HALLEN BOOK SEMI-FINAL PLACE
HALLEN Reserves joined Mendip United, Bitton Reserves and Winterbourne Reserves in the semi-finals of the Bristol Premier Combination Cup with a 2-1 third-round win at Lawrence Rovers.
After a goalless first half, Paul Griffiths netted the opener in the 50th minute for Hallen, who lost full-back James Wood with a serious leg injury, causing the game to be held up for almost an hour until an ambulance arrived to take him to hospital.
Corey Simpson added the second for the visitors, who were forced to hang on after Luke Mathison replied for Rovers in the closing stages. Rovers manager Tim Richards was disappointed that the game was not abandoned because of the lengthy delay.
"Our players were very cold and did not want to play on, but the referee contacted someone from the league and we were told that we would forfeit the game if we did not continue," he said.
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Longwell Green Reserves returned to the top of the Premier Division after winning 5-1 at AEK Boco, the previous leaders.
Matt Jackson fired the new pacesetters in front and went to complete his hat-trick following Luke Westwood's equaliser for AEK, who were sunk by further goals from Dave Purnell and Simon Warren.
Old Sodbury's charge up the table was ended by a 4-3 defeat at Lebeq, who took an early lead with a penalty from Dominic Holver. The visitors hit back to go 2-1 up through Scott Robson and Simon Purnell before Holver completed his hat-trick to restore Lebeq's advantage.
Ben Rose levelled the scores again, but player manager Anthony Whillier sealed victory with a bullet header for Lebeq, who had a late let-off when Kevin Ashwood hit the post with a penalty.
"We were very unlucky and deserved a point," said Sodbury boss Greig Everson.
An 8-0 romp at home to Winterbourne Reserves boosted Mendip's late bid to retain their title after a disappointing start to the campaign.
Last season's champions raced into a 5-0 lead with strikes by Steve Maggs, Ashley Riddock, Del Attwell, Mike Berry and Mark Liddell in a one-sided game. Attwell took his tally to four with a second-half treble.
"We are playing really well at last," said Mendip manager Richard O'Connor.
Also still in the hunt are Totterdown United, comfortable 5-1 winners at Roman Glass St George Reserves, who remain rooted to the bottom and face relegation.
Joe Treasure netted a second-half consolation for Saints in reply to goals from Toby Carter, Aaron Thorne, Dan Harrison, Jacob Hodgson and George Saunderss.
Mike Farley missed a late penalty for Nicholas Wanderers, who went in front though Matt Rawlings only to be pegged back to 1-1 by an equaliser from Joe Thomas for struggling Wick.
Ollie Porter levelled the scores for Bitton Reserves, who fell apart in the second half and crashed to a 4-1 defeat at Shaftesbury Crusade after dominating the early exchanges.
Tom Kilbane struck twice, then Ross Davidson and evergreen Andy Parry were also on the mark for the Crusaders, who had two players sent off in the second half.
Highridge United are the new leaders of Division I after scoring three times without reply at home to Henbury Reserves, who will struggle to avoid dropping down to the District League unless they find a dramatic improvement in form.
Danny Elson, Dave Garrod and Grant Farrell were on target for Highridge, whose secretary Keith Perry thought his team should have won by a larger margin.
Bristol Manor Farm Reserves surrendered top spot following a 4-1 away defeat against Greyfriars Athletic, who are level on points with the long-time pacesetters.
Simon Boss (2) Chiffo Yusuf and Simon Bateman scored for the Friars, while Bateman was also on target at the other end when he slammed the ball into his own net for Farm's consolation.
Olveston came from behind to beat Patchway Reserves 2-1 after trailing to an early goal from Owen Greening. An own goal gifted them an equaliser before Russell Knight struck the decider, much to the relief of manager Shaun Griffiths.
Frampton Athletic won by the same score at Brislington Cricketers, who took an early lead through John Rogers and were in control for most of the game until Robbie Warren bagged a brace in the last five minutes for the outplayed visitors.
"We were very lucky to get the result," admitted Frampton boss Adrian Pell, while Cricketers' secretary Ed Davies could not believe that his team had lost after creating so many chances.
Tom Headford, Ben Cush and Steve Watts netted in the first half-hour for Cribbs Friends Life Reserves away to ring-rusty Eden Grove, for whom Aaron McQuaid hit back in a 3-1 defeat.
Made For Ever also took time to settle and fell behind to an early double from Mike Davey, set up by his fellow striker Jack Garland, for Seymour United in a 2-1 home victory.
Chris Williams replied in an improved second-half display by the visitors, whose manager Tim Cotter said: "We have not played for eight weeks and struggled early on."
Mark Cole has taken over as player manager of Oldland Abbotonians Reserves from Matt Lewton and celebrated by scoring twice in the 4-1 home success in the basement battle with Brimsham Green, for whom Shaun Britton fired home a free kick in reply to further goals from Tom Hutton and Ben Deemer.