Bishops Cleeve U18s complete double with Cup final win over Saracens


Bishops Cleeve U18s clinched the second half to a Cheltenham Youth Floodlit League and Cup double, with a 2-0 win over Cheltenham Saracens on Wednesday night.

Two goals in two minutes saw Cleeve seize control of the first half, with Tommy Bond smashing home from a corner, before Noah Parker’s solo effort.

Sarries huffed and puffed in the second half, but wasteful finishing and resilient Cleeve defending kept the young-Mitres’ clean sheet in tact.

Cleeve adopted frustrating game-managing tactics in the second half, ensuring their opponents couldn’t maintain momentum for the most part.

The game saw the top two of the CYFL go head-to-head in the showpiece final at the TigerTurf Stadium and both sets of defences began the game nervous, yet confident.

Both sides looked to play from the back and both nearly got caught out by the high press inside the first five minutes.

Tommy Bond’s cross on 7 minutes just evaded Marcus Cornwall, whilst at the other end a Sarries corner was nodded just wide, as both sides went looking for that all-important first goal.

Bond was the man to find it, after peeling to the edge of the box at a corner, taking the ball down on his thigh and volleying past Joe Goodey.

Sarries barely had time to settle down after conceding the first, before they conceded again! This time Noah Parker picked the ball up wide on the left and weaved his way into the box before slotting past Goodey and Cleeve had one hand on the S Turier & Son Cup.

Bond should have sealed the tie five minutes later, but after chopping inside when through on goal, he tamely passed to the recovering defender on the line.

Cleeve captain Archie Tucker produced a stunning first half display for his side and he came close to a third, cutting in on his left foot before firing wide on the first instance and hitting the far post with his second.

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The second half was much improved from Beckem Foley’s side. They had a header from a corner cleared off the line, before Fletcher Martin’s ball in pinballed around the Cleeve box before eventually being smothered away.

As the game hit the hour mark, the frustration started to creep in for Sarries. A number of Cleeve players stayed down at every challenge and the game became very stop/start.

With 15 minutes left to go, Cleeve keeper Fin Ray saw a cross across his box squirm free, but as substitute Charlie Alder looked to pounce, it was scrambled clear.

Saracens skipper Dec O’Shea was then sin binned for his reaction to a foul and yet more delaying tactics.

The second half saw nearly 15 minutes added time at the end of proceedings, with Cleeve restricting Sarries to half chances and the only clear cut effort coming in the 98th minute, but it was fired wide from the edge of the box.

Cleeve were presented with both the S Turier & Son Cup and the League trophy at full time, as their season comes to a close.

For Saracens, they are still set to play Lydney Town in a re-arranged league fixture, which will be their last of a promising season.

Cheltenham Saracens U18s: Goodey, McCordall, Wells, Miles, Davies, Brookes, Martin, O’Shea, Davis, Stalley, De Quincey Adams

Subs: Kelly, Alder, Rose, Morgan, Richmond

Bishops Cleeve U18s: Ray, WIlliams, Scott, O’Leary,, Swift, Danter, Tucker, Cornwall, Bond, Parker, Hodgins

Subs: Bean, Balchin, Day-Tsegah, Walker, Green

C Martin Roofing Man of the Match – Archie Tucker (Bishops Cleeve U18s)

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