RECENT improved form has seen Mangotsfield United reach mid table in the Hellenic League Premier Division – and their first cup final for several years.
A 2-1 win over Fairford Town at Cossham Street saw Oliver Whelan netting for the visitors on 51 minutes, but the Mangos soon level and pull ahead, thanks to Simon Prangley (56) and Oli Jenkins (59). The home side stood firm to clinch the win, with Fairford also losing a player to a straight red card.
Next up came an impressive and perhaps unexpected 2-1 Hellenic League Cup semi-final win away at high-flying Malvern Town – where Mangotsfield had lost 7-2 in the league earlier in the season. This time was different; they matched the hosts all the way and took the lead through Simon Prangley on 40 minutes.
Malvern levelled two minutes later but the Mangos kept at it and clinched a memorable win with a goal from Conrad David Essilfie-Conduah on 87 minutes, to reach a two-legged final.
Then came another home win, 1-0 over Hereford Lads Club. Jaydn Crosbie netted the all-important goal after 21 minutes, in a game with little to choose between the sides.
The following Tuesday saw the Mangos forced to take defeat on the chin, as fast-improving Thornbury Town were 1-0 winners at Cossham Street.
The Mangos never really got going on the night and the visitors were well worth their win. The very low crowd of just 61 was explainable though, with Bristol City v Manchester City live on ITV in the FA Cup at the same time.
Another defeat followed three days later, with a 2-1 loss at Hereford Pegasus.
Going in a goal down at half-time, the Mangos levelled in the first minute of the second half through Karem Karahus, before Pegasus got what proved to be the winning goal on the hour mark.
Mangotsfield bounced back in the following midweek game, with a 2-0 away win at struggling Tuffley Rovers.
Sebastian Scott (54) and Louis Short (90) netted the goals in a hard-fought match.
However, the Mangos came unstuck again the following Saturday with a 2-0 home defeat against local rivals Roman Glass St George.
The game was part of a community day, with fans given free entry and events either side. But in the match itself the hosts never really got going, and goals from Oliver Woodhouse (7) and Rhys Sarson (76) sealed the points for the visitors.
The first leg of the Hellenic League Cup Final was a tense affair at Cossham Street, with the Mangos and visitors Pershore Town battling out a goalless draw in a game of few chances.
It left all to play for in the second leg, which was taking place after the Voice went to print.
March 25 Corsham Town (H)
April 1 Shrivenham (A)
April 7 Roman Glass St George (A)
April 15 Malvern Town (H)
April 18 Lydney Town (H)