Pre-Season Fixtures confirmed
Saturday 16th May
The club have confirmed the following pre-season fixtures ahead of their first campaign in the Southern League.
Saturday 11th July - Slimbridge Championship winning side 2006/7 (H), 1.30pm
Tuesday 14th July - Paulton Rovers (H), 7.45pm
Saturday 18th July - Ashton & Backwell (A), KO TBC
Tuesday 21st July - Brimscombe & Thrupp (A), 7.45pm
Saturday 25th July - Forest Green Rovers (H), 1.00pm
Tuesday 28th July - Westfields (A), 7.45pm
Saturday 1st August - Cirencester Town (H), 3.00pm
SWANS PROMOTED TO THE SOUTHERN LEAGUE!
Thursday 14th May
Slimbridge Manager Leon Sterling today paid tribute to his team, who have today been confirmed promoted to the Southern League Division One South and West by the Football Association.
‘It hasn’t really sunk in yet’ Leon said as the news started to circulate of the team’s success and the FA decision, ‘It’s a massive achievement for the club, and a great opportunity for the lads to test themselves at a higher level. All credit to the boys, I may be the Manager, but you are only as good as the players at your disposal, and every single one of the lads played their part this season, and they are now getting their reward.’
‘I have always tried to give local lads opportunities, and it just goes to show that if you let them have a chance and let them grow, this is what you can achieve.’
‘I was part of the last team that were promoted to this level, even though events meant that we did not take the opportunity to move up, and I know that we have a lot of work to be done, and I know how hard the club will be working off the pitch to support the team.’
When asked about his expectations for next season, Leon said ‘we’ll be going into it with our eyes wide open – we know we need to adapt quickly, as we will be being tested at a higher level, but I’m not setting any targets at this stage – we will see where we are after ten games. I’m pleased that there will be some good local games for our fans to enjoy.’
‘This is the highest level that this football club has ever played at, and I hope that the whole club can enjoy that experience.’
Committee meeting next Tuesday
Thursday 7th May
The will be a very important Committee meeting held in the clubhouse at Wisloe Road next Tuesday (12th May) starting at 7.30. All Committee members are urged to attend, or let Secretary Colin Gay know if you cannot make it.
The club intends to form the Committee for next season at this meeting.
The Promotion question - what happens now?
Tuesday 5th May
Many people have been in touch with the club since yesterday's win at Willand Rovers asking about the situation concerning promotion to the Southern League West and Central Division. The simple answer at this time is that we don't know.
Two things need to happen to confirm the Swans will be playing at the higher level next season - the first one is obviously that The FA have to offer Slimbridge the chance to go up to the higher league by virtue of finishing third in The Toolstation Western Premier League. This is because neither Melksham Town or Buckland Athletic applied to go up, so the third place club becomes eligible for promotion. It is understood that a League's meeting on May 14th may provide a further indication as to the final outcome of this question.
Secondly, the club would then have to confirm that it would accept the offer to move up if it is made. The Club's Committee will be meeting later in the week. Speaking to the Gloucester Citizen today, Secretary Colin Gay said 'It's just really the financial side of things. Hopefully we'll have bigger gates and bigger turnover so hopefully everything will be okay.
"We've got a meeting with the players to make sure they're up for it and committed so hopefully it will be hunky-dory."
"We are in the lap of the gods. I think it is probably 70-30 in our favour but nothing is guaranteed, we've just got to wait and see."
Slimbridge AFC would like to thank everyone who has sent in messages of congratulations, and we will, of course, post further updates as the situation becomes clearer, both on this website and via our Twitter feed @slimbridgeafc.
Willand Rovers 0-5 Slimbridge AFC
Monday 4th May
Slimbridge now face an anxious wait to see if they have gained promotion to the Southern league after this resounding 5-0 win away at Willand Rovers which confirmed third spot in the Toolstation Western League Premier Division.
The Swans knew that just one point would be enough but they were certainly not going for a draw, smashing in five goals without reply to register their biggest win of the season.
If the first half was nondescript, then the second half was anything but as the Swans showed why they have done so well this season, finishing with best defensive record in the league, whilst punishing their opponents with the pace of their forward line.
Slimbridge went into the break with a single goal lead thanks to a stunning strike from Sean Lawson, who latched on to a good ball from Paul Fahy and struck a tremendous shot which left Willand keeper Kurtis Parkin clutching at thin air as the ball went into the top corner.
