With the potential reality facing us that the Non-League football season is over it allows us at Severn Sport, like others, a chance to start reviewing one of the craziest seasons in recent memory.
One thing we like doing is looking back at the games we have covered during a season and with Ryan being seemingly stranded on 90 for the campaign – it seems like an ideal time to look back at his top 10 games for the season.
So sit back and take a look at part 1, as Ryan recounts games 10-6 of his favourite matches this season.
*Click on the games for match reports and post-match interviews*
This match was one of the last matches we have seen this season and for those who were there they may look at this and think, “uhhh what?” as to why it is included in the top 10 anything. But hear me out.
This game was played in swirling rain, incredibly strong winds and on a chilly Monday night at Evesham United’s open Jubilee Stadium.
It wasn’t a match for the feint hearted and I enjoyed the 90 minutes that I saw. It had a late winner from Bernard Mensah, two teams who were up for the fight, a decent commentary with Kelsey and it was traditional non-league football at it’s finest.
City needed the win and they got it, eventually. I love story telling and this game told a great tale.
Similar to the City game in some respects. A late winner being the dramatic finish that we all had hoped for. Again, another good commentary – this time with injured Longlevens keeper Kane Winman, who on the mic was living the game and kicking every ball with his team mates.
Longlevens are a side that I do hold close to my heart and over the years some of the best bonds I have in local football at with the guys at Longlevens, I have seen them be beaten heavily, home and away, I’ve seen them come so close but yet so far – but thankfully I have also seen them on some of their most memorable of days.
This game was that and more as Tommy Callinan Jr slid home a 119th minute winner (which you can view above) to send Longlevens into the 2nd Round of the FA Vase, the furthest they had ever been.
I keep reminding manager Craig Martin that before Severn Sport started covering Longlevens they had never won in the FA Vase, but in the three seasons since they had made the 1st Round every year.
Again this is another game about the story. The story of the day, the game, the trials and tribulations of football. The agony, the ecstasy and for the best part of 85 minutes – Cinderford taking a National League South side to the depths of hell and back.
Over the years I have been fortunate enough to go to grounds, set up the iPad and crack on with providing coverage of our local sides and it was great positioning from me on the day. I was in amongst the home fans in the main stand, whilst sat in front of the press guys so that I could earwig to any Havant based chat to round off the coverage.
What I would hear is a bunch of disgruntled gentleman as Josh Hunt curled in an incredible equalize. Cue silence but for a 6 ft 6 giant going crazy to tell everyone back home that Cinderford Town were not just making up the numbers on the big occasion but they were taking it to their hosts.
A heartbreaking final five minutes or so saw Havant show their class, but Cinderford won the hearts of everyone in attendance and those listening at home and we were all so proud of Paul Michael’s men.
Within the last couple of seasons as we continue to add different leagues to our coverage at Severn Sport, we have formed some great relationships with clubs and leagues alike, including the Gloucestershire Northern Senior League.
Every year we look to cover as much of the Reg Davis Cup as possible, as it was the first ever cup final we commentated on in the 2018/19 season. We would have covered this season’s final had it not been for Kelsey unfortunately breaking his wrist and being out of commission for the best part of a month.
This game was superb. A great advert for the league and both clubs! I work just down the road from Brockworth’s ground so it was ideal for me to head down, Kelsey came and met me and we saw an Albion side who loved to see us there against a Frampton side being skippered by Zak Tyers – a mutual friend of ours through Matt Yates.
The visitors scored inside 32 seconds and the action didn’t stop from there. They were in control at 3-0 just before the half hour mark, before being clawed back to 3-2 before half time. Then we saw an equaliser and a missed penalty in 90 minutes, before a shoot-out which saw Ryan Mann make three further stops. Incredible evening.
This is the first game that appears on the list that is a real demolition job. But there was an oozing of class from Fairford on the night and in particular.
Aidan Bennett scored within 24 seconds (another early breakthrough on the list!) and they never looked back from there. Ellis Dunton scored a well taken header before John Watson’s cross was spilled into the net as Fairford looked to close the gap on Westfields at the top of the Hellenic League.
Ben Lodge added two well taken goals before his move to Southern League outfit Highworth Town, before Bennett grabbed his second and substitute Ben Saunders thundered home a header from the corner.
The game was also memorable for me as new signing Ross Langworthy was sat in the stands and we had a nice chat at the break about the Cirencester Academy and life at Yate and Tuffley Rovers. Also, at the time Ardley were being coached by Craig Adey – one of many from the Berkshire area who I knew outside of football before covering this level and it is always nice to catch up.
The game saw a lot of people take note of Fairford Town as title challengers at that point and it felt like a good marker to be thrown down by Jody Bevan’s men.
So there is the first part of the Big Man’s top 10. Every game giving an insight into the games we enjoy covering at Severn Sport. On Saturday we will be revealing his top 5 games of the 2019/20 football season.