Slimbridge 1-0 Cadbury Heath
Tuesday 12th November
The Swans moved off the bottom of the table as they toppled high flying Cadbury Heath with one of their performances of the season at Wisloe Road.
Playing a quick passing game with a high tempo. the visitors were never allowed to settle . A bright start for the Swans saw Danny Chandler, Liam Harding and Adam Mace all go close, before the home side took the lead just after the half hour. Andy Dawson's dangerous run saw him draw two Cadbury Heath defenders, before sliding the ball to Adam Mace, who drilled the ball past Dammian Freeman into the far corner of the Heath net.
Chandler had two more good chances in the second period, but was unable to take advantage, and a furious final 15 minutes saw the Slimbridge defence, superbly marshalled by Manager Leon Sterling repel all the Heath advances, and record their first three League point haul since early September.
The Swans will be looking to build on this result when they travel to Willand Rovers on saturday (3.00pm) before entertaining Bitton next Tuesday (19th, 7.45pm)
Team: Evans, Robinson, Brown, Sterling, Wellon, Harding, Turner (Ward 72), Twyman, Dawson, Chandler (Carter 62), Mace
Supporters Man of the Match: Leon Sterling
Slimbridge 1-2 Odd Down (Bath)
Monday 11th November
It was a much improved performance by Leon Sterling's men, against an opponent who look destined for the top six of the Western league on their second half showing, but ultimately, another three points lost at home for the Swans. Leading by Liam Harding's early header, an inspired triple substitution from Odd Down Manager Terry Moore turned the game on it's head, with Kye Simpson notching a brace to ultimately swing the game the visitors' way. The dismissal of Jack Twyman just after the equaliser capped off another disappointing afternoon for Slimbridge, who remain at the bottom of the table.
After Leon Sterling's rallying cry this week, his side started at a good pace, and took the lead on seven minutes, when Twyman's cross was headed home by Harding, who found himself in space in the Odd Down box.
Odd Down served notice they were not going to lie down easily though, and two minutes later, Slimbridge had a let off when Korg Kay played in Lee Bridson, who saw his effort cannon back into play off Dave Evans' crossbar. The ball fell to Dean Griffiths, but he sliced his effort wide.
As the game settled down in very heavy conditions, both sides were playing some attractive football, but neither were able to make too many dangerous inroads on goal - Harding went close just before the half hour with another header, this time from Adam Mace's corner, while at the other end, Evans had to be alert to keep out a long range effort from Ben White.
As the game approached the half, Odd Down had two other chances, but firstly Rich Dauncey, and them Twaine Plummer failed to get their efforts on target and the Swans went in ahead at the break.
Odd Down came out of the blocks at a much higher tempo in the second half, and soon began to create further chances for themselves - Kay shot wide on two occasions, while at the other end, Dominique Njoya saw his effort rebound for a goal kick from the outside of the Odd Down post. The game was evenly poised when a triple substitution from Odd Down changed the game.
After Kye Simpson had created a good chance for namesake Troy Simpson having only been on the pitch a couple of minutes, Simpson himself went on a mazy run at the Swans' back line, which saw him beat three men and drill home the equaliser.
The home side's frustration boiled over from the kick off, although Twyman's challenge which saw Referee Dumitru Ravel-Cheosiaua brandish a red card didn't particularly seem any worse than any other tackle in the conditions, but Slimbridge were now up against the wall. Ten minutes later, on 73 minutes, Odd Down grabbed a second when Simpson found himself with space in the Slimbridge box, and beat Evans to put the visitors ahead for the first time in the game.
Slimbridge pressed valiantly, but Odd Down continued to dominate the play in the last 15 minutes of the game, and played out time to secure a victory which sees them sitting at fifth place in the table.
The Swans are at home tomorrow night (Tuesday 12th) when Cadbury Heath come to Wisloe Road, before another Devon trek, this time to Willand Rovers on Saturday. They then return to Wisloe Road on Tuesday 19th, when Bitton are the visitors.
Team: Evans, Brown, Njoya, Robinson, Wellon, Ward (Turner 76), Twyman, Harding, Gates (Cole 71), Carter (Dawson 62), Mace
Supporters' Man of the Match: Freddy Ward
Pitch inspection passed - Game on
Friday 8th November
The Wisloe Road pitch has passed this morning's inspection and therefore Slimbridge v Odd Down is game on.
Leon – ‘We will turn season around’
Friday 8th November
Slimbridge manager Leon Sterling today reflected on the side’s start to the season in the Toolstation Western Premier League and, while admitting he was disappointed in the results so far, which currently see the club propping up the League, he insisted that the team can turn things around and start climbing the table.
