Exiled Grecian's report covers matches that took place during the w/c Monday, February 26, to Monday, March 5.
James Hamon - Gloucester City - Vanarama League South
Tuesday. February 27 | Havant and Waterlooville 2-1 Gloucester City
As was briefly mentioned in last week's loan report, James Hamon made his seventh league start for the Tigers last Tuesday on their visit to Havant & Waterlooville.
Right from the get-go Gloucester found themselves on the back foot, with the hosts looking much livelier in the first half, as you would expect from the second-placed side.
The visitors had James Hamon to thank for being in the game at the break, as he comfortably dealt with everything the Hampshire side could throw at him. His best moment came just 14 minutes into the game: captain Sam Avery had just been sent off for an off-the-ball incident just outside the area and, from the resulting free-kick, Hamon produced an excellent two-handed save to his right to keep the scores level.
Gloucester took the lead against the run of play shortly after half time. Home keeper Ryan Young raced halfway into his own half to intercept a through ball before poorly clearing it just before the centre circle. The ball was then cleared to Joe Hanks who, from inside his own half, turned and looped the ball into an unguarded net.
That was as good as it got for Gloucester. Aside from a comfortably saved set piece, they were on the back foot again for the remainder of the half. The hosts deservedly levelled through Jason Prior on 65 minutes, his shot across goal beating both Hamon and the defender on the line. And the Hampshire side would go on to win the game when a corner found Theo Lewis at the near post on 77 minutes, with his header looping over everyone and landing in the far end of the goal.
It was arguably a fair result, but it was a bitter pill to swallow for a Gloucester side who were undefeated in six games prior to this evening.
Saturday, March 3 | Gloucester City P-P Dartford
Gloucester's game against Dartford at the weekend was, as expected, postponed due to the weather.
Monday, March 5 | Gloucester City 1-0 Chippenham Town
Despite their postponed game on Saturday, the Tigers were back in action on Monday night, hosting relegation-threatened Chippenham Town. James Hamon retained his place between the sticks.
'The Beast from the East had wreaked havoc with the fixtures at the weekend and it seemed like neither side had fully thawed out from the freezing temperatures by the time this game came around, with almost no meaningful action in the first half. The hosts edged a particularly unspectacular opening 45 minutes, but neither side created any danger.
The visitors eventually created the first dangerous opportunities of the match in the second period. Hamon was forced to block a dangerous cross down to his right, with the defence dealing with the rebound, before producing an excellent point-blank save with his foot later on in the half. When the ball was perfectly played across the area into the path of the onrushing striker it looked as though a goal was inevitable, but Hamon stuck out his left leg to keep his side in the game.
And it proved to be a match-winning save as, from a Gloucester corner, Ethan Moore scrambled home a winner with just over 10 minutes left on the clock to open up a 12-point gap with the relegation zone and move to within nine points of the play offs.
Manager Marc Richards was full of praise for Hamon after the game, telling Gloucester City TV that the Channel Islander had "won us the game" before adding that "he's just grown, and grown, and grown with us". You can watch that interview below:
The praise didn't stop there either, with Gloucester's official Twitter account claiming Hamon was a "deserved man of the match".
......not the greatest of victories....it's 3 points and it's what matters....the performance from both sides didn't leave much to the imagination @GCAFCofficial will definitely see this as a scrappy victory....James Hamon a deserved man of the match....— Gloucester City AFC (@GCAFCofficial) March 5, 2018
- League: 8 appearances, 8 starts, 720 minutes, 2 clean sheets, 11 conceded.
- Gloucestershire FA Challenge Cup: 1 appearance, 1 start, 90 minutes, 1 clean sheet.
5/3/2018, Gloucester 1-0 Chippenham Town, played the full 90 minutes, kept a clean sheet and was Man-of-the-Match.
Max Smallcombe, Ben Seymour & Josh Key - Bideford - Evo-Stick South West
Tuesday 6th March, Bideford - Willand Rovers
Bideford were in Devon Bowl semi-final action last night, full details and match stats will be in next week's report. Josh Key started, but Ben Seymour was cup-tied, having already represented City earlier on this season. Max Smallcombe was involved City’s reserve game against Kidderminster.
First bit of game time today after a long spell out injured. Can’t beat it!⚽️— Max Smallcombe (@smallcombe_max) March 6, 2018