Winterbourne's title hopes hit by Gala defeat
WINTERBOURNE United's hopes of winning their first County Youth League championship were dealt a major blow as they were pipped 1-0 by closest rivals Gala Wilton.
The contest had been billed as a potential title decider as leaders Winterbourne needed victory to clinch the crown, while a point or more for Gala would give them a fighting chance of retaining the title they won for the first time last term.
Winterbourne went into their final match of the campaign with just one defeat in the league, a 1-0 loss against Yate Town in their previous outing.
United began brightly and Gala keeper Luke Neale pulled off a fine double save to prevent them taking an early lead.
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The decisive moment came on the half-hour mark when Jon Blackwell's fierce shot struck a post and rebounded into the path of Seb Devlin, who drilled the ball home. The goal was only the tenth Winterbourne had conceded in league action this season.
The second half was much the same – plenty of endeavour by the players but little in the way to test the keepers.
Midway through the period, Winterbourne pushed up an extra player from defence. It meant while they pressed harder for an equaliser, Gala looked dangerous on the break.
In the event, neither side could manage another goal and Gala now trail Winterbourne by only two points, with two games in hand.
The irony of this is that Winterbourne visited Gala earlier in the season and led 3-0 when heavy rain forced the game to be abandoned on 70 minutes. Had the match continued to the finish, without a dramatic comeback on Gala's part, Winterbourne would have been crowned champions.
In other matches, Wotton Rovers won 3-2 at Lydney Town, while Yate Town and Thornbury Town fought out a 0-0 draw.