Second half goals from Warren Mann & Harry Walker were enough for Tuffley Rovers to end their home season with a 3-1 win over Burnham and in the process secured a top half finish in the Hellenic Premier.
Kick off was delayed by 15 minutes after the Burnham kit and some of the players were caught up in traffic and arrived late. This caused the game to take a while to spring into life.
With little or no attack from either side in the opening ten minutes Tuffley took the lead with the first meaningful shot in the game. A swinging ball from the right by Liam Wright was met by a free Shayne Bradley header. The big man headed the ball down and it somehow got past Tom Bryant in the Burnham goal.
The rest of the first half was quite poor from both sides, with the best chances falling to Will Emery, who headed over for Tuffley and Matty Sinclair, who saw his effort blocked by Liam Wright.
The only other bit of drama came when a Shayne Bradley cross was clawed out from under his own crossbar by Bryant. The ball fell to Warren Mann who saw his effort cleared off the line, despite the Tuffley player’s reactions and cries that the ball had crossed the line. We went in to the break with Tuffley one up.
Matty Sinclair started the second half brightly for Burnham, firstly by cutting in from the right before firing well and then by setting up Calvin Morgan, but he couldn’t find the finishing touch required.
Just when Tuffley began to retake control Burnham would break and Sinclair managed to create a yard of space in the box and fire in the equaliser, despite being under pressure.
The goal woke Tuffley up with Warren Mann, Shayne Bradley and Brett James all looking to create the goal to strady the ship for the home side.
Youngsters Kieran Alder and Will Emery combined to give Tuffley the chance to go back in front from the penalty spot just after the hour mark. The former played a delightful ball in behind for Emery to chase. He rounded Bryant and was brought down, leaving the referee no choice but to award the spotkick.
Warren Mann stepped up to see he penalty saved by Bryant. Bryant’s save bounced behind him and as he and Mann converged on the ball the goal was awarded by the referee, who to be fair to him was right on top of the incident. Tuffley were awarded their second much to the anger and fury of Burnham who felt Bryant was no more than shoved into the net. In reality they had a case but really Bryant should have done better with his penalty save.
Will Emery hobbled off after the penalty incident with what looked like after a potential broken foot. He limped past us with help either side of him after the game and you could see how swollen his foot was. Get well soon to him!
Tuffley then lost Liam Wright to a left hamstring injury just over five minutes later so they had to reshuffle, moving Harry Walker from right to left back.
The reshuffle worked out perfectly with just 7 minutes left on the clock. After Warren Mann laid the ball back to Harry Walker wide on the left the full back shifted the ball on to his right foot, swung in a glorious looking cross and it flew straight in and through Bryant’s hands. Again, the keeper should have done better.
That was the last real action of the game and in the end Tuffley just about did enough to win the game. The second goal had a major say in the rest of the game and it affected Burnham for a good 5-1o minutes afterwards. For Tuffley they won the midfield battle thanks to the duo of Kieran Alder and Courtney Hamilton, with the latter picking up our MOTM for his performance.
Tuffley Rovers move up to 9th in the Hellenic Premier ahead of their final game of the season, away at Bracknell Town on Saturday afternoon. A win for Rovers will see them finish 8th in the league if Windsor fail to win at Lydney Town. A defeat opens the door for Longlevens to push them down to 10th.
Tuffley: Evans, Walker, Wright (Foxwell 74′), Anson, White, Hamilton, Mann, Alder, Bradley, Emery (O’Leary 68′), James (Hill 90+4′)
Subs Not Used: Ford, Pritchett
Burnham: Bryant, A Grant, Poole, Mugoya, Kemp, Jewell, Morgan, Taylor, Wilson, Sinclair, E Grant (Raines 78′)
Subs Not Used: Randell
Severn Sport Man Of The Match: Courtney Hamilton (Tuffley Rovers)