Midweek MatchesIn the Premier Division, Benjamin Dowdell fired home a hat-trick as Cribbs secured a 4-2 win at home to Clevedon Town. Dowdell scored the only goal of the first-half, before Jack McKenna doubled Cribbs’ advantage in the opening exchanges after half-time. Clevedon got back into the game thanks to a header from Glen Hayer, and were then back on level terms when Isaac Reid scored from 25 yards out. Dowdell then popped up with two goals in the space of six minutes to restore Cribbs’ two-goal lead as they ended a run of four games without a win. On Wednesday evening, Ben Amghar struck from long distance in the ninth minute of injury-time as Street left it late before claiming a 1-0 win away at Hengrove Athletic, while at St Mary's Field, Ed Butcher scored either side of a strike from Ollie Bryant as Bridport secured a 2-1 win at home to Shepton Mallet.
In the First Division on Tuesday evening, Keynsham Town had four different scorers in their 4-2 win at home to Devizes Town. The K’s were two up early in the game thanks to Cameron Shorney and Matt Curnock before Devizes hit back and found themselves level following goals from Tom Slater and Jay Walters. With 20 minutes left on the clock, Sam Duggan scored to regain the lead for Keynsham, before Kyle Box wrapped up the victory late on thanks to a curling effort from outside the area.
Street extended their lead at the top of the league to three points following a 4-0 win away at Cadbury Heath. The only goal of the first-half came thanks to an own-goal, and then after half-time, Street found their shooting boots and stormed to victory thanks to goals from Harry Foster, Josh Wadham and Lewis Tasker. Bridgwater Town produced an excellent performance to hand Buckland Athletic just their second defeat in what was a 4-1 win for Bridgy. The home side made the perfect start with Shaun Copp scoring after just four minutes, but Buckland hit back almost instantly with Jared Lewington adding to his ever-growing tally this campaign. David Pearse then scored to put Town ahead once more, and it then became the Jack Taylor show as he scored either side of the break to lead Bridgewater to the big win. An early red-card, penalty combination proved costly for Wells City as they fell to a humbling 10-0 defeat against Melksham Town. Just seven minutes in, Wells saw a man sent off following a foul in the box, and Gary Higdon then converted the resulting spot-kick. From that moment on, Wells were up against it and the suffered at the hands of the free-scoring Melksham, with Higdon scoring four to move 14 in the league this season. Luke Ballinger added a hat-trick, with Warren Maidment, Dan Demkiv and Tyler Sibbick also adding goals in the rout.
Bradford Town struck late to steal all three points following a 2-1 win away at Clevedon Town. After 20 minutes, Jamie Fisher put the hosts ahead before Bradford equalised on the cusp of half-time when Sam Jordan headed home a Rickie Scott cross. The game was headed towards a draw, but Scott had other ideas, and his effort deflected into the Clevedon net to secure the last-gasp win for Bradford. In a game with plenty of momentum swings, Cribbs scored three times in the space of five minutes during their 3-3 draw with Bridport. It was the away side who made the stronger start and after taking the lead through Mark Salter, they doubled their advantage just before the break thanks to Lee Sweet’s debut goal for the club. Cribbs couldn’t have come out hotter after the half-time break, and turned a two-goal deficit into a lead in the space of just five minutes. Darren Edwards was first to score for the hosts following good work from Jack McKenna, and then within moments they were on level terms through a goal from Jacob Hodgson. The same duo linked up to put Cribbs ahead in the 50th minute with McKenna again providing the assist for Edwards, but that wasn’t the end of the scoring, and just one minute after going behind Tom Richardson struck to draw Bridport level and that was how it ended. There was also a draw at the Lew Hill Memorial Ground where both sides were reduced to ten men in Odd Down’s 2-2 tie with Bitton. The home side went ahead just after the half-hour mark through Kane Simpson, but then relinquished their position of strength after having Dave Gould sent off just before the break. The referee then evened it up, sending off Bitton’s Kyle Tooze, but that didn’t deter the away side and they found themselves ahead following a pair of goals from Joe McClennan and Tom Knighton. That wasn’t the end of the drama however, and with less than ten minutes left on the clock, Asa White converted a penalty to claim a point for the Bath side. Wellington claimed a 2-1 win at home to Longwell Green Sports following goals from Sam Towler and Conor Bryant, while an own-goal from Mike Searle handed Chipping Sodbury Town a surprise 1-0 win away at Willand Rovers. The points were shared during the fourth game of the Saturday groundhopping schedule, after Hengrove Athletic converted an injury-time penalty in their 3-3 draw with Hallen. Hallen settled fastest and were ahead after just three minutes when Scott Thomas found the back of the net. Luke Mills then doubled the visitors advantage, before Hengrove hit back after the break following goals from Craig White and Rhys Hickery. Hallen recovered, and retook the lead with 20 minutes remaining through Scott Cousins, but Hengrove didn’t back down and secured a late point when Jack Fillingham fired home a penalty in stoppage time. In Sunday’s Groundhop fixture, James Billing stole the show with a hat-trick in Shepton Mallet’s 4-1 win at home to Brislington.
