It was Friday 7th July 2017. I had just seen Gloucestershire vs Middlesex in the T20 cricket as part of the Cheltenham Cricket Festival with my uncle, Andrew and we were on our way to Fairford Town’s Cinder Lane for the first time. We were meeting “The Boss” Matt Yates for the first game of our Pre-Season tour. An idea I have explained previously came to me whilst I was in the shower. Why don’t we travel the county during pre-season and visit as many grounds as possible and cover as many teams as possible? The tour was a success for us and it is that mentality that has helped us this season in covering as many local sides as we can.
Fast forward to Sunday 19th November, a mere 4 months and 12 days after that fateful day and I was on my way to Whaddon Road for Cheltenham Town Ladies vs Forest Green Ladies in the GFA County Cup. The relevance? It was my 50th game of the season (due to Tuesday night’s trip to Yate & yesterday’s trip to Chesham I am now on 52). That is a lot of football. Approximately 4500 minutes of competitive and exciting local football that I have witnessed. I have seen our sides win, lose and draw and have met some amazing people along the way. But how do the games rank? Well naturally when I have been on my travels people have asked me about the games I have seen and what has been the best game I have seen. Well, in this post I will reveal not just my best game but I will reveal my entire 1-50. Below is 50-11 with dates (a brief thoughts about the games) and we will take a more in depth before the top 10 will be revealed in part 2, tomorrow night!
50. Tuffley Rovers 0-5 Swindon Supermarine (FA Cup – 2/9/17) – Horrific. The ref ruined the game with a needless early red card. Swindon’s fans didn’t make it any better.
49. Longlevens 1-5 North Leigh (Pre-Season Tour – 22/7/17) – A poor introduction to life at Longlevens.
48. Gloucester City 1-1 Hampton & Richmond (National League South – 11/9/17) – This Monday night match must have been the kind of match that made The Boomtown Rats dislike Mondays.
47. Tuffley Rovers 0-2 Royal Wootton Bassett (Hellenic Premier – 19/9/17) – An early Bassett goal set the tone for a bad night for Rovers.
46. Gloucester City 1-3 Derby County U23s (Pre-Season Tour – 29/7/17) – Luke Thomas was superb for Derby and for a while City remained competitive. Nothing special.
45. Weston-super-mare 2-1 Gloucester City (National League South – 15/8/17) – Kieran Parselle scored one of the goals of the season for a City side who didn’t deserve to lose. A lucky deflected free kick the difference. A nice trip to Weston though.
44. Tuffley Rovers 0-4 Hallen (GFA Challenge Trophy – 17/10/17) – A fairly drab first half was livened up by a wonder strike.
43. Fairford Town 1-1 Shortwood United (Pre-Season Tour – 7/7/17) – Decent for a first game of pre-season.
42. Evesham United 1-1 Gloucester City (Pre-Season Tour – 8/7/17) – The beginning of some tough viewing for City fans at the Jubilee this term.
41. Cinderford Town 5-1 Cheltenham U23s (Pre-Season Tour – 11/7/17) – Cheltenham U23s weren’t competitive enough on a wet night in Cinderford.
40. Longlevens 1-1 Brimscombe & Thrupp (Hellenic Premier- 2/8/17) – Both sides were playing their first game of the season. Longlevens deserved to win the game but just couldn’t defend corners. I blame Luke Kavanagh.
39. Flackwell Heath 2-1 Lydney Town (Perpetua Press Floodlit Cup – 14/11/17) – Nothing wrong with the game. The first half was good but the second half was spoiled by some below average officiating.
38. Bishops Cleeve 1-1 Slimbridge (Southern League West – 4/11/17) – A great second half followed one of the worst halves I’ve seen this season. Harsh but fair.
37. Tuffley Rovers 1-2 Flackwell Heath (Hellenic Premier – 16/9/17) – Tuffley didn’t deserve to lose the game. A 30 yarder from Sheridan Campbell won it for the visitors.
36. Tuffley Rovers 1-0 Woodley United (Hellenic Premier – 28/10/17) – A gorgeous cross from the right was headed in by Shayne Bradley the highlight.
35. Tuffley Rovers 1-1 Fairford Town (Hellenic Premier – 1/8/17) – A fiery game for a season opener.
34. Fairford Town 1-1 Longlevens (FA Cup – 5/8/17) – A very even game that saw both sides score when dominating.
33. Longlevens 1-1 Tuffley Rovers (Hellenic Premier – 26/8/17) – The Saturday of the August Bank Holiday saw a competitive and exciting end to a local derby.
