Match Reports

Taunton Town 4 Bitton 0

September 22
FA Cup 2nd Qual Rd

Bitton duly took their bow from the FA Cup on Saturday at a saturated Taunton Town but can hold their heads up having given their all in what was a non-stop clash which always had goals writes Kerry Miller.

It was therefore an injustice that the Western Leaguers went away without troubling the scoreboard as they came to play and gave the Peacocks plenty of problems, even when the game was gone.

Bitton went into the game having won every game so far this campaign while Taunton had a formidable squad with all 17 men experienced enough to get into most Southern League sides but the Bristolians settled quickly and were soon battling in midfield with the ball spending some time in the air. The pint sized visiting front line were soon buzzing around while the defence had plenty to do with the experienced and prolific Matt Wright, Danny Sullivan and Rocky Neal all needing watching. Matt Buse missed the first chance for the home side before Ben Bament charged down a Lloyd Irish clearance and on another day the ball would have rebounded in instead of going away for a throw in. Neal hit one from distance which Dan Worton shovelled away before just getting a finger tip to a cross then Sullivan’s volley was goal bound until a fine block from the excellent Steve Jones. Bitton were giving as good as they got with Kane Ingram, Ibrahima Diallo, Ben Harris and Josh Egan all showing up well and they rode their luck either side of the half hour when Wright and Nuno Felix went close and when Ollie Chamberlain skied one from eight yards out the home support just began to get the jitters. They were soon calmed as on 32 minutes Wright set Sullivan free down the right and his wicked cross was bundled in from six yards by Neal.

Bitton responded well with Bament almost getting on the end of a through ball and Ingram battled well for Toby Osman to test Irish but it took a fluke four minutes from time to make a shock result unlikely. Former Torquay United striker Sullivan cut inside onto his left foot and his pass into the area was missed by at least four defenders and ended up in the net past an unsighted Worton.

Bitton refused to buckle and just before the break Egan had a drive deflected for a corner but it came to nothing.

Within four minutes of the restart it was 3-0 as man of the match Sullivan fed Shane White and his cross found Matt Buse three yards out to beat Worton. Sullivan then hit the post with a drive but Bitton were not done and Bament again escaped and went round Irish but Nuno Felix arrived from nowhere to clear off the line. Taunton were hungry for goals and Wright hit the opposite post with another drive having had a royal battle with Jones, who was forced off by a leg injury on the hour.

Worton kept out a Ben Adelsbury free-kick then Ben Harris hit a left footer which Irish kept out and Bitton continued to attack, determined to enjoy the day with Josh Nelmes blocking a Bament effort late on. Substitute Craig Veal went close twice but despite that, it was cruel on Bitton when Nelmes stooped to nod home the fourth five minutes from time.

So thoughts now turn to the league challenge and the FA Vase where the Tons go to Hellenic League Almondsbury in three week’s time.

Posted on : 22nd September, 2018 18:04:55


Willand Rovers 0 Plymouth Argyle 3

September 19
Devon St Lukes Bowl 1st Rrd

Willand Rovers took their bow from the Devon St Lukes Bowl for this season when they went down 3-0 at home to a youthful and skillful Plymouth Argyle XI writes Kerry Miller.

Argyle’s squad were in the middle of a run of four matches in five days having won 5-1 in the Peninsula League on Tuesday at Launceston and before Friday’s home game with Saltash United and Saturday morning’s youth game with Swindon Town. It seemed not to be a problem as they and Rovers played some fast paced football which entertained the crowd of 81 as a mizzly Silver Street. Rovers only have themselves to blame for the defeat as they had chances in the first half with Ben Bickle side-footing wide then rad Ausden going on a determined run only to be denied by 18 year old Micheal Cooper in the Argyle goal who was faultless all night. Argyle responded with Mike Searle keeping out Rio Garside before Ausden was again through after a defensive mistake but Cooper again somehow saved from point blank range. Argyle took the lead on the half hour when Cameron Sangster’s fine cross was put away by teenager Alex Battle, who stood out all evening and it could have been two when Adam Randell’s curler hit the post. The visitors continued to dominate after that until Glenn Gould flashed a header just wide just before the break.

Searle kept his side in the game with a flying tip over from the impressive Battle and repeated the dose minutes later but the reprieve was short lived as lanky Greek striker Klaidi Lolos doubled the lead with a crisp finish just before the hour. The 17 year old made it three ten minutes later driving a shot under Searle to give his side a second round tie at Exmouth Town. Willand played their part with Ben Allen, Glen  Gould and Josh Searle showing up well and they now look to Saturday when they entertain Hengrove Athletic in the Toolstation League Premier Division.

Posted on : 20th September, 2018 12:29:45


Radstock Town 1 Plymouth Parkway 3

September 15
FA Vae 2nd Qual Rd

Parkway continued their excellent work and cup and league with victory in the second qualifying round of the FA Vase at Western League Division 1 Radstock on Saturday.

Goals in the first ten minutes from Ryan Lane and Connor Macauley meant Parkway were rarely in danger but Radstock played their part and it was not all plain sailing.

Making good use of the squad, five changes were made from Tuesday's excellent FA Cup replay victory at Street and they got off to a perfect start when a neat exchange of passes saw Lane fire a shot which was pushed on to the post and over the line by home keeper Jack Scrivens.  Mike Smith then fired just over before Radstock’s top scorer Sam Gregory shot  wide. Rob Farkins headed narrowly over before Parkway  doubled their lead on ten minutes when Smith’s perfect cross allowed Macauley to head home unchallenged from six yards. Parkway continued to dominate with Ben Joyce, Tiegan Rosanquest and Christian Pople controlling the midfield and Macauley and Smith looking dangerous on the flanks. Radstock, playing on the break with the pacy Gregory and Ryan Pike linking well, won a couple of free-kicks and both caused the Parkway defence a few problems with Kyle Moore forced into a smart save at full stretch from a Gregory header from one of them. Radstock were competing well and a cross from the right on 22 minutes saw Farkins penalised for hand ball and Gregory slammed home the resultant penalty. Parkway however continued to dominate and Rosanquest shot over before a Farkins header from a right wing corner flashed just wide.

 An early chance in the second half saw an Adam Carter header cannon off the bar with Smith's follow up shot from the rebound being bravely blocked by a Radstock defender. The third goal was not long in coming as on 50 minutes a Carter knock on released Smith who raced clear and cleverly dinked his shot around the exposed Scrivens. On 52 minutes Joyce hit the post although Radstock did well near the hour mark with the impressive Gregory shooting just over. Further efforts from Carter and Joyce found Scrivens equal to both and Parkway continued to attack with Stewart Yetton and Carter going close near the end.

With Sunday’s historic FA Cup tie with Gloucester City firmly in mind it was a good, solid performance from Parkway against a spirited Radstock side. The games keep coming with National League South Torquay United, now under the guidance of experienced former Football League manager Gary Johnson, due at Bolitho Park on Wednesday in the first round of the Devon Bowl of which Parkway are the current holders before the trip up country on Sunday. Gloucester City play their home games at Evesham United at the moment and the kick-off is at 3pm. Following that, the draw for the first round proper of the Vase has given Parkway a juicy return to Poltair where SW Peninsula Premier side St Austell lay in wait to resume hostilities after just a few months apart. With thanks to Graham Lloyd.

Posted on : 17th September, 2018 17:36:22


Buckland Athletic 0 Newquay 1

September 15
FA Vase 2nd Qual Rd

Buckland Athletic crashed out of this year’s FA Vase in dramatic style on Saturday at Homers Heath as SW Peninsula League Premier Division outfit Newquay snatched the win with a penalty four minutes into injury time writes Kerry Miller.

It hastened the departure of player-manager Craig Duff immediately after the match as the club attempt to come to terms with what has been a desperately disappointing start to this campaign after last season’s gallantry. It was no more than Newquay deserved on the day and apart from being handed the win on a plate with a lunge on Jose Pezez which brought the late spot-kick the Bucks also played with ten men for the last 15 minutes as right back Liam Jones was shown a  straight red card for hacking down Jack Bray-Evans who had beaten him for pace and was getting clear.

With several of last term’s squad having moved on or dropped into the reserves, Duff’s squad was looking very different with Chris McPhee, Dan Griffiths and Gavin Hammon also out injured or unavailable and Lewis Tasker having returned to Street.

Duff and Les Afful linked well early on to bring a save out of Adam  Dover then James Richards found Adam Kelly wide but his cross evaded everybody. Duff then did well before laying the ball back for Richard Groves but he was denied by another fine save from Dover. On the half hour Duff side-footed over a chance in a good position and from there the home side began to lose their way and Newquay sensed all was not well and came into the game in a big way. Bray-Evans showed some skill before bringing a save out of Kenny Griffiths then Oliver Walker, who was also a stand out player for the Peppermints, missed from distance. They continued to dominate up to half-time with Walker taking advantage of a defensive mistake to feed Bray-Evans again but he shot straight at Grffiths and the chance was gone.

