Winchester City 7-0 Slimbridge
Thursday 22nd December
It has been a season of historic firsts for Slimbridge Football Club this season, and another club record, albeit not a positive one, was set at the Denplan Stadium last night - the Swans shipped seven goals for the first time in the modern era history of the football club, and suffered their heaviest defeat on record in that time.
These two sides have now shared 15 goals in their two games this season, but on a evening when nothing went right for the Swans, take nothing away from Winchester, and especially four goal striker Craig Feeney, who thoroughly deserved their victory, and were rightly applauded off the pitch by their supporters at the final whistle. For the shell shocked Swans, it’s time to regroup, refocus and concentrate on a highly important League encounter with Bridgwater Town on December 27th at Thornhill Park (3.00pm).
With Keeper Adrian Kowalski unavailable, Ben Reed made his debut for the club between the sticks, but certainly cannot be blamed for the manner of the defeat, as Slimbridge misfired all over the pitch during the 90 minutes.
Slimbridge could have taken the lead with just three minutes on the clock, when Lee Smith’s cross was met by a superb Sean Lawson volley. Winchester Keeper Lewis Noice was up to the task, and produced an equally impressive save to tip the ball over the bar.
On 20 minutes, the hosts took the lead - a badly defended corner saw Ik Hill’s effort come back off the Slimbridge post, and Adam Tomasso was on hand to drill the ball home to put Winchester ahead.
Twelve minutes later it was two - Reed appeared to be impeded as he came for another Winchester corner, and in the resulting scramble, the ball fell to Feeney to notch his first of the night. Referee Craig Robson saw nothing wrong with the challenge and awarded the goal to the hosts.
Five minutes later, it was game over, when another effort coming back into play from the Slimbridge woodwork fell to Jamie Barron, and he blasted the ball past Reed for Winchester’s third.
The second half saw more of the same, as Slimbridge struggled to find any rhythm in their play, and Feeney shoved himself centre stage - Two more goals in the first ten minutes of the second half completed his Hat Trick as Winchester completely dominated proceedings.
The introduction of Joe Stokes on 55 minutes saw the Swans briefly rally - with Marley Thomas and Smith both having efforts that were on target, but then the game went back to business as usual - On 67 minutes, Feeney’s clever turn and shot recorded his fourth of the night and put Winchester six goals to the good.
The scoring was completed on 76 minutes, when Jack Hannon netted after a neat 1-2 to finish off a game that couldn’t end quickly enough for the small band of Swans’ supporters who had made the long trip down to Hampshire.
Slimbridge are back in action on December 27th, when Bridgwater Town travel to Thornhill Park for a League game which kicks off at 3pm.
Team: Reed, Turl (Ward 80), Mace, Ryan Thwaite, Rich Thwaite, Turner (Stokes 56), Twyman, Haskayne, Smith, Lawson, Thomas
Supporters Man of the Match: Archie Haskayne
Predict The Score Rollover again!
Sunday 18th December
With no winners again, the Predict The Score Prizepot will stand at £800 for this week's competition. Get your tickets from John Ashplant now!
Tiverton Town 2-1 Slimbridge AFC
Saturday 17th December
A passionate and committed performance by the Swans saw them fall just short at Ladysmead, where it took a goal nine minutes from time for second placed Tiverton to nick the points after a very entertaining afternoon.
The sides exchanged early goals - Adam Mace putting the visitors in front before Levi Landricombe levelled things up, but ultimately the game was decided by an 81st minute strike from Tiverton’s Owen Howe, which saw the hosts maintain their league position, ten points adrift of Hereford.
The game started at a very high tempo, and Slimbridge Man of the Match Joe Stokes looked dangerous early on, while Jamie Short was well off target with an effort at the other end.
In the ninth minutes, a superb sweeping move from Slimbridge saw them go ahead - Sam Turl, Lee Smith and Marley Thomas all combined well to tee up Adam Mace on the edge of the Tivvy box, and he drilled the ball past Keeper Joe Perry to put the Swans one up.
A minute later, Stokes had a glorious opportunity to double the lead, when through one on one with Perry, but while he rounded the keeper, there was enough time for two Tivvy defenders to get back on the line and clear his goalbound effort.
Slimbridge paid for the failure to convert that chance when Tiverton equalised in the 16th minute - a dangerous cross into the Swans’ box was neatly converted by Levi Landricombe to level things up.
There were chances for both sides before the break, with Smith and Thomas going close for the Swans, and Landricombe and Howe looking dangerous at the other end, but the teams went in level at the break.
The second half started with some controversy, when Tiverton felt that Ryan Thwaite should have received a second yellow card for a clumsy challenge on Jamie Short, but Referee Martin Underhay contented himself with a word.
