Glos County Plummer’s men look well set to maintain push for title
This year we have older heads to count on and we’ve been doing better under pressure because of it
LEBEQ United’s experienced skipper Twaine Plummer weighed up his side’s position at the head of the Marcliff Gloucestershire County League ladder and declared: “We have to ram home our advantage this time.”
The 32-year-old centre-half, a former front-man with Radstock Town, Odd Down, Brislington, Bristol Manor Farm, Taunton Town and Bradford Town among others, admits last season’s promotion miss had been a “big disappointment” after a promising start had set the pulses racing within the Oaklands Park camp.
Instead, they had to suffer the agony of watching Thornbury Town breeze past them to land not only the league title but elevation to non-League Step 6 Hellenic League status.
Plummer, who hits the nation’s screens with regular appearances on Channel 4’s Gogglebox alongside brothers Tristan, now a Frome Town performer, and Tremaine, believes he knows why Lebeq slipped out of the reckoning in 2017-18 and feels they are much better equipped now to deal with the considerable challenges to come.
“We had a very young side and our game-management wasn’t all it could be at times,” he said. “We’d go gung-ho going for more goals in the latter stages of games and that approach cost us vital points. And injuries didn’t help either.
“This year we have older heads to count on and we’ve been doing better under pressure because of it.”
That injection of experience includes left-back Aaron Cornwall, goalkeeper Amin Jones, central midfielder James Hall, exBrislington winger Fabian McCarthy, former Clevedon players Kevin Camargo and Mitchell Page, plus veteran former Hallen striker Tom Collett, who is on a dual-registration agreement with Cribbs.
“Kevin has been such a calm and classy presence in our midfield and James is our engine in there, our legs, who makes us tick as an old-fashioned tackling type,” said Plummer. “Having lads like these who have played at a higher level has helped a lot.
“We also have Rick (TJ) Davis, a versatile attacker, on dual-registration from Frome, although unfortunately he picked up a knee injury playing for the Sunday side in our (4-1) FA Sunday Cup defeat by Portland in Croydon recently.
“We’re not sure how long he’ll be out for and it’s a shame as he was a big part of our side last season.
“We have quite a few dual-registered players including my brother Tristan, Neikell, my cousin, and my nephew Elan.
“Cameron Brown is another very good player, a luxury No 10 type who rose through Bristol City’s ranks when Bobby Reid was there and is one who can easily play at a much higher level as he makes his way back from an ACL injury.”
Lebeq head into tomorrow’s away encounter with 11th-placed Henbury (2pm) enjoying a fourpoint lead at the summit, and Plummer said: “We’re very excited and feel this should be our year.
“That’s the goal and expectation in the changing room.
“Every time we play in this league people tell us we should be performing in a higher league and that can lead to extra pressure. But then we put pressure on ourselves anyway.
“We’re targeting the Western League and had anyone said to me five years ago, when we were setting out as a Saturday team as part of a historic community setup on Stapleton Road, that we could find ourselves in with a shout of entering the FA Cup over the next few years, I’d have struggled to believe it.
“It’s in our own hands but we have to keep going because there is undoubted threat from the likes of Frampton, Stonehouse and Ruardean Hill.”
Elsewhere tomorrow, there’s a big basement battle in store at Jarratts Road (3pm) where Southmead host an AEK Boco outfit buoyed by last weekend’s splendid 2-1 win at Frampton.
It’s derby day at Scott Park (2pm) as Patchway Town and Little Stoke lock horns, while Rockleaze Rangers entertain Stonehouse Town on their new Hillside Gardens 3G (3pm) and Hanham Athletic welcome Wick to Vicarage Road (2pm).