After the break Buckland seemed to have responded to a team talk as Kelly and Duff set up Groves but he ballooned a clear chance over then the busy Groves was wide again but after the initial burst the home side faded from the scene and Newquay got stronger and their noisy support did likewise as they all saw a giant-killing on the cards. Bray-Evans was just wide and on 20 minutes he was involved in a fast counter and tucked the ball under Griffiths but was denied by an offside flag. Duff dropped into midfield and introduced Ryan Bush up front but the player-manager let fly from 30 yards to bring a tremendous save out of Dover. With 15 minutes left Newquay were handed the keys to a place in the next round when debutant Jones hacked down Bray Evans when in full flight and was set off by referee Kevin Williams and with the possibility of extra-time looming Buckland were in trouble. Bray-Evans hit the bar with another free-kick then Josh Harris saw his rebound effort kept out by Griffiths but Buckland were still in the game somehow and Groves had a header saved at point blank range by the impressive Dover. Seconds later Groves’ curler hit the bar as the game went into injury time and with everyone settling in for an extra-half hour Pezez chased a hopeful ball going away from goal but was brought down in the box by a reckless challenge and the linesman’s flag was all that was needed as Bray-Evans tucked away the spot-kick with no fuss.

Sadly Duff parted company with the club after the game but Newquay were left to celebrate and look forward to a trip to Wessex League Bournemouth Poppies in the first round proper on October 13.

Posted on : 17th September, 2018 17:02:46


Street 1 Plymouth Parkway 4

September 11
FA Cup 1st qualifying round replay

Plymouth Parkway made the football world sit up and take notice last night at a mizzly Tannery when they destroyed Southern League Street in their FA Cup 1st qualifying round replay and set up a mouth watering clash with National League South Gloucester City in the next round writes Kerry Miller.

A double from the prolific Adam Carter was the mainstay of the victory as Parkway outplayed the reigning Western League champions in front of a fine away following and posted their intentions to challenge for honours on several fronts this campaign.

Manager Lee Hobbs went with Carter and Stewart Yetton up front and with a lightening midfield and wide players seeing plenty of the ball the home defence could not cope with the pace of the play and a series of free-kicks just outside the box in both halves ultimately proved costly as they led to three goals and the dismissal of home skipper Ben Amghar for a second yellow card offence.

It could have been a different story had Craig Herrod’s cross shot not flashed across a gaping goal inside 15 seconds of the kick-off and Parkway keeper Kyle Moore made two instinctive saves soon after but the visitors were into top gear and with Mikey Williams, Ryan Lane and Mike Smith tormenting the defence free-kicks were never far away. On eight minutes Jordan Trott made the first one count as his shot beat the wall and was deflected in by Carter, wrongfooting home keeper Tom Punchard. The lead was doubled five minutes later when a stunning one touch passing move led to Ben Joyce feeding Smith who passed the ball into the far corner with the opposition floundering.

Street were always dangerous when they did get the ball but it was not often enough and on the half hour Steve Murray had a drive saved by Moore before Phil Ormrod’s effort was gathered at the near post. Referee Andy Sheppard lost patience just before the break booking both Lane and Carter before Street rallied briefly as Murray found Jamie Short but he was just kept out. Amghar joined the others in the book and Jordan Trott brought a fine save out of Punchard from another free-kick but Parkway were well worth their lead at the break.

Ryan Lane was causing all manner of grief with his direct running through the heart of the Street defence and again he was brought down inches outside the box by Ross McErlain who was cautioned but Punchard kept out Trott’s kick and the rebound from Smith to keep his side in the game. Home boss Steve Fey rang the changes on the hour introducing Harry Foster and Ed Butcher but his side were not creating chances and Parkway looked comfortable although Aaron Bentley and Smith went into the book as the tally grew. With Street ever more anxious and Butcher looking to unload his left foot whenever possible there was still a chance of a comeback but with 15 minutes left it was all over. Lane again tormented Amghar who brought him down once more inches from the penalty area and he was dismissed before Trott repeated the first half dose with a free-kick which was again deflected in with Trott this time claiming the goal. Seconds later Lane crossed another dead ball for the lurking Carter to smash home the fourth and Parkway could begin to plot their journey to Evesham United’s ground to take on the Tigers of Gloucester. Butcher rammed home a consolation with ten minutes left but Parkway managed the last moments with the mimimum of fuss and join Bitton in the second qualifying round as the last remaining Toolstation Western League clubs in the FA Cup.

Posted on : 12th September, 2018 08:57:51


Cadbury Heath 0 Cinderford Town 1

September 7
FA Cup 1st Qual Rd

Cadbury Heath went agonisingly close to picking up £6,000 and a trip to the coast to play Poole Town when they went down to a single goal in their FA Cup 1st qualifying round tie with Southern League Cinderford Town on Saturday writes Kerry Miller.

It was heartbreaking stuff for the Heathens who had by far the best of the first half and created four clear chances only to concede the winner to Matt MacDonald midway through the second half. It was a tense game but had none of the posturing histrionics and play acting which plagues the game at the moment and almost got off to an explosive start inside 20 seconds as Craig Norman got away down the right and his cross was scuffed by Richard Greaves. Lewis Bamford was looking  lively for Town but Cadbury Heath slowly got a toe hold in the game and on 15 minutes could have gone in front when a lightning break by the impressive George Boon and Harrison Kyte ended with Sacha Tong being denied from ten yards by Town keeper Alex Harris, who had a fine game.

Seconds later he somehow tipped over a power header from Andy Campbell after three corners had created pressure on the away goal and it almost counted as a poor back pass let in Boon but he was again denied by Harris’s third save in as many minutes.

Cinderford were busy and quick but the home defence coped well and Leon Maloney was immaculate in his tackling and distribution. Ross Moorhead then crossed for Kyte whose header was misdirected before on 38 minutes Tong’s header from a free-kick beat everybody but came back out from the foot of the post and the chance was gone. Right on the buzzer Lorcan Sheehan had a header hacked off the home line and after a melee it was cleared and they went on goalless.

There was drama at the break as referee Stacey Pearson had pulled a thigh muscle and referee’s development officer Roger Vaughan sprung into action while the restart was delayed by 15 minutes. At one point it appeared that George Fowler may have claimed a flag while experienced referee Mike Halford took over in the middle, George last having refereed in the Western League before the old King died, but luck was with everybody as Keynsham-based referee Ollie Taylor had just postponed his game at Southmead and was directed with haste to Springfield.

Playing downhill in the second half Cadbury Heath were looking to gain the upper hand again but Cinderford looked stronger and as the half wore on it seemed as though the home chance might have gone as chances dried up. Kyte was wide with one effort but on 66 minutes came the decisive move which ended with the ball ballooning up on the left and MacDonald finishing crisply. Horace Ormsby and Morgan Coles were introduced and the latter had a snap shot saved late on by Harris and from a Boon corner Campbell headed wide but it was not to be and Cadbury Heath now turn their attention to Saturday when they have a day out in the New Forest where they take on New Milton Town in the FA Vase.

Posted on : 10th September, 2018 14:27:37


Plymouth Parkway 0 Street 0

September 7
FA Cup 1st Qual Rd

Parkway and  Street, last season's Western League champions, will replay on Tuesday night in the 1st Round qualifying of the FA Cup after drawing 0-0 in front of a good sized crowd of 203 at Bolitho Park on Saturday writes Graham Lloyd.

Parkway made one change from Tuesday's victory at Bridgwater with Stewart Yetton in place of Adam Carter. Defences remained on top as both sides looked to gain control of the midfield areas and they were guilty of conceding possession too easily and playing too many long balls making defending relatively simple.

Shane Krac’s shot from 20 yards was pushed round the post by Tom Punchard then Mikey Williams set up Krac who ballooned his shot over from 15 yards. Krac received a yellow card on the half hour and from the free- kick 30 yards out the follow up shot was well blocked by Nick Milton. With the influential Craig Herrod starting to assert his authority in midfield, Street had a period in possession with Jamie Short looking dangerous down their right flank. Krac then shot over on 37 minutes but Street responded with Short firing way off target  the final action of the half, a curling effort just wide from Street's Steve Murray.

Ben Joyce, again pushing forward, shot just over on 57 minutes before Krac, who appeared to have taken a knock, was then replaced by Ryan Lane. While Parkway were still reorganising, Murray cut inside  and hit a powerful shot which was well saved by Kyle Moore's outstretched leg. Street's Ben Amghar then received a yellow card for a clumsy challenge and from Lane's accurate free-kick Aaron Bentley headed just wide. Just past the hour Matt Hurley had a shot well saved as Street began to apply pressure but the Parkway central defensive partnership of Rob Farkins and Milton continued to defend strongly and at the other end, Amghar and Ross McErlain did a similar job for Street. Parkway came on strong again and Bentley headed agonisingly over and Lane then delivered an excellent cross which fizzed across the six yard area without getting a touch.

Carter replaced Yetton, with Ed Butcher replacing Short who had just been yellow carded and ten minutes from time Carter’s goalbound shot was bravely blocked by Bennett.  Mike Smith almost won it on the counter attack for Parkway two minutes from time when clean through only for Punchard to narrow the angle and save his close range shot at the near post.

Monday’s draw gave the winners a trip to play National League South side Gloucester City, who play their home games at Evesham United FC.

 

Posted on : 10th September, 2018 13:52:38


Bridport 4 Romsey Town 2

September 5
FA Vase 1st Qualifying Round Replay

The 68 mile journey to Bridport from Romsey is not exactly the equivalent of crossing the Sahara but the away side requested the already late 7.45pm kick-off be put back to 8pm to give them time to negotiate the route, which was just the start of Wednesday night’s travails writes Kerry Miller.

It was all the more frustrating for the 130 odd spectators when Romsey arrived at  St Marys at 6.30. With referee Richard Lawrence crying off through injury a late replacement was found in Nigel Whitfield but he soon found himself a man down as one of the appointed linesmen was nowhere to be seen and seemingly not contactable. A hastily found replacement arrived by which time the kick-off was further delayed to 8.15 by which time it had been established that the email from the Dorset  FA informing the linesman of his duties had not arrived. He did arrive just as the teams were tentatively edging out of the dressing rooms, no doubt knackered after a pre match session which went on longer than the game itself.

Once the chaos settled Bridport and Wessex League Division One Romsey provided an all-action FA Vase replay which, had it been delayed very much longer and gone into extra-time and penalties could easily have been the first game ever to start on one day and finish on another!

Having battled for two hours at the By-pass Ground on Saturday where the sides shared eight goals it was on the cards that a similar game would transpire at  St Marys and so it proved although with 15 minutes gone and the Bees already 2-0 up a rout then appeared imminent. Happily it did not come about as the Hampshire side refused to buckle and were still in it up to the last few seconds when Mark Salter’s third penalty of the tie settled it and gave his side a home date with Waminster Town on Saturday week.

Richard Hebditch settled the frazzled nerves on four minutes escaping to latch on to a fine pass and tuck the first under Charlie Philpott and after Andy Martin’s drive was saved for a corner it was not cleared and Braeden Symes smashed home the second ten minutes later. Hebditch again fired just over as Bridport went for the jugular and with Oscar Latas, Leighton Thomas and Salter all linking well the omens were good for a while. To their credit Romsey stayed with them and in diminutive winger James Clifton had a threat and his fine touch led to a crisp finish on the half hour to half the deficit. Clifton may be the last to know when it starts raining but his speed and ball skills caused the home defence plenty of problems. Craig Bryant nodded over from close range soon after for Town which they rued on 38 minutes when a long throw was nodded on by Salter and Hebditch guided his header into the corner to make it 3-1.

After the break Salter found room to square to the onrushing Thomas who missed contact by millimeters and Salter himself was kept out by a point blank save from Philpott. By then Romsey had introduced Josh Harvey and his short but eventful evening began with Jason Hutchings saving a drive and he putting a header over. A Romsey goal was coming and on 50 minutes Liam Magee made it 3-2 and it was game on once again. Just past the hour Bridport were awarded a penalty when Bryant sent Thomas crashing when about to score but after a lengthy chat the decision was changed while Salter waited patiently to tuck away the spot-kick as Thomas was eventually, and correctly given offside and so Romsey breathed again.

Bees substitute Ben Morris clattered the bar from distance but right on time Sam Clarke was fouled in the box by the unfortunate Harvey and Salter made it safe with almost the last kick.

Posted on : 06th September, 2018 08:27:41


Bridgwater Town 0 Plymouth Parkway 1

September 4
Toolstation Western League Premier Division

Plymouth Parkway emphasised why they were pre season favourites for the Toolstation Western League Premier Division title with a late winner at a breathless Fairfax Park on Tuesday night in front of a 300 crowd. The win was made all the more impressive as they played most of the second half with ten men following defender Rob Farkins’ second yellow card offence writes Kerry Miller.

Dave Pearse’s side can only wonder how they came away with nothing as they played some stunning football before the break and more than matched the Devon side who man for man were a bigger unit but struggled to contain the Robins’ lively forward line. Bridgy went into the match on a high after demolishing Chipping Sodbury 8-0 on Saturday and Mike Duffy fired over from distance after Parkway skipper Shane Krac had done likewise at the other end. Burly Tom Ellis had a header saved before referee Rob Cockle lost patience with Farkins’ constant whingeing and cautioned him for dissent. Bridgy then put together a lightening fast break as Jack Taylor got away and crossed but Sam Towler’s flying volley was always going wide. Parkway almost took the lead moments later when Krac was in from wide but Jake Viney made a reaction save to close out what was an entertaining albeit goalless half.

With the tempo increasing Ellis’s huge throw ins were causing no end of trouble and from one Jake Llewellyn fired over but Parkway then seemingly shot themselves in the foot when Farkins clattered Harry Horton and was sent off just five minutes after the break. Manager Lee Hobbs sacrificed Ben Joyce in a reshuffle and the away team began to play better football with ten men. In truth they were helped by Bridgwater whose own intensity eased and with the visiting defence a good few inches taller than the home attack long early balls up front were meat and drink. Viney kept out Mikey Williams after he had shown some nice trickery then Llewellyn volleyed another long throw which was just cleared but once Hobbs replaced Adam Carter with Yetton the end result became all the more possible. Mike Smith lobbed over but three minutes from time Yetton went down under a clumsy challenge in the box and after some deliberation referee Cockle pointed to the spot and Yetton did the business.

It was far from over as Bridgy threw men forward, as they perhaps should have done half an hour earlier and Lee Begg’s cross was nodded over Kyle Moore and rolled agonisingly against the post and somehow was cleared with bodies scattered all over the six yard box. Dave Thorne tried one from 20 yards but by then Bridgy’s Gods of Fate had packed up and gone home and Parkway headed back down the M5 with three points as they prepare for Saturday’s massive FA Cup clash with Street at Bolitho Park.

Posted on : 05th September, 2018 09:32:52


Chippenham Park 0 Bitton 4

September 2
FA Vase 1st Qualifying Round

A clinical hat-trick from in-form striker Ben Bament gave visiting Bitton a no thrills victory at Hardenhuish Park on Sunday in the 1st qualifying round of the FA Vase and a home tie with former Southern League Bishops Cleeve on Saturday week writes Kerry Miller.

There were few dramas for Bitton against a Chippenham Park side liberally sprinkled with 16 and 17 year olds although for a period either side of the break the home dominated and played some good passing football until Bament struck to slam home a loose ball on the hour to take the sting out of the comeback.

In stark contrast to the breathless FA Cup tie at Portland seven days earlier Sunday’s game rarely got going despite the gift of a fourth minute penalty when Dan Hynes was clumsily brought down in the box. Bament stroked home the spot kick with little fuss and almost made it two soon after but was just over and it wasn’t until midway through the half that the home side mustered their first real attack as Eddie Swain fed the excellent Enock Luc but he fired well over. Ibrahima Diallo, Mario Mateus and Scott Brice all had chances before the break but Park were hanging in there and were still in the game.

With Fred Porter and Tiger Harris introduced to the home attack Park enjoyed a good spell with Christian Koffi volleying over and a Caine Bradbury free-kick bouncing just wide then Bitton broke out and Bament was put through to net from 20 yards but was rightly denied by the offside flag. Home defender Luc caught the eye all afternoon and had another awkward cross cleared with difficulty then they should have levelled when Adam Bloomfield was one on one with Sam Burgess but he made himself big to keep out the shot and Koffi hammered the rebound out of the ground and it signalled the end of the brave comeback as Bament struck when Joe Mclennan’s cross was parried to him by Adam House on the hour. McLennan was beginning to enjoy his return to Harnish having had a spell at Chippenham Town a while ago and he escaped down the left flank before setting up Bament to claim his second hat-trick of the season so far and his 13th goal in seven matches. It was a taster for the goal of the game five minutes later as he cut back from an identical position to send a peach of a lob cross over a static House for the fourth. It was a little cruel on Chippenham Park who battled well and played some good stuff when they were allowed to but Bitton march on in Vase and Cup as they prepare for a juicy clash on Saturday against Westbury United which should attract a good crowd to the Rec.

Posted on : 03rd September, 2018 09:10:21


Stockbridge 1 Roman Glass St George 3

September 1
FA Vase 1st Qualifying Round

Roman Glass St George’s trip to the tiny Hampshire town of Stockbridge passed without too much fanfare on Saturday with a 3-1 victory and a home tie with Wessex League Bemerton Heath Harlequins, from Salisbury, in the next round writes Kerry Miller.

