FOOTBALL: CHQ Utd book semi final place in county cup

THE heavy rain last Saturday wiped out the M4 Karting Cirencester & District League programme, with only Bibury Reserves and CHQ United's clash in the GFA Intermediate Cup quarter final, beating the elements.

Bibury took the lead after only four minutes with their first attack when a low cross from the left was not dealt with effectively by the CHQ defenders who only succeeded in diverting the ball into their own net.

CHQ soon settled and pressed for an equaliser which came after 20 minutes when Lee Hartshorn rose unchallenged from a free kick to score with a strong header. They were soon ahead when Matt Edgington, up from defence, also found the net, but Bibury hit back with a well taken goal from Nathan Brunton to restore parity.

However, CHQ quickly regained their lead when Richard Gardiner arrived at the far post to convert a low cross, giving them a 3-2 half-time lead in what was a fairly evenly contested game.

Bibury tried in vain to force an equaliser in the second half but CHQ`s tenacity and better use of the ball restricted their opportunities, and it was CHQ who looked the most likely to score, with the killer goal to put the tie beyond Bibury`s reach coming from Chris Saunders ten minutes from time.

There were league games played over the Christmas period with CHQ tightening their grip on the Division One title with convincing 7-0 and 9-0 victories over Siddington Sports and Stratton United respectively. In the Siddington game, the prolific Chris Saunders scored three and against Stratton United, Joey Blackford hit a hat-trick of penalties.

Poulton look the most likely title challengers as they moved into second place after an important 4-3 victory at Bibury Reserves.

Sherston picked up six points with two victories to move themselves into the unchartered territory of mid-table. They beat basement side Stratton United 3-2 and then followed this up with a surprise but deserved 1-0 victory at South Cerney, a result which probably ends Cerney's chance of the title.

Lechlade's topsy-turvy season continued after they were beaten 8-1 by Beeches and then the following week they beat Oaksey 6-1, a result that pushed Oaksey into the bottom two. Liam Moor and Ashley Andrews both hit three goals each in the defeat of Oaksey.

In Division Two, Kingshill Sports edged a seven-goal thriller against CHQ Reserves to maintain top spot and their 100 per cent record. Matt Townsend was another hat-trick scorer with all CHQ`s goals.

Ashton Keynes remain in second place after a pulsating 3-3 draw with Oaksey Reserves, which they then followed up with an 8-2 victory over Lechlade Reserves. Ashley Edwards hit three goals in this convincing win.

Tetbury Town III are starting to show some improved form as they lost narrowly at Down Ampney 2-1, but picked up three points with a 2-0 victory over bottom-of-the-table Minety.

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