Slimbridge 1-5 Larkhall Athletic
Saturday 25th March
With results elsewhere going their way, the Swans continue to inch towards safety, and are now two points away from mathematically confirming their third season at Southern League level - a win over AFC Totton on Wednesday at Thornhill Park will be sufficient, but the crucial point in this game revolved around four eventful minutes on the half hour mark.
After the visitors had taken the lead after just 45 second through Greg Peel, two further Larkhall goals in a four minute spell, combined with two yellow cards in the same period for Ryan Thwaite gave the Swans a mountain to climb. An impressive Larkhall side made sure that there was not to be a great comeback, despite Brad Martin reducing the deficit just after half time, and two goals in the last fifteen minutes as the Swans' ten men tired sealed a victory for the visitors that was in the end as comfortable as the scoreline suggests.
With last week’s Man of the Match Nick Grimes out due to concussion, and Rich Thwaite unavailalable, the Swans started without a recognised centre half in their back four, and Larkhall took advantage in the first minute of the game - Lark’s Man of the Match Joe Raynes was allowed far too much space on a mazy run at the Swans defence, and although Marcus Beauchamp beat away his effort, the ball fell to Greg Peel who made no mistake from close in to put the visitors ahead.
The Larks had the advantage in the first period of a howling gale behind them in the first half which was making things difficult for both sides, and it took until the 25th minute for Slimbridge to produce their first decent effort on goal - Lee Smith’s effort catching a bobble of the bumpy pitch and nearly deceiving Larks’ Keeper Shaun Semmens, but he reacted well and made the stop.
Three minutes later, Larkhall got their second, when Raynes was again allowed too much room in the box, and he drilled the ball past Beauchamp to double the advantage.
Things went from bad to worse for the Swans two minutes later, when Ryan Thwaite was penalised for a challenge and Referee Richard Gardener awarded a penalty to the visitors, neatly despatched by Jamie Lyons. Thwaite picked up a yellow card for his challenge.
It took only two more minutes for Thwaite to be penalised again, picking up another yellow, and the Swans were down to ten men for the last hour of the game.
After the break, the Swans came out with the wind now behind them, and with a much greater sense of purpose, and it seemed like an unlikely comeback may just be on the cards as they reduced the deficit just three minutes into the second period - Brad Martin heading home Adam Mace’s free kick to give the home side some hope.
With momentum now behind them, Slimbridge began to create some good chances - Lyon’s made a good clearance from Lee Smith’s goalbound effort, Joe Stokes had a header saved by Semmens, Martin was again just wide with a header, and Semmens pulled off an impressive point blank save from Smith as Slimbridge fought to get themselves back in the game.
However, having survived the onslaught, and with the ten men of Slimbridge tiring, two goals picked off the home side and secured the points for the Larks.
On 73 minutes, Reauchamp brought down Dan Restorick as the Larks man attempted to round him, and Lyons converted the spot kick for his second of the game.
Four minutes later, a Larkhall break saw Joe Tumelty through on goal, and his clinical finish past Beauchamp capped a bad day at the office for the Swans.
Slimbridge host AFC Totton at Thornhill Park on Wednesday (7.45pm) before they make the long trip to Devon to face Barnstaple Town next Saturday (April 1st, 3.00pm).
