30th December 2018
Number 22

Boxing Day

Westbury United have finally tasted defeat in the league this season after falling 1-0 to Wiltshire neighbours Bradford Town. The home side were given an early opportunity to forge ahead, but Dan Kovacs’ effort from the penalty spot was saved by Adam Forster in the Bradford net. It was then another set piece which proved decisive, with Matt Morris bending a free-kick into the top corner to hand Bradford the lead which they maintained for the remainder of the match to end Westbury’s unbeaten start in front of a large Boxing Day crowd. Willand Rovers had no such trouble dispatching Bridport, with a dominant second half performance leading them to a 5-1 victory at Silver Street. The away side took a surprise lead early on through Mark Salter, with Willand equalising two minutes before the break thanks to Josh Searle’s successful penalty. After the interval it was all one way traffic, with Luke Mortimore scoring the final three goals of the game after Dean Stamp had put Willand ahead. Another man to bag a post-Christmas hat trick was Sol Wanjau-Smith, with the Cribbs frontman helping to lead his side to a 5-1 win over Roman Glass St George. It took Wanjau-Smith just 15 minutes to score his three goals at The Lawns, with two early penalties giving Cribbs an unassailable early lead against their under-handed visitors who suffered an early red card. Nathan Legge pulled a goal back for Roman Glass before half-time, before Jacob Hodgson and Ben Stevens added some gloss to the scoreline late on. Bridgwater Town secured a league-high fifth draw, with a late equaliser seeing them share the points away at Wellington. A brilliant individual goal from Joe Chamberlain which saw him set off on a mazy run before finishing well gave Wellington a 16th minute lead, and just as it looked as though they would run out winners, Bridgwater were awarded a late penalty which Jake Llewellyn tucked home to level things. Down in Devon, second half goals from Shane Krac and Nick Milton helped Plymouth Parkway come from behind to defeat Buckland Athletic 2-1 during their encounter at Homers Heath.

Another side who overturned a deficit were Bitton, with Josh Egan starring in their 3-1 defeat of Cadbury Heath. Having seen Sacha Tong fire their hosts ahead, Egan struck an equaliser just prior to the interval, with the same man then handing his side an advantage which was doubled 20 minutes from time thanks to a toe-poked finish by Kane Ingram. Lowly Shortwood United finally have their first league point of the season after battling to a goalless draw away at Chipping Sodbury Town. Clevedon Town secured a fifth successive victory, after goals from Archie Ferris, Syd Camper and Harry Smith helped them beat Hallen 3-0. Odd Down gained their tenth league victory of the campaign following a 4-2 triumph over Shepton Mallet in Bath. The opening half hour was all about George Lloyd, with the home forward striking twice to move his side into a dominant position. Shepton twice threatened comebacks through Ross Padfield and Joe Morgan, but on both occasions Odd Down were able to respond thanks to goals from Ash McGrane and Joe Keen. Brislington maintained their 12-point advantage over Hengrove Athletic, after Louis Britton scored an equaliser ten minutes from time during the sides’ 1-1 draw at Paprika Park.

Keynsham Town helped their goal difference dramatically after producing a thumping 9-0 Boxing Day victory at home to Oldland Abbotonians. The K’s have really started to hit their straps over the past month, and they put Oldland to the sword at the Crown Fields behind four goals from striker Matt Brown. Cheddar weren’t at their best in front of goal but still picked up a crucial three points, with goals either side of the break from Callum Laird and Adam Jones handing them a 2-0 victory over Bishop Sutton. At Cothelstone Road, Chard Town came out on top during an entertaining five-goal affair against Bishops Lydeard. Chard fell behind after 20 minutes of the contest, with Sam Mockridge’s corner headed home by Callum Flaherty, but they responded in quick time with the in-form Ryan Parris levelling things up. The turnaround was complete seven minutes before the break thanks to James Boyland, with Max Westlake then extending Town’s lead prior to Jake Quick’s headed finish for the hosts. There was late drama in Calne, where Max Wyatt struck the only goal of the contest four minutes from time, as the home side defeated Chippenham Park 1-0. In a high scoring Wiltshire derby, Corsham retained their place in the top five following a 5-3 victory away at Devizes. The game was level 2-2 at the interval before Corsham stormed to victory with Jamal Chevolleau and Mark Dolman each scoring twice for the gallant visitors. Devizes have had a tough spell of late but will have been happy with their output in front of goal which saw Rob Mitchell, Ryan Bole and Jack Hopper all hit the back of the net during their defeat at Nursteed Road.

