Longlevens 1-1 Brimscombe & Thrupp
Hellenic League Premier – 2nd August 2017
Ryan Butler reporting for Severn Sport
There was a good turnout last night at Saw Mills End as Longlevens hosted county rivals Brimscombe and Thrupp on the curtain raiser to their Hellenic League campaign.
The weather didn’t help the cause of either side early on as the wind was taking the ball at every goal kick and it limited the action to a chance a piece in the opening quarter of an hour.
As the wind eased up it was the visitors who took control and after front man Smith had lifted the ball over the oncoming goalkeeper only to be denied on the line by a despairing Smylie slide.
This woke the hosts back up who had subsequent chances from Martin and Rich But the Brimscombe keeper had yet to be tested.
And it was Brimscombe who eventually took the lead just before half time when a short corner was floated in from their right hand side and was met by a bullet header by defender Pitts who did what you teach youngsters to do. He got up early, aimed the header down and got the luck as it flashed in. The visitors went in at half time a goal up but the game was far from done.
The second half started as the first ended, with Brimscombe in the ascendancy and they nearly doubled their lead through Deakin but his goalbound strike was blocked and Longlevens smothered it clear.
Longlevens grew from there. Shots from O’Connor and Smilley forced the keeper into saves before a scorcher of an effort from Welch was spilled in what was now blistering rain. The quickest man to the ball was Brad Martin and he slid the ball in to restore parity and to ensure we were going 17 games without seeing a clean sheet at Severn Sport.
The hosts nearly doubled their lead straight away after a slip from kick off saw Turner get in on the right, have his initial effort saved before flicking the ball up onto the bar. The Brimscombe back line got back to get rid!
Brimscombe reacted and nearly took the lead once more after Nash flicked the ball over his head, spun and had his goalbound effort blocked and the visitors began to pepper the Longlevens box with corners and were winning everything. Somehow Longlevens escaped.
The hosts then broke and had incredibly strong cries for a penalty turned away when O’Connor went down in the box. I have to be honest it was definitely a penalty!
The final 15 saw more Brimscombe pressure and had it not been for two further clearances and blocks from Smylie they would have taken home all three points. Smylie’s third clearance of the night was heroic. As the ball pinballed around the Longlevens box a shot came arrowing towards the corner only for the defender to slide in and block! In the last minute too. Incredible defending.
In the end the points were shared and on the balance of play I think it was just about right. Brimscombe had a lot of chances in the second half but Longlevens defended valiantly and deserved something from the game.
Both sides are in cup action on Saturday and we will be seeing Longlevens again as they visit Fairford Town with live updates on our social media and goal shouter from Ryan Butler at Cinder Lane from 3pm.
Severn Sport Player of The Match: Luke Kavanagh