Points shared on opening day at Glevum Park

Tuffley Rovers 1-1 Fairford Town
Hellenic League Premier – August 1st 2017
Steven Bevan reporting for Severn Sport

The first half of this game was even with few chances coming either sides way. Arguably the best chance of what was a very stop and start half came for Shayne Bradly who headed it just wide from a good Rovers cross in the 16thminute. The end of the first saw some more pressure from Fairford but they failed to challenge the Tuffley keeper. Neither side could make the keepers work at all really and the first half ended 0-0 with only three shots on target.

Fairford Town started what would become a very entertaining second half the best, forcing Tuffley’s keeper to pull off a majestic save in the 51st minute before hitting the bar straight after. Rovers looked rattled as the game opened up and struggled to get out of their half for a while, the one break coming for Warren Mann who failed to turn in his chance in the 61st. Just after, Tuffley’s Keeper Dave Evans, is called into action twice more. The second time producing an unreal save with his feet. Eventually though, in the 67th minute, the deadlock was finally broken with a goal that most people probably saw coming. After a switch by Hall the winger took it down, cut in, and drilled it across the keeper making it 1-0 to Fairford. Just four minutes later however Mann shapes to cross after putting his head down on the left wing and the ball flies in off the far post making it 1-1 with 20 to go (to those that were there, we can safely say he didn’t mean it.) A few substitutes and corners later, heading into the final 10, Gale shoots on goal however it’s blocked by a Tuffley defender. The most dramatic moment of the game was still to come though; in the 87th minute Gale lunges into a challenge and sees red instantly from the referee who didn’t hesitate one bit. Having seen the challenge, and then the red, from a distance however I was sure it was the Tuffley man who was being told to go (or at very least both.)

Finally, in added time, Walker has a half volley chance to win it for Rovers. After bringing down a cross from James on his chest, Unfortunately, he could only fire it over and the two sides had to share the spoils. This one was definitely a slow burner but it livened up in the second half and both teams had some great chances. Fairford had the better share though, with 10 on target compared to Tuffley’s 4, and will be counting themselves unlucky to only walk away with just one point.

Severn Sport Player of the match – Tristan Haswell