From the resulting free kick, Rich Thwaite made a superb goaline clearance to keep the scores level.
There was no doubt that Swans’ Keeper Pete Davies was the busier of the two stoppers in the second half, and he rose to the challenge, making superb stops from both Howe and Landricombe on 55 minutes as the home side pressed.
On the hour mark, more good work from Marley Thomas saw Slimbridge break dangerously, but Smith had strayed offside, and the move was halted, while at the other end, Landricombe was too high with a header following a good cross from Howe.
After Nick Grimes was penalised for an innocuous looking challenge on the edge of the Slimbridge box, but Davies was again equal to make a superb stop from Howe’s Free Kick.
The deciding goal came with just nine minutes remaining, when Landricombe’s effort was blocked, but the ball fell to Howe, who placed it across Davies and into the far corner to give the hosts the lead for the first time in the game.
The last five minutes saw all the action in the Tivvy box as Slimbridge pressed for an equaliser, but their best chance saw Sean Lawson agonisingly unable to reach Joe Stokes’ cross in the first minute of stoppage time, leaving Tiverton to celebrate with their fans at the final whistle.
Slimbridge travel to Winchester City on Wednesday (21st, 7.45pm), before hosting bottom of the table Bridgwater Town at Thornhill Park on December 27th (3.00pm).
Team: Davies, Turl, Ry Thwaite (Lawson 57), Grimes, Rich Thwaite, Turner, Stokes, Twyman, Smith, Thomas (Cant 68), Mace (Ward 65)
Supporters Man of the Match: Joe Stokes
Slimbridge 0-1 Bishops Cleeve
Thursday 15th December
Cleeve gained revenge for the Swans’ League victory at Kayte Lane at the end of last season on an instantly forgettable night on a heavy pitch at Thornhill Park.
With conditions not at their best, Slimbridge continued their stuttering display that had seen them succumb to Barnstaple Town at the weekend to the same scoreline, and rarely looked like getting anything from the game. The Swans are still well clear of the relegation zone, but Manager Leon Sterling will be looking for a marked improvement as they move onto tricky road trips to Tiverton Town and then Winchester City before welcoming Bridgwater Town to Thornhill Park on December 27th (3.00pm).
The game quickly developed into a stalemate, with few chances for either side - James Harding struck wide early on for the Swans, and Dean Turner and Jack Twyman both had efforts saved, while Cleeve’s best opportunities saw Jack Horrell and Jordan Stoddart off target.
What turned out to be the crucial point of the game arrived on the half hour - Lee Smith saw his effort blocked at one end, while at the other, Harlie Price’s effort was well saved by Adam Kowlaski in the Swans goal, but the rebound fell to Jack Watts, who converted to put the visitors in front.
Cleeve had a couple of opportunities to increase their lead before the half, but Oliver Butler’s header was wide, and Aaron Drake’s shot was cleared off the Slimbridge goalline by Freddy Ward to keep the score to a single goal at the break.
The second half of the game was notable only for the lack of incident, with a single chance for either side the sum total of efforts from both camps - Horrell brought a good save from Kowalski early on as Cleeve pressed, and Archie Haskayne headed over as the game ran down. Jacob Davidge had a goal ruled on on 90 minutes after Kowalski was fouled as he went up for the header, but Cleeve comfortably held on to record the victory.
Team: Kowalski, Ward, Mace, Ryan Thwaite, Rich Thwaite, Turner, Twyman (Thomas 60), Haskayne, Smith, Harding (Martin 69), Stokes
Supporters Man of the Match: Adam Mace
It was Leicester wot dun it....
Sunday 11th December
There was no winner of Predict the Score this week, as no-one saw Leicester turning over Manchester City as they did. This means that the Prize Pot rises again, and now stands at £750. Get your tickets behind the bar or from John Ashplant.
Slimbridge 0-1 Barnstaple Town
Saturday 10th December
Slimbridge looked like a side who had only played one game in the past three weeks, as a sluggish performance saw Barnstaple Town take three points back down to Devon after they adapted far better to the conditions, with continuous rainfall throughout the game.
A single goal from Barum’s Ryan Turner settled the game in the end, but with Slimbridge not managing a shot on target during 90 minutes, they would be hard pushed to argue they deserved a point.
The early exchanges were notable for two efforts at each end - Lee Francis brought a good save from Slimbridge Keeper Adam Kowalski with eight minutes on the clock, while at the other end, Lee Smith’s shot across goal saw no-one to convert the opportunity.
The visitors settled far quicker than the home side, and with 12 minutes gone, Liam Gregory’s dangerous cross was cleared by Rich Thwaite for a Barnstaple corner, resulting in Kowalski clawing the ball from under his crossbar as Barum pressed for an opener.
