Tuffley take bragging rights after seeing off Longlevens with second half comeback


Tuffley Rovers secured their first league win over local rivals Longlevens since 2018 after three goals in seven second half minutes saw Neil Mustoe’s side come from behind to take the points.

Connor Walters’ close range effort levelled the contest after Shaun O’Connor had put Longlevens in front during the first half, before Walters was tripped for a penalty soon after.

Karnell Chambers dispatched the spotkick, with Kieran Alder adding a third after the visitors won the ball nearly straight from kick off.

Longlevens’ second half capitulation was summed up with Coach, Kacey Johnstone, being sent off for reacting to goading from Rovers’ Warren Mann, before Luke Hitchman was sent off for headbutting Walters with just over ten minutes left to play.

The result sees Tuffley end a hoodoo that had seen them fail to win in their previous six league meetings with Longlevens – with their only win coming in the revamped Hellenic League Cup during the covid-affected 2020/21 season.

Tuffley move above Longlevens into 16th place in the Hellenic Premier table, although Neil Mustoe’s side have played two more fixtures.

The first half started slow, with Tuffley have more of the ball but neither side showing too much quality in the final third.

Longlevens broke the deadlock just after the 20 minute mark, as a corner into the box was headed up by Jack Beardsell at the back post, for Shaun O’Connor to send a volley into the top corner.

In a first half lacking real quality in attack, Alder and Mark Pritchett went closest for the visitors, but neither tested Matty Wieczorek.

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Both sides looked for the all important second goal after the break, with Connor Walters curling just wide from 18 yards.

Walters was on hand to level the contest in the 68th minute, when he touched home from a corner two yards out.

The goal shifted the momentum of the game completely and the visitors took the lead within five minutes, as Walters cut in from the left and was tripped in the box.

Karnell Chambers stepped up to fire the penalty into the bottom corner and Tuffley knew they had the game right where they wanted it.

And within 90 seconds, the game was over. After Longlevens tried to overplay following the kick off, Tuffley won the ball in their opponents half and Kieran Alder worked a yard of space, before firing past Wieczorek.

As Tuffley celebrated, Warren Mann appeared to celebrate in front of the Longlevens bench, which produced a reaction from First Team Coach, Kacey Johnstone.

After the officials controlled the inevitable shoving match that ensued, Mann was cautioned and Johnstone was sent off.

Then to compile the misery for the hosts, Luke Hitchman was sent off with just over ten minutes left on the clock, after headbutting Walters.

Tuffley continued their celebrations at full time after claiming a crucial win, whilst Longlevens will need to pick themselves up after being shell-shocked in the second half.

The hosts lost control of the contest once Luke Finch and Jordan Alderman were replaced, two minutes before the equaliser, with a lot of impetus in the game lost in the game from that point.

Both sides have another local derby on Saturday, with Tuffley heading to Brimscombe & Thrupp, whilst Longlevens head to Slimbridge.

Longlevens: Wieczorek, Kavanagh, Iddles, Long, Hitchman, Finch, Williams, O’Connor, Beardsell, Alderman, Sutherland

Subs: Parker, Miles, Mason, Haswell, Aldridge

Tuffley Rovers: Merchant, Mann, Barrett, Pritchett, Herbert, McGuirk, Jake White, Alder, Walters, Bevan, Chambers

Subs: Hill, Shyamapant, Joel White, Birkett, Lander

C Martin Roofing Man of the Match – Connor Walters (Tuffley Rovers)

READ MORE: Check out the fixtures and results this Christmas in Gloucestershire right here

Cover photo taken by and copyright to Brian Rossiter. Check out his Flickr account for all of his pictures by clicking here

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