Slimbridge 3-2 Egham Town
Wednesday 2nd September
Slimbridge and Egham played out an FA Cup cracker last night at Wisloe Road. Twice the home side were behind, and twice they came back, winning the tie just six minutes away from a penalty shoot out in a fantastic finale.
Firstly Luke Neville and then Danny Bassett put the visitors into the lead, but on both occasions, Sam Blackie goals pulled the Swans back into game. Adam Mace’s 114th minute piledriver topped a frantic last few minutes, and earned the Swans a trip to Dartford, where there will play Greenwich Borough on Sunday 13th September.
Egham were plainly suffering from the ludicrous interpretation of ‘regionalised’ by the FA, and made the midweek trip from inside the M25 to Wisloe with a striker in goal and no substitutes, but made a magnificent contribution to the evening.
Indeed, the visitors took the lead early on, when Adam Thomas failed to collect a free kick from Bajram Pashay, and Luke Neville was on hand to nick home the rebound after just eight minutes.
The Swans were restricted to long range efforts early on, with Mace and Sam Turl both being off target, and the closest they came to an equaliser was a shot-cum-cross from Sean Lawson which bounced to safety off the Egham bar on 23 minutes.
Four minutes later though, the scores were level - Blackie notching his first of the night with a powerful strike after the ball fell to him in the Egham box.
The Swans began to create more decent chances, with Lawson again, and then Rich Thwaite going close, while at the other end, Jon Hippolyte was only inches away after a good Egham break, but the team went in level at the break.
Twenty minutes into the second period, Egham regained the lead, when the Swans’ defence failed to clear a cross, and Bassett made no mistake.
Slimbridge pressed for an equaliser, and Hammond and Mace were both close, but the equaliser when it came was superb - Hammond’s cross found Blackie in space on the left side of the Egham box, and his volley beat Brendan Matthew all ends up on 81 minutes.
Two minutes before the 90 minutes were up, Egham were reduced to ten men when Hippolyte picked up a straight red after a late tackle on Sam Turl, but still the visitors refused to buckle as the game went into extra time.
With six minutes remaining before a penalty shoot out was required, a smooth move down the Swans’ right wing saw Blackie lay the ball across the box to Mace, and he drilled the ball home to the delight of the home side.
Both sides still had chances to register goals before the final whistle, but the Swans held on to reach the 1st Qualifying Round of the FA Cup.
The Club have announced they will be running a coach to Greenwich Borough on September 13th, leaving Wisloe Road at 9.30am. Cost will be £10, and places can be booked by calling Colin Gay on 07702070229 or putting your name down in the Clubhouse at Wisloe.
Team: Thomas, Turl, Mace, Hoyle (Ryan Thwaite 64), Rich Thwaite, Ward (Turner 75), Twyman, Blackie, Lawson, Martin (Hammond 62), Fahy
Supporters Man of the Match: Sam Blackie
Greenwich Borough game...
Sunday 30th August
The Winners of Tuesday's game at Wisloe Road between Slimbridge and Egham Town will travel to Greenwich Borough on Sunday 13th September, due to Greenwich's groundshare with Dartford FC, who host Weston on September 12th.
Egham Town 2-2 Slimbridge
Saturday 29th August
A late Paul Fahy penalty at Runnymede Stadium saw the Swans make the long trip back to Gloucestershire having forced an FA Cup replay, which takes place at Wisloe Road on Tuesday, 7.45pm KIck Off, a return journey that Egham Town will not be relishing having to make for a midweek evening game.
Adam Mace had put the Swans ahead just before the break, but loose marking from a corner saw the home side equalise before half time through Danny Bassett. Brendan Mathew put Egham back into the lead on 67 minutes, before Jamie Martin was felled in the box with ten minutes remaining, and Fahy handled the pressure kick well to level things up.
Egham made a brisk start, and forced the first chance of the game with just one minute on the clock, but Bassett’s effort troubled only the side netting. At the other end, a Freddy Ward cross found the head of Alex Hoyle with five minutes gone, but Hoyle’s header drifted just wide.
The best move of the game so far came from the visitors on 14 minutes, when Sean Lawson set up Sam Blackie after a good passing move, and Egham Keeper James Norris made a superb fingertip stop to keep the ball out.
Egham looked dangerous on the break, but were failing to convert good midfield work into concrete chances. When they did arrive, Adam Thomas, deputising for the injured Dave Evans was proving up to the task, making a simple stop from Matthew’s scuffed shot a minute later.
Lawson and Fahy were proving a handful for the Egham back line, and Lawson again went close with another effort tipped over for a corner as the visitors started to create some decent chances.
A minute before the break, a lovely move started off by a Freddy Ward header saw Lawson set up Mace in the Egham box, and he netted, much to the delight of the travelling faithful.
Slimbridge were unable to hold onto the lead until the half though, as a badly defended Egham corner saw Thomas make a close range stop from a header, only to see the ball fall to Bassett, who headed the ball back over the stranded Swans Keeper to notch the equaliser.
The second half saw more chances for the visitors - Mace brought another good stop from Norris, and Lawson scuffed another good opportunity, but Slimbridge were failing to make a breakthrough.