32. Tuffley Rovers 2-1 Lydney Town (Hellenic Premier – 30/9/17) – The game fell into a few lulls but both sides attacked well. Joel White was superb and scored one of the goals of the season.
31. Longlevens 0-2 Wantage Town (Hellenic Premier – 6/9/17) – Wantage were very efficient without out playing Longlevens. A lesson in how to score when on top.
30. Tytherington Rocks 1-8 Longlevens (FA Vase – 23/9/17) – A game of historical convenience that was almost too one sided. A Brad Martin hattrick and a rare Craig Martin goal the highlights.
29. Longlevens 1-1 Fairford Town (Hellenic Premier – 13/9/17) – After a bad start to the season this was the first time I saw Fairford really dominate a team in the first half.
28. Gloucester City 1-1 Bristol Rovers (Pre-Season Tour – 15/7/17) – Ellis Harrison could have had a hattrick! A full Thornhill Park provided a great atmosphere.
27. Slimbridge 0-1 Hartley Wintney (FA Trophy – 7/10/17) – The visitors deserved to win but I went home wishing I had seen more from Slimbridge in a winnable game.
26. Thatcham Town 2-1 Longlevens (Bluefin Sports Challenge Cup – 18/11/17) – Two amazing strikes early on. The torrential rain dampened spirits (…see what I did there).
25. Fairford Town 1-2 Royal Wootton Bassett (Bluefin Sports Challenge Cup – 8/11/17) – Simply marked down for not going to penalties and it was cold. So cold. If it was a WWF Attitude it would be Stone Cold Steve Austin…and that’s the bottom line because Bacon said so!
24. Longlevens 3-5 Shirehampton (GFA Challenge Trophy – 18/10/17) – Too open for me. The standard of goals being conceded was so poor. Shirehampton were superb though!
23. Slimbridge 2-4 Gloucester City (Pre-Season Tour – 25/7/17) – One of the best games of the pre-season tour. Slimbridge were 1-0 down at half time, then 2-1 up within the first 15 minutes of the second half. Zack Kotwica came on and changed the game for City.
22. Hanwell Town 1-0 Longlevens (FA Cup – 19/8/17) – My first taste of a Longlevens away trip. A great day out. The game was a terrific experience for me and was complimented highly by the Hanwell locals. The game itself was very good but the result soured the game ultimately.
21. Bishops Cleeve 4-0 Shortwood United (Southern League West – 24/10/17) – This was my visit to Kayte Lane. Bishops Cleeve were sensational against a poor Shortwood side.
20. Longlevens 1-6 Highworth Town (Hellenic Premier – 20/9/17) – A very competitive first half which saw Mason Lewis score one of the goals of the season. Highworth ran away with it in the second period.
19. Cinderford Town 3-2 Slimbirdge (BigFreeBet Challenge Cup – 3/10/17) – Not bad for a game “no one wants to win” and Henry Birkett was superb!
18. Cheltenham Town Ladies 1-0 Forest Green Ladies (GFA County Cup – 19/11) – Great atmosphere. Great displays throughout and both sides gave it their all. A great advert for local and women’s football.
17. Longlevens 4-0 Fairford Town (Perpetua Press Floodlit Cup – 1/11/17) – Brad Martin was unplayable!
16. Slimbridge 1-3 Cirencester Town (Southern League West – 16/8/17) – At the time Cirencester were struggling to get any momentum but on the day they were superb!
15. Tuffley Rovers 3-1 Brimscombe & Thrupp (Hellenic Premier- 28/8/17) – August Bank Holiday Monday at Glevum Park. A Sam Hill double highlighting just how good of a right back he is!!
14. Tuffley Rovers 0-1 Longlevens (Hellenic Premier – 10/10/17) – A wonderful local derby that had a bit of everything. Tackles, expert defending, a missed penalty, a red card & two sides that put everything on the line for local supremacy.
13. Gloucester City U18s 6-0 Bishops Cleeve U18s (FA Youth Cup – 18/9/17) – An absolute clinic!
12. Slimbridge 2-2 Taunton Town (Southern League West – 25/10/17) – A great game with a dramatic equalizer at the end by the visitors. Marley Thomas scored two solo goals that were absolutely frightening.
11. Longlevens 5-1 Fairford (FA Cup – 8/8/17) – Fairford scored within the first few minutes and should have scored more. Both sides showed passion and the game flowed for 90 minutes. Dave Merrick scored two goals including the killer third goal right after half time. He was incredible!
There we go. From 50-11 ranked in order. There are some big games still waiting to be ranked though! Find out which games have made the top 10 and which game will be ranked the Number 1 game I have seen this season tomorrow night, right here!!
Any games you feel should be higher up the list? Let me know via Twitter @SevernSport