NEWENT Town finished with 10 men and a 4-2 loss at home to mid-table Abingdon United on Saturday, after losing out 1-0 in midweek to derby rival league leaders Hartpury University.

The Daffs are now well and truly in a relegation fight, sitting second from bottom, although they have several games in hand on those teams around them. 

The weekend’s Hellenic League One clash saw the visitors take an early lead before great work on the right by Henry Dyde put in Tyler Weir to level on 36 minutes.

But United retook the lead before the break, and added two more in the second half, with Ben Lane seeing red for a second yellow.

Mateusz Klich pulled one back with five minutes to play, but it was too little, too late for the Daffs, who have slipped into the basement zone in recent weeks, and will need points from the five and six games in hand on the teams around them.

Also on the plus side, Newent battled really hard in midweek at home to leaders Hartpury before narrowly missing out to a 71st-minute King Baidoo strike, although they again finished with 10 men after Weir this time got his marching orders for a debatable second bookable offence. 

Elsewhere, Ross Juniors men suffered a sobering 4-0 loss away to Shobdon in the Herefordshire FA Junior Cup on Saturday. 

But Ruardean Hill Rangers secured a battling point in a 3-3 draw at home to Gloucestershire County high-flyers Frampton.

The second-placed side took the lead on 11 minutes when a corner was missed by the defence leaving Steve Jackson a back post tap in. 

But Hill were level on 20, when Ollie Mason’s weak volley went through keeper Tom Kaye for a red-faced moment and 1-1. 

And just before the break, Steve Clark fed Max Telling who found the corner of Kaye’s net for 2-1 to Hill. 

Frampton were level within three minutes of the restart though, the defence caught out by a through ball as Freddie Porter slotted home. 

And with 10 minutes to play, the referee awarded a controversial penalty to Frampton for a tackle that looked outside the box, sending Dave Matthews off in the process.

Manola Espada converted, but 10-man Hill had the last say, Alex Stephens firing home for a deserved share of the points.

Lydbrook Athletic also took a point on the road, though they would have liked more, held 2-2 by Gloucestershire Northern 2 bottom side Leonard Stanley.

Newent Town Development pushed high-flying Hellenic Two West Shipton Excelsior before losing out 3-2, Harvey Osbourne and Solomon Osinuga the Daffs’ marksmen.

But North Gloucestershire Premier leaders Howle Hill bounced back from a shock 6-1 league loss the previous week with a 4-2 JO Roberts Cup home win over local rivals Huntley.

The visitors led 2-1 at half-time at Weston playing fields, but the hosts fought back with their goals coming from Craig Davies, Ben Fletcher, Ben Hall and Jack Lewis.    

Ruardean Hill 2nds were pipped 3-2 at home by Blakeney in the same competition, Michael Harrison and Alfie Reed their scorers, while Longhope lost out 4-2 away to Lydbrook 2nds in the George Sandoe Cup, Rich Watkins with a rocket and an own goal providing the visitors’ consolations. 

Mitcheldean took a point in a 0-0 home draw with Milkwall in NGP action, while their 2nds won 4-3 away to Soudley 2nds in NG2, Clint Jones with a brace and Joe Hughes and Daniel O’Moore also on target.

Ruardean United were just squeezed out 3-2 at home to Ellwood 2nds in the same tier, Alex Rowles and Josh Street hitting the target, but Lydbrook A won by the same score away to Sling 2nds in NG3.

Fixtures this Saturday (January 20) include – Whitecroft v Ross Juniors, Sporting Club Inkberrow v Newent Town, Newent Town Dev v Gloucester City Dev, Ruardean Hill Rangers v Almondsbury, Lydbrook Athletic v Staunton & Corse, Broadwell Amts 2nds v Ruardean Hill 2nds, Howle Hill v Milkwall (Weston), Huntley v Ellwood, Westbury Utd v Mitcheldean, Rank Outsiders v Lydbrook Ath 2nds, 

Ellwood 2nds v Longhope, Mitcheldean 2nds v Sling, Viney St Swithins 2nds v Ruardean Utd.