Odd Down (Bath) 0-3 Slimbridge AFC
Wednesday 13th August
The Swans came away from a bruising encounter in Bath with their second win of the campaign that sits them on top of the Toolstation Western Premier League after two games. After a good start, Odd Down put the visitors under pressure during the first period, but it was Slimbridge who took the lead through Sean Lawson with virtually the last kick of the half. Second half goals from Ben Tunnicliff and Rich Thwaite rounded off a battling display, send the visitors home with a well deserved three point haul.
Slimbridge made a bright start to the game, and Jamie Hammond went close with less than a minute on the clock, chasing down a Dave Evans long clearance.
Odd Down hit back, using a very high tempo, and Evans was called into action to collect a shot from Twaine Plummer which took a deflection on the way to him.
The home side were encouraged by their chances, and firstly Cory Simpson, and then Plummer again looked dangerous on the break.
The best early chance went to the hosts, when Troy Simeon played in Simpson, and Evans made a brave stop at the strikers feet to keep the ball out.
On 16 minutes Odd Down Keeper Ray Johnson miscued a clearance, and Jack Twyman played in Paul Fahy, whose shot was wide, but the Swans began to edge their way back into the game.
Slimbridge went close two minutes later, when Adam Mace just failed to convert an effort at the back post from Hammond's cross, while at the other end, Plummer and Ashley Scott were both off target with their efforts.
Another good chance came for the visitors on 39 minutes, but Fahy's acrobatic diving header failed to connect with Mace's dangerous ball into the Odd Down box.
Slimbridge had two good chances in the last minute of the first half - after Hammond had managed to find the side netting from Fahy's cross, Fahy's next ball into the box saw Sean Lawson pounce to score from close range to put the Swans a goal to the good going into the break.
Odd Down nearly pulled things level three minutes into the second period, but Troy Simeon's shot drifted across the face of the goal in one of the home side's best moves of the game.
Mace was continuing to be involved in many of the Swans best moves, and it was another of his passes that saw Hammond shoot just wide after a mix up in the Odd Down Back Line on 53 minutes.
Slimbridge doubled their advantage two minutes later, when Mace's corner was met with a powerful near post header from Ben Tunnicliff, which rocketed into the net despite the efforts of Johnson to keep the ball out.
The home side's frustration threatened to boil over as a series of crunching tackles dominated play, but the Swans were comfortably control the play.
Tunnicliff nearly notched his second with another header from a corner on 63 minutes, this time swung over by Freddy Ward, but his header hit the Odd Down bar and went over.
Dave Evans made what will be a candidate for save of the season, when he palmed an acrobatic overhead kick from Plummer over the bar, and that was to provide the impetus for the third goal which finished the game off.
Mace claimed his second assist of the game when his mishit shot found it's way to Rich Thwaite in the Odd Down box, and his neat turn and shot beat Johnson to seal the victory.
There was still time for Jamie Martin to steer the ball past Johnson chasing a through ball, only to see his effort roll agonisingly the wrong side of the post, but the Swans saw out time for an impressive victory, and a morale booster ahead of this weekend FA Cup tie which sees Thatcham Town come to Wisloe Road (3.00pm) The Swans then entertain the other team currently standing with maximum points, Brislington,on Tuesday (7.30pm)
Team: Evans, Turl, Ryan Thwaite, Tunnicliff, Rich Thwaite, Ward, Fahy, Twyman (Parrott 72), Lawson, Hammond (Martin 65), Mace (Turner 70)
Supporters Man Of The Match: Sam Turl
Slimbridge 3-0 Gillingham Town
Saturday 9th August
On the opening weekend of last season, Slimbridge made the trip to Gillingham Town for their first ever game in the Toolstation Western Premier League and came away on the wrong end of a 2-0 scoreline, to a team that eventually ended up in third place in the table. This time, though, the tables were turned as the Swans raced into a two goal lead in the first six minutes, and never really looked like relinquishing their advantage after a display that continued the momentum that the side has built up during pre-season.
Sean Lawson and then Jamie Hammond did the early damage, and Lawson's second just before the end sealed a confident victory at Wisloe Road for the home side, who restricted their opponents to only a single decent chance during the 90 minutes.