The 2017 Groundhop Weekend kick-started on Friday night in front of a bumper crowd at the Lancer Scott Stadium where Ashton & Backwell United held on to defeat Bishop Sutton 2-1. Sam Skidmore was the hero for the home side, scoring in either half during the win, as Ashton held on to claim all three points despite losing Sam Thomas to a red card after picking up two cautions. On Saturday morning, Welton Rovers overcame an early setback to defeat Keynsham Town 3-1 at West Clewes. Matt Curnock finished well in the 4th minute to give the visitors an early lead before Welton had even had a chance to gain a foothold in the game. The scores were level after half-an-hour when Tom Smith turned the ball home from a corner, and not long after Welton had turned a deficit into a lead when Shakiel Green got the faintest of headers onto an excellent cross from Chris Pile. Ade Harvey hit the bar from long-range late on for Keynsham, but that was as close as they came to grabbing an equaliser, before Pile hit them on the counter-attack with a well taken goal late on. Westbury United had seven different scorers during their 8-0 triumph over Portishead Town, with only Liam Milburn scoring more than once. Steve Hulbert and Milburn handed the hosts a two-goal lead at the break, which soon turned into a much more one-sided result after Dan Price, Dan Kovacs, Mark Robinson, Ricky Hulbert and Matt Jones added goals during a dominant second-half. Warminster Town and Bristol Telephones shared the points following a 3-3 draw at Weymouth Street, with James Vincent scoring twice for the hosts, and Dhani Golding netting twice for the Phones. Tom Slater kept up his excellent run in front of goal, scoring a brace after Jake Roberts’ early opener during Devizes Town’s 3-0 win at home to Wincanton Town.
Roman Glass St George secured their sixth win of the season in fine fashion, defeating Malmesbury Victoria 5-1 at Oaklands Park. The home side had a strong first-half performance and after taking the lead through Joe Swift, they added two more goals before the break through Drew Hamilton-Dunn and Sam Wentland. The Vics reduced the arrears at the beginning of the second-half through Josh Hughes, before Tom Sellers and Jae Hodgson added further goals for the surging Glass. Corsham Town survived a scare before defeating bottom-side Sherborne Town 4-2 at Raleigh Grove. Finding themselves 2-1 down despite Callum Devkin’s opener, Corsham relied on second-half goals from Gary McDermott, Leigh Rogers and new signing Devkin to capture their fourth win of the campaign. At Hardenhuish Park, a 15th minute goal from Alex Stafie and a late strike from Matt Howell led Chard Town to a 2-0 win away at Chippenham Park. On Sunday, Cheddar secured a 3-2 win away at Bishops Lydeard in front of the biggest First Division crowd of the season so far. Chris Coombs gave Cheddar a 7th minute lead following strong work from Robbi Maggs, but it was the home side who enjoyed the best of the first-half and took a lead to the break after a quick-fire double from Ben Hebditch. Coombs turned provider for Cheddar’s equaliser which was volleyed home by Adam Jones and then 18 minutes from time the Cheesemen completed the turnaround with Ricky Bennett beating the opposition keeper.