Young side await reward for valiant efforts
DESPITE valiant efforts, Mangotsfield United’s young charges are still looking for their first point of the season, after losing 2-1 at home to Willand Rovers at Cossham Street before going down 3-0 away to Larkhall Athletic in Bath.
And their losing streak continued with a narrow FA Trophy defeat at home to Cinderford Town.
Against Willand there was little to choose between the sides until a fierce 25-yard drive by Harry Simons flew into the net on 44 minutes to give the Mangos the lead.
But Willand came out strongly after the break and were soon level, then on 56 minutes made it 2-1 when a neat move was finished off by Archie Reay, who turned the ball home from close range after a header was palmed away.
Mangotsfield tried hard to get back into the game but the visitors stood firm despite seeing defender Cormac Pike sent off on 86 minutes for a 2nd yellow card.
A few days later, a vastly more experienced and physically stronger Larkhall side featuring eight or nine former Mangotsfield players in the squad was too much for the Mangos youngsters to contend with.
As ever, there was no lack of enthusiasm or effort from the Mangos and for the first 30 minutes or so they battled to keep the Larks at bay. However, on 32 minutes, following a disputed handball incident, Lewis Powell opened the scoring for Larkhall from the penalty spot.
A loss of concentration saw the hosts increase their lead through Mike Baker before a neat one-two on the edge of the Mangotsfield area saw Joe Tumelty put the home side into a commanding 3-0 lead after 37 minutes.
The Mangos kept going after the break to try and make a game of it, but Larkhall defended their lead until the final whistle.
At home to Cinderford on October 17 Mangos keeper Jakob Glover twice blocked goal-bound efforts on the line before Cinderford took the lead with a low shot from Will Gibbons, doubling it when Matt MacDonald scored from a corner.
The second half saw Mangotsfield begin strongly, as substitute Harry Haughton saw his 20-yard strike tipped around the post by visiting keeper Nick Jones on 47 minutes.
The Mangos were back in the game on 77 minutes when Matthew Binding netted from close range following a corner to make it 2-1, and a frantic finale saw them trying their best to save the game, as substitute George Neill fired over from 15 yards and then Olaoluwakitan Jaiyeoba fired wide, after a darting run through the visitors’ defence, in added time.