BRISTOL CITY 5 GLOUCESTER CITY 1
GLOUCESTER CITY'S hopes of ending a memorable season with another piece of silverware were dashed by a clinical Bristol City side in the final of the Gloucestershire Senior Cup last night.
Four days after clinching promotion to the Blue Square regional level with a 1-0 play-off win at Farnborough Town, the Tigers were undone by a Bristol side containing a mixture of youngsters and first team fringe players at Ashton Gate.
It was an open and entertaining game to round off both teams' campaigns and Gloucester created plenty of chances during the first period, but they were punished for leaving gaps at the back.
Slovakian international Peter Styvar smashed an emphatic opener into the top left corner after 17 minutes as Joe Edwards' pass caught the Tigers' defence square.
Luke Ballinger saw a shot held by Bristol goalkeeper Stephen Henderson and leading scorer Alex Sykes blasted a free-kick over before seeing a fine curling effort turned over by Henderson at full stretch as David Mehew's side pressed for a leveller.
But Gloucester were carved open again in the 26th minute as James Wilson's ball forward found Styvar in acres of space and he confidently rounded Kevin Sawyer before slotting into the empty net.
Sykes sent another firm drive wide after receiving a free-kick from Ballinger, before Marlon Jackson struck a post for the home side as Gloucester struggled to cope with Bristol's attacking threat.
The holders capitalised on a slip from Matt Rose that allowed Scott Murray to play in John Akinde, who calmly finished into the bottom right corner to make it 3-0 in the 38th minute.
Sawyer dived to his left to beat away Murray's curling attempt, but the Ashton Gate fans' favourite rolled in number four three minutes into the second half on what is likely to be his last appearance in a Bristol City shirt.
Akinde was tripped from behind by Marc Richards in the 65th minute and he converted the resulting penalty, sending Sawyer the wrong way from the spot to make it 5-0.
The Tigers' consolation came in the 71st minute when substitute and former Bristol City Academy player Dean Grubb crossed for another ex-Bristol youngster Ballinger to head home from close range.
Ballinger sent an acrobatic scissors kick over the bar during a late rally for the non-leaguers, but with City fans still taking delight in their promotion, Bristol captain Murray lifted the cup for the second year in succession.
BRISTOL CITY: S Henderson; D Hennessy, J Edwards, J Wilson, D Ball; S Murray, A Kington (J Lennox 72), F Artus; P Styvar, J Akinde, M Jackson (R Stambolziev 46). Subs not used: N Livings; T Bradley, P Sayce.
GLOUCESTER CITY: K Sawyer; M Sysum, N Mustoe, M Richards; L Smith (B James 84), M Rose, J Harris, A Sykes, L Ballinger; W Morford (K Nash 76) J Pitcher (D Grubb 61). Subs not used: A Harris, D Mehew.
REFEREE: A Shilston
STAR MAN: Luke Ballinger