a searching cross by Josh Otto found its way to Rapsey who blasted it for close range, leaving the keeper unable to prevent it crossing the line.
Within a minute of the first goal going in, Cornwall had their second when some good play again from Otto found Penrose out on the right side, who produced the cross of the match which was headed in by Walker to make it 2-0.
After another string of attacks from Cornwall including a strike against the bar, very much against the grain of play Gloucestershire pulled a goal back when a Matt Grabe cross was met by the head of Walker.
After that goalkeeping error the first half ended 2-1 with Gloucestershire perhaps seeing themselves as lucky to still be in it but none the less fighting hard.
The second half began much like the first with Cornwall on the front foot with a long distance strike from Rapsey deflecting just over the bar, much to the relief of keeper Kane Winman.
It was soon to be a moment to forget for substitute Cornish keeper Dan Stedman who played the ball straight to Freeman from the goal kick who duly obliged to make it 2-2.
In retaliation to a surprising score line the visitors started to play with more urgency with another Penrose cross falling to Joe Adkins who missed an open goal at the far post.
Although their disappointment did not last that long as some one touch passing between Tiago Soares and Penrose led to the latter poking it home to make 3-2 to Cornwall.
From that point Gloucestershire could make little headway into their deficit as Cornwall piled on more pressure, but no more goals were found by either side as it finished 3-2.
It was not the result the Gloucestershire FA U18’s were looking for but they will be encouraged by the form of defender Henry Newman who put a number of good blocks and tackles in to prevent the score line being worse than it was.
It will be a case of moving on quickly as they look to end their campaign in style by taking the points against form side Somerset in what will be a stern test for the lads.