Youngsport: Mixed fortunes for Gloucester Schools
St Albans 1 Gloucester A 7
GLOUCESTER Schools' district squads experienced differing fortunes as they made the trip to Hertfordshire to play St Albans.
The A squad recorded their third consecutive, and to date best win of the season as they ended St Albans' proud unbeaten record of 24 games – spanning two and a half years in the Berkshire League.
The Hertfordshire side last tasted defeat in this competition way back in March 2010, but the city team turned in a resolute and spirited display to deservedly claim all three points after a frenetic encounter.
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With Basford, Douce and Mace setting the early standards in midfield Gloucester claimed a seventh-minute lead when Berry won the ball and slid in Cronin, who advanced beyond the hosts' backline to net a fine opener.
Five minutes later it was 2-0, Basford finding Cronin who squared for Mace to drive Gloucester's second into the bottom corner from just outside the box.
The excellent Drewett went close to adding a third but Kyffin, Gilkes and Rigby Mitchell were resolute at the heart of the Gloucester defence.
A speculative effort from Hedge reduced the arrears five minutes before the break but the visitors continued to hold the upper hand before and after the interval.
Midway through the second period good work from Gilkes, Collins and Basford set up Webb, who cut inside to drive beyond Gupta and into the far corner to restore the two-goal cushion.
Basford struck the post after good work from Rigby Mitchell and Webb fired just over – Collins providing the opportunity – before Hodgson reduced the arrears from the spot with six minutes remaining.
Gloucester had to withstand a late onslaught as St Albans sought an equaliser but they were not to be denied a well deserved victory.
Gloucester A: Gardner-Medwin; Berry, Rigby Mitchell, Gilkes, Kyffin, Collins; Basford, Douce, Mace; Drewett, Cronin. Sub: Webb.
St Albans B 5 Gloucester B 2
A LACKLUSTRE display saw Gloucester's B squad go down to the Geoff Richards League leaders.
The hosts deservedly led 2-0 at the interval, and even though Hopkins pulled a goal back six minutes after the break St Albans struck twice more to put themselves in a comfortable position.
Hatcher produced an excellent display for the visitors, but even though Lawrence pulled a goal back for the city team the hosts sealed their victory in the final minute.
Gloucester B: Morrissey; Hatcher, Stubbs, Baron, Lawrence; McKenzie, Harris, Williams, Priday, Martin, Hopkins. Subs: Tyndall, King.