As Slimbridge struggled to find their men in the teeming rain, Barnstaple continued to press, with James Blake and then Jack Jenkins being denied by good Kowalski stops.
The decisive goal arrived on the half hour, when Turner converted from close range after his own header had come back off the crossbar to put the visitors into a deserved lead.
There was still time for Turner to bring another good save from Kowalski before the break, but the second half was more of the same. Turner was just wide with a volley four minutes into the second half, while the Swans were restricted to long range efforts - Archie Haskayne shooting wide on the hour mark in a rare Slimbridge attack.
Barnstaple should have increased their advantage on 62 minutes when Blake’s effort came back off the woodwork, but as conditions worsened, the visitors looked comfortable as they played out time.
The Swans’ best effort of the game came with eight minutes remaining, when James Harding saw his lob over Barum Keeper Steven Oliver drift too high.
The last chance of the game came with two minutes remianing, when Jed Harper-Fenman was off target with an effort that was too high.
Slimbridge are back at Thornhill Park on Wednesday, when they host Bishops Cleeve in another League encounter (7.45pm), before travelling to high flying Tiverton Town on Saturday (3.00pm).
Team: Kowalski, Ward, Ryan Thwaite, Grimes, Rich Thwaite, Haskayne, Twyman (Mace 66), Stokes, Smith, Matondo (Turner 53), Lawson (Harding 60)
Supporters Man of the Match: Adrian Kowalski
Bristol Rovers 5-2 Slimbridge
Wednesday 7th December
Slimbridge emerged from their first ever meeting with Bristol Rovers on the wrong end of a GFA Cup defeat, but with their pride intact after a battling display at the Memorial Stadium.
Facing a Rovers side which included Will Puddy in goal, Irish International Liam Lawrence and Rovers’ second top League goalscorer last season, Billy Bodin, the Swans were always going to be facing a serious test, and for the first hour or so of the game, they matched their opponents. As legs tired and stamina began to tell between the sides, two goals in the last 13 minutes gave the score a slightly unfair lopsidedness, but the Swans can be very proud of their contribution to a very entertaining game.
Rovers made a good start, and were on the scoresheet with only four minutes on the clock, as Slimbridge were still adjusting to their surroundings – Ross Cook producing a storming header early on to put the hosts ahead.
As Rovers pushed to try and drive home their advantage, Adrian Kowalski made some good stops, and the Swans’ back four were at full stretch trying to contain their hosts, especially Bodin, whose father was watching him from the stands, but Slimbridge settled into the game, and started to create their own chances.
On the half hour, their efforts were rewarded when James Harding was hauled down in the Rovers box by Danny Greenslade, and Adam Mace converted the resulting penalty to level things up.
Rovers upped the pressure on the Swans again, but were unable to break through before the break, which sent the teams into the dressing room on level terms.
There were obviously a few words said in the Rovers dressing room at the break, as they came out again very strongly for the second period, and went back into the lead on 48 minutes, with a stunning strike from Jae Kim to put the home side back on top.
But Slimbridge’s resilience again shone through, and it took only three further minutes before they were back level – Joe Stokes’ curling shot from the left hand side beating Puddy all ends up to record their second goal of the night.
Slimbridge had a superb opportunity to take the lead three minutes later, when Puddy made an outstanding stop to deny Harding when he was through on goal, and Rovers went straight up the other end and scored – Cook’s shot brought a good save from Kowalski, but Byron Moore was on hand to convert the follow up in a breathtaking ten minute spell.
As the Swans began to tire, Rovers dominated the remainder of the game, but it took until the last thirteen minutes before they finally confirmed their victory – a magnificent Bodin effort after some dazzling footwork, and, in the last minute, Ryan Broom scoring from close range to round things off.
Rovers go on to face Cinderford Town in the next round, but everyone involved at Slimbridge can reflect proudly on another first in a truly historic season for the club.
Team: Kowalski, Grimes, Mace, Ryan Thwaite, Rich Thwaite, Turner (Haskayne 45), Twyman, Stokes, Smith (Matondo 65), Harding (Martin 50), Lawson
Supporters Man of the Match: Ryan Thwaite
The Swans have announced that the game at Thornhill Park against Hereford FC on February 4th will be an all ticket affair. Tickets will be available in the new year, and will be sold online as well as in the Clubhouse on matchdays. Further details to be announced as they are confirmed after Christmas..
New Date for Cleeve...
Sunday 4th December
Our postponed game at home to Bishops Cleeve has been rescheduled to Wednesday 14th December, 7.45pm Kick Off.