Tuffley Rovers’ four game unbeaten run in the Hellenic Premier was brought to a frustrating end, after they were narrowly beaten by table toppers Corsham Town, 1-0.
Kane Simpson’s 16 minute effort was enough to see Corsham extend their run of wins over Tuffley to six in six, with Rovers still awaiting their first goal against Corsham in the league.
The result means Tuffley remain in 14th place in the Hellenic Premier table, having earned 10 points in their last four league outings of 2023.
The game started with both sides feeling their way into the contest and Simpson finding space in behind the Tuffley backline on 4 minutes, only to see his one on one saved by Luke Merchant.
But 10 minutes later, a ball in from the right fell to Simpson and after shifting the ball to his right, saw his effort somehow squirm through Merchant, who would have felt he could have done better.
Credit to Neil Mustoe’s men though, they looked for an instant response. Karnell Chambers had an effort saved by former Bishops Cleeve keeper, Sam Jepson, before Josh Radford fired just wide in the 21st minute.
But a lack of quality in tough and testing conditions limited the action for the rest of the first half and Corsham were ahead at the break.
Both sides created chances in the early stages of the second half, with Si Gilbert blazing wide for Corsham, after beating the offside trap down the right side of the box.
Moments later, Jake White had an effort from 18 yards beaten away by Jepson, who stood firm.
Tuffley defender, Macaulay Herbert, came agonisingly close to getting a toe on the end of a cross from the right, before Warren Mann’s cross fell to Jake White and he blasted straight down the middle and Jepson saved again.
Jepson made a further save from the resulting corner, turning Chambers’ effort round the post.
Tuffley battled hard during the second half and made Corsham have to do some serous defending to see the game out.
And whilst Corsham didn’t necessarily celebrate at full time like they had won the league, the players, bench and spectators celebrated, knowing that this well earned three points could mean so much come the end of the season.
Next up for Tuffley is a trip to local rivals, Fairford Town on Saturday (6 January), before they host Brimscombe & Thrupp in the Hellenic League Challenge Cup.
For Corsham, they host Pershore Town at the weekend, before a home game with Tytherington Rocks in the Challenge Cup next Tuesday night (9 January).
Tuffley Rovers: Merchant, McGuirk, Mann, Joel White, Herbert, Birkett, Jake White, Alder, Radford, Bevan, Chambers
Subs: Pritchett, Lander, Shyamapant, Hill, Barrett
Corsham Town: Jepson, Swann, Greenland, Rusby, Cooper, Hallett, Humphries, Davis, Gilbert, Kane Simpson, McKay
Subs: Hill, Evans, Taylor, Kye Simpson, Jones
C Martin Roofing Man of the Match – Warren Mann (Tuffley Rovers)