With Stockbridge listed as one of the country’s smallest towns with a recent population given as less than 600, a tenth of them turned out to watch the Robins’ first ever match in any FA competition and the first FA Vase tie played by a Hampshire Premier League club. Roman Glass were without striker Ken Oni who is injured and Jake Cox and Jason Burt who were unavailable but were still expected to be too strong for Stockbridge who until a few years ago plied their trade in the Wessex League until the terrible winter of 2014 flooded the ground for two months and forced them to close down and pull out of the league.

Ryan Radford brought an early save out of teenage home keeper Pete Roberts then from the corner a scramble almost produced a goal but Stocks survived and almost profited when the ball was given away in midfield but Josh Graham fired over. The oppressive heat meant the game took an age to get going and with the home side giving their all and bridging the two division gap Roman Glass moved up a gear briefly with Radford firing over and Lewis Wentland bringing a fine save out of Roberts. Graham was having a good game for the home side and needed to be watched but a fine goal ten minutes before the break took the sting out of the home side as Wentland broke clear and cut in before curling a peach into the bottom cormer for the lead. Less than a minute later it was two as from a corner Nathan Legge was left alone and hooked home the second to all but seal the deal.

Many expected the floodgates to open but to their credit the home side regrouped after the break and showed they were not going to roll over and after Legge drove wide Graham went on another fine run and had a shot blocked with some difficulty just past the hour. His fine play was rewarded a minute later when he again escaped and his cross was neatly glanced home by Lewis Price-Lloyd. Roman Glass responded with Radford bringing a flying save out of Roberts but Stockbridge were right back in the game and with Roman Glass struggling to get out of third gear a few alarm bells were ringing, albeit muffled ones. Roberts again saved well from Wentland before at the other end Radford was almost in for the third but the game was eventually put to bed in the cruelest of fashions. Legge’s corner was curled to the near post and when a defender missed it the ball bounced in off an unsighted Roberts on the goal line.

Ultimately it was a job done for Roman Glass who will have a far sterner test on Saturday week and they have the chance to get into rhythm this Saturday wen they visit Willand Rovers in the league.

Posted on : 03rd September, 2018 08:42:53


Plymouth Parkway 5 Brislington 1

September 1
FA Vase 1st Qualifying Round

Plymouth Parkway eased past fellow Western League Premier side Brislington in the 1st round qualifying of the FA Vase to set up a visit to Radstock Town on Saturday week.writes Graham Lloyd.

For the first time this season they had a fully fit squad available and made two changes with Sam Hillson in for Aaron Bentley and Tiegan Rosanquest replacing Mike Smith. Parkway had the better of possession but their play lacked tempo with Brislington looking comfortable at the back and dogged in midfield. On 17 minutes a decent Parkway move finished with Stewart Yetton firing just over but sloppy Parkway ball retention in midfield allowed Brislington to break forward and only a fine recovering tackle in the penalty area by Nick Milton denied them a goalscoring chance. Play became very scrappy as Parkway continued to huff and puff  and the closest they came was a Christian Pople header on 26 minutes which flew just over. The deadlock was finally broken on the half hour when excellent work again by Pople to recover the ball wide on the left saw him feed Mikey Williams whose cross from the bye line found the predatory Yetton who tapped in unchallenged from close range. Parkway should have doubled their lead almost from the restart when another cross by Ryan Lane reached the unmarked Adam Carter who somehow blasted his effort wide when unchallenged. Just past the half hour Parkway conceded possession in midfield allowing Brislington to counter attack down the right with Louis Britton left in acres of space. He drove into the exposed defence and the unmarked Jimmy Woolland shot home from12 yards giving Kyle Moore no chance. The last action of the half saw Parkway central defender Rob Farkins storm forward  60 yards from the back and fire over from 20 yards. Parkway made early inroads in the second half with Carter glancing a header just wide and Rosanquest seeing his shot smothered by Humphries however it was Brislington who had the best chance to take the lead on 52 minutes when a break down their right saw the hard working Britton have a free run into the box only for Moore to narrow the angle and save. Shortly after Brislington had a reasonable shout for a penalty after Britton and Farkins, who had had a good battle all game, tussled just inside the box only for the referee to wave play on. Arguably the game changing moment came just before the hour when Parkway introduced Smith for Carter with the hard working Rosanquest being replaced by Shane Krac returning after a three match suspension. A long, diagonal ball found Smith wide on the right and his first touch saw him show superb control before a scruffy shot somehow trickled low into the corner. Smith then doubled his tally on the hour when fine work down the left by the increasingly influential Lane saw him play a neat one two with Williams with Lane's dangerous cross only being cleared to the alert Smith who stabbed home from six yards. Britton continued to battle hard up front for Brislington but received little support and Parkway, now dominating the game as Brislington visibly began to tire, went further ahead on 83 minutes. Yet another marauding run by Lane saw him slip a perfect pass to the overlapping Williams who cut in and slid his shot under the diving keeper. Parkway netted their fifth and final goal from the penalty spot on 86 minutes after Farkins and Smith completed his 29 minute hat-trick.

On Tuesday Parkway travel to current league leaders Bridgwater Town who won 8-0 at Chipping Sodbury and remain undefeated in the league then next Saturday they entertain Southern League Division 1 South Street in the 1st round qualifying of the FA Cup. These two games should give a good indication of how Parkway are currently progressing in the higher league.

Posted on : 02nd September, 2018 22:22:20


Team Solent 2 Longwell Green Sports 3

September 1
FA Vase 1st Qualifying Round

Team Solent, who have found the FA Vase to their liking over recent seasons, crashed out of this year’s competition at the first time of asking as Longwell Green Sports achieved a narrow, but probably deserved victory at Test Park on Saturday writes John Gorman.

On a lovely sunny afternoon and on an immaculate playing surface the visitors made the brighter start and full back Ali Bamford, arriving late in the area, just failed to make sufficient contact with a right wing cross with the header wide of the near post. Solent’s Brandon Eaton was wide from distance before the visitor’s Luke Lecrass  shot was beaten away by home goalkeeper Ben Morella and Danny Carter and Lecrass had efforts blocked before Sports made the breakthrough after 26 minutes. Adam Young’s low cross was met first time by Carter, Morella could not hold the shot and Sam Forde turned the loose ball into the net. The lead however only lasted two minutes as Sylvano Obeng forced his way in to the area, went down under a challenge, and the hosts were awarded a penalty. Obeng picked himself up and sent the spot kick low past keeper Ryan Perry’s left hand. This stirred the home into life and after Obeng had seen two efforts saved Eaton found Luke Bennett on the edge of the area and some close control and a cool finish put Solent in front. Again the lead was short lived as with half-time looming a home defender allowed a through ball to go under his foot and Young swept the ball past the advancing Morella to ensure the scores were level at the break.

Two goals came in the last five minutes of the first half and another within two minutes of the restart as the visitors put themselves back in front. Lecrass made space down the right and his cross was met first time by Young and the shot left Morella clutching thin air. Solent’s attacks were too often foundering through a combination of Longwell’s defence and Demunga being all too frequently offside. Their best chance came when Perry could only beat away a shot from Eaton but a superb challenge by Lecress, who had a fine game throughout, saved the situation for his side before the whistle confirmed that it would be Longwell Green making the journey to Swanage in the next round.

Posted on : 02nd September, 2018 22:01:19


Plymouth Parkway 1 Larkhall Athletic 0

25 August
FA Cup preliminary Rd

A Stewart Yetton strike just before the hour mark gave Plymouth Parkway victory over higher league opponents Larkhall Athletic in the FA Cup and handed them a cheque for almost £3,000, (with thanks to Graham Lloyd)

A good crowd of 177, including a decent contingent from Larkhall, were treated to a full blooded game with little to choose between the sides. Parkway made two changes from their midweek victory over Wellington with Adam Carter replacing Teigan Rosanquest and Ryan Lane coming in at left back for Jordan Trott. On five minutes Parkway had a huge let off when a cross from the right was not dealt with allowing Harry Hope a free, close range shot only to see it superbly blocked by Nick Milton with Kyle Moore in the Parkway goal beaten. The game developed into a midfield battle with few chances and Ben Joyce and Christian Pople going toe to toe with the Larkhall duo of Ross Beazer and their impressive captain Matt Britton. Play swung from end to end but with defences generally on top and on 22 minutes the elusive Yetton worked some space but shot straight at the keeper. Parkway gradually began to look the more although Larkhall continued to threaten but their attacks were constantly repelled by the Parkway back four with the inspirational captain Rob Farkins and his central defensive partner Milton in outstanding form.

 On the half hour Mikey Williams broke clear on the left only to see his teasing cross flash across the six yard box and  Larkhall continued to show strength and tenacity in midfield but Parkway held firm and almost took the lead five minutes from the break when Williams was released by Yetton and, one on one with Semmens, curled his shot just wide.

