Tuffley Rovers came from a goal down to secure their first win in 10 games, beating Bourton Rovers 3-1 to go through to the second round of the Bluefin Sports Supplementary Cup.
Tuffley, who last tasted victory on the 6th October when they put 6 past Virginia Water, went into the game on the back of a run of better performances with little reward.
Bourton Rovers came into the game missing a few key players to a squad that have been at the top end of the Hellenic League Division Two West nearly all season long and they took the lead on 9 minutes when a cross come short was drilled in from the left corner of the box.
The effort was palmed away by Tuffley keeper Kane Winman, only into the path of Jack Galpin who side footed home to put the away side in front.
As the half progressed Bourton sank back slightly as the midfield four of Birkett, Phillips, Carter and debutant Rhys Davies gained control, with the latter firing over just after the quarter of an hour mark.
Just five minutes later and Tuffley were level. After a long throw in was flicked on, striker Lee Smith rose up to head the ball across goal and into the far corner giving Bourton keeper Simon Flower no chance.
The equaliser seemed to wake the hosts up and they instantly looked more threatening. The visitors continued to be physical and tried to make life difficult for Tuffley but five minutes later they were behind.
After a Tuffley corner was punched into the air by Flower, Mark Pritchett drilled the ball across the six yard line where Jack Phillips was waiting to sweep the ball into the net. From there the rest of the half felt a bit scrappy.
Due to the wet and heavy pitch the tackles were thundering in, with two 50/50 challenges seeing Macaulay Herbert & Pritchett take knocks for Tuffley – with both being able to continue.
Into the second half and the pattern of play was still scrappy. Just before the hour mark Dom Kent was slipped in down the left side of the box and with Flower in no mans land Kent’s effort looped up and off the crossbar.
With just over 15 minutes left the win was clinched for Tuffley Rovers when the impressive Henry Birkett ran at the heart of the Bourton backline, played a give and go with Lee Smith before curling beautifully into the back of the net after the initial challenge.
Tuffley’s squad included the still injured Warren Mann for emergencies whilst former striker Shayne Bradley made his appearance for the club since retiring at the end of last season. Whether or not Bradley’s appearance was a one off is still unknown at this time.
Bradley came on to play up front with Smith and it was the former Fairford man who nearly added a fourth. Smith weaved his way to the edge of the box, cut one way then the other before unleashing a left footed strike that rebounded off the bar.
In the end the game fizzled out in the final ten minutes and Tuffley will be in the hat for the draw for the next round.
Both sides are back in cup action next with Tuffley due to host Brimscombe & Thrupp in the Perpetua Press Floodlit Cup on Tuesday night whilst Bourton host Virginia Water Development in the Charmain’s Challenge Cup next Saturday.
Tuffley Rovers: Winman, Loveridge, Walker, Pritchett, Herbert, Carter, Birkett, Phillips, Smith, Kent, Davies
Subs: Hill, Alder, Bradley, Mann, Thomas
Bourton Rovers: Flower, Anderson, Smith, Galpin, Collier, Forster, Bowes, Cooper, Tyack, Fielding, Larner
Subs: Nurse, Goodwill, Mosson, Thompson, Teague
Severn Sport Man Of The Match – Henry Birkett (Tuffley Rovers)