The Swans made a sensational start to their new season - with four minutes on the clock, Sean Lawson picked the ball up on the edge of the Gillingham box, and his low drilled shot gave Gillingham Keeper Shaun Martin no chance and put the hosts one up. Two minutes later, it was two - Jack Twyman's neat ball to Jamie Hammond saw Hammond with another good finish to double the advantage.
As the game settled down, Slimbridge were still on top - Good work from Twyman and Lawson set up Jamie Martin on 12 minutes, but his shot was too high.
Slimbridge felt they may have had an optimistic shout for a penalty with 20 minutes gone, when Martin set up Hammond, whose drive cannoned back off the hand of a Gillingham defender, but Referee Stephen Oakey, who had an impressive game, declined the appeals.
Gillingham went straight down the other end, and nearly pulled a goal back, but Dave Evans was up to the task, pushing away Williams Pike's piledriver in what turned out to be the visitors' best opportunity of the game.
Slimbridge should have increased their lead on the half hour, when Lawson sent Hammond through on a one on one with Gills Keeper Martin, but the Keeper made a good stop to deny the striker.
The second half started with Gillingham having brought on the dangerous looking Taoufik Ben-Salem, who raised the tempo of Gillingham's game and could have nicked a goal back early on, but Ryan Thwaite, part of a very solid and impressive Swans back four, put in a good tackle to deny him in the first minute of the second period.
Slimbridge continued to create chances, and Hammond and Dean Turner both had decent opportunities, but failed to take advantage of the opportunities.
Hammond went close after 72 minutes when good work from Alex Parrott put him through, but his lob managed to clear both Keeper Martin and the Gillingham bar.
The game was wrapped up in the 87th minute, when Lawson broke down the left flank, and saw another good shot beat Martin to notch the third goal for the home side. There was still time for Hammond to force another good save from Martin in the 93rd minute, before the final whistle sounded on a job well done for the home side.
The Swans travel to Odd Down on Tuesday (7.45pm) for another League encounter, before they return to Wisloe Road next Saturday (3.00pm) for an FA Cup Extra-Preliminary Round tie, when Thatcham Town are the visitors.
Team: Evans, Turl, Ryan Thwaite, Freeman (Tunnicliff 82), Rich Thwaite, Parrott, (Ward 75) Turner, Twyman, Lawson, Martin (Mace 69), Hammond
Goals: Lawson 4, 87, Hammond 6
Supporters Man Of The Match: Sean Lawson
Slimbridge 1-3 Brimscombe & Thrupp
Thursday 7th August
Slimbridge's final pre season game ended in a 3-1 defeat to near neighbours Brimscombe and Thrupp.
The visitors took an early lead when Dave Evans attempted clearance rebounded back off Ben Tunnicliffe's head and into the net after only 8 minutes.
Brimscombe nearly increased their lead 5 minutes later when a thunderous shot by Ben Deakin from 25 yards bounced back off the post.
Just two minutes later and the Swans were level, a good run and cross by Jamie Hammond found Sean Lawson free and his neat shot from 8 yards out left Sparrow in the visitors goal little chance.
A fierce drive from former Slimbridge player Dan Holloway nearly regained the lead for Brimscombe but Evans punched the effort round for a corner.
Brimscombe had a good shout for a penalty on 40 mins when another former player, Aaron Nash tumbled in the area but referee Darren Mcmillan ruled Sam Turl's challenge a good one.
Lawson should have sent the Swans into the lead shortly before the break but his shot when one on one with Sparrow was well pushed round by the keeper.
Nathan Freeman went close early in the second half when his header from Freddy Ward's corner went just wide.
Brimscombe went back in front in the 52nd minute when Tunnicliffe received the ball from Evans but his attempted clearance went straight to Aaron Nash who fired past the home keeper.
Lawson was next to hit the woodwork in the 61st minute as the Swans tried to level things up and just two minutes later Tunnicliffe's header went disappointingly wide when it looked easier to score.
Brimscombe upped the pace now and looked the better footballing side and it was yet another former Swan, Karl Nash who threaded a neat ball through to his brother Aaron who finished in fine style.
Karl Nash nearly made it 4-1 when his header cannoned back from the upright but in what was a good work out for both sides it was Brimscombe who went home the happier side as both clubs will now look forward to Saturday when things start for real.
Slimbridge: Evans, Turl, Mace, Tunnicliffe, Freeman, Ward, Parrott, Twyman, Martin, Hammond, Lawson.
Subs used, Fahy, Kinnear, Ryan Thwaite, Dan Irvine.
Slimbridge 3-1 Larkhall Athletic
Saturday 2nd August
This game had a little bit of everything - four goals, four penalties, two of which were missed, and a 22 minute break as a thunderstorm emptied the skies over Wisloe Road and nearly caused the match to be called off in the first half. Certainly, no-one could complain about not getting their money's worth of incident.
It would have been hard to predict the drama to come after half an hour - with the visitors possibly just on top, both sides were cancelling each other out, and goal chances were proving very scarce.
Then, a thunderstorm moved over the ground, and the heavens opened. As the rain and hailstones became torrential and tropical, the players and officials were forced to make a run for the dugouts, as conditions became impossible. As the rain eventually eased, there was still a considerable amount of surface water in one penalty box, and it looked as if the game may need to be abandoned.
Granted ten minutes to try and clear the water by the Referee, an army of Swans players, officials and fans worked to clear the surface water to allow the ball to roll, and eventually, after a 22 minute break, the officials and both Mangers were satisfied that the game could continue.
Last Season, Tyler Sibbick was Slimbridge's nemesis in the games between the two sides, and it seemed as if it was going to be business as usual a couple of minutes after play resumed, when Larkhall were awarded the first penalty of the afternoon. Although Sibbick's shot hit the post and was cleared by Dave Evans, two minutes later, the same player went on a mazy run and finished well to put the visitors ahead.
The lead was only to last two minutes though - a neat break from Jamie Hammond saw him round the Keeper, only to see his goalbound shot punched off the line by a Larkhall defender, and we had our second spot kick of the game. Jamie Martin netted to tie things up as we eventually reached half time.
The second period was dominated by the home side, and after Jack Twyman had gone close, Slimbridge took a deserved lead on the hour mark. Jamie Hammond's run saw him find space and he converted well to put the home side ahead.
After Hammond again and Sean Lawson had both gone close, Lawson's dangerous run into the Larkhall box was halted by a mistimed tackle from the Larkhall Keeper, and we were onto our third spot kick of the afternoon. This time Hammond, hitting the same post as Sibbick had in the first half, spurned the chance to put the Swans further into the lead.
The game was finally wrapped up five minutes from time, when Paul Fahy's impressive run was halted by yet another foul in the Larkhall box, and Fahy picked himself up to convert the spot kick to finish off an entertaining afternoon that will stick in the memory of all those who were there.
Slimbridge play their final pre-season game on Tuesday (7.30pm) when Brimscombe & Thrupp make the short trip to Wisloe Road, and the season kicks off in earnest a week today, when Gillingham Town are the visitors for the first League game of the season (3.00pm)
Team: Evans, Turl, Ryan Thwaite, Freeman, Tunnicliff, Ward, Turner, Twyman, Martin, Hammond, Fahy Subs used: Lawson, Rich Thwaite, Parrott
Frampton United 2-3 Slimbridge
Friday 1st August
A brace of first half goals from Jamie Martin and a second half penalty from Paul Fahy saw a much changed Swans side see off their hosts at Frampton United last night.
Martin scored in the first minute of the game, and it looked as if that would be the only goal of the first period, however Frampton pulled a goal back just before halftime, only to see Martin strike again before the break to send the visitors back into the lead.
Paul Fahy increased the lead with a penalty on the hour mark, before Frampton pulled another goal back with ten minutes remaining.
Team: Evans, Preece, Ryan Thwaite, Sterling, Freeman, Mills, Turl, Parrott, Martin, Kinnear, Blockley Subs used: Ward, McDonald, Fahy, Rich Thwaite
Fairford Town 0-4 Slimbridge
Wednesday 30th July
Slimbridge cruised to a comfortable victory at Cinder Lane last night, in a game notable for a 9 minute second half hat trick from Jamie Hammond.
