Bristol Manor Farm 3 Highworth Town 2

It took a moment of magic by Farm centre-forward Lucas Vowles in the final minute of this entertaining game at The Creek to separate the two teams.

The visitors bristled brightly after kick-off and Josh Dempsey, deputising in goal for Ben John, sidelined through suspension, had to come out smartly and collect after five minutes.

The home side went one up in the thirteenth minute when Lewis Leigh-Gilchrist played an exquisite one-two with Lewis Bamford on the edge of the box before holding off his marker to slot coolly home past Connor Johns.

The visitors equalised in the 25th minute when following a quick break down the right Callum McGhee-Parsons was on hand to smash home from close range.

A minute later Farm’s lead was nearly restored when full back Tyler Ashmead went on a brilliant run down the right, beating several opponents and getting off a fierce goal-bound strike in the penalty area which Johns just got his fists to, sending the ball flying over the bar for a corner.

Manor Farm did then retake the lead just minutes later when Vowles latched onto a defensive error before running on and tucking the ball underneath the advancing Johns.

Highworth pulled level for the second time shortly after the break when, similarly, Ashley Edenborough took advantage of some loose defensive play to tap the loose ball home from six yards out.

There was a big shout for a Manor Farm penalty shortly afterwards when Bamford bustled into the penalty area and a Highworth defender appeared to have handled the ball whilst on the ground but the referee waved the frantic appeals away.

There wasn’t much between the two teams until the final quarter of an hour when Manor Farm began digging deep for the victory. Vowles had a decent effort cleared off the line by Matt Grabe and Highworth then briefly threatened but were denied by a superbly timed tackle by skipper Jay Adams deep in his own penalty area.

With four minutes to play Bamford was brought down 22 yards out after a typically mazy and industrious run. The resultant free-kick, sweetly struck by Leigh-Gilchrist from a central position, was tipped onto the bar and over by Johns.

From the corner kick, centre-half Jamie Turner almost clinched the three points with a near-post flicked header that whistled just narrowly over.

With time ticking away Steve Kingdon launched a long throw into a crowded box and Vowles, with his back to goal, produced the cheekiest of back heel flicks that beat Connor and everyone else to nestle in the far corner. The home crowd went wild with delight as Manor Farm squeezed home by the narrowest of margins to register their first win of the new season.

STAR MAN (Mike Bryant, Bristol Manor Farm)