Parkway started the second half the sharper and on 47 minutes a Williams free-kick 20 yards out  was tipped over at full stretch by Semmens. Another free-kick on 53 minutes saw a quality delivery from Lane nodded on to Aaron Bentley whose powerful header from six yards was superbly pushed behind by Semmens. The break through finally came on 59 minutes when a trademark penetrating run through the centre by Williams saw him set up Yetton who did well to control a bobbling ball, hold off Josh Jones and stab his shot wide of the diving Semmens. Larkhall bounced straight back with full back Alfie Clarke shooting just wide but on 80 minutes Adam Carter and Yetton linked well with the latter firing in a shot from around 18 yards with once again Semmens saving well. Semmens was in the action again shortly after this, racing from his goal to recklessly bring down Smith wide on the right and correctly earn a yellow card. Larkhall continued to throw players forward looking for an equaliser but the final chance fell to Smith in stoppage time with his shot being well saved by Semmens. A thoroughly entertaining game with two evenly matched sides going head to head all over the pitch with the one goal between them just about right. Parkway created the more clear cut chances with Semmens the busier of the keepers and their victory was based on a solid defence winning just about everything in the air, a hard working, fluent midfield and lively, mobile strikers. Parkway can now look forward to the draw for 1st Qualifying Round with games scheduled for Saturday 8 September and the action in national competitions continues next Saturday when fellow Western League side Brislington visit Bolitho Park in the 1st Qualifying Round of the FA Vase.

Posted on : 26th August, 2018 12:46:32


Shortwood United 1 Westbury United 2

Tuesday 21st August 2018
Premier Division

Shortwood United came  within a mistimed volley of causing a major upset on Tuesday night when going down 2-1 at home to early pace setters Westbury United at Meadowbank writes Kerry Miller.

It was so cruel on the young home side who had been clattered in their first three games in the new surroundings of the Western League  Premier Division and who played some superb football with the front three using blinding pace and width to cause the visitors no end of problems and it was they who were well pleased to hear the final whistle.

United were bolstered by the inclusion of former players Luke Barstow, Joey Tustain  and James Cole, who was described by one supporter as ‘possibly as old as the front three put together’ but they  marshalled  things for an hour with man of the match Barstow magnificent at the back. They had the task of keeping out the forward line which was hungry for a glut of goals which would have put them top of the table, above Bitton who were busy beating Roman Glass St George at the same time.

The leylandii trees alongside the ground have now grown high enough to block the view of Forest Green Rovers’ ground a few hundred yards away across the valley and what noise was coming from their epic 0-0 draw with Stevenage was lost in the autumn breeze as Shortwood showed the Division One champions they were not there as shooting targets. Despite that Westbury came out of the blocks quickly and inside four minutes were a goal up as Ricky Hulbert’s power got him away and his accurate cross was swept in by Jordan Pinder from eight yards. ‘Wood’s youngsters responded well and Marcus Beddington got clear before throwing in a wicked cross which was just cleared then quickfire Jamie Walker put over another inch perfect cross for Barstow to nod over from close range with Ed Baldy beaten in the Westbury goal.

Jamie Jordan and Callum Demkiv both went close to doubling the advantage then Hulbert brought a fine save out of Adam Thomas until Shortwood escaped briefly and showed what they could do with Joey Tustain driving wide after more quick passing from wide out. Having survived the initial onslaught and gained a foothold in the game the home side were dealt a body blow seven minutes from the break when Demkiv latched on to a stunning through ball and lobbed Thomas in style to make it 2-0 and possibly have one hand on the floodgates. They never opened and with Cole and Barstow’ experience and the youthful running up front the game began to change with Dan King seeing plenty of the ball the visitors were often stretched and from one such attack Steve Hulbert gave away a free-kick and home skipper Josh Beadle, son of Hereford boss Peter, curled a beauty past the static Baldy to halve the deficit to the delight of the home support, just short of half-time. It could easily have been 2-2 seconds later as Bennington and Walker created an overlap but Barstow couldn’t get his header on target and Westbury survived.

 

Predictably the visitors were  all over Shortwood at the resumption but the defence soaked up the pressure and Bennington again fed Walker but his fierce cross missed everyone including the impressive Dan King and went wide. Westbury were  playing some strong football of their own and Dan Kovacs moved inside to test Thomas who saved well for a corner then the same man nodded over from close range. With Westbury beginning to show signs of frustration Shortwood almost struck when a fine move from the back ended with substitute Jack Gardner volleying over when clear on the back post but that was as good as it got for ‘Wood who walked off to richly deserved applause.

Westbury are still joint top as  they prepare for the visit of Saltash United in the FA Cup on Saturday while Shortwood have a weekend off before they travel to Bradford Town on Saturday week..

Posted on : 22nd August, 2018 13:23:04


Cheddar 2 Chard Town 3

August 18
Toolstation Western League Division One

Cheddar 2 Chard Town 3

 

Two goals from substitute James Boyland gave Chard Town a fine come from behind win on Saturday against a team which had won its first three games and beaten Bridgwater Town in the FA Cup writes Kerry Miller.

It brought a  thrilling climax to what had a been a superbly entertaining game in front of a good crowd, which included a healthy visiting contingent whose side climb to fourth in the Toolstation Western League Division One table. The Cheesemen were without leading scorer Adam Jones for the first Vegetarian Derby of the season but is seemed to matter little as within three minutes they were a goal up. Craig Mawford found room on the right and his cross was not cleared and Adam Wright was lurking on the edge of the area to finish well past keeper Scott Wells-Burr.  The tempo of the game was intense and very watchable and it was no surprise when the Robins equalised nine minutes later when a long throw from Andrew Holmes somehow reached Ryan Parris and then the net in a split second. Both sides were playing some excellent football on a green and flat surface at the Theatre of Cheese and Cheddar could have retaken the lead when a  long free-kick was volleyed over from close range by Sam King.

Just before the break Stephen Pennington had an effort blocked then from another free-kick Wright had a header saved before the teams went off with honours even from a fine first half. The equilibrium was almost ended with the first attack after the break as Wright brought a diving save out of Wells-Burr then the same man drove into the side netting with some of the home support at the clubhouse end prematurely celebrating a goal. Chard should have taken the lead soon after when a mix up from a goal kick presented Parris with the ball on the edge of the area but somehow home keeper Mike Dangerfield blocked the effort which could have been a turning point either way.

Cheddar were dominating possession with Chard relying on the occasional counter attack and they again went close when a mass raid ended with Danny Griffiths and King both having shots blocked by the overworked defence who watched as Wright skied the loose ball into the car park. On the hour King drove wide and a Ricky Bennett corner was nodded wide by King who was dangerous whenever venturing up field but by then Robins manager Jamie Manley had introduced Boyland and he was to change the whole outlook on the game. On 71 minutes Chard fashioned a move out wide on the left and Boyland cut in and his solo effort flew past Dangerfield and in off the post for a lead which was against the run of play but deserved by the visitors who were playing their part in a cracking game. It was almost level moments later when a Cheddar corner was almost nearly nodded  in for an own goal by Keiran Bailey before  it was somehow cleared off the line but the home side were not to be denied and with ten minutes left it was level. Pennington hooked the ball home from five yards out after good work from substitute Reece Ferguson-Obamwonyi to set up a thrilling finish where both teams went for the win. It was the Robins who won the final battle as a free-kick was thrown in towards Boyland who controlled the ball before launching a dipping lob shot over Dangerfield and in the top corner for what was to prove the winner. It was a stunner for Cheddar who would have gone top with a win and they  almost snatched a point in injury time when Pennington had a drive saved by Wells-Burr who then somehow tipped over a close range header from the same man for what was a match winning save.

League leaders Bishops Lydeard visit Bowdens Park on Tuesday for what will be another exciting encounter as they gear up for the visit of Southern League Yate Town on Saturday in the FA Cup while Chard Town can enjoy their win for some time. Frustratingly for the squad their forced non-appearance in either the FA Cup or the FA Vase means that unless a league game can be rearranged they do  not play again until September 8 when they visit Radstock Town.

Posted on : 19th August, 2018 09:44:42


Willand Rovers 3 Shepton Mallet 0

Wednesday August 15
FA Cup extra-preliminary rd replay

Premier Division Willand Rovers pocketed a very handy winner’s  cheque on Wednesday night and in doing so booked a home tie with newly promoted Southern League side Street on Saturday  week in the preliminary round of the FA Cup writes Kerry Miller.

The 3-0 scoreline looks comfortable enough but it was far from that as Shepton were right in the game until 20 minutes from time when a fine Luke Alden finish sealed the deal.

Shepton lined up without their impressive young keeper Tom Easterbrook who has gone to Nottingham University and striker Tyson Pollard who was on holiday, as was joint boss Jon Burr and they missed a battling performance which included debuts for Ryan Fry and Jammeh Malick.

