Saintbridge 2 Alkerton Rangers 4

IN a tense affair at Gloucester Academy, the Eastington outfit prevailed due to gritty determination and a tactical master stroke.

Opening brightly, Alkerton’s man-of-the-match Henry Turner ought to have scored after linking well with Charlie Henry.

Despite the midfield duo of Chris Pearce and Kirk Wilkinson pulling the strings they fell behind on the quarter-hour when a low shot deceived custodian Dave Potter. Poor marking nearly resulted in a Saintbridge second but for the intervention of a post.

Alkerton thought they had levelled when Vaughan Wilkinson’s free kick went straight in on 40 minutes but it was disallowed for a foul on the home stopper.

Rangers came out of the break firing on all cylinders with Lewis Vanstone posing all sorts of problems to the Saintbridge back line.

The game was turned on its head as first Alkerton restored parity on 57 minutes when Henry headed in Kirk Wilkinson’s delivery and they then went ahead on 65 minutes courtesy of another header, this time from Pearce.

With the game 75 minutes old Saintbridge levelled, prompting Alkerton boss Kev Bond to introduce himself for the tiring Harry Cunningham.

With ten minutes left Henry notched his second and then following precision interplay between Turner, Kirk Wilkinson and Vanstone, Henry completed his hat-trick to seal victory.