A thundering start from Gloucester City, scoring three times in the opening seven minutes, set the Tigers up for a 5-1 capitulation of Bishops Stortford on a rain-soaked evening at Whaddon Road.\n \nGoals from debutant loan signings Mitch Harding and Jordan Goddard, both from Bristol Rovers, plus a storming header from the returning Chris Holland shell-shocked the Hertfordshire side.\n \nWith the contest almost over so early, the Tigers pressed and were rewarded with another Holland header just before half time, and a final headed goal from Tom Hamblin. The turgid visitor’s consolation came via penalty from Reneil Sappleton.\n \nThe Tigers pounced out of the blocks and in little under a minute Lewis Hogg played a sumptious ball to 18-year-old Harding who slammed home the ball from the right hand side.\n \nThe high-tempo opening continued and a beautifully whipped in corner from Hogg found the head of Holland, making his second home debut for the club, on the edge of the six yard box to double City’s lead.\n \nHowever, the Bishops may have halved that if Freddie Ladapo hadn’t squandered a fantastic chance when he clipped the ball past the far post with goalkeeper Mike Green beaten.\n \nThen, to compound even more misery on the Woodside Park outfit, young Jordan Goddard picked the ball up 40 yards out, rushed forward and shot stunningly into the top right hand corner to send the Tigers into a 3-0 lead astonishingly early.\n \nThe frantic opening pace continued and Ladapo was once again thwarted by Green after a tame shot.\n \nDavid Mehew’s men could’ve added a fourth on 20 minutes when the ball found Asya Corrick unmarked at the back post after great work from Steve Davies, and duly scuffed his shot from close range yet still forced Austrian ‘keeper Jorg Stadelmann into a top save.\n \nThe Tigers pressed more and from yet another Hogg corner, Tom Webb ghosted in and shinned the ball forwards, only for his fortuitous shot to be cleared off the line.\n \nThe irresistible first half performance concluded with a fourth goal, similarly to the second, Hogg whipped in a corner from the right hand side and Holland was unmarked at the back post to head home.\n \nBishops Stortford came out for the second half with a point to prove, looking much more potent, but Sappleton failed to convert numerous chances throughout the half, including a one-on-one that Green saved with aplomb.\n \nCity were striking back though and a wonderful piece of interplay between Harding and the full-back Mike Green saw the defender shoot just wide.\n \nThe only joy the visitors had in a turgid performance occurred when Harding brought down a Blues player in the box for a penalty, which Sappleton scored.\n \nBut the last laugh came for the Tigers who capped off their best performance of the season so far when Hogg crossed the ball to Holland at the back post who found Hamblin unmarked on the edge of the six-yard box to cheekily head home to make it five.\n \nThe five-star performance came at a perfect time for the Tigers, as they are set to face Conference South side Eastleigh, who lost 6-1 at Farnborough midweek, in the FA Cup on Sunday, a perfect tonic.\n \nGloucester City: M. Green, M. Green, C. Holland, M. Coupe, T. Hamblin, T. Webb (Liddiard 80) , L. Hogg, J. Goddard, S. Davies (Parker 88), M. Harding, A. Corrick (Harris 60)\n \nSubs not used: S. Rawlings, A. Mann\n \nGoals: Harding 1, Holland 4, 44, Goddard 7, Hamblin 65.\n \nBishops Stortford: J. Stadelmann, A. Sinclair-Furlonge, J. Herd, R. Prestedge (Webb 53), P. Anderson, S. Francis, M. Johnson, J. Wallér- Lassen, R. Sappleton, S. Lawley, F. Ladapo (Brayley 65)\n \nSubs not used: M. Redgrave, A. Abdullahi, H. Milton\n \nGoals: Sappleton (58 pen)

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.