v Lydney Town (Wiseman Lighting Floodlit Cup – 17 Sept 2022)




(ATT: 77)

Just two months after winning a league fixture 4-0 at their Glevum Park home, Neil Mustoe’s Tuffley Rovers squad returned from Lydney Town’s Swan Road with a cup victory, by exactly the same margin, and progressed to the last sixteen of the Wiseman Lighting Floodlit Cup as a consequence.

Mustoe’s squad were delayed in arriving in Lydney, following a serious motor vehicle collision on the A48 between Gloucester and their destination, but all sixteen players eventually arrived in good time and he was able to name a much changed line-up following the battling defeat against Cribbs on Saturday. Ashley Davies wasn’t available due to work commitments but the Rovers boss was able to call upon the returning Warren Mann – who had missed the Cribbs game due to suspension – and then added Mason Lewis, Kieran Alder and new signing Joey Haswell into the starting eleven, with Shayne Bradley and Callum McGuirk moving to the bench.

The hosts also fielded a much changed line-up, including a number of fringe and reserve team players in their line-up, with several players either rested, injured or otherwise not available.

With the dynamic Alder, on his first start since signing from Worcester City, influential in the opening stages and linking up well with Dominik Kent and Henry Birkett in midfield, Rovers immediately went on the front foot and sustained an intensity in their performance for much of a largely one-sided first half. That it took them the best part of twelve minutes for the opening goal to come was, on the face of it, something of a surprise.

The recalled Lewis had been a threat in the initial Rovers attacks and he turned provider, after a patient build-up, as he used an impressive burst of pace to beat his marker, before cross to the far corner of the Lydney Town six-yard box, where debutant Haswell was on-hand to fire a low shot that took a deflection before going into the far corner of Rich Thomas’ goal.

Kieran Squires might have done better to convert Birkett’s corner shortly after, before Haswell raced through on goal only to be denied by a good low save from Thomas; although, in truth, Haswell may have been better advised to fire into the opposite side of the goal, with the Lydney stopper committed to the right-hand side of his goal.

Alder then had two chances, both missing the hosts’ goal by inches, before Lewis once again became the catalyst for Haswell to add to Rovers’ lead.

The tall winger once again beat his man with a combination of pace and power, before a low cross went to the back post and the new signing met the ball sufficiently well enough to force the ball back across goal and into the corner of Thomas’ net, so that it was 2-0, with 39 minutes played and Rovers looking dominant.

Lewis almost had a goal himself, as excellent work from the luckless Dobbins, whose performances are more deserving of the goals his effort might normally be rewarded with, saw him sent through on goal, only for an onrushing Thomas to get in the way and force the ball out for a corner.