Controversy arose on 53 minutes when Lawson and Fahy combined well to set up Dean Turner whose shot was deemed to have crossed the line by the referees assistant, which upset the home side immensely but their complaints fell on deaf ears with referee Mr Bennett.
Ten minutes later and the game was put out of Willands reach when Jamie Martin forced in a corner kick from Alex Parrott.
The Swans were champing at the bit now as Willand found it difficult to cope with the pace of Fahy and Lawson and it was the latter who made it four nil when Ryan Thwaite's volley rebounded nicely for Lawson who fired home from 10 yards.
A last minute penalty converted by man of the match Fahy started wild celebrations in the home dressing room who now await the result of a FA league committee meeting planned for May 14th to see if their application for promotion will be accepted.
TEAM; Evans, Turl, Brown, Odiero, Rich Thwaite, Hoyle, Turner (Ryan Thwaite 66) Parrott (Twyman 65) Lawson, Martin (Mace 69) Fahy.
Supporters man of the match, Paul Fahy.
Buckland Athletic 0-1 Slimbridge AFC
Sunday 3rd May
The Swans travelled to Buckland knowing that only a win against their Devon opponents, who were themselves chasing the league title, would keep them in the race for third place and maybe a chance of promotion to the Southern League.
A superb all round performance from Leon Sterling's men resulted in a 1-0 victory thanks to a Paul Fahy penalty awarded after Buckland’s Simon Laughton handled Leroy Odiero's goal bound shot on the Goal line, resulting in Haughton being dismissed.
Buckland knew that only a win against the Swans and a defeat for Melksham at Willand would be good enough for them to take the title, and it appeared that they had their minds on proceedings up the M5 at Willand as Slimbridge grew in confidence the longer the game went on, and with the news filtering through from Silver Street that Melksham were winning 2-0 the Swans took full advantage of their opponents' disappointment.
With goalmouth action at a minimum and with the sides going in at half time all square the second half started well for Buckland who put the Swans under pressure from the off, forcing several corners but that was about as good as it got as Slimbridge started to take control.
The deciding moment came on 61 minutes when a good strike from Oderio from 18 yard out was clearly pushed away by the hand of Laughton and Referee Whaley immediately pointed to the spot and showed a Red Card to the Offender.
Paul Fahy struck his spot kick low and hard into the right hand side of the goal giving keeper Grant Fisher no chance to send the visiting supporters wild.
As Buckland heads dropped the Swans upped their game and were unfortunate not to score a second on 70 mins when Jamie Martin’s corner kick was headed against the woodwork by Freddy Ward.
Manager Sterling introduced all three substitutes in short succession, the loudest applause being for Jack Twyman, making his first appearance since sustaining a serious leg injury in the GFA Trophy match at Almondsbury back in September.
News came through from that Willand had pulled a goal back against Melksham but Buckland could not muster up enough to damage the Swans who held out comfortably to take the vital three points.
With Melksham winning and claiming the title this meant that Buckland were confirmed as runners up - Slimbridge now need just a point at Willand Rovers on Bank Holiday Monday to secure that third spot which will then mean a nervous wait to see if the FA Leagues committee decide to offer them a promotion to the Southern League.
Team: Evans, Turl, Brown, Odiero, Rich Thwaite, Ryan Thwaite ( Parrott 77) Turner, Ward (Twyman 74) Lawson, Brad Martin (Jamie Martin 65) Fahy
Supporters Man of the Match: Leroy Odiero.
Slimbridge 2-1 Willand Rovers
Sunday 26th April
For a game between two sides both hoping to make a mark in the top three of the Western Premier League at the end of next weekend, this was a curiously low key affair.
Two first half strikes from Brad Martin saw the Swans well in control at the break, and, despite Brett Worbey pulling a goal back for Willand through a second half penalty, the home side comfortably held on to record the victory, which moves them back up to fifth in the table, two points and a single place above their visitors, who have a game in hand.
The final week of the season will now determine the final order of the group of sides behind top two Melksham Town and Buckland Athletic, who are assured of the top spots between them.
Slimbridge started well, and were ahead with just three minutes on the clock - Paul Fahy’s break down the left flank saw his dangerous cross swept home by