Chalford retain GNSL Div One title thanks to late Brunsdon winner


Chalford secured the Gloucestershire Northern Senior League Division One title with a dramatic 2-1 win over Tredworth Tigers, in their winner takes all encounter.

Approximately 400 were in attendance as the GNSL title race came to an exciting climax. Chalford and Tredworth knew a win would seal the deal for them, whilst a draw would let Longlevens Reserves in to steal the crown.

After a goalless first half, Andy Maryon’s header had the hosts in front before Corey Warrington levelled with twenty minutes to go.

Tredworth were much the better side during the game and looked the most likely to win it at that point, but substitute Luke Brunsdon poked home a winner with two minutes left of normal time.

The game was, as expected, played at a million miles an hour and credit the officials – they handled it superbly well. It made for an entertaining contest from the very first whistle.

Chalford go on to join Totterdown United and Filton Athletic in the County League play-offs, with the two Bristol sides taking part in the first match on Wednesday evening.

The loser of that match will play Chalford on Saturday (18 May) and should Chalford lose that, they will play the winner of match one next Wednesday night (22 May).

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Ryan Harry and Jacob Rogers had early openings for their sides, but neither could get a clear shot on goal off, as the nerves could be felt around the ground.

The rainy conditions caused problems during the first half, in particular, with players losing their footing and misplacing passes – again, this didn’t help the nerves of some spectators.

Adam Thomas was called into action just before half an hour, beating away Nick Hill’s free kick.

Tredworth settled into the contest after an open 15 minutes or so and moved the ball well, without carving out too many clear cut chances.

Their best chance fell right on half time, as Tyler Hill cut back for Lee Smith – who scuffed wide from the middle of the area.

Courtney Hamilton and Corey Hill also had efforts off target prior to Smith’s chance, but at the break the Tigers looked most likely to pounce.

Typically, Chalford came out for the second half and broke the deadlock inside the first seven minutes.

Ben Minnican, who was presented with the Severn Sport Player of the Month award for April after the game, whipped in a free kick for Andy Maryon to head past Adam Fenner to put the hosts ahead.

From there Chalford were forced into weathering a storm. Corey Hill turned smartly before firing over from just inside the box and Martin Smith had a goalbound effort blocked.

But with twenty minutes left, Corey Warrington cut in from the left side of the box and saw his effort deflect past Thomas and parity was restored.

The ten minutes that followed was pretty much all Tredworth. A ball was flashed across the Chalford six yard box, but no visiting player gambled. Martin Smith then stung the palms of Thomas from range, before Luke Payne fired over once again.

Lee Smith had a curling effort held by Thomas, before Maryon had a golden chance at the other end, but headed straight at Fenner.

Chalford brought on Luke Brunsdon and George Parker for pace and it paid dividend in the end as Brunsdon chased Thomas’ long ball downfield and after the defenders let it bounce twice, Brunsdon poked an effort past the on-rushing Fenner to spark Chalford celebrations.

The closest Tredworth came to a leveller was a Lee Dyer effort that was side footed wide from 18 yards.

But it was Chalford who would be presented with the league title at full time by John Green and Colin Peake, meaning that departing management duo Ben Powell and Ben Newman’s farewell tour rolls into Oaklands Park at the weekend.

Chalford: Thomas, Minnican, Lock, Outram, Benneyworth, Davis, Keylock, Roberts, Harry, Harris, Maryon

Subs: Barstow, Moore, Parker, Buckland, Brunsdon

Tredworth Tigers: Fenner, Payne, N Hill, Morgan, Rogers, T Hill, Hamilton, M Smith, Warrington, L Smith, C Hill

Subs: Foster, Rich, James, Dyer, Weir

C Martin Roofing Man of the Match – Luke Benneyworth (Chalford)

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