Cinderford Town gained promotion to the Southern League Division One after defeating Royal Wootton Bassett Town 4-0 in the Hellenic League Premier Division play-off final, writes Jake Williams.

In their respective play-off semi-finals, both sides defeated opposition that finished higher in the league table.

It was also the same scoreline in each contest, as Royal Wootton Bassett beat Highworth and Cinderford defeated Corsham 1-0, both away from home.

The first shot on goal came for Bassett three minutes in, as Kyle Tooze cut in from the left before firing towards goal, but it was held by James Smallcombe.

The hosts came even closer to opening the scoring in the 13th minute. The ball was laid off to Jack Hobson-McVeigh whose effort hit the post, before the rebound from close-range by Tooze was well saved by Smallcombe.

Just before the 20 minute mark, Ryan Hillier beat his defender after controlling the ball nicely and broke forward. He connected well with his shot, but it was too central and denied by James Foster.

With 27 minutes played, Cinderford Town opened the scoring. Hillier was able to pounce on a poor kick from the goalkeeper, with the striker staying composed and rolling it into the back of the net.

Two minutes later, the Foresters doubled their lead in incredible fashion. Blaine Waugh picked up the ball in the middle of the pitch, and from 40 yards perfectly lobbed Foster in the Bassett net.

Hobson-McVeigh had a chance from a set-piece 10 minutes from half-time, but his strike sailed over the bar.

The remainder of the first half was the quietest period of a pretty action-packed contest, and the visitors went into the break two goals to the good.

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The first chance after the restart saw Royal Wootton Bassett nearly pull one back. This time it was Sam Packer’s powerful strike from the edge of the area that rattled the post, with the rebound being gathered by Smallcombe.

Just after the hour mark, Cinderford made it three. The referee played advantage with Craig Norman on the ball down the left, before the captain played in Hillier who slotted it home into the bottom corner.

In the 66th minute, Norman was first to get to a low corner, and his lobbed shot hit the top of the Bassett crossbar.

20 minutes from time, Tooze had a pop from the right-hand side, but Smallcombe got down to save.

Shortly after, Hillier, who was on a hattrick, turned and shot, but it was straight into Foster’s arms.

Norman then had a go from distance after winning the ball back in a good position, and it flew narrowly wide.

A couple of minutes later, it was 4-0 and game over. Norman once again shot from just outside the box and after his effort was saved, the rebound by Hillier came off the post, then off a Bassett player, and eventually in.

Bassett were still looking for a consolation, with a strike from outside the area by substitute Brad Pagliaroli being denied by Smallcombe, who was edging closer to a clean sheet.

Almost immediately after coming on, Kerry Morgan was picked out in the middle of the box, but a weak shot was easy enough for Foster to deal with.

Pagliaroli had another shot deep into injury time, and again connected cleanly, but it was wide of the mark.

The full-time whistle sounded, and Cinderford Town could finally celebrate.

Royal Wootton Bassett Town: Foster (G/K), Partridge (Gallagher 62’), Spalding (Griffin 73’), Taylor, Corcoran (C), Presley, Tooze, Packer (Chilcott 62’), Ouldridge (Pagliaroli 54’), Hobson-McVeigh

Sub nor used: Bampton

Cinderford Town: Smallcombe (G/K), Davies, Binns, Vine, Heffernan, Knowles (Jones 73’), Hayes (Davies 83’), Watkins, Hillier (Morgan 89’), Norman (C), Waugh (Symonds 90+4’)

Sub not used: Adams

C Martin Roofing Man of the Match – Craig Norman (Cinderford Town)

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