On 67 minutes, Ciaran Greening was dispossessed by Mathew, who took the ball forward and netted past Thomas to put the home side ahead for the first time.
This gave the home side a little momentum, but the Swans back line held firm as they pressed to try and kill the game off, with Sam Turl and Richard Thwaite both making important blocks as the home side looked to add another goal.
With eleven minutes remaining, Jamie Martin was felled in the Egham box, and, despite protests from the home side, Referee Christopher Wicks awarded the Swans a spot kick.
Fahy kept his nerve to place the ball to Norris’ left and level the scores up.
All the chances in the last ten minutes went the way of the visitors - Mace hit the post during a goalmouth scramble on 86 minutes, and with seven minutes of stoppage time being added on from somewhere, Martin and Lawson both had chances to nick the tie before the final whistle, but in the end, it was all back to Wisloe Road on Tuesday.
The result means that the Swans’ trip to Shortwood United on Bank Holiday Monday has been postponed and will be rearranged. The winner of this tie faces a trip to Greenwich Borough, potentially seeing the Swans facing another long trip to the far side of London in the First Qualifying Round on September 12th should they win the tie.
Team: Thomas, Turl, Mace, Rich Thwaite, Greening, Ward, Turner (Twyman 50), Hoyle (Ryan Thwaite 73), Lawson, Blackie (Martin 66), Fahy
Supporters Man of the Match: Adam Mace
FA Cup 1st Preliminary Round Draw
Monday 24th August
The FA have obviously decided that the Swans are a London club in the draw for this season's FA Cup. Should they win their tie on Saturday at Egham Town in Surrey, Slimbridge then face a trip to either Beckenham Town in Kent or Greenwich Borough,who play at a ground near the M25 Dartford crossing, the opposite side of the M25 from where we would join it from the M4. So we potentially face either a 300 mile or 320 mile round trip. The game will take place on Saturday 12th September.
Keeper Injury Update
Sunday 23rd August
The club have today confirmed that Keeper Dave Evans suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon in yesterday's game with Yate Town, and will be facing an operation this week.
Adam Thomas will take over the gloves in goal for the Swans while Dave recovers. All at SAFC wish Dave a speedy recovery.
Slimbridge 0-4 Yate Town
Saturday 22nd August
A sluggish performance from the Swans saw them put to the sword by Yate Town at Wisloe Road this afternoon. The home side appeared to be suffering the after effects of their exertions at North Leigh in midweek, and failed to muster a shot on target during the whole 90 minutes. Another early penalty was conceded, this time being converted, and from there on in, there was no way back for Slimbridge, who need to regroup for their FA Cup tie at Egham Town next weekend.
After Dean Turner, via Sean Lawson and Scott Bamford had created an opportunity resulting in a dangerous cross wicht none of the Swans’ attackers could connect with, it was a contentious penalty that set the visitors on their way - There seemed to be minimal contact between Alex Hoyle and Yate’s Alec Fiddes, but Referee Simon Wales pointed to the spot, and Darren Edwards beat Dave Evans low down to his right to put the visitors on top.
Edwards again went close on 23 minutes with a back header from a dangerous long throw, but it was only to be another couple of minutes before the lead was doubled. Fiddes, who put in a sterling performance for Yate, drilled a dangerous shot in which Evans saved at the foot of his right post. Edwards reacted the quickest to the loose ball and notched his second of the afternoon.
Slimbridge’s plans to come out early in the second period to put pressure on their opponents were undone two minutes into the half, when Jake Jackson was allowed far to make space to beat Evans with a good strike, and effectively put the game to bed.
On 55 minutes, Camen Harvey picked up a nasty looking injury after falling badly trying to follow up another Jackson effort which had rebounded back in to play off the post, and, after a lengthy delay, was stretchered from the pitch.
Two minutes from time, a neat Yate passing move was finished off well by Fiddes to record Yate’s fourth.
A bad day for Slimbridge took a turn for the worse when Keeper Dave Evans had to be stretchered from the pitch at full time after a collision in the final seconds of the game.
The Swans travel to Egham Town next Saturday for an FA Cup tie (3.00pm). Players and fans’ transport leaves Wisloe Road at 10.15am.
Team: Evans, Turl, Ryan Thwaite, Hoyle, Greening, Turner, Twyman, Blackie (Hammond 71), Lawson (Martin 68), Bamford, Mace (Tunnicliff 55)
Supporters Man of the Match: Ciaran Greening
North Leigh 4-2 Slimbridge
Thursday 20th August
The Swans’ unbeaten run in their first season in the Southern League may have come to an end, but there was no disgrace in matching a team who are surely going to be title contenders for over 70 minutes last night, and leading twice, before the experience of the home side won the day. There was a bit of naivety which cost the side towards the end of the game, but it was good learning so early on in the campaign as to the performance level needed every week this season.
Goals by Paul Fahy and Alex Hoyle, both memorable in their own way, saw the visitors looking good as the game approached the final quarter, but North Leigh, in a side containing some Oxford United Youth players, reshuffled and found an extra gear, with two goals from Kieran Sanders, and one each from Elliott Osbourne-Ricketts and George Seacole eventually swinging a very entertaining encounter the way of the home side.
