Longlevens Reserves slip up at Bicknor to set up winner take all final game


Longlevens Reserves have given up the initiative in the Gloucestershire Northern Senior League Division One title race, despite coming from 2-0 down to claim a point at English Bicknor.

Dale Rawlins’ side went into the game knowing they were the masters of their own destiny, but Jordan Burke’s double had them facing a season-ending defeat.

But Luke Troke gave the visitors hope, before First Team Co-Manager Craig Martin scored a dramatic leveller in the eight minute of second half stoppage time to keep Levens’ title hopes clinging on by the barest of threads.

Longlevens now know that if they win their two remaining games, away at Lydney Town Reserves on Tuesday and at Woolaston next weekend, they will still be waiting on the outcome of Chalford vs Tredworth Tigers on Monday 13 May.

The permutations of that game are winner takes all, after Tredworth were given a walkover by Berkeley Town on Saturday.

However, that match could have greater significance – as if Levens were to beat Lydney and Woolaston, then a draw between Chalford and Tredworth will see Longlevens win the league title on goal difference.

Their second half comeback against a very well drilled English Bicknor side means there are simply no more slip ups for Levens.

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The game itself start with Longlevens on the front foot, with Shiyak Sutherland firing just wide after Fin Kent had an effort blocked.

James Cottrell was kept busy in the Bicknor goal, keeping out Shaun O’Connor and then Fin Clift.

And after improving as the half wore on, Bicknor took the lead after a push in the box saw a penalty awarded and Jordan Burke stepped up to fire home.

Longlevens were awarded a spotkick of their own in first half stoppage time, but Sutherland ran up to blaze his effort high over the bar.

And within seven minutes of the restart, Bicknor made him pay for that miss. Burke was found in a yard of space outside the box and he swept his effort past Harvey Moroney and Longlevens’ title hops were going up in flames.

Luke Troke had been brought on at half time, but he was joined by Craig Martin with just over ten minutes to go and after Martin saw a header tipped onto the bar by Cottrell, Levens would pull one back in the 89th minute as Troke turned home after Cottrell produced a smart save to keep out Fin Clift.

Nearly ten additional minutes were played and most of it was spent with Longlevens peppering the Bicknor box.

Martin rounded Cottrell only to see his effort slid off the goal line in what felt like THE chance, but moments later Martin headed home at the back post after being picked out with a pinpoint cross.

Longlevens Reserves will be looknig for a reaction at Lydney on Tuesday to keep their season alive, whilst English Bicknor end their campaign on 30 points – 26 of which they earned after Christmas in a miraculous escape.

English Bicknor: Cottrell, Reason, J Davies, L Davies, K Wildig, Brown, Slater, Payner, Burke, T Wildig, Frost

Subs: Hall, Bowdler, Selwyn-James

Longlevens Reserves: Moroney, Kavanagh, McLean, Barnett, Kent, Callinan, Knight, O’Connor, Sutherland, Clift, Emmett

Subs: Powell, Nutting, Bonser, Troke, Martin

C Martin Roofing Man of the Match – Keiran Slater (English Bicknor)

READ MORE: Check out the list of results in and around Gloucestershire from Saturday right here

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