Brad Martin scores winner against former club as Mitres edge Boxing Day clash 2-1

Brad Martin scored a 58th minute winner against his former side Longlevens, helping Bishops Cleeve claim a 2-1 win in a Boxing Day derby at Kayte Lane. 

Martin’s strike came after a first half that saw both sides net in a very entertaining game. Ieuan Crowe had given the Mitres the lead on 11 minutes before Shaun O’Connor equalised just before the break.

The game started at a frantic pace, with Harry Emmett going close inside the opening minute. After being picked out by Isaac Johns on the edge of the box, his driven shot was well saved down to his left by keeper Lewis Clayton.

Both sides looked good going forward but it was Bishops Cleeve who would break the deadlock. After Elliot Kennedy was set free down the right hand side, his ball in was blocked by Ash Wintle in the Longlevens goal before Crowe was on hand to fire the ball home.

The goal shook Longlevens as Crowe in particular looked to have the bit between his teeth. He won the ball straight from kick off before firing over before winning a header at the back post, but it was well held by Wintle.

Brad Martin had a shot deflected wide from 20 yards before Longlevens broke down the other end and had a chance cleared off the line through Jonty Welch.

Welch went close again just before the break, but his thunderous effort from the edge of the box was palmed over by Clayton in the Bishops Cleeve goal.

Just when the hosts thought they would be going in at half time with the lead a free kick was floated forward by Ellis Sausman. The ball was then hooked to the left side of the box by James Campbell. Shaun O’Connor cut the ball back onto his right foot before curling the ball up and into the far corner.

Bishops Cleeve came out for the second half like a side possessed, with Kennedy blasting over, Iddles having a shot blocked and Brad Martin cutting in from the right, before having his shot blocked by Wintle – all within the first 10 minutes of the half.

The winner came just before the hour mark and it came from an Adam Mace corner. The ball was met by a free Brad Martin header and despite Wintle getting a hand to it, he was unable to keep the ball out and the hosts were in front.

Ash Wintle was kept busy as the half wore on, with the stopper keeping out a Brad Martin volley and a great double save to deny the former Longlevens man after he had initially kept out substitute Joe Bates’ effort.

Longlevens piled on the pressure in the end with O’Connor going close on a couple of occasions, including a glorious opportunity after a delicious Jonty Welch cross from the right.

In the end Levens couldn’t find that all important equaliser and the Mitres held on for all three points to stay within the top six in the Hellenic Premier.

Both sides head to Berkshire on Saturday, with Longlevens heading to Ascot United and Bishops Cleeve travelling to Reading City. 

Bishops Cleeve: Clayton, New, Mace, Ward, Drake, Staten, Ford, Iddles (Watts 68′), Crowe (Bates 75′), Martin, Kennedy

Subs: Lewellyn, Powell

Longlevens: Wintle, Barnett, Lewis, Welch, Sausman, Long (T Callinan 75′), Campbell, Westcarr, O’Connor, Johns (Dunn 73′), Emmett

Subs: G Callinan, Martin

Severn Sport Man Of The Match – Jordan Staten (Bishops Cleeve)

Elsewhere in the division Fairford Town came from behind to beat Brimscombe & Thrupp 2-1 at the Meadow. After Ash Caldwell put the Lilywhites in front, goals from Jamie Reid and Dan Bailey saw Fairford take the points. Tuffley Rovers vs Lydney Town was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.