Willand had the best of the opening half while Shepton played some excellent football without creating much in the way of chances and the home team went close early when Brad Ausden was put through and cut inside but his shot lacked power and was saved by new keeper Charlie Phillips. The visitors retaliated as Luke Ingram latched on to a long pass to lob over Mike Searle then Luke Mortimore and Ausden combined but Phillips was equal to the move with a flying save. There was no shortage of action as home full back Ryan Guppy had a shot saved then was deep in the defence to snuff out a promising situation twice in the same attack but the pressure was to tell and seven minutes from the break Josh Searle picked up a cross field pass and hit a sweet left footed drive past Phillips for the opener. The youngster almost set up the second just on the break with a whipped cross but Ausden could not connect from close range.

Shepton’s endeavour continued in the second half but with the bonus of chances created and Tom Hill scuffed his shot when in a good position and both substitute Ash Willmott and Joe Morgan went close. Willand were also looking good as befits a team at the top of the league and Jed Harper-Penman drove wide before Searle’s long drive cannoned back off the post into Phillips’ arms for a big let off.  Mortimore crushed Plymouth Parkway with a clinical hat-trick seven days earlier but he could not add to his tally on the hour after Brett Worbey put him through but it was not to prove costly. Worbey then threaded another pass to Alden and he drew Phiilips before slottin g home the second with 19 minutes left to all but kill off the tie which they had been seconds from losing in the original game.

Shepton skipper James Billing then could only watch as Searle somehow kept out his point blank effort and the visitors showed they were not beaten as towering substitute Dale Hunt twice went close to halving the deficit.  Just near the end Harper-Penman and Worbey almost exploited the space as the visitors pushed up in a vain bid for a goal but it did come right at the end when Harper-Penman slammed home the third from 18 yards to complete a good performance from Willand who look to be shaping up for a successful season.

Posted on : 16th August, 2018 11:38:44


Keynsham Town 1 Bodmin Town 3

Tuesday August 14
FA Cup extra-preliminary rd replay

Keynsham Town 1 Bodmin Town 3

 

Division One Keynsham Town gave themselves too high a mountain to climb at the Crown Field on Tuesday in their FA Cup extra-preliminary round replay with SW Peninsula League Bodmin Town midway through the first half,  conceding a goal and having Craig Wilson sent off and so it proved writes Kerry Miller.

It was a disappointing anti-climax after the remarkable exploits of the Saturday before when they came back from 4-2 down to force a long trek up country for Bodmin but the Cornish side now entertain K’s neighbours Cadbury Heath on Saturday week in the preliminary round.

Bodmin began well and in Ollie Brokenshire and Stuart Bowker have a burly strike force to more than replace the departed Adam Carter and the latter was soon pitched up against Scott Saunders for a battle which went on all night. Brokenshire and Ben Steer both tested home keeper Matt Dunk before after an end to end beginning Bodmin upped the pace and took the lead on 17 minutes. Brokenshire’s sharp drive was too hot for Dunk to hold and Ryan Oxley pounced to rifle the rebound into the roof of the net for the lead.  Matt Brown saw a lob from a good position held by the backpedalling Corey Harvey then Adey Harvey's drive was also held before Brown’s long cross was met by Wilson whose header was saved on 20 minutes. It was the striker’s last meaningful contribution for five minutes later he was shown a straight red card by referee Mike Halford after retaliating to a foul which brought the inevitable and now almost compulsory bench clearance which mercifully calmed down.

Sadly Keynsham’s chances of a juicy local derby in the next round went with Wilson’s departure and although to their credit they battled to the end the result was rarely in doubt.  Brown went close with an overhead kick but on 37 minutes the visitors doubled their lead when Jon McCreery beat the offside trap and cut in before curling a fine shot in off the far post. Adey  Harvey then found room to dance into the area only to be denied by a flying Corey Harvey before right on the break at the other end Steer brought a fine stop out of Dunk.

Soon after the resumption  a defensive error gave the impressive and experienced Kai Fisher the chance to make it three but Dunk parried his drive and then blocked Brokenshire’s rebound  to keep his side in with a faint chance of a comeback but the few chances created did not go in despite the non stop running of Brown and Nathan Curnock who could have had a couple himself. Lee Pitman went close before Curnock volleyed well over from a good position after driving just wide seconds earlier. The match occasionally simmered and gave referee Halford plenty to do and with a number of the crowd offering the visiting forward line advice as to where all the pasties had gone in Cornwall, there was always something going on.

Bodmin could afford then to introduce 42 year old substitute Danny O’Hagen who made his Football League debut for Plymouth Argyle 21 years ago butt was all academic with 20 minutes left when Steve Colwell’s skill gave him enough space to curl a gem over Dunk and in to make it 3-0 and close it out for good. Just on time Ks endeavours were rewarded when Kyle Box shot home via a healthy deflection but it was immaterial and the watching Cadbury Heath contingent were left to plan their route down the A30 on Saturday week.

For Keynsham they are left to contemplate the last three matches where they have conceded ten goals after the opening evening crushing of Bishop Sutton and will be looking to bounce back at home to Welton Rovers on Saturday

Posted on : 15th August, 2018 23:46:26


Bridport 0 Wellington 0

August 11
FA Cup extra-preliminary Rd

Wellington earned the chance of another crack at the £2,250 prize money and an away tie with either Hallen or Longwell Green  Sports with a battling 0-0 draw at a rainy Bridport on Saturday writes Kerry Miller.

It was no more than they deserved after a good defensive performance in the first half followed by a second half full of counter attack and midfield battling. Bridport played their part in a match which could give 0-0 draws a good name in constant rain which for once in this part of Dorset, was a blessing rather than a disaster. The Bees were without their new teenage prospect Jamie Cox who scored on his debut last week , and  keeper Darren Hutchings who was at a wedding and leading scorer Mark Salter, who was on holiday.

Wellington were forced to play without Joe Chamberlain and Jai Fisher who were both sent off last Saturday and suspended and the sides were in no mood to mess about as tackles flew in. Leighton Thomas was looking lively for the Bees and he fed Richard Hebditch who brought a save out of Josh McLean then Hebditch broke to set up Lee Sweet whose first effort was saved before he knocked over the rebound. Sam Bryant then provoked the first outburst of aggression with a late challenge on Kamaron Andrews and was booked along with Josh Wadham, who was one of at least seven Wellington players chasing referee Hobbs while screaming at him full in the face. A further half dozen bookings for dissent at that moment would have nipped everything in the bud but Wellington survived.

Wadham hit a free-kick from 20 yards which was deflected for a corner then from a quick counter attack his curling strike was only a yard wide from distance on the half hour. The visitors were playing their part in a very watchable game and Bridport survived a massive scramble as the last five minutes became frantic. Thomas’s fine work enabled Dan Peach to test McLean before Bryant shot at Smith with the last play of the half.

From the restart Conor Bryant won a battle to set up Wadham who brought another save out of James Smith  but Wellington were giving as good as they were getting and after Oscar Latas had a 25 yarder saved for Bridport Sweet’s drive was equalled by McLean’s flying stop. Wellington’s counter strikes were looking increasingly potent and when Jack Bryant and Wadham found themselves two on two with the home defence, Chris McGrath did just enough to allow Smith to save for a corner and what could have been a turning point.  Sweet then somehow got his frame in the way of Tom Hawkings’ shot and with Welly going for the win Jack Bryant volleyed inches over.

Bridport at times in the second half were looking second best  but in their best move of the match McGrath won a challenge before Hebditch found Dan Peach who set up Thomas whose snap shot was held by McLean. With what was the last play of the match Thomas’s shot was parried out by McLean but it was cleared and the teams must do it all again on Wednesday night in the replay which will be at Cullompton Rangers FC as Wellington’s ground is unavailable until next month due to cricket.

Posted on : 11th August, 2018 19:55:22


Willand Rovers 4 Plymouth Parkway 0

Wednesday August 8
Premier Division

Willand Rovers 4 Plymouth Parkway 0

WILLAND Rovers went to the top of the fledgling Toolstation Western League Premier Division table on Wednesday evening with a stunning and comprehensive victory over visiting Plymouth Parkway at Silver Street writes Kerry Miller.

A clinical hat-trick from Luke Mortimore  and a close range header from new boy Ben Bickle dismantled Parkway who had no answer to the pace and finishing of Mortimore and the speed of passing on what was a pitch which looked poor but played well. Almost 200 gathered on what was a night which started dry but got wetter and they watched Parkway, many people’s favourites to go right through to Southern League football next season, got off to a fine start pinning Willand in their own half for the first ten minutes. The potent strike force of Stuart Yetton and Adam Carter were a real handful early on and when the home defence gave the ball away in midfield Carter ‘s fierce drive was parried by Mike Searle to Mike Williams but he could not guide his free header with enough accuracy and the chance was gone.