‘It’s been a very difficult start for us.’ Leon said, ‘and it has been caused by a combination of things. Firstly, this season was always going to be one of transition for us whatever League we were playing in – we’ve had a few gold seasons in the Hellenic League, but, in the Summer, we saw a lot of experienced players leaving the squad, with some players also leaving to play at a higher standard, and it was always going to be a challenge for us to replace them. ‘
Losing long term first team stalwarts like the retiring Marv Roberts, and Tom Speers, who left the club to move abroad, has not helped with the task of rebuilding the side – ‘The problem we’ve had has been trying to deal with the loss of that experience within the team, while at the same time trying to integrate new players into the squad, which always takes time.
Leon also reflected on the difference in standards between the Hellenic and Western Leagues – ‘The Western League is certainly tougher physically than the Hellenic was, and we are still adapting to that. ‘ he said, ‘and the fact that we still have a squad that is not performing to a consistent level at this point is reflected in the League table at the moment.
It’s up to myself, and the players to work hard and turn things around and start climbing the table, and that’s what I intend us to do.’
Longwell Green Sports 2-0 Slimbridge
Sunday 3rd November
Another disappointing afternoon for the Swans saw them slump to another defeat which consigned them to the bottom of the Toolstation Western Premier League.
In gale force conditions, Slimbridge were unable to capitalise on playing with the wind in the first half, and were punished playing against it in the second half when two sloppy pieces of defending saw Heath take advantage and collect the points.
In an entertaining first period, despite the conditions, both teams had opportunities to get on the scoresheet. Paul Carter's shot went wide with two minutes on the clock, and Carter then played a neat ball to Elliott Kennedy on the Slimbridge right flank, but Kennedy's cross was held up in the wind, and Jamie Martin was unable to take advantage of a good move.
At the other end, Longwell Green went close, as Fabian McCarthy's cross forced a good saving header from Leon Sterling, resulting in a corner which saw a good save from Dave Evans from James Pockock's header, before Dan Hunt saw his effort blocked after a surging run from midfield.
On 15 minutes, the conditions contributed to Longwell Green Keeper Dan Jackson fumbling Martin's long rage effort, and, as the Swans' pressed, Kennedy and Carter combined for a cross which no-one was in a position to take advantage of.
Both teams were playing good football given the conditions, and the home side fashioned a good opportunity when McCarthy and Hunt combined well to set up Kris Lee, but Evans was alert and made a good save with his feet to prevent Longwell Green taking the lead.
With just under 30 minutes on the clock, Longwell Green had another good opportunity, when Hunt header just wide after a good run and cross from James Gardner.
As the game flowed from end to end, Martin was very close with an effort on 35 minutes which just shaved the wrong side of the post, while Lee and Charlie Stevens were both just off target with their efforts for Longwell Green.
Slimbridge had probably their best opportunity when Carter played in Martin with five minutes remaining in the first period, but Martin's effort hit the top of the Longwell Green bar and went over for a goal kick, leaving the game goalless at the half.
With the wind behind them in the second period, Longwell Green began to up the tempo, and Stevens and Mark Summers both forced saves from Evans before what appeared to be the turning point in the match happened on 56 minutes.
An altercation between Jamie Coombes and Carter saw the Slimbridge man apparently taking a stamp from his opponent, and Referee Glen Barter, after a long delay, booked both players, Carter for allegedly pushing his opponent in response to the original offence.
The Slimbridge protests saw Captain Dave Evans go into the book along with Carter, and, at the restart, the Swans' concentration went missing - Stuart Gates' underhit backpass to Evans was never going to reach his Keeper, and Longwell Green seized upon the error, as Evans was rounded, and the ball worked across the Slimbridge box for Stevens to gleefully slot home, and put the home side ahead.
As Longwell Green pressed, Hunt again went close with another good effort, before, on the hour mark, Mark Knapman's free kick brought another save from Evans.
Slimbridge tried to exert pressure playing against the wind, but Dan Robinson's good work in setting up Kennedy resulted in another simple save for Jackson as the visitors struggled to make any impact.
With 20 minutes remaining, Knapman shot high when well placed, before Hunt latched onto a through ball to round Evans, only to be foiled buy a superb tackle from Will Wellon to prevent Longwell Green getting their second.
With 12 minutes remaining, the Swans' defence was breached again - Steven was left in a acres of room to convert from a corner to double the home side's advantage.
On 80 minutes, Carter's free kick set up Dean Turner for another effort that was blazed over, while at the other end, Stevens and Coombes went close for Longwell Green, before Wellon made another telling intervention, this time blocking Simon Dew's effort after good work from Hunt, but it was too late to prevent another defeat.
