A brace from Jacob Chamberlain was enough to earn Longlevens U18s a 2-1 win over city rivals, Tuffley Rovers in the Cheltenham Youth Floodlit League on Monday night.
Chamberlain broke the deadlock on 15 minutes, after a dominant start to the game from the hosts, but after Tuffley grew into the contest and levelled through Henry Driver-Dickerson’s second half spotkick, Chamberlain nodded home the winner just before the hour mark.
It is a much needed win for Brandon Vance’s side, who had gone five games without a win in all competitions – although the result should have been safe before the half time break.
The hosts started on the front foot and nearly took the lead inside two minutes, but Charlie Wilkes fired over from just outside the box.
Longlevens moved the ball well, albeit a bit slow at points, but took the lead when a ball in from the right was touched down by David Onakoya for Chamberlain to sweep into the bottom corner.
Credit to Tuffley, though, as others could have fallen apart they grew into the contest and made life difficult for the home side.
Longlevens keeper Harvey Moroney wasn’t forced into any saves, but he was made to work by sweeping up through balls and claiming a couple of balls into the box as the hosts took their foot off the gas.
Luke Twyning fired over from 18 yards, before his looping cross nearly caught out Tuffley keeper Callum Wicks, but for all their possession Longlevens were only ahead by one at half time.
The hosts were made to rue their missed chances within the first ninety seconds after the restart.
Will Whitmarsh moved to the right hand side and his ball into the box saw George Driver-Dickerson sent tumbling. Penalty.
Driver-Dickerson stepped up to restore parity and suddenly the visitors started to commit more bodies forward.
But with Jamol Dare and Levens substitute Karl Tchibe staying high, it meant Rovers were always susceptible to the counter and after giving away a free kick just right of centre just before the hour, the winner came.
Charlie Wilkes’ whipped effort was palmed down by Wicks, only onto the head of Chamberlain who netted his 8th goal of the season.
Wilkes went close with another free kick with 15 minutes left on the clock, before Chamberlain was denied a hattrick by the on-rushing Wicks when one on one.
Driver-Dickerson had Tuffley’s best chance of an equaliser in the final ten minutes, but sliced wide after a neat one two on the break.
The win sees Longlevens remain in 5th, one place above Tuffley but now the lead is five points. Both sides are back in action on Thursday night, with Longlevens heading to Shortwood United and Tuffley Rovers playing host to Cinderford Town.
Longlevens U18s: Moroney, Peirce, McLean, Ford, Fieldhouse, Twyning, Wilkes, Knight, Dare, Chamberlain, Onakoya
Subs: Al-Abidin, Bevan, Henry, McCarthy, Tchibe
Tuffley Rovers U18s: Wicks, Cole-Perkins, Clifford, Graham, Whitmarsh, Sheehan, Cornock, Ali, Walters, Ratnanandan, Driver-Dickerson
Subs: White, King, Bourne, Dzwonkowski
C Martin Roofing Man of the Match – Jacob Chamberlain (Longlevens U18s)