It proved costly as Willand began to claw their way into the game and Bickle set up Mortimore who was denied close up by a defender and from the corner Adam Hill nodded wide. It was a wake up call which Parkway did not heed for on 19 minutes they gave the ball away in midfield in identical fashion but Rovers took full advantage as Brett Worbey fed Mortimore who drove under Kyle Moore to give his side the lead slightly against the run  of play. He was then given the freedom of Silver Street minutes later and weaved inside before shooting wide just as the first of a series of fierce showers made its presence felt. The pendulum had swung completely and Mortimore again raided as a ball over the top caused problems and having won the tackle he curled a shot around Moore and into the same corner to double the lead and stun Parkway. It was almost a half hour hat-trick moments later as he was put through and lobbed home but an offside flag put paid to the celebrations.

Parkway themselves regrouped and Yetton had a firm header saved then Ryan Lane showed superb speed and no little skill in sending over a cross which Mike Smith chipped just over. They were creating chances but took none and when the second half began a come back was not being written off by anybody. Around the hour mark the venue of the points became clear but they could easily have gone elsewhere if the fates had decided it. Yetton shot over from 18 yards before Worbey struck a free-kick which Moore tipped onto a post and Parkway somehow escaped and seconds later instead of 3-0 it could so easily have been 2-1 as Yetton hit the post with a header. Willand cleared a corner of the line before Smith blazed over and in truth that was where the visitor’s chances of a share of the spoils disappeared.

Rovers and the home fans then believed a win was on the cards and with Mortimore’s pace causing them no end of grief he was one of a counter attack which Parkway could not cope with and Worbey’s chip found Bickle who nodded home the third with some style.  Three minutes later it was 4-0 as Mortimore ran half the length of the pitch before drawing Moore and steering home the hat-trick goal.

Substitute Christian Pople was just over with a drive late on but with four goals in the bank Willand managed the game and sit proudly at the top having comprehensively come out of the Devon derbies the victors. They now go to Shepton Mallet on Saturday in the FA Cup while Parkway have a trip to Bristol in the same competition to take on Hengrove Athletic.

Posted on : 08th August, 2018 23:40:52


Bridgwater Town 2 Buckland Athletic 0

Tuesday August 7
Premier Division

A goal in  each half from Jake Llewellyn gave Bridgwater all three points from their opening Premier Division  game at Fairfax Park on Tuesday night which ended in pure farce with them completing  the game with ten men writes Kerry Miller.

Substitute Ian Bellinger possibly made history right at the death as he was sent off seconds after coming on to replace Jack Taylor, who himself was replaced after a confrontation which saw him and Buckland’s Jamie Richards booked when the opposition were screaming for a red card. Bellinger walked onto the  pitch and appeared to deliberately walk into Richards provoking yet another skirmish as he was dismissed before the game had even restarted.

In truth both sides should look closely at their behaviour as the constant screaming for fouls and racing to the referee demanding sanctions has no place in football and should be stamped on before every game becomes chaotic.

The home pitch was hard and uneven but perfectly playable after much grafting from the ground staff and with Buckland never really getting out of second gear it didn’t take very long for the teams to decide they weren’t over keen on each other. Buckland’s match set up was thrown out of kilter after less than 20 minutes when Danny Griffiths limped off and other than a couple of long throws into the box from the Robins very little happened until Dave Thorne escaped down the right and his wicked low cross was missed by everyone. On the half hour they took the lead when player-boss Dave Pearse and Taylor linked and his fine cross found Llewellyn on the far post and he nodded home with keeper Dom Aplin, signed on dual forms as cover from Newton Abbot Spurs, helpless.

By then tackles were flying in and with accusations of errant  elbows from both sides referee Richard Lawrence lost patience as too many free-kicks and too much testosterone threatened to dominate the game. Buckland player-boss Craig Duff set up Richard Groves who drove wide, their first shot in the game, before Duff escaped and brought a save out of Jake Viney just on the break.

What had been a largely uneventful first half came to live with a vengeance from the restart as Les Afful drove over before the Robins went two up and all but wrapped up the game on 55 minutes. Taylor had lobbed wide seconds earlier but from a corner Buckland did not clear their lines and Llewelyn smashed it home from 20 yards out. Duff became the second player in the book after Taylor earlier and he was joined by Groves and with the visiting defence all at sea Taylor was gifted  the ball but could only lob it into Aplin’s arms. The keeper kept out a Lee Bugg drive late on then Llewelyn set up Sam Towler who volleyed just wide which set up the bizarre ending.

Taylor and Richards clashed in the area, the latest in several confrontations, with Taylor accused of a head butt and he was immediately substituted for Bellinger who trotted on to pitch straight into Richards, with yet another skirmish opening up as he was shown a straight red, no more than 15 seconds after coming on and without the match restarting.

Buckland have some questions needing answers as they have started the season with three straight competitive defeats going into Saturday’s game while Bridgy can be delighted with the win but less so with their lack of self-discipline.

Posted on : 07th August, 2018 22:54:56


Hallen 0 Roman Glass St George 2

Saturday August 4
Premier Division

A Ken Oni goal inside the opening 30 seconds set Roman Glass St George on the way to their first ever three points in the Premier Division of the Toolstation Western League at a scorching Moor Lane on Saturday, writes Kerry Miller.

With the oppressive heat and hard surface fast flowing football was at a premium but with their very first attack Oni found room to move forward and his drive evaded Liam McFarlane and may have taken a slight deflection on its way in. Hallen’s squad for this campaign under Ray Johnson includes a handful of former Clevedon Town men including the vastly experienced Clayton Fortune, Kevin Camargo  and Alex Russell and Camargo was involved when Tom Bradley and Dan Hunt’s good work forced a corner then George Binding and Bradley combined but the cross was cut out by Josh Dempsey. Hallen were beginning to come to terms with the conditions and Kyle Thomas’s shot was deflected and the corner routine ended with Thomas’s cross shot being headed off the line.

Rhys Hodgson  skied an effort when the ball bobbled 20 minutes in for Roman Glass then his lobbed cross landed on the net after another penetrating counter attack and from the best move of the half Ibrahim Sarr and Hodgson set up a diving header from Lewis Wentland which went high. Hallen could have levelled just past the half hour when a mass attack involving Daryl Charman, Hunt and Binding saw all three go close in a melee but their good work was undone when the ball was given away in midfield and Joe Swift was given too much room and tucked his shot past McFarlane to make it 2-0 with ten minutes left of the half. Just on the break Oni latched on to a long ball out of the half and was only kept out by a superb tackle by Matt Davis.

Predictably as the heat and the early season leg weariness took its toll the second half never really got going although Oni was just wide from a  corner  then Hodgson also went close from 12 yards. Hallen’s attacks were sporadic also and Charman shot over before following a good move Hunt shot from close range and Dempsey appeared to get a touch on it to push it onto the bar and away.

Alex Russell made a belated appearance after his exploits in helping England to win their third consecutive Veterans World Cup in Thailand but the points were gone and Hallen must regroup for Tuesday’s home game with Cribbs while Roman Glass prepare to entertain Cadbury Heath on Wednesday. Referee Andrew Perry had an unfussy game with few  problems but Andy Gurney’s side went home the happier.

 

 

Posted on : 04th August, 2018 20:57:18


Hallen 0 Roman Glass St George 2


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Posted on : 04th August, 2018 20:56:44


Keynsham Town 5 Bishop Sutton 0

Friday August 3
First Division

The new Toolstation Western League season got off to a flying start on Friday night when Keynsham Town’s opening  match against neighbours and friends Bishop Sutton attracted a crowd of 265, which Groundhop apart will take some beating writes Kerry Miller.

The home side are fresh off the back of going so close last May while Bishop Sutton stabilised last campaign after a rocky spell and hope  to be ready to push on in Division One.

The Ks had defender Rhymel Henderson making his debut after signing from Hallen while Sutton fielded a similar looking side to last season with all four of the Keen family in the squad.

Unsurprisingly the opening ten minutes or so were scrappy with a Harry Keen drive held comfortably by home keeper Matt Dunk then Craig Wilson and Matt Long both had efforts go wide for Town.  Striker Matt Brown set up Scott Saunders whose shot was deflected wide for a corner  and Sutton put together a fine move which ended with Sam Downes being blocked by Long for another  corner.

Downes went closest for the visitors around the half hour when his dipping 30 yarder hit the bar but Town were beginning to string some moves together after a patchy start and a goal looked likely when Brown was denied by a fine save from Will Justin before he set up Harley Purnell who was also kept out by the keeper.  The goal eventually came five minutes from the break when Purnell’s corner reached both Wilson and Henderson who appeared to be welded together at the hips and the ball ended up in the net with Wilson claiming it. He almost made it two with the last kick of the half but his bullet strike crashed down off the bar and away.