Slimbridge dominated the first half with Sean Lawson, Hammond and Dean Turner all hitting the woodwork, but it took until 5 minutes from half time to register a strile, Jack Twyman converting from close range.
The second half started with two goals in 4 minutes from Hammond, before he was fouled in the box for a Slimbridge penalty. Hammond picked himself up to convert the kick on 56 minutes and finish the game off prior to the usual slew of substitutions, with no further scores.
Slimbridge visit Frampton United on Thursday (31st, 6.45pm Kick Off) and entertain Larkhall Athletic (Saturday 2nd, 2.00pm), before finishing their pre-season at home to Brimscombe & Thrupp on Tuesday (August 5th, 7.30 pm.
Team: Evans, Turl, Mace, Hoyle, Freeman, Mills, Turner, Twyman, Lawson, Hammond, Fahy Subs Used: Martin, Brockley, Preece, Parrott, Ward, Cole
Slimbridge 1-1 Shortwood United
Sunday 27th July
The Swans encouraging pre-season continued with another strong performance, which could have seem them overcome their Southern League opponents in front of a crowd of over 100.
The home side made a great start when a chip by Alex Parrot from outside the Shortwood box found the net to put the hosts ahead. As might be expected, Shortwood retaliated and Slimbridge spent some time under pressure from their higher division opponents, but held firm.
At the other end, the pace of Sean Lawson and Paul Fahy was causing Shortwood problems, and Lawson twice went close to increasing the lead.
Fahy and Jamie Martin both went close, and the home side went in at the break a goal to the good, and deserved their lead on the balance of play.
The second period was the usual raft of rolling substitutions, and the game became very patchy as was to be expected - Twyman went close for Slimbridge before a Nick Hancock Free Kick from the edge of the Swans' box drew the visitors level on the hour mark.
Slimbridge continued to exert good pressure though, especially in view of their exertions on Tuesday night, and Jamie Hammond went brought a good save from the Shortwood Keeper before the final whistle.
Team: Evans, Turl, Ryan Thwaite, Rich Thwaite, Robinson, Parrott, Turner, Twyman, Lawson, Martin, Mace Subs Used: Hammond, Preece, Mills, Hoyle, Ward
Slimbridge 0-1 Forest Green Rovers
Wednesday 23rd July
Manager Leon Sterling said after yesterday's entertaining game at Wisloe Road that his team had 'set the bar' for their performances this season, after a hard working and industrious side pushed their Professional opponents very close. The Swans eventually fell to a single goal from a Forest Green Rovers side containing a large majority of first team regulars, in front of a healthy crowd of 362.
'We were under no pressure' the Manager said, 'and I'm now looking for the lads to repeat that quality against Shortwood and Larkhall. Forest Green made a very good start, and it was a new experience for some of our lads to play at that tempo, and they (FGR) controlled the first 20 minutes. But we kept trying to build a fast tempo, and we saw that we have pace in the side that can cause problems.'
Forest Green Manager Ady Pennock was complementary about the game his side had been given, and Wisloe Road as he found it on his first visit. 'I had two objectives' he said afterwards, 'to get a good workout for 75 minutes, and to avoid injuries, and I got both of those, in part due to the very impressive pitch here, which is a credit to the club.
I thought Slimbridge did exceptionally well, and all the players should be proud of themselves. The whole club is first class, with great hospitality, and I've really enjoyed the evening at Wisloe Road.'
The game was ultimately decided by a James Norwood strike five minutes before the interval, although Adam Mace and later on Jamie Martin both had good opportunities to get on the scoresheet. At the other end Dave Evans was kept busy and made good saves from Norwood, Adam Baldwin, and new FGR signing Jon Parkin, which earned the stopper the Man of the Match award.
The postponed friendly from the weekend when we were due to host Brimscombe & Thrupp has been rearranged, and will now take place on Tuesday 5th August, with a 7.30pm Kick Off.
Team: Evans, Preece, Ryan Thwaite, Rich Thwaite, Tunnicliff, Ward, Fahy, Twyman, Lawson, Martin, Mace Subs used: Cole, Turner, Parrott, Hammond, Robinson