28th April 2019
Number 40

Midweek Action

Willand Rovers took huge strides in the Premier Division title race on Wednesday evening, leaving it late before beating Bridgwater Town 1-0 at Silver Street. With pressure rising on the Devon side, Rovers moved into top spot thanks to Adam Hill's header ten minutes from time, putting themselves in the driving seat ahead of the final set of fixtures. Fourth-placed Bridgwater had been close to taking the lead on a couple occasions in the first half, but the Rovers backline managed to keep them at bay, securing their 15th clean sheet of the league season. It was also a big night in the First Division, where Chippenham Park moved out of the relegation zone thanks to a 2-0 win at home to Calne Town. Having salvaged a draw against Oldland at the weekend, Park registered a huge three points thanks to goals either side of the break from Rhys Talmash.  

On Thursday, Cribbs' capped a fine season with some much-deserved silverware (below), prevailing 8-7 on penalties to defeat Bishops Cleeve in the final of the Gloucestershire FA Challenge Trophy. Having taken a 17th minute lead thanks to a brilliant free kick from George Kellow, Cribbs were trailing at the break following goals at the back-end of the first half from Adam Mace and Michael Ford. With less than 20 minutes remaining, Cribbs managed to level things up with Sol Wanjau-Smith lashing the ball into the bottom corner which sent the game to spot kicks. A marathon shootout then took place, with the tie eventually decided on the 20th penalty when Harrison Iddles of Cleeve saw his effort saved by Archie Watts in the Cribbs goal. Watts was very much the hero for the Western League side, saving a potential match-winner when the score read 6-6, while also scoring a penalty of his own on a memorable night for the club. 

Premier Division

After a thrilling three-way battle, Willand Rovers have gained promotion after finishing the season as Western League champions. Their tally of 95 points proved to be enough, with Plymouth Parkway and Bitton falling just short despite each passing the 90-point barrier. The midweek victory proved vital for Willand who ended their season with a 1-1 draw away at Bitton. A defeat could have cost them the title, and that was under threat for much of Saturday afternoon once they had fallen behind inside 30 seconds to Ben Bament’s opener. Willand battled back though, and despite losing Rob Norrish to a red card, they claimed the crucial point thanks to a lobbed finish from Luke Alden during the second half. Plymouth Parkway had to settle for second spot, ending their season with a 3-3 draw away at Chipping Sodbury Town. Having fallen behind to Joe White’s second minute opener, Parkway stormed back to lead 3-1 at the break thanks to goals from Rob Farkins, Ryan Lane and Shane Krac. Sodbury enjoyed the better of the second half, and managed to secure a top-half finish, with goals from Dan Dempsey and George Box drawing them level at the Ridings. Bridgwater Town finished the season on a high, registering a 4-2 win away at Cadbury Heath. Two first half strikes from Mark Armstrong saw Town claim a goal lead at the break, sandwiching an effort from Heath’s top scorer Matt Huxley. The home side drew level in the early stages of the second half through Ben Allen, with Sam Towler restoring Bridgwater’s lead on the hour mark when he volleyed home Jack Taylor’s cross. The visitors wrapped up all three points in injury time, when Jake Llewellyn fired home from the spot to take his penalty record for the season to a perfect 13 from 13. Cribbs’ terrific end to the season saw them follow up Thursday night’s cup success with a 5-0 victory at home to Shortwood. Jason Vincent’s standout campaign was capped with an early double, before goals from Jack McKenna, Jacob Hodgson and Sol Wanjau-Smith completed the one-sided victory. Another side to complete their season with a dominant home victory were Clevedon Town, who scored three times in the final 20 minutes to defeat Wellington 4-0. Having led for the majority of the match thanks to Sam Bell, Town all but confirmed the three points in the 70th minute when Ryan Jones doubled the advantage. Jones was then replaced by Lucas Vowles, who scored with his first touch, before Bell completed the scoring 11 minutes from time. 

An early goal from James Cox was not enough for Bridport, who went down to a 2-1 defeat at home to Hallen. Kyle Thomas struck an equaliser ten minutes before the interval to cancel out Cox’s opener, before Ed Bamfo reacted quickest to a rebound midway through the second half to fire Hallen to victory. At Homers Heath, Jordan Ewing and Richard Groves each struck braces in Buckland’s 5-1 victory at home to Shepton Mallet, while goals from Jack Smyth, James Peart and Neikell Plummer led Brislington to a 3-2 win away at Odd Down. In an entertaining end of season affair, Roman Glass St George and Bradford Town shared six goals at Oaklands Park. Roman Glass were looking to end the season with back-to-back wins, and they looked likely to do so after Nathan Legge’s brace helped give them a 3-1 lead midway through the second half. Will Hailston then took over the game, pulling a goal back for the visitors, before scoring his second late in the game to rescue a point for the Wiltshire side. The fixture between Hengrove and Westbury was abandoned just after half-time due to a bad clash of heads, with the away side leading 1-0 following a penalty from Joe Stradling.

First Division

Champions Keynsham finished the season just as they had begun with a clean sheet and a home win. Following 38 games, the K’s proved themselves to be the best team in the First Division, winning 30 of their fixtures, while combining the double of scoring the most goals and also conceding the fewest. Their final victory of the season came against Sherborne Town, with goals either side of the interval from Mitchell Purnell and Craig Wilson giving them a 2-0 triumph to cap a fine season. 

There was plenty of final day drama at the opposite end of the table, where Oldland Abbotonians survived relegation thanks to 1-0 win away at Calne Town. Coinciding with Chippenham Park’s defeat at Warminster, Oldland’s close victory was enough to save them, with Jack Cox scoring the crucial goal 20 minutes from time. Chippenham Park’s 3-1 defeat at Weymouth Street saw them slip into the relegation zone, with a first half strike from Jack Miluk putting Warminster ahead at the break, before Eben Mortimer-Taylor scored twice in the second half to condemn the Wiltshire side to final day heartbreak. It was an immensely tough afternoon for the other relegated side, Bristol Telephones, who suffered a 10-0 defeat at the hands of Wincanton. Brett Cotterill claimed a hat-trick for the Somerset side who ended their campaign on a tear-up, claiming six goals in the final 20 minutes at the Sports Ground. Goals from Matt Russell and Tom Slater led Devizes to a 2-1 win at home to Chard Town, for whom Jacob Manley reduced the arrears just before the hour mark.

Corsham and Ashton & Backwell United completed their successful season with a 1-1 draw at the Lancer Scott Stadium. After Paul Uppington had put the home side ahead in the 25th minute, Corsham claimed a share of the spoils when Jon Bazley turned in Josh Bright’s cutback 15 minutes into the second half. The final game of the season at the Athletic Ground ended in a goalless draw, with neither Wells City or Bishops Lydeard able to break the deadlock in the Mendip’s. To maintain the unpredictable nature of the First Division, five members of the bottom seven claimed wins on the final day, with three of these sides prevailing away from home against sides in the top half. Radstock Town ended the season on a real high, with their 3-1 victory away at Longwell Green Sports making it five wins out of six to bring the curtain down on their campaign. The Miners handed their hosts a pretty heavy defeat thanks to goals from James Rustell, Finn Haines and George Bendle. At West Clewes, a pair of wind-assisted goals from Bishop Sutton skipper Liam Evans helped them beat Welton 2-0, while Portishead claimed an impressive 2-1 win away at runners-up Cheddar.


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