Gloucestershire Northern Senior League One
Chalford 2 Brockworth Albion 1
Ben Powell’s Chalford sent out a message of intent after leapfrogging title rivals Brockworth Albion at the top, despite playing the majority of the game without a recognised goalkeeper after Billy Thomas hobbled off.
There had been huge anticipation in the lead up to this – the first league meeting of the two title protagonists – and it was second-placed Chalford who came out on top when 43-goal hot-shot Jack Hughes opened the scoring – darting onto a Thomas torpedo kick which was flicked on by Natty Buckland after just six minutes. Thomas hobbled off in the first half, with Buckland forced to go in goal.
Ryan Harry made it 2-0 after the break, poking home an Andy Maryon flick. However, Brockworth’s Ash Bird put the game back on boiling point when he hooked the ball over Buckland.
A delighted Chalford boss Powell said: “I think we just about edged it over the course of 90 minutes. Victory was made tougher by losing our keeper Billy Thomas to injury after 22 minutes with forward Natty Buckland taking the gloves.
“It’s always tense when you play your closest rivals and this was an important victory for us, we now need to make sure we navigate the next eight league games which will be test over three weeks.
“I thought we managed the game well, Brockworth started brighter than us but once we settled I thought we played well.
“I thought our backline were superb again and we managed to protect Natty well and restrict Brockworth’s attacking threats.”
Chalford now prepare for the GFA Senior Amateur Cup final against Avonmouth on Tuesday night at Almondsbury. After Tuesday’s County Cup final, Chalford are back in league action on Thursday night, with Smiths Barometrics the visitors.
Chalford make the short trip to Stonehouse Town Reserves on Saturday.
Chalford: Thomas, Fawcett, Lock, Benneyworth, Barstow, Davis, Harris, Wilson, Harry, Hughes, Buckland
Subs: Underwood, Keylock, Swales, Roberts, Maryon