The Swans now have two home games on the bounce - next Saturday when Odd Down (Bath) come to Wisloe Road (3.00pm), and then the folllowing Tuesday when Cadbury Heath are the visitors (7.45pm)
Team: Evans, Robinson, Cole, Sterling, Wellon, Harding (Hughes 73), Kennedy (Kinnear 78), Twyman, Martin (Turner 64), Carter, Gates
Supporters Man of the Match: Jack Twyman
Sunday 27th October
As a result of yesterday's Les Phillips Cup preliminary round victory, the club have announce that their First Round tie, when Ilfracombe Town visit Wisloe Road, will now take place on Saturday, November 23rd, with a 3.00pm Kick Off.
As a result, the previously scheduled home League game against Bitton will be rearranged, for a new date to be announced.
Slimbridge 2-1 Warminster Town
Saturday 26th October
The Swans negotiated this Les Phillips Cup Preliminary Round tie courtesy of two quick second half goals from Liam Harding and Jamie Martin. After both sides were reduced to ten men - Martin and Warminster's Jake Herd both seeing red in the same incident, Louis Sparey reduced the home sides advantage, but Slimbridge held on to book a home tie with Ilfracombe Town in the next round of the competition.
A scrappy start to the game saw opportunities for both sides, and the home side had the first decent chance, when Paul Carter and Martin combined to feed Jack Twyman, bit there was no-one on hand to meet his dangerous cross into the Warminster box.
At the other end, Sparey played a neat 1-2 with Jack Miluk, but was unable to guide his shot past Dave Evans and the Slimbridge Keeper gathered easily.
After ten minutes, Slimbridge thought they had a shout for a penalty when Stuart Gates was shoved off the ball as he went past his man, but Referee Mark Billingham disagreed, and awarded Warminster a Goal Kick.
On 22 minutes, the best opportunity of the half fell to the home side - Carter's corner was met by the head of Dominique Njoya, who saw his effort blocked on the Warminster line. As the ball came back out to Njoya, a last gasp tackle diverted his follow up shot over the bar for a Slimbridge corner, which was cleared to Liam Harding, but his shot was too high and the chance was lost.
With Carter, Harding and Twyman bossing the midfield, and Gates causing havoc with his runs down the flanks, it seemed only a matter of time before the home side took the lead, but as the game approached the half hour, and despite some good deliveries from Carter, the game remained scoreless.
After Herd saw his long range effort go well wide in one of the visitors' rare forays forward, Martin was unlucky on 33 minutes, after a superb run, to see his shot deflected just past the post, with a goal kick surprisingly being awarded by the officials.
As Slimbridge pressed, Carter continued to look dangerous, and his neat turn on 38 minutes saw his play in Twyman, but the ball bobbled as he went to shoot and again the ball missed the target.
Njoya was involved in the other great opportunity of the first half, as Martin's cross saw him in open space in the Warminster box, but his header was aimed back across the goal when an effort on goal may well have reaped rewards, and the chance again was cleared.
Just before the half, two good efforts from Slimbridge went unrewarded - Twyman's shot brought a great save from Warminster Keeper Adam Collington, before Njoya hit the side netting after Harding's cross, but the scoresheets remained blank after 45 minutes.
Slimbridge continued their first half pressure after the break, with Njoya just failing to connect with Carter's dangerous free kick, and Martin having a lovely finish ruled out for offisde.
On 50 minutes, a rare Warminster effort from Shaun Shepherd sparked Evans into action, but it was all Slimbridge as the game progressed.
With 55 minutes on the clock, the home side finally broke the deadlock with the goal their play deserved - Harding's 35 yarder leaving Collington no chance to put Slimbridge 1 up.
Almost straight from the restart, the Swans' doubled their lead - Harding's cross was converted to Martin to give Slimbridge a two goal cushion.
Martin almost added a third before his late tackle on Warminster's Jake Herd sparked a tussle between the two on 63 minutes - The Referee had no hesitation in issuing red cards to both players, who had the good grace to shake hands and apologise to each other as they both made their way to their respective dressing rooms.
The last half of the game fizzled out after that incident - Louis Sparey reduced the deficit with a neat strike after 74 minutes after the ball was cleared to him on the edge of the Slimbridge box following Leon Sterling's header, and despite efforts from both sides, the scoreline remained untroubled at the final whistle.
The Swans are back in League action when they travel to Longwell Green Sports next Saturday (3.00pm) before returning to Wisloe Road on November 9th when Odd Down (Bath) are the visitors (3.00pm)
Team: Evans, Robinson, Njoya (Ward 76), Sterling, Wellon, Hughes (Cole 60), Twyman, Harding, Martin, Carter (Kennedy 53), Gates
Goals: Harding 55, Martin 56
Supporters' Man of the Match: Stuart Gates
Monday 21st October
The Swans have been drawn away to Fairford Town in Round 3 of the GFA Challenge Trophy, the tie will be placed on Tuesday November 26th, with a 7.45 Kick Off.
Our League trip to Willand Rovers, originally scheduled for March 29th, 2014 has been rescheduled to November 16th, 3.00pm Kick Off.