Team: Beauchamp, Ward, Mace, Turl, Ryan Thwaite, Twyman, Smith, Stokes, Jamie Martin (Turner 58), Brad Martin (Lewis 77), Thomas
Supporters Man of the Match: Marley Thomas
Slimbridge 2-0 Paulton Rovers
Saturday 18th March
The Swans recorded the double over Paulton Rovers with a dominant display this afternoon at Thornhill Park. Captain Lee Smith was ultimately the difference between the two sides, notching two goals to seal the victory which means that the Swans can start planning for another season in the Southern League next season. Slimbridge move up a place to 19th as a result of the win, with a 14 point advantage over Wantage Town in the relegation spots. However, with Wantage still to travel to both Hereford and Salisbury in their last six games, their chances of survival are unlikely, to say the least, although they still currently have a mathematical chance of pulling off an huge upset.Paulton had the first early opportunity when Adam Mace was penalised for a pull on Reeko Best, by far the visitors best player on the day, but Josh Ford’s effort was weak and easily gather by Slimbridge Keeper Marcus Beauchamp.The Swans had a glorious opportunity to take an early lead when Paulton Keeper, and ex-Swan, George Burton scuffed a clearance to Jamie Martin on three minutes, but, faced with virtually an open goal, Martin skewed his effort wide.The chances continued to come for the home side, with Smith and Marley Thomas both going close, but the scores remained level. The combination of an uneven pitch and high wind was creating some interesting opportunities, and Mace saw his 40 yard free kick end up with a good save from Burton as the wind caught it with 12 minutes gone.Manager Freddy Ward was forced into an early change, bringing himself on after Mike Oakes got caught with a nasty looking tackle, and was unable to continue.Mace and Thomas then combined well to set up Martin, whose header was well caught by Burton as Slimbridge pressed forward.On 26 minutes the wind again nearly proved decisive, this time lifting Thomas’s lob over the Paulton bar, before the deadlock was eventually broken on 32 minutes. A lovely move saw Joe Stokes play in Ward on the Slimbridge right, and Smith stroked home Ward’s cross to put the home side ahead. Smith had two great chances in the next two minutes to increase the lead, but his efforts were just too high and then wide as Slimbridge pushed for a second.Paulton attacks were rare at this point, but Ryan Thwaite made a good block from Best’s effort on 35 minutes to maintain the lead.Paulton’s closest effort of the game came on 36 minutes, when Matthew Benham saw his header come back off the Swans’ crossbar, but Referee John Roskelly had already penalised the striker for a push as he went up.Reeko Best continued to look the most dangerous player for Paulton, and Man of the Match Nick Grimes made a great block just before the break from a goalbound effort, but the Swans went in ahead at the Half. The second half continued in much the same vein as the first - Paulton had a flurry of chances in the first 15 minutes, but Elliott Keighley’s effort was easily saved, Joe Chandler’s effort was wide and Jordan Rickett’s effort saw another comfortable Beauchamp save, before the Swans wrapped things up in the 76th minute. Smith turned and made space for himself in the Paulton box, beat two men, and then slammed the ball homes despite the best efforts of Burton to double the home side’s advantage. Martin and Smith both had chances to increase the score with chances in the last ten minutes, but the Swans comfortably played out time to record an important victory.Team: Beauchamp, Turl, Mace, Grimes, Ryan Thwaite, Twyman, Stokes, Oakes (Ward 12), Martin, Smith, ThomasSupporters Man of the Match: Nick Grimes
Didcot Town 1-0 Slimbridge
Saturday 11th March
A frustrating afternoon saw the Swans fail to build on their previous two wins, losing a game they should have picked up at least a point from. Falling behind to an absolute peach of a Free Kick from Didcot’s George Reid, Slimbridge failed to capitalise on a penalty ten minutes later, with Diddy Keeper Leigh Bedwell making his second spot kick stop of the week to keep out Lee Smith’s effort. The loss sees the Swans slip to 20th in the League, but they still hold a fourteen point advantage over Wantage Town in 21st place, with just seven games left for the Oxfordshire side to pull off a highly improbable escape.
The pitch at Loop Meadow Stadium was definitely suffering from already having hosted two games this week, and both sides early on struggled to cope with the erratic bounce of the ball. The opening minutes were very disjointed from both sides, and the earliest opportunity went to hosts on six minutes, when Andy Ballard’s effort was way too high and didn’t trouble Swans Keeper Marcus Beauchamp.
Lee Smith, who worked well with Joe Stokes, especially in the first period, forced a corner for the visitors with 13 minutes gone, but Adam Mace’s delivery of the kick was cleared to safety.
Stokes was proving particularly influential for the Swans, and he was involved in some Slimbridge’s best moves, setting up Smith for a cross which was overhit, and then bringing a save from Bedwell after good work from Mace.
Marley Thomas was the next to try his luck, but again the ball was overhit, and ran harmlessly out as the Swans pressed.