In a highly-anticipated fixture at West Clewes watched by a crowd of 323, Sam Gregory struck the vital goal five minutes after the break to lead Radstock to a 1-0 victory over neighbours Welton. Ashton & Backwell’s impressive away form continued at Portishead Town, where a hat-trick from Callum Townsend, plus two goals from Dan Elson and a lone strike from Saul Jarrett saw them secure a 6-0 victory. Two goals in the opening 20 minutes from Luke White helped Wincanton defeat Sherborne 2-1, with Jamie Danoris scoring too late for the visitors in their attempts at a comeback. A stonking second half at Weymouth Street saw Warminster fall two goals behind, before claiming a 4-2 win over Wells City.  Following a goalless first half, Wells forged ahead thanks to a pair of quick-fire goals from debutant Dale Hunt and James Bisgrove, with Warminster halving the deficit thanks to Jack Miluk’s close-range finish. Not long after, the scores were level following a goal from Conor McKay, with George Butler then completing the turnaround 15 minutes from time. Warminster continued to attack against their top-half opponents, and it paid off with Miluk scoring his second of the game to score the sixth and final goal of a frantic second half. Longwell Green Sports brought an abrupt end to Bristol Telephones unbeaten run at Shellards Road, where Connor Britton, Luke Bryan and Courtney Charles all netted during a 3-0 victory.

Premier Division

Willand Rovers will end 2018 atop the Premier Division after storming to a 4-0 victory away at Hallen. Craig Duff headed home Luke Alden’s cross to get the scoring underway, with Luke Mortimore adding a second two minutes later. Josh Searle then converted from the spot, before Aidan Moyle added a late fourth to help the Devon crack the 50-point barrier. Westbury United remain three points behind Willand, after Callum Demkiv’s late goal helped them to secure a dramatic 1-0 victory away at Bridport. Both Bridgwater and Bradford were forced to settle for a point, after their fixture at Trowbridge Road remained goalless. Clevedon Town consolidated their spot in fourth after powering to a 4-1 victory at home to Cadbury Heath. In what would have to be considered a successful first half of the campaign, Clevedon eased to victory at the Hand Stadium, with Syd Camper, Tyler Ashmead and Lucas Vowles all registering goals for the hosts. Bitton were also triumphant by a 4-1 scoreline, overturning George Rogers early strike on their way to victory over Wellington. Rogers’ long range effort had given Wellington a 2nd minute lead, before Joe McLennan hit a quick-fire double to turn the game around inside the opening quarter. Bitton then struck twice more in the opening stages of the second half through Dean Griffiths and Josh Egan to make it back-to-back victories over the festive period. Plymouth Parkway stretched their winning run in all competitions to ten matches, after Adam Carter converted Sam Hillson’s cross 20 minutes from time to grab a 1-0 victory at home to Hengrove Athletic. At Homers Heath, Ryan Bush’s equaliser six minutes before the final whistle helped Buckland salvage a 1-1 draw with Roman Glass St George, after the away side had led for much of the match following an early goal from Matt Guy. There was also a 1-1 draw between Shortwood United and Cribbs, where Lewis Bainbridge cancelled out Sol Wanjau-Smith’s opener to secure another promising result for the league’s bottom side. Shepton Mallet rebounded from back-to-back defeats by beating Brislington 2-0 thanks to goals from Joe Morgan and Kailan Gould during the second half.

First Division

The action got underway on Friday evening, and it saw Cheddar hand Wincanton Town their first home defeat of the league season. The Cheesemen reached the 50-point mark thanks to the 4-0 victory, completing an unbeaten month in the process and stretching their clean sheet streak to six matches. Having taken just two minutes to go ahead thanks to Stephen Pennington’s opener, another set piece fell to the feet of Adam Wright who made no mistake to double the advantage. Adam Jones then proceeded to add Cheddar’s third of the night in the closing stages of the first half, with Wright then slotting home his second from the spot to complete the scoring. On Saturday afternoon, Keynsham joined Cheddar on the half-century of points following a 5-0 victory away at Sherborne Town. Kyle Box scored in either half for the away side, with Stefan Lee and Dan Spill each hitting the target to extend the lead to four, before a late own goal completed the scoring. Ashton & Backwell United continued their ascendancy up the table, coming from behind to defeat Bishops Lydeard 3-1 at the Lancer Scott Stadium. Lydeard have been performing well away from home over the past month, so it was no real surprise when they took a first half lead when Mark Clunie scored directly from a free kick. The home side showed excellent battling qualities however, and secured all three points thanks to goals from Calum Townsend, Harry Walker and George Jones. Wells City battled back from a 3-2 second half deficit to come out on top in an eight-goal thriller away at Bristol Telephones. Charlie Crook was very much the star turn for Wells, scoring twice early in the second half to draw his side level after the Phones had led 2-0 inside the opening six minutes. Having fallen behind once again, Crook completed his hat trick in the 64th minute, before Dale Hunt took over the game, scoring twice in the space of five minutes to hand Wells a two-goal buffer which they didn’t relinquish. Oldland Abbotonians turned from Christmas turkeys to hand out a stuffing of their own, producing their best performance of the season to date in a 9-2 beating of Portishead Town. Having conceded nine themselves on Boxing Day to Keynsham, Oldland had their day in front of goal, with Josh Williams scoring a hat trick, and Luke Tanner also chipping in with a brace. Two goals in the final 20 minutes from Jamie Norman and Matty Jenkins led Calne to a 2-0 victory away at Bishop Sutton, while Rob Mitchell and Cullen Wylie each struck to give Devizes a 2-0 win at home to Radstock. There was also a 2-0 victory for Longwell Green Sports away at Corsham following goals from Courtney Charles and Connor Britton, while the fixture between Welton and Warminster ended in a goalless stalemate.


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