ANOTHER Callum Trotman penalty earned league leaders Ross Juniors a 2-2 draw at home to table-top derby challengers Longhope on Saturday.
The result extends Juniors’ unbeaten run to seven games - five wins and two draws - and they stay top of North Gloucestershire Division Two by a point from Mushet & Coalway 2nds with two games in hand.
Ross started excellently on the front foot creating many golden chances but found their finishing letting them down, missing several chances to take control of the game.
They finally broke the deadlock when a Ted Heyes shot was well saved, but a sliding Ben Scotford followed in to knock the ball home for 1-0.
But Longhope, who have bounced back from not winning a game last season in Division One, were then awarded a penalty and Dan Morgan stepped up to make it 1-1.
And five minutes later a cross evaded the Ross defence and Jamie Baker headed home to give Longhope a 2-1 half-time lead.
Ross again started on the front foot looking to get an equaliser and 15 minutes in they had their reward when Florin Crainic was fouled in the box and Trotman converted to make it 2-2.
As both teams tired on the heavy pitch, the game got scrappy and a Ross side missing four regulars started to drop deeper as two injuries left them with no subs.
The game petered out as though neither team wanted to or had the energy to go for the winner with the pitch taking its toll, and it played out in a point apiece.
The result leaves Longhope fifth, but only three points behind Juniors having played the same number of games in what is so far a highly competitive title race.
Newent Town were on the end of a 7-2 walloping at Hellenic League One leaders Pershore, though.
The Plums went 1-0 up after 10 minutes as Josh Willis hit a low shot into the corner of the net.
And they created several more chances without finding the net before a chipped ball over the Newent defence after the half-hour mark was then tucked away by Jamie Clarke for 2-0.
And it was three within two minutes as Danny Murphy headed home a looping ball from the Plums’ 10th corner.
Worse followed when a back pass was intercepted and Harry Burns rolled the ball in for 4-0 at the break.
Ten minutes after the break, Murphy added his second, turning on a sixpence and rifling into the net for 5-0.
Newent couldn’t lay a glove on the Plums as Willis also secured a brace with a superb strike from the edge of the box for 6-0.
To the Daffs’ credit they kept plugging away, and scored a consolation when Frank Pemberton lobbed over the onrushing keeper.
And tireless Tyler Weir added a second with a left-foot shot into the bottom corner for 6-2.
But it was Pershore who had the last word, Mark Magee scrambling the ball home for the seventh.
Meanwhile, the Daffs have appointed Ian Giles as their new Development team manager in Hellenic League Two West.
The former Cinderford Town Youth, English Bicknor and Stonehouse coach takes charge for the first game at home to Cheltenham Saracens Development this Saturday.
Elsewhere, Fownhope lost 2-1 at the University of Worcester’s ground against Coppertops in the Herefordshire Premier Division, a result which leaves the village side 10th.
But two late goals secured a 2-1 win for Ruardean Hill Rangers at 10-man Henbury in the Gloucestershire County League.
The hosts’ Danny Seymour was shown a red card after just 27 minutes, but Hill failed to take advantage with it 0-0 at the break.
And 10 minutes into the second period, a surging run out of defence and cross found Henbury substitute Paul Coles to sweep home to lead 1-0.
Aaron Underwood made some superb stops to keep Hill in the game after that, including a big stop five minutes from time.
But with three minutes to go, the game turned on its head, as a Ruardean corner fell to Alex Stephens to poke home for 1-1.
And with only injury time left he broke clear of the Henbury defence to square to Ollie Mason to score the winner.
A Ben Fletcher hat-trick helped Howle Hill to a 4-1 home win over high-flying Ellwood in North Gloucestershire Division One, Joe Thomas with the fourth, lifting the village outfit to fifth.
Division leaders Lydbrook Athletic were gifted a home walkover over Huntley, who couldn’t honour the fixture, taking them five points clear of Elwood in second.
And Ruardean Hill Rangers 2nds won 4-2 at home to table strugglers Westbury United.
Division One Mitcheldean hit a magnificent seven at Redbrook Rovers, who only managed one in reply, to stay three points clear at the top.
Lydbrook Athletic 2nds won 4-3 away to Viney St Swithins 2nds to go fourth in Division Two, while Ruardean Hill A won 3-2 away to Soudley 2nds to take their first points of the season and leapfrog their opponents off the bottom of the table.
And Ruardean United stretched their lead at the top of Division Three to nine points with a 5-1 home win over Staunton & Corse A, Wes Hathaway firing a hat-trick, backed by solo strikes from Oliver Cook and Liam Wilkins.
Fixtures this Saturday (November 26) include – Ross Juniors v Viney St Swithins 2nds, Clanfield 85 v Newent Town, Gloucester City U21s v Fownhope, Cheltenham Saracens Development v Newent Town Development, Ruardean Hill Rangers v Cheltenham Civil Service, Lydbrook Athletic v Wickwar Wanderers, Ruardean Hill Rangers 2nds v Longlevens Dev, Bream Amts v Huntley, Howle Hill v Milkwall, Mitcheldean v Rodborough & Cainscross Old Boys 2nds, Lydbrook Athletic 2nds v Bream Amts 2nds, Milkwall 2nds v Longhope, Mushet & Coalway 2nds v Ruardean Hill A, Harrow Hill A v Mitcheldean 2nds, Ruardean United v Lydbrook Athletic A.