The hosts made a bright start, and Swans’ Stopper Dave Evans was twice called into action early on - firstly using his feet to keep out a good strike from Jamie Cook, and then dealing with another effort from Seacole.
At the other end, Alex Hoyle and Jack Twyman were both off target as the home side controlled the game early on.
With 11 minutes gone, North Leigh had a great opportunity to go ahead when Rich Thwaite was deemed to have handled a cross in the box by Referee Shaun Barry. Although it was very much a case of ‘ball-to-hand’, the Swans protests were to no avail. Osbourne-Ricketts sent his spot kick to Evans’ left, but Evans guessed right and pushed both the original shot, and then the follow up to safety.
The Swans took the lead on 27 minutes, with the best move of the game so far - Adam Mace drilled a crossfield ball from the left flank to Sam Blackie, and he played the ball first time into the path of Paul Fahy, who lobbed North Leigh Keeper James Foster to score a superb opening goal and put the visitors ahead.
The home side continued to press though and Evans was forced into another good save, pushing Lewis White’s header over as the game approached the break. Just as the Swans thought they may have made it through to half time unscathed, Leigh struck back - a shot from Sanders crept in off the far post with Evans stranded to even things up at the half.
After Seacole had again gone close for the home side just after the interval, Slimbridge took the lead again with a quite remarkable strike from Alex Hoyle on 52 minutes. On the edge of the centre circle in the North Leigh half, he spotted Foster off his line, and lobbed the Keeper from a good 45 yards to record a genuine contender for Swans’ goal of the season.
This saw a sustained period of North Leigh pressure, and the Swans’ held out until 68 minutes, when the hosts took advantage of some sloppy play as Slimbridge were breaking forward to launch an attack of their own. The ball eventually fell to Sanders, who drilled the ball home to even things up and record his second goal of the game.
Eight minutes later, the home side took the lead for the first time - Osbourne-Ricketts’ shot taking a deflection on its way into the net, and the home side had their tails up.
A fourth goal on 81 minutes from Seacole was probably harsh justice for the visitors, but there was no doubting the quality of play from North Leigh, and they deserved their victory on the night. Assistant Manager Freddy Ward said afterwards that North Leigh were ‘easily the best team we’ve played this season so far, but we move on.’
Slimbridge host Yate Town on Saturday at Wisloe Road, 3.00pm.
Team: Evans, Turl, Mace, Tunnicliff, Rich Thwaite, Twyman (Turner 81), Hoyle, Ward, Lawson (Martin 81), Blackie (Ryan Thwaite 68), Fahy
Supporters Man of the Match: Paul Fahy
Slimbridge 1-1 Larkhall Athletic
Sunday 16th August
It was honours even at Wisloe Road as served up an entertaining afternoon of football, a result which has extended the Swans’ encouraging unbeaten start to the campaign.
After falling behind to a deflected free kick, a superb Paul Fahy strike brought the home side level, and although both sides had chances to nick the points, a draw was, on balance, a fair reflection of the match.
As at Wantage last Saturday, Slimbridge created some good early openings, but could not capitalise on their chances - firstly Jamie Martin took a touch too many after Fahy had set him up, and saw his shot blocked, before Dean Turner’s clever attempt to lob Larks’ Keeper Kyle Phillips after a poor clearance allowed the stopper time to recover his ground and collect.
The visitors took the lead on ten minutes - Matt Thorne’s free kick on the edge of the Swans’ box took a slight deflection off Fahy in the wall, and despite the best efforts of Dave Evans, ended up in the back of the net.
Sam Blackie went close to pulling the goal back for the home side four minutes later, but his effort was just wide following good work by Martin to create the opportunity.
Evans was back in action again on 22 minutes, but Brad Norris’ shot was straight at the Swans’ Keeper and he gathered the ball easily.
With 32 minutes gone, Fahy broke down the left flank and drilled a peach of a strike from 25 yards over the despairing Phillips to even the scores up.
A couple of minutes later, Lawson was just too high with a good effort, and the sides went in level at the break.
The Second Half continued to be evenly balanced, with both sides going close - Turner’s shot-cum-cross was agonisingly the wrong side of the Larkhall post on 55 minutes, before Lawson was again just off target, while a powerful header from Oliver Price was just as close at the other end.
Ten minutes from time, Darren Jeffries sent a good volley just wide for the Larks, before Gio Wrona snatched at another good opportunity and lashed the ball high and wide of the Swans’ goal in the last decent opportunity of the game.
The Swans face a tough midweek test, when they travel to North Leigh on Wednesday (7.45pm), who will be looking to extend their 100% win record so far. Slimbridge then return to Wisloe Road on Saturday (3.00pm), whey they entertain Yate Town.
Team: Evans, Turl, Mace, Greening, Rich Thwaite, Twyman, Turner, Blackie (Hoyle 61), Lawson, Martin (Lattibeaudiere 51), Fahy
Supporter’s Man of the Match: Adam Mace