At the break Sutton replaced Harry Keen with Ben Snell but within a minute Town missed another chance when Brown was again through but once more Justin was equal to it. He was not to be denied as just before the hour Purnell put him in and although Justin saved the first effort Brown rolled in the rebound to make it two. In much the same vein as last season’s game between the sides, also on a Friday, Sutton played well but got nothing which was illustrated when Jack Keen’s shot from distance was kept out by a diving Dunk moments before it was 3-0. An identical corner was whipped in by Purnell for both Wilson and Henderson to again attack it together and once again it flew in with nobody in the crowd sure who scored and Wilson once more claiming it. With the points secure Keynsham relaxed and despite Scott Hatcher bringing a fine save out of Dunk, Wilson was unstoppable and his superb work set up Adey Harvey to side foot the fourth with 15 minutes left. Bishop Sutton did not deserve to ship five goals as they did a year ago but they did, despite Justin keeping out Harvey and substitute Kyle Box with a double save. Nathan Curnock completed the nap hand just on the whistle with a crisp angled drive.

Referee Graham Pearce and his colleagues all had fine games to get their season up and running and Keynsham now look forward to entertaining Cheddar on Tuesday who will arrive delighted with their stunning 4-0 opening day win at Devizes Town while Bishop Sutton go to Portishead Town.

Posted on : 04th August, 2018 20:55:58


Penistone Church 1 Buckland Athletic 0

July 28
Toolstation Charity Cup

Western Premier side Buckland Athletic made the long journey north to North East Counties League Penistone Church FC to play the Charity Cup match between the two sides representing the sponsors Toolstation yesterday but returned empty handed after a goal five minutes before the break separated the sides writes Kerry Miller.

It was the first competitive match for new player-manager Craig Duff and his team who travelled north early on the day and they were greeted by a blustery day and cool temperatures, in stark contrast to the broiling heat of the last couple months.

Buckland are in transition having lost Lloyd Gardner and Jare Lewington to Truro City  while Penistone, situated a few miles west of Barnsley in south Yorkshire were nominated for the game having finished seventh last year. Adam Seedhouse took over the keeper’s gloves having travelled across the Pennines from his base at Manchester University and was the club’s man of the match for a string of fine saves, especially in the first half when the home side had the best of the conditions.

Penistone began well with nippy striker Nathan Keightley  and James Young setting up Connor Glavin, but the son of former Football League striker Ronnie Glavin headed over. The deceptively strong wind and hard and parched surface was doing nobody any favours and Buckland struggled to get any momentum going after the long journey and having had a number of friendlies called off. Seedhouse saved well from Sam Scrivens before Buckland’s first real sortie when Lewis Tasker, a new signing from Street, slung in a low curling cross which evaded everybody including the onrushing Les Afful. Seedhouse again denied Scrivens from point blank range and did even better from Andy Ring as Buckland’s goal led a charmed life but a score  was always coming and from a curling corner Ash Ellis nodded home from six yards to give Penistone the lead.

Half-time saw the predicted hailstorm arrive at the Memorial Ground and with the 181 strong crowd scuttling for cover Buckland began to get into the game and Afful’s right foot shot flew just wide. The same man was almost in on the hour only for James  Young to deny him with a last ditch tackle and with half an hour to go both sides were showing signs of fatigue.  The game opened up and Liam Head’s effort was cleared off the line and with Penistone havin g used all five subs and Tom Bren nan  going off injured they were down to ten men for the last 20 minutes but Buckland were creating few chances and ultimately the cup stayed in Yorkshire although the nominated charity, Yorkshire Air Ambulance gained to the tune of £700.

Adam Seedhouse,  Toby Down, Liam Head, Dan Harrison, Lewis Tasker, James Richards, Nick Rudge, James Moxon, Les Afful, Ryan Bush, Danny  Griffiths, Subs , Craig Duff, Charlie Johansen, Josh Webber, Matt Roberts.

 

Posted on : 29th July, 2018 20:57:12


Chipping Sodbury Town 2 Fareham Town 1

July 14
Pre season friendly

Sodbury took an impressive scalp on Saturday as they came from behind to beat Wessex League Premier Division Fareham Town at a baking hot Ridings on Saturday afternoon writes Kerry Miller.

The game came about with the clubs having brothers in both camps and the Hampshire squad arrived to find the pitch in superb condition despite the continued drought and the home side were soon busy with Joe White and George Box showing up well in the attack. Liam Vaulters had a drive deflected then Theo Coombs set up White who volleyed wide when well placed before Fareham clicked and Ash Tattersall was wide after latching on to a long ball. Experienced Callum Laycock then thought he had given his side the lead but it was disallowed for a push and as the action went to the other end Sam Jenkins went close . Craig Hardy nodded over for Fareham and a Laycock drive went close then the Sods were close to the lead again soon after as White set up Liam Pullen but his effort was pushed over by Del Harding. The visitors should have taken the lead around the half hour when they launched a three on one attack but Lamin Manneh missed although it didn’t seem to matter as just on the break Laycock knocked in a corner from close range to give Fareham the lead.

After the break Tom Fry was wide from close range but a long drinks break only 15 minutes in disrupted the flow for a while and there were few chances until  Box and White combined and the latter netted to make it 1-1. Fareham were stunned and six minutes later a through ball found Box on the left and he guided his effort over Harding for what proved to be the winner.

Yusapha Badjie watched his drive tipped over the bar by Sam Burgess but the home team were comfortable and move on to games against Yate Town and Rockleaze Rovers before the big kick-off on August 4 at home to Bridport.

 

Posted on : 17th July, 2018 20:31:02


Axminster Town 2 Chard Town 0

13th July 2018
Pre-Season Friendly

Late goals from substitutes Ricky Pitter and Charlie Skilton gave Axminster Town victgory over near neighbours Chard Town at Tiger Way on Friday night in front of a very impressive attendance for a pre season match in early July writes Kerry Miller.

It was a touch harsh on Jamie Manley’s new look squad who played some fast one touch football in the first half and only faded late in the game after a number of substitutions had broken up the play.

Former Westland Sports’ winger Tom Salter was busy early on and was almost in on goal inside 30 seconds then he shot wide after good work from James Boyland. New man Callum Williams then brought a save out of Ash Smith in the home goal as the Robins impressed before the home side’s first chance when Aaron Daniels was just crowded out for a corner. Nathan Antat then almost caught Chard napping from a corner but they were let off when his shot hit the side netting.

Just on the half hour Tony Pinder nodded a long cross over before at the other end Ryan Mason was wide and Matt Howell released Boyland but Smith was equal to it and saved well with his legs.

After the break both sides made changes and with a couple of players using the same shirt for some reason it was not easy to follow the action at times but Axminster boss John Hurford lobbed over and Salter was also too high with an effort for Chard. Ben Haines then went very close as his shot was sliced over his own bar by a defender and Axminster capitalised on the good fortune as with 15 minutes left Hurford’s cross was too much for the defence and former Sidmouth Town striker Pitter tucked in the first goal. Axminster clinched the victory in the dying seconds when Hurford’s shot was parried by Alex Cunnold only for Skilton to nod it over several defenders and in to the far corner.

Chard can take heart from this game as they played some quick paced football and now look to go to Dorset Premier side Gillingham Town on Thursday at 7pm for their next work out before a first team game with Somerset County side Somerton Town on July 24.

Posted on : 16th July, 2018 19:05:45


Wells City 1 Bridgwater Town 2

12th July 2018
Pre-Season Friendly

Less than 24 hours after England fell at the second last fence, Wells and Bridgwater linked up to continue their  pre season games at the Athletic Ground writes Kerry Miller.

With some matches falling foul of crumbling pitches there were no such problems at Wells where the surface was fine, if slightly scorched although a mid match rain shower was well received by players and groundsmen alike.

Wells fielded a much changed squad from last season while Bridgwater were more or less the same with the inclusion of Tom Ellis and Ian Bellinger from Wellington and Alex Twiggs from Portishead Town and Bellinger was busy early on setting up Harry Horton to volley wide. Home skipper Mark Randall then hit a lob cross which went just over before at the other end Horton hit the bar with a dipping shot after a fine run from Charlie White.

A fine move just outside the penalty area midway through the first half led to the opening goal as Mark Armstrong bent his shot past Tom Creed in the home goal just as the rain shower came in to refresh all and sundry. On the half hour Jack Taylor caused havoc with a cross which was somehow sliced away for a corner then Jake Llewellyn was given too much room on the left and his 20 yarder was saved comfortably by Creed.  Against the run  of play and with the final touch of the half Jack Spence came up from the back and hammered in a header from Randall’s corner to level at 1-1.

To the credit of both sets of management the game flowed without dozens of substitutions and soon after the break Jack Jenkins was given the chance to restore the lead from a free-kick just outside the area and he didn’t waste it, planting it firmly past Creed. Both squads were then tweaked including Robins boss Dave Pearse who gave himself a half hour run out and he went close with a header which hit the side netting before a good spell from Wells. Harry Davidson found room to cross for Tony Hobbs whose header was blocked then James Russell’s good work came to nothing when he drove over but it was a good work out played in a perfect spirit and the clubs are one step nearer the big kick-off on August 4.

Posted on : 14 Jul, 2018 15:59:29