Gloucestershire’s most prolific strikeforce eyeing up half century this week

Bishops Cleeve host Lydney Town in the Perpetua Press Floodlit Cup on Tuesday night and the Mitres go in to the game with the most prolific forward line in Gloucestershire. 

Forwards Jack Watts, Elliot Kennedy and Brad Martin currently sit on 49 goals in all competitions and will be looking to reach their half century as a trio this week.

If none of the three score in the cup tie then they will get the opportunity to reach the milestone on Saturday, in a crucial away league fixture against title rivals Ascot United.

Martin, who arrived at Kayte Lane in the summer from local rivals Longlevens, tops the scoring charts out of the Gloucestershire sides with 19 in all competitions, whilst fellow striker Kennedy has 17 and wide man Watts has 13.

Severn Sport spoke to Martin and Kennedy about their partnership ahead of the Lydney game and both seemed to be surprised that the former Levens man has hit the ground running at his new club.

“I always believed in my ability and thought that playing with players who have played at a higher level would help me but I never imagined I would score this many goals so quickly, so I am delighted really.” Martin told us whilst Kennedy was quick to heap praise on his striking partner.

“I didn’t expect it at all. I didn’t know anything about him or the Hellenic League really. People were telling me that he is good and knows where the goal is. After the first few games you could see why he has scored so many and so regularly in this division.” 

Mitres duo Kennedy & Watts were part of the side who were relegated from the Southern League Division One West into the Hellenic League and both stayed at Kayte Lane to help try and fire Cleeve back into the Southern League as part of their #BounceBack social media campaign.

Cleeve’s main forward pairing has been Kennedy & Martin, with Ieuan Crowe, Kevin Slack and Joe Bates supplying supporting roles for Cleal’s men. Kennedy gave us an insight into what makes the trio of Martin, Watts & Kennedy tick.

“The partnership is very good. I have known Jack for a long time now and played with him before so I know what he can bring to the table. He is good at getting at players…he just needs to pass more.

Brad is what I need in a forward partner. He is good at holding the ball up, wins his headers more often than not and is in the right place at the right time for me and Jack. It’s what we have needed for a long time. As a 3 we have a good friendship on and off the pitch and I think it shows.” 

With both forwards approaching 20 goals in all competitions each, they are both determined to turn their personal achievements into success for the Mitres come the end of the season.

“My aim at the start of the season was 30 goals but with the start I have had I have to be looking even further than that, so I think 35 is achievable. Hopefully as a team though we can get some silverware by the end of the season. The league is the main target and after beating Brackley on Saturday, I think we’ve put ourselves back in the mix so hopefully our good form continues and we can see where it takes us.” Martin told us.

“My aim was to reach 20 goals but like Brad I have to look further than that thanks to a great first half of the season. For me 30 goals would be a great achievement for a winger at any level. Obviously the team comes first and it would be great to get to a cup final or two, especially to win one. The league would obviously be a great success but it’s going to be very hard as everyone is capable of beating anyone in the league, as the opening few months have shown,” said Kennedy.

Outside of the front three, Bishops Cleeve have seen goals from all over the pitch. There have been contributions from no fewer than 13 different players, including full back Adam Mace who has scored 5 goals since his summer switch from Slimbridge.

But how do Bishops Cleeve’s top three compare to the rest of our sides in the Hellenic League?

Adam Loveridge, Harlie Price & Iain Sercombe at Cheltenham Saracens are one goal behind with 48 goals as they continue to lead the Hellenic League Division One West.

Sam Blackie, Ash Caldwell & Harrison Reeves have scored 34 goals between them at the time of writing for Brimscombe & Thrupp, ahead of their league fixture with local rivals Longlevens on Tuesday night.

Hellenic League Division Two West sides Moreton Rangers Bourton Rovers boast frontlines that have produced 28 and 27 goals respectively, whilst Hellenic League Division One West side Cirencester Town Development & the Hellenic Premier’s Lydney Town come next with 25 goals a piece.

Longlevens have scored 19 between their front three current top scorers along with fellow Hellenic Premier team Fairford Town.

The young trio at Brimscombe & Thrupp Development come next with 17 between their top three scorers, whilst Tuffley Rovers have netted 15 times between theirs.

Newent Town‘s first side has 13 between their top three whilst their reserve side have 11.

 

This week on Severn Sport we kick off our 12 days of Christmas countdown on Thursday, as we have treats from the Severn Sport vault lined up for you all. Don’t miss it!