Tuffley Rovers manager Mark Pritchett praised his side after they came from a goal down to beat Ascot United 2-1 at Glevum Park this afternoon, despite playing the majority of the match with ten men.
Tuffley, who were already missing Brett James to a two game suspension were reduced to 10 men after Courtney Hamilton was given his marching orders for an off the ball incident. Hamilton was visibly infuriated with the decision and after the game Pritchett explained why.
When asked about the incident Pritchett told us, “…I didn’t really see it. Courtney says the Ascot player pushed him, he pushed him back and the kid went down. I don’t really know.”
Earlier in the half Shayne Bradley was cautioned for a lunging challenge on Ascot’s Louis Bouwers after the referee, Spencer McNaught had originally pulled out the red card. Rovers winger Warren Mann pleaded McNaught to speak to his assistant. After a consultation the yellow card was issued.
In between the two incidents Ascot took the lead. The visitors dominated the early exchanges of the game with James Richardson, James Goodey & Dominic Sullivan all having efforts at the Tuffley goal. It was the latter who eventually broke the deadlock after his header ricocheted off a Rovers body and flying past Dave Evans.
“It was a bit jammy a little bit. I think it got headed into the back of Kieran Alder’s head but you know we could have been 2 or 3-0 down. We rode our luck a little bit, Ascot deserved the lead but the reaction was brilliant.” Pritchett told us after the game.
Pritchett was complementary of Ascot after they took the game to Tuffley. The visitors were very organized at the back and for the first 35 minutes Rovers really couldn’t lay a glove on their opponents.
Shayne Bradley equalised minutes before half time after Warren Mann was tripped by Jonny Denton on the edge of the box. Bradley curling his effort beyond Amouri in goal and it really did kick Tuffley into life.
In the second half the contest was much more ground and pound with very limited clear cut chances in the first quarter of an hour. Eventually with twenty minutes to go Tuffley found themselves in a decent position and after being fed by Shayne Anson, a cross was stood up by Ash Bird. The cross looped up and over a helpless Amouri into the back of the net.
Pritchett was delighted for Bird, who notched his first goal for the club. He said of the match winner “… It’s very important for Ash. I mean, you can see how he celebrated just how much it means to him. It has been tough for him, about 14 or 15 games but to be fair to him it hasn’t shot his confidence at all. I actually spoke to Neil Mustoe who said that when Ash played for the under 18s it took him a while to score his first for them before he carried it on so hopefully this will kick him on going in to the end of the season for us.”
Ultimately Tuffley held out thanks to a resolute defensive display including stand out performances by Shayne Anson and young midfield duo Cam Williams & Kieran Alder who showed real maturity beyond their years to play at such a high level after the experienced Hamilton was dismissed.
“They [Williams & Alder] have been brilliant. Cam came in for his first game for us in a while last week and they were both outstanding. This week was completely different to last week though. Last week was a carpet of a pitch and a good footballing pitch and here its a bit of a bog out there in places. But they both dug in deep and along with everyone did brilliant for us.”
Tuffley move up to 9th in the Hellenic Premier with four games in hand over local rivals Longlevens above them.
The games come thick and fast for Rovers now with 3rd placed Wantage Town making the trip to Glevum Park on Tuesday night, a game you can follow live on Severn Sport.
Tuffley Rovers: Evans, Anson, Davis, White, Herbert, Hamilton, Williams (Hill 90+3′), Alder, Bradley (Walker88′) , Mann, Bird
Subs Not Used: Pritchett
Ascot United: Amouri, Lock, Denton, Sullivan, Bouwers, Cooper (Sheridan 79′), Carlisle, Gilpen, Goodey, Richardson (Seldon 71′), Hodges
Subs Not Used: None
Severn Sport Man Of The Match: Shayne Anson (Tuffley Rovers)