Tuffley Rovers booked their place in the final of the Severn Sport Shield 2019 after defeating a competitive Gloucester City U18s side 6-1, in a scoreline that felt harsh on the visitors.
Rovers, who were beaten 6-1 themselves in the third place play-off by Slimbridge in last year’s event, started brightly and took the lead on 7 minutes.
Dom Kent found space in the middle of the Gloucester half and played a delightful through ball into Brett James. James then rounded the advancing Sam Yapp before slotting home from a tight angle.
Tuffley doubled their lead inside sixty seconds as Jeremiah Idowu swept home from 18 yards, after a ball in from the right.
Adam Bloomfield then tested Yapp in goal for City after cutting in on the right hand side of the box. Yapp did well in the one on one to turn the ball behind for a corner.
Just after 20 minutes the Young Tigers threatened for the first time in the contest when Joe Haswell through in a couple of stepovers before drilling the ball in across goal, only for Macaulay Herbert to put the ball behind for a corner.
Adam Harding then did well down the City left to beat Sam Hill to the ball and win a free kick in a dangerous position, but unfortunately the delivery wasn’t great.
Bloomfield curled past Yapp just before the half hour mark, only to see his crash off the post and away. Idowu then thought he had made it three when he converted Brett James’ ball in, but the goal was chalked off for offside.
Moments later Jack Beardsell scored a goal that will take some beating this season. The man signed from Fairford this summer, picked the ball up just over 30 yards from goal before rocketing the shot into the top corner – giving Yapp absolutely no chance at all.
The goal took the wind out of the Gloucester sails and they were punished further when Idowu scored his second of the game right on half time. The winger cut in and skipped past two men, before slotting the ball past Yapp and putting Tuffley on their way to the final.
Gloucester made a game of it in the second half though and had the ball in the Tuffley net twice in the opening five minutes of the second half. First substitute Barry Moss fired across Alex Avenell in goal but was denied by the offside flag.
Then fellow substitute Miguel Keivani picked the ball up about 25 yards from goal before drilling a low effort right into the corner and giving the Young Tigers hope of an unlikely comeback.
Just after the hour mark Brett James was tripped in the box, but the Tuffley man blasted the resulting spot kick wide as Tuffley went in search of more goals.
Two glorious chances went begging for City to set us up with a barnstorming finish in quick succession. Firsl Ed Berry drilled the ball in from the right and after the defender cleared the ball onto Ameer Courts, the ball looped up onto the crossbar and out for a goal kick.
Then, Barry Moss charged through and found himself one on one with Avenell, but the keeper stood tall to deny the forward’s attempt.
Courts then crashed an effort against the Tuffley upright inside the final minutes to really sum up his evening, on another day he would have found himself on the scoresheet on a number of occasions.
Yapp then had a moment to forget in the Gloucester goal when he was closed down by Idowu. The Tuffley man blocked the clearance and found himself walking the ball into an empty net to complete his hattrick.
Ellis Waugh capped a good individual second half performance by diverting Nick Marshall’s effort into the back of the net to really add gloss to the scoreline.
In reality, Tuffley deserved to make the final but Gloucester didn’t deserve to lose by 5 clear goals. The game felt a lot closer, in particular in the second half.
Tuffley Rovers: Avenell, Hill, Troke, Earwaker, Herbert, Carter, Idowu, Beardsell, Bloomfield, D Kent, James
Subs: Waugh, F Kent, Rhodes, Marshall, Pritchett, Caddock
Gloucester City U18s: Yapp, Barber, S Martin, Wilkins, Croose, Stubbs, Haswell, Montague, Courts, E Martin, Harding
Subs: Berry, Shaw, Soliman, Moss, Keivani
Severn Sport Man of The Match – Jeremiah Idowu (Tuffley Rovers)
The second semi final of the Severn Sport Shield takes place on Wednesday 10th July with Cheltenham Saracens vs Longlevens at Tuffley Rovers’ Glevum Park, kick off 19:45. Admission prices £5 Adult, £3 Concessions and U16s Free