v Shrivenham (Uhlsport Hellenic League, Premier Div – 28 Aug 2021)




Tuffley Rovers’ indifferent start to the 2021/22 season continued, as a late, late goal saw Shrivenham secure all three points from this Premier Division game.

Despite the risk of a lack of confidence in the Rovers ranks, after their heavy defeat in the FA Cup replay at Flackwell Heath in the week, and a growing injury list, Rich Cox’s side started brightly, trading blows with a Shrivenham team that looked to attack too.

The spirit of adventure saw Rovers take a 13th minute lead, as Laurie McNally, making his full debut, swung the ball from a right-back position into the feet of Rudi McKinnon, who was on the opposite corner of the Shrivenham defence, and the young forward produced an excellent first touch, taking him inside the covering full-back, before he smashed a low shot that went beyond the keeper, James Foster, hitting the post, before striking him on the back and rolling into the net.

McKinnon produced an acrobatic overhead kick minutes later that went just wide of the goal, as Rovers pushed for a second goal, but for all their attacking endeavour Cox’s side continued to show a defensive vulnerability and Jonathan Peachy-Score was afforded way too much time and space, before he struck the ball home to make it 1-1 on 30 minutes.

Within sixty seconds it was 2-1 to the hosts, as a crossfield pass found Josh McGory, who was completely unmarked and took advantage of the opportunity to fire past Callum Brain and secure a lead that Shrivenham held going into the interval.

Less than six minutes into the second period it was 2-2, as some calamitous defending saw Foster, coming out to claim the ball, caught out as the he could only see it deflect off a covering defender and out of his path, but straight into the feet of Warren Mann, who rolled the ball into the net under pressure, despite the best efforts of covering defender to keep the ball out.

Two minutes later Adam Bright almost scored a second own goal, as he hammered the ball against his own bar from McKinnon’s low cross, as Mann looked to get ahead of him. Fortunately for the Shrivenham man, the ball went away to safety and the scores stayed level.

It was far from one-way traffic and Rovers had to thank Joe Shutt for clearing the ball off the line, with Brain beaten, three minutes later. Harry Morgan then drew a save from the Shrivenham keeper, before Brain made a good stop to save Rovers shortly after.

Chances continued to come for both sides, without either keeper being seriously tested, before a another long ball caught the Rovers defence out and Peachy-Score took advantage to fire home a late winner that secured all three points for the hosts and left Rovers still searching for their first.