Didcot were struggling with the conditions as well, and Reid tried to play in Louis Joyce on 19 minutes, but again the ball was overhit and drifted out for a goal kick.
Slimbridge were still creating the better chances at this point in the game, and Stokes saw his effort blocked before Mace was off target as the visitors continued to create opportunities.
The standard of finishing on display was summed up neatly by a snatched shot from Sam Barder for Diddy on the half hour, which nearly put the corner flag out of commission as both sides struggled to really threaten.
Two minutes later, Stokes played Smith in well, but the ball held up and got caught under his feet as he shaped to shoot, and the chance was lost.
The litany of misses continued to the break, with Smith again off target for Slimbridge, while Reid, Ben Whitehead and Joyce were all off target for the hosts, leaving the scores level at the half.
Four minutes into the second period, the deadlock was broken in spectacular fashion. Freddy Ward may have been unfairly penalised for handball 25 yards from the Slimbridge goal by Referee Tom Reeves, who had a superb afternoon in the middle, but Reid’s pearl of a free kick was worthy of winning any game, leaving Beauchamp no chance, and putting the hosts ahead.
Spurred on, Diddy started to apply a little pressure, and Callum McNish was next to see his effort off target as the home side looked to increase their advantage.
Reid thought he had doubled the lead on 58 minutes when through on goal, but his superb shot brought an equally magnificent save from Beauchamp and his effort was cleared.
Freddy Ward replaced Brad Martin with Ryan Thwaite on the hour mark, and he had an immediate impact, being felled in the Didcot box to give the Swans a spot kick chance to level things up.
Bedwell dived well to his right, and beat away Smith’s kick to maintain the home side’s lead.
Two minutes later, Joyce had a glorious chance to put the game to bed from six yards out, but again, the bounce of the ball on the uneven surface saw him scuff his effort well wide, and Slimbridge breathed again.
The last ten minutes saw Nick Grimes and Mace both have goal bound efforts blocked, and Rich Thwaite and Grimes have headers off target from Mace Free Kicks, but Diddy held firm to record the victory.
The Swans now have a run of three home games at Thornhill Park - they host Paulton Rovers (Saturday 18th, 3.00pm), and Larkhall Athletic (Saturday 25th, 3.00pm), before AFC Totton make the long trip from Southampton on Wednesday 29th (7.45pm), a set of games which should see the Swans mathematically ensure their survival at Southern League level for a second season.
Team: Beauchamp, Turl, Mace, Grimes, Rich Thwaite, Twyman, Stokes (Lewis 79), Ward (Oakes 71), Smith, Martin (Ryan Thwaite 60), Thomas
Supporters Man of the Match: Marcus Beauchamp
Predict the Score rolls over
Sunday 5th March
No winners, this week, so the prize pot rolls over to £650 for next week's competition. Gotta be worth a shot for a quid!
Slimbridge v AFC Totton - Game OFF
Saturday 4th March
Today's game has been postponed due to a waterlogged pitch. A new date will be announced once agreed between the Clubs.
Slimbridge 5-2 Tiverton Town
Wednesday 1st March
A five star display by the Swans saw them record their best win of the season and stun second placed Tiverton Town on a night of drama at Thornhill Park.
Manager Freddy Ward gave the home side an early advantage, before Jamie Short restored parity. Lee Smith, Joe Stokes and Marley Thomas then netted to put Slimbridge four-one up at the break.
In the second half, Jamie Price pulled another goal back on 77 minutes, before Smith’s second wrapped up a memorable night for the home, with a victory that lifts them fifteen points of the drop zone with only nine games remaining, and virtually guarantees another season at Southern League level.
The game started in driving rain, and Slimbridge were quickly ahead - on four minutes, Freddy Ward lifted a ball high into the Tiverton box, and it beat Tivvy Keeper Joe Perry to drift into the back of the net.
Tiverton hit back, and on ten minutes, Jamie Short’s effort from the edge of the box levelled things up.
The visitors had a couple of good chances to take the lead, but Owen Howe’s effort was well saved point blank by Swans Keeper Marcus Beauchamp, and Beauchamp was again in action stopping an effort from Levi Landricombe before the Swans restored their advantage on 24 minutes - a mazy run from Man of the Match Marley Thomas saw Smith slide in at the far post to net.
Two minutes later, Perry scuffed a clearance, and the ball fell to Joe Stokes, who stroked the ball home to make it 3-1.
Just after the half hour, another charged down clearance saw the ball fall to Thomas, who netted the fourth to put the Swans in complete control at the break.
As to be expected, Tiverton came out of the blocks for the second half, and beauchamp pulled off another great stop from Rob Norrish, before Jamie Price was off target with a good effort.
But the Swans rode out the storm, and superbly marshalled by Jack Twyman and Joe Stokes, pulled themselves back into the game.
On 77 minutes, Price pulled a second back for Tiverton, but the last word went to Slimbridge - Stokes’ cross again met at the far post by Smith to record the Swans’ fifth of the night with two minutes remaining.
Slimbridge welcome AFC Totton to Thornhill Park on Saturday (3.00pm) for another League encounter.
Team: Beauchamp, Turl, Mace (Lewis 87), Grimes, Rich Thwaite, Twyman, Stokes, Ward (Oakes 68), Thomas, Brad Martin (Jamie Martin 75), Smith
Supporters Man of the Match: Marley Thomas
Evesham United 1 – 2 Slimbridge
Saturday 25th February
In a game dominated by the weather conditions, debutant Mason Lewis seals the Swans first victory for three months in injury time against an Evesham side reduced to 10 men.
Kicking against a strong headwind Evesham were unfortunate not to open the scoring in the first five minutes of the game with player manager Freddy Ward clearing a goal bound shot off the line. At the other end good work from Brad Martin and Joe Stoke ended with a firm Evesham defence blocking an effort from Jack Sklenar.
Evesham’s Liam Harding tried his luck from the halfway line but his strike sailed over the bar as it dipped into the wind. The home sides Elliot Kennedy also tried his luck from distance but again failing to trouble debutant Swans keeper Marcus Beauchamp with his shot wide of the goal. A 30 yard free kick from Adam Mace was floated in on the wind but just missed the top corner by inches.
A crazy 3 minute spell on 30 minutes started with Evesham winning three consecutive corners, the third of which resulted in the home side taking the lead through Kennedy after the visiting defence failed to clear. Immediately from the kick-off Slimbridge equalised with Stokes playing in Sklenar who controlled the ball well to fire past keeper Kevin Sawyer. Evesham restarted and forced their way into the visitor’s box, as the loose ball was being picked up by keeper Beauchamp, striker Lance Smith kicked out at the keeper in frustration earning him a straight red card.
Slimbridge took advantage of the extra man and finished the half with the better of the play.
The second half this time saw Evesham kicking with the strong wind behind them, and missed an early opportunity with Adam Mann failing to connect to a long through ball splitting the Swans defence. Sklenar at the other end fire a shot straight at Sawyer when well placed in the box.
Evesham failed to let the one man deficit hinder them as they continued to press the Slimbridge goal, Beauchamp growing in confidence pulled off a fingertip save from Mann destined for the top corner. As injury time approached the visitor’s counter attacked with Lee Smith through ball saw Sklenar’s shot well saved by Sawyer.
In the dying seconds, a long cross field ball by Smith caught the home sides defence napping allowing substitute Mason Lewis to run in from 30 yards out drilling the ball past a helpless Sawyer giving Slimbridge a much needed three points.
Next up is Tiverton Town at Thornhill Park on Wednesday at 7:45.
Slimbridge: Beauchamp, Turl, Mace (Lewis), Grimes, Thwaite, Twyman, Stokes, Ward (Oakes), Smith, Martin (Thomas), Sklenar
MOM: Jack Twyman
Swans announce two more new faces...
Thursday 23rd February
Slimbridge are pleased to welcome Mason Lewis and Michael Oakes to the club. Mason joins us from Lydney Town while Michael's last club was Upton St Leonards, Mason plays anywhere on on the left while Michael is a centre or left midfielder. Welcome to the Swans family both...