On Saturday, 29th December, Cinderford Town are the visitors at Winterfield Road, with a 3 p.m. kick-off, and on New Year’s Day, a ‘local derby’ with a trip to Bideford!

Meanwhile, over the festive period there is plenty going on in the family-friendly club, where sales in the bar contribute to the success of running a club in the Evostik Southern League.

Chairman, Dave Bissex, expressed gratitude to the increased crowds at matches this season, with an average home gate of 200. He went on to thank the large number of volunteers that keep the club running so efficiently.

He said it is tremendous to have so many businesses and individuals sponsoring the club, and thanks all in the community for giving something back.

The netball teams continue to thrive and interact well with the football, selling draw tickets at home matches.

Youth Team Assistant Manager, Jon Filer, echoed the progress of a young Youth Team, most of whom played last season, and this season will certainly finish at least second in the Somerset Floodlit Youth League Central Division, with an outside chance of being champions.

Many of the squad will still be eligible next season, and it is great to see kids progressing into the Southern League with the First Team.

Paulton Rovers Manager, John Rendell, looked over 2018 and said: “Back in the summer months, we were really pleased with how the squad was shaping up, and we felt we could improve on the levels set last season.

“Frustratingly, this didn’t materialise, as by the second week of August we had lost two centre forwards, out to long-term injuries. This had a negative impact on the team, and subsequently we were very inconstant with performances and results for the first period of the 2018 campaign.

“Towards the end of the calendar year, we strengthened the team by adding former Yate Town Captain, Charlie Hitchings, and this coincided with the return of our strikers, Jack Ball – after three months out injured – and Ryan Gay, who we also missed for just under four weeks as he went travelling the globe.

“As I write, we are currently on a three-match unbeaten run after playing against strong opposition in Yate Town, Cirencester and Highworth.

“I am much happier with the performance levels of the team during this run, and I am keen to ensure we continue to work hard on obtaining such consistency.

“It’s been a tough start to the season and extremely frustrating to watch at times, but fortunately we have a lot of games to come over the festive period and into the New Year, and I am sure the lads are now chomping at the bit to play to get us up towards the right at the end of the table, where we feel we deserve to be.

“The impact has been felt from bringing youngsters through the successful Development Centre, not only through the Youth Team. The fact that three youngsters have made First Team appearances this season bodes well for the future.

“The support shown this year has been fantastic. Following some disappointing results (especially at home), the faithful fans continue to support their club each week, and I know the lads are keen to repay their loyalty by giving their all whilst representing the club.

“The board continue to work tirelessly behind the scenes, as so much time and effort goes into making the venue attractive, modern and efficient. The facilities available for hire, such as the function halls, have recently undergone a complete overhaul, and we hope this will continue to be a success going into 2019, with many local residents able to book the space and enjoy the facility.

“The club are also looking into improving the football facilities, as more and more non-League clubs are opting to replace the grassed playing surface with a 3G artificial.

“A few years ago this would have been frowned upon, but as the game evolves, playing on a 3G surface offers so many benefits, and I am sure we will see more and more being played on around the non-League circuit going forward. The Chairman and the Board continue to investigate further, ensuring if it is feasible for the club.

“Finally, I thank my Assistants, Paul Tovey and Gary Powell, who continue to show the faith, offering great back-up and expertise, which helps me immensely; Colin and Sue Parsons for their continuous support and Sophie Dyer for organising me and keeping me out of trouble!

“We look forward to an exciting (busy) festive period, and a successful and prosperous New Year.”

Tony Walsh