Gloucester City have won the first ever Severn Sport Shield, after they held onto their 4-2 lead against a very game Longlevens side.
The National League South side raced into a 2-0 lead inside the first six minutes when midfielder Joe Hanks broke the deadlock for the second time in the tournament and a well taken Jake Jackson goal doubled the lead just minutes later.
The Thornhill Park crowd were almost expecting a cricket score as City continued to carve out chances. Jackson rattled the Longlevens bar before Jamie Edge clipped the upright with a curling effort from the edge of the box.
Longlevens were without experienced captain Craig Martin up front and the lack of physical presence left forwards Myron Turner and Shaun O’Connor picking off scraps in the first half.
Two quickfire goals just after the half an hour mark saw City go in at the break 4-0 up. The impressive Jake Mawford scored a lovely solo effort before 18 year old winger Dan King swept home his second of a successful tournament for him individually.
Longlevens made changes at the break including the introduction of 18 year old forward Isaac Johns. Inside the first 60 seconds of the second half it was Johns’ hard work down the left hand side that lead to Ryan Dunn firing home off the underside of the cross bar. Longlevens were back in it!
The Hellenic Premier side really did take the game by the scruff of the neck in the second half and took it to their National League South counterparts. Dave Rich in the middle began to link up well with Turner, Johns and O’Connor and it lead to Longlevens winning a corner.
From the cleared corner a Dave Rich cross fell to Kieran Squires at the back post and the former Slimbridge man poked home to reduce the deficit to two. Suddenly there were murmurs in the crowd that the comeback was on!
But it wasn’t meant to be. The Tigers were able to hold out and take home the Severn Sport Shield. Longlevens finish runners up and will be very happy with the performances they put in over the course of the week.
Levens defender Kieran Squires was voted Severn Sport’s man of the match for the final so took home a trophy and a crate of beer for his efforts.
Earlier on in the day Slimbridge beat Tuffley Rovers 6-1 to take home third place and avoid the wooden spoon.
A Joe Wilton strike and a superb Max Harper-Emerson solo effort either side of half time saw the Swans take a 2-0 lead. The impressive Henry Birkett marked his performance as captain with the third before new signing Sam Mendes curled in a free kick to make it 4-0.
Four became five soon after when Tuffley defender Kieran Mace turned the ball into his own net in unfortunate circumstances. Slimbridge u18s Taylor Buckland rounded off the scoring for the hosts before Tuffley forward Ryan Dobbins pulled one back for Tuffley and ensured they wouldn’t leave the tournament without scoring a goal.
So Gloucester City will be invited into the Severn Sport Shield 2019 as reigning champions if Marc Richards’ men fancy defending their crown. But who will join them as hosts? Well, we announced the 2019 Severn Sport Shield hosts so we can reveal that the tournament will be going to….
There we go. Tuffley Rovers will be hosting the 2019 Severn Sport Shield at their Glevum Park stadium. We cannot wait to run the tournament again and will begin preparations soon!
A massive thank you to everyone who came to the games, who donated to the tournament’s charity Gloucestershire Nightstop, those who listened to the commentaries if you couldn’t attend as well as all four club’s for their participation. The games were played in the correct spirit and all four sides were competitive, giving us four entertaining games of football. Also a massive thank you to the officials for sharing the load of four games in a week, they did a great job and played their part in the entertaining matches.
We will be announcing a team of the Severn Sport Shield next week, acknowledging those players who performed at a high level throughout and helped us celebrate all things great about Gloucestershire football!