3rd March 2019
Number 31

Midweek Action

Buckland Athletic became the eighth team to claim their spot in the quarter-finals of the Les Phillips Cup after coming through a penalty shootout to see off Brislington. The rearranged tie finished goalless at the end of the 90 minutes, with the defending champions then hitting the mark with all four of their spot kicks to book a date with Cadbury Heath in the next round.  

In the Premier Division on Tuesday evening, Bitton missed out on the opportunity to move top of the league after losing 3-2 at home to Chipping Sodbury Town. With this being their game in hand on a couple of their promotion rivals, Bitton forged ahead two minutes into the second half when Dean Griffiths smashed home a penalty following a foul on Aysa Corrick. The Sods then fought back, scoring three goals in the space of 20 minutes to turn the game on its head. Dan Brown struck twice for the visitors, with Harvey Baker also grabbing a goal, which meant that when Ben Bament fired home from the spot five minutes from time, it was too little too late for Bitton. In the other fixture that night, Cribbs made it three wins on the bounce, with Sol Wanjau-Smith scoring the pivotal goal 15 minutes from time in their 1-0 victory over Shepton Mallet. On Wednesday, Willand Rovers responded well to their FA Vase heartbreak with a 3-1 victory away at Cadbury Heath. Leading scorer Luke Mortimore gave them a 24th minute lead, with Ben Bickle then finishing well to double the advantage midway through the second half. In the closing stages, Dean Stamp added Rovers’ third of the night, before Simon McElroy scored a consolation for the Heath, who have now won only one of their eight previous games. In another game which affected the top spots in the league, Westbury rebounded from their defeat at the weekend by defeating Odd Down 1-0. In what was a tight contest, the decisive moment came 15 minutes from time, with Callum Demkiv adding to his ever-growing goal tally when he reacted fastest to a loose ball in the opposition box before firing into the empty net.

In the First Division, Cheddar’s 3-0 victory at home to Wincanton made it three wins from three in the month of February to help them jump back into top spot. With just one minute remaining in the first half, Callum Laird put the home side ahead, before goals soon after the break from Adam Jones and Adam Wright completed the victory. In the result of the night, Longwell Green Sports impressive form away from home continued as they stormed to an 8-1 victory over Bishop Sutton at Lakeview. Luke Bryan completed a hat-trick for the away side, with their other goals coming from Eugene Keary, Ali Bamford, Sam Crumb, Connor Britton and full debutant Ewan McMillan. Ashton & Backwell United became the third side to reach 50 points this season, after a first half strike from Dan Elson led them to a 1-0 victory at home to Radstock Town.

Premier Division

In one of the most surprising results of the season to date, Shortwood United finally notched their first win of the season after beating promotion hopefuls Westbury United 1-0. The away side have been unfortunate not to win in recent weeks, but they finally have that elusive victory, after Levi Matthews goal midway through the second half helped them stun Westbury who now drop to fourth. Willand continue to lead the way atop the division, after they came from behind to defeat Hallen 6-1 at Silver Street. An early penalty saw the away side go ahead early, but it was Rovers who led at the break thanks to a first half double from Brad Ausden. The second half was one way traffic for the most part, with Josh Searle, Dean Stamp, Luke Mortimore and Luke Alden all on target for the Devon side. It is now Bitton who occupy second spot behind Willand after they overturned a half-time deficit to defeat Odd Down 4-1 at the Lew Hill Memorial Ground. The only goal of the first half belonged to the hosts, with top scorer Ash McGrane finding the back of the net as the Bath side looked to arrest a six-match winless run. Bitton had other ideas however, and after goals from Kane Ingram and Jack Allward had turned the game on its head, Ben Bament then struck twice in the final five minutes to add some gloss to the scoreline. Bridgwater Town were also victorious by four goals to one, with an entertaining first half helping them see off the challenge of Shepton Mallet. After Jack Taylor had put the home side ahead, Jake Brown then capitalised on an under-hit back-pass to double Town’s lead just five minutes later. Shepton got back into the game from the penalty spot, before a second goal from top scorer Taylor restored Bridgy’s two-goal lead in the run-up to half-time. The only goal of the second period belonged to Jake Llewellyn, with the penalty specialist firing home from 12 yards after Brown had been upended in the visitors box. Plymouth Parkway’s winning run in all competitions has now reached double figures following their 2-0 victory at home to Roman Glass St George. Having scored eight goals against the same opposition just over a month ago, Parkway had to settle for a two-goal victory on this occasion, with Rob Farkins and Mike Williams each scoring in the final ten minutes of the first half. Cribbs jumped up into the top half of the table after defeating Hengrove Athletic 4-2 at Paprika Park. Jason Vincent’s 20th minute effort gave Cribbs a half-time lead, with Hengrove’s task of pursuing a comeback made tougher owing to the red card awarded to Ben Crewe. The ten-men struggled after the break, with Sol Wanjau-Smith doubling the visitors lead, before Ben Brooks scored his first goal for the club to make it 3-0. Hengrove battled until the end, scoring twice in the closing stages through Craig Parsons and Luke Trowbridge, but it was Cribbs who claimed all three points with Vincent adding a penalty late on.

Away victories were not too rare on Saturday afternoon, with Buckland Athletic enjoying a 3-1 win at the Ridings over Chipping Sodbury Town. Buckland did all of their damage around the half-time period, with Richard Groves scoring twice at the back-end of the first half, before Charlie Johansen scored two minutes after the interval, which rendered Dan Brown’s strike to be nothing more than a consolation. A strong second half showing from Bradford Town enabled them to claim a 4-1 win away at Brislington. The opening goal of the game went Bradford’s way, with Simon Prangley converting a penalty after Will Hailston had been fouled in the Brislington area. George Saunders then levelled things up midway through the first half, before Dan Cottle headed home a Matt Morris corner to restore Town’s lead in the opening moments of the second half. Hailston got on the end of a Martin Lenihan cross to make it 3-1 just before the hour mark, with Lewis Powell then scoring Bradford’s fourth after being introduced as a second half substitute. The other away side to pick up three points were Cadbury Heath, with Sacha Tong scoring twice during their 2-1 triumph over Wellington. After Glen Wright had had an attempt cleared off the line for the hosts early on, Heath went ahead in the 28th minute when Tong scored his first of the afternoon. Good work from Simon McElroy then teed up Tong to double his tally, with Josh Wadham’s penalty 13 minutes from time proving too little too late for the hosts. The points had to be shared at the Hand Stadium, after Clevedon Town struck late to salvage a 1-1 draw at home to Bridport. The visitors had led for the majority of the contest thanks to Kameron Andrews fifth minute opener, but then with four minutes left on the clock, Syd Camper held his nerve from the penalty spot to register Clevedon’s first draw of the entire league season.

First Division

On what seems to be a weekly occurrence now, the higher placed sides in the First Division didn’t enjoy much success, with just one of the top eight winning their match on Saturday afternoon. Cheddar continue to lead the way atop the division by one point despite falling to a 3-0 defeat away at Warminster Town. Jack Miluk was the hero for Warminster, scoring twice at the end of the first half, with George Butler then nodding home a third to close out a memorable victory for Andy Crabtree’s side. Keynsham were unable to take advantage of Cheddar’s slip up however, with their 15-match winning run brought to an end by Welton Rovers. Aaron Seviour proved too hot to handle for the Keynsham defence, providing assists for Shak Green and Dave Cooper as Welton romped into a two-goal lead at West Clewes. Kyle Box was dismissed during the second half for the visitors, but they did afford themselves a chance late on when Matt Curnock scored, yet Welton kept them at bay and registered their first home league win since October. 

Ashton & Backwell United were the big movers, and now lie third thanks to a 2-0 win away at Chard Town. Top scorer Calum Townsend got the ball rolling for Ashton with a well-taken penalty, before Dan Elson doubled their winning margin midway through the second half. Sherborne Town now have ten points from a possible 12 after romping to a 3-0 victory away at Bristol Telephones. In a matchup between two of the form sides in the league, Matty Day was the difference at Stockwood Lane, scoring once in the first half, and then twice in the second to complete a magnificent hat-trick for the Zebras. Calne Town have finally reached the 50-point mark this season after equalising late on to gain a 1-1 draw away at Wincanton Town. Brett Cotterill’s 30thminute effort looked to have been enough for Wincanton, but with four minutes remaining, Matt Hudson stepped up and fired home an equaliser to rescue a point for the Lilywhites. Portishead Town secured a crucial 2-1 victory at home to Wells City, despite playing the entire second half with ten men. Having fallen behind to a James Bisgrove volley, Portishead got back on level terms seven minutes before the break thanks to an excellent free-kick from Jasper Harlington. The goalscorer soon turned from hero to villain however, with Harlington red carded in the closing stages of the first half to hand their visitors the impetus. Coming into this game with back-to-back home wins, Portishead managed to stretch that winning run to three despite the red card, with Alex Fox scoring the only goal of the second half, aiding Town’s hopes of avoiding relegation. Longwell Green Sports and Corsham Town remain in 7thand 6th respectively, after the hosts slotted home an 87th minute equaliser from the spot to cancel out James Gardner’s opener at Shellards Road. Tom Slater started off the month of March with a bang, scoring both of Devizes’ goals during their 2-1 victory away at Bishop Sutton, and at the Aitchison Playing Field, neither side were able to break the deadlock which means Oldland Abbotonians remain five points ahead of Radstock in the bottom half of the league table. There was a nine-goal thriller on Sunday afternoon at Hardenhuish Park, where Bishops Lydeard claimed a vital 5-4 victory over Chippenham Park. Rhys Talmash and Devan Bryan each scored doubles for the home side, but they were bettered by a Lydeard side who had Jake Quick to thank for two of their goals. Sam Mockridge, Luke Bryant and Jason Quick also managed to find the back of the net during the high-scoring encounter which sees the away side move three points clear of their opponents in the lower reaches of the division.


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