JAMIE Welch went down in Ledbury folklore as his stoppage-time winner won them the Herefordshire League Premier Division title for the first time in nearly a
quarter of a century.
Manchester City may have grabbed the headlines over the weekend, but anyone watching this game will tell you that they, too, witnessed plenty of drama.
With the score locked at 2-2 and the clock ticking down — and with Ledbury down to 10 men after goalkeeper Luke Ledbury was sent off — it was all set up for Bartestree to win the league until Welch
popped up to smash the ball home to send the Ledbury fans wild.
The win ensures that Ledbury won the title on goal difference and completes a rare treble after they had already bagged the HFA Charity Bowl Cup and Strongbow Senior Cup.
“It was very tense and the Bartestree team came to watch,” said Ledbury joint-manager Chris Powell.
“It was brilliant when we got the winner, but it was just reward for the effort from the players.
“The people who watch us play will tell you that, even when we go down to 10 men, we have a never-say-die attitude.
“The game was like the Manchester City one on Sunday, but the table doesn’t lie and they were the best side in the league, just as we were in our league.”
Around 200 people — including four from Didcot, Oxfordshire — watched the game on a glorious afternoon.
Ledbury took the lead in the 20th minute via Dan Herbert, but were pegged back before half-time when Harold’s Danny Johns found the net.
But Town regained the initiative shortly after the break when Peter Boyle smashed the ball home, but again the home side drew level shortly afterwards through Shaun Smith.
Harold needed to win to have any chance of securing the title themselves and were given a great opportunity 10 minutes from time when Town keeper Ledbury saw red for violent conduct.
Defender Pat Locke was placed in goal, but managed to keep Harold at bay and then saw team-mate Welch grab the dramatic winner.
“It was a great spectacle and a great advert for the Herefordshire Football League, you couldn’t have scripted it,” said Ewyas Harold manager Dave Priday.
“Good luck to Ledbury. The table doesn’t lie so we offer our congratulations to them.”