The 2017/18 season is slowly coming to an end. We had some good times, some bad times and some awful, awful weather. But the time is here for the final team of the month of the season, ahead of the Severn Sport End of Season Awards on May Day.
After some awful weather we were able to cover another 11 games this month, seeing a total of 52 goals at an average of 4.7 goals per game. Despite the amount of goals scored we also saw 5 clean sheets. Out of the 11 games we saw 8 home wins, 2 away wins and 1 draw. We also covered our very first game in the Stroud League, as we follow the Division One title race to its conclusion this Thursday.
As always, the difference between the Severn Sport Team Of The Month and other similar awards is that we pick players who excelled and performed in Severn Sport live matches. So let’s take a quick look at the games we covered and the games we had to choose players from.
Monday 2nd April – Bath 5-1 Gloucester City
Thursday 5th April – Gloucester City U18s 4-0 Cheltenham Town U18s
Saturday 7th April – Bishops Cleeve 1-1 North Leigh
Saturday 14th April – Longlevens 3-0 Windsor
Thursday 19th April – Longlevens 1-4 Woodley United
Saturday 21st April – Longlevens 2-1 Binfield
Monday 23rd April – Gloucester City U18s 8-0 Cinderford U18s
Tuesday 24th April – Barnwood United 3-0 Old Richians
Thursday 26th April – Tuffley Rovers 3-1 Burnham
Saturday 28th April – Woodley United 0-3 Longlevens
Monday 30th April – Gloucester City U18s 9-2 Malvern Town U18s
Goalkeeper – Sam Gilder (Bishops Cleeve)
The conclusion of the Southern League season went to the wire. Ultimately Bishops Cleeve were unable to avoid relegation despite going down swinging, somehow managing to take the relegation fight down to the last day. Something that if you told anyone associated with Bishops Cleeve would happen they would have bitten your hand off. One of the reasons The Mitres were able to take it to the last day was an inspired Sam Gilder in goal. He put in performances that were absolutely breathtaking, just like the 1-1 draw with North Leigh. Gilder was in full David De Gea mode on the day and put in the single best performance from a goalkeeper I have seen this year.
Right Back – Brad Loveridge (Gloucester City U18s)
One of many Gloucester City U18 players to make this month’s team Loveridge has impressed all season. His buccaneer like approach to the right back position is absolutely frightening. He is quick, he is skillful, he has ability and he can defend. Quite simply he is one for the future and may just be one for the now!
Centre Back – Craig Martin (Longlevens)
Longlevens ended their season with three wins out of four, including two clean sheets. Martin was pivotal in both shut outs, firstly by taking the game against Windsor by the scruff of its neck and putting on a defensive clinic. He then marshalled the back line as Woodley searched for a win to survive in the Hellenic League. Martin also ended the game on the right wing, notching up an assist in the process. There is life in the old dog!
Centre Back – Shay Lyons (Gloucester City U18s)
Shay Lyons is a superb defender. In the three games I saw him play for the Young Tigers he was an absolute man mountain. He bossed the battle in the air, he has improved with the ball at his feet and looks like the real deal. In the 9-2 demolition of Malvern he also proved what an asset he could be in the opposition box, notching up an important goal as City go in search of the league title and county cup.
Left Back – Logan Roach (Gloucester City U18s)
Logan Roach missed the game against Malvern but played a pivotal role in the two games we saw earlier in the month. Roach, who has caught the eye on many an occasion this season has been in scintillating form. He is stronger than he was earlier in the season. He, for some reason, has grown a top knot….I don’t know either. But one thing that Logan Roach has done, is show that he is nearly the complete package. When people ask me if any of the City U18 side can make the first team he is one of the lads who I truly think isn’t far off making the upgrade into the mens game.
Right Midfield – Dan King (Gloucester City U18s)
Again, one of the brightest sparks in a glistening Gloucester City U18 side. Dan King is an absolute monster of a player. I mean wow. Against Malvern he had three assists after half an hour!! He scores nearly every time we watch this special City side. He is tall, he is strong and powerful in stature as well as with the ball at his feet. He will glide past players like they don’t exist and he would seriously cause trouble at first team level. He could be the chosen one!
Central Midfield – Dave Rich (Longlevens)
With all of these youngsters in this month’s team we have a man like Dave Rich who has been rolling back the years in April. Rich has dominated midfields that have reached FA Vase quarter finals, midfields that have been in the top 6 for the majority of the season and a midfield with a side fighting for their lives. He has been the glue to hold the midfield together and has chipped in with both a goal and multiple assists in the last month. An absolutely stunning month from Big Dave.
Central Midfield – Kieran Alder (Tuffley Rovers)
Kieran Alder is one of the most eye-catching stories of the season. Compared to the start of the season Alder is a completely different player, he has matured beyond all expectations and has the potential to be a leader of Tuffley in the years to come as they rebuild. With Courtney Hamilton in the middle with him he flourishes and is allowed the freedom to express himself without having to worry about getting stuck in too much…even though that doesn’t stop him. This won’t be the last time Kieran Alder makes a team of the month that is for sure.
Left Midfield – Rhys Lewis (Longlevens)
In the second half of the season Longlevens have utilised their successful Thirds team to offer first team football for some of the players considered the future of Longlevens. One of these stand outs is Rhys Lewis. He played left wing against Windsor and created two goals whilst he reverted back to left back for the win against Binfield. Baring in mind they were a top six side for the best part of the season, Binfield couldn’t lay a glove on the young man . If his cameo at the end of the season is to go by then it looks like Longlevens have a very handy player on their books.
Striker – Brad Martin (Longlevens)
Brad Martin struggled through February and most of March. He will be the first to admit that. Through struggling with a calf injury and a lack of confidence in a winless side it just wasn’t working for the big man up top. In the last six weeks or so I have noticed the change in him. The confidence was back on and off the field and his performances in April highlighted that. Scoring a couple of very well taken goals and creating chances for his supporting midfield Brad Martin was back to the form Longlevens saw from their main forward earlier in the season. Impressive month.
Striker – Josh Watts (Gloucester City U18s)
The final member of the Young Tigers side to make the starting XI this month and it is a man who just knows where the goal is. Josh Watts scores all sorts of goals, from the tap in to headers to long range efforts to the difficult finishes on the angle. He has scored all four of those types of goals this month alone and for a man of his size he isn’t afraid to get physical and mixes it up against even the toughest of defenders. An absolute goal-scoring machine.
As always there are substitutes (four substitutes for this month) and a manager to lead this strong and powerful team into battle. The subs are as follows:
Cam Williams (Gloucester City U18s)
Courtney Hamilton (Tuffley Rovers)
Harry Walker (Tuffley Rovers)
Keenan Rankin-Woodhouse (Barnwood United)
Manager of the month can only be one man. It is Longlevens manager Mark Moore. He has added to his list of achievements this season with the following; managing Longlevens to their highest ever league position at Hellenic League level, managing Longlevens in their first ever FA Vase win in their history, taking Longlevens on their longest ever trip to play a game of football in the FA Vase first round and the most important one of all…becoming a proud father to Gracie Rose Moore last night. Everyone at Severn Sport would like to congratulate Mark and his better half on welcoming Longlevens newest signing to the world!
So that is everyone set. The starting XI. The subs and the manager. Here is the XI in full: