Tuffley strengthen title credentials in fightback
A THRILLING comeback victory at Patchway Town saw Tuffley Rovers move five points clear at the top of the Gloucestershire County League table.
After a dour first-half performance during which Matt Davies gave the hosts the lead with a 20th-minute cross-shot, Tuffley struggled to find their form.
Only an effort from Warren Mann served to lift the spirit of Doug Foxwell's men, although the winger's left-footed curler from 25 yards failed to trouble the Patchway keeper.
The hosts should have gone in at half-time with a two-goal lead, but with the goal at his mercy Davies fired over the bar.
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Reprieved by the miss, Tuffley flew out of the blocks at the start of the second half and drew level on 52 minutes as Richard James powered home a header from a corner.
In less than 18 minutes, Rovers had scored twice more to establish an air of dominance that would see them move clear of their rivals in the table.
Mark Ford grabbed the second goal, as he reacted to fine work from Antoine Thompson to slam home at the far post.
And Marcus Foxwell made it three with a sublime free-kick on 63 minutes, as his curling effort from fully 30 yards flew past the Patchway keeper.
With second-placed King's Stanley without a league game, third-placed Southmead CS Athletic missed out on a their chance to maintain Tuffley's pace.
The Bristol boys were held to a 0-0 draw by mid-table Henbury and now sit six points behind Tuffley, but having played a game more than the Gloucester boys.
Ellwood also missed out on their chance to press their title ambitions after they lost 3-1 at Bristol Academy, a result that leaves them level on points with Southmead.
The Academy raced into a 13th-minute lead as Jake Jackson flicked the ball on to Jordan Lawrence to hammer home from 20 yards.
Daryl Addis levelled the scores with a 20th-minute header, but the Academy re-established their lead before the break thanks to a Truan Williams free-kick.
And Alex Fox sealed the points for the Academy from the penalty spot nine minutes from time after Mario Mateus had been brought down in the box.
Taverners slipped down in to the bottom two after they suffered a 1-0 reverse at Nailsworth Primary School at the hands of Thornbury Town.
The Nailsworth side had the best of the opening exchanges and should have taken an early lead, only for some errant finishing to let them down.
Matt Spring was the guilty party for the hosts, twice missing out in one-on-one efforts as he first hit the post and then fired over the bar.
Thornbury gabbed a decisive lead on the half-hour mark as Danny Thompson fired the only goal of the game.
And in another superb turnaround in a day of County League comebacks, Longlevens battled back from a two-goal deficit to claim a point at Yate Town Reserves.
Jack Parker gave the hosts the lead from the penalty spot on 30 minutes and the same player netted his second spot kick of the afternoon two minutes after the break.
Longlevens pulled a goal back 15 minutes from time after Shaun O'Connor capitalised on a defensive error.
And the Gloucester side claimed a point thanks to an 80th-minute strike from Ryan Dunn.
Other results: DRG Frenchay 3 Kingswood 2; Hanham Athletic 1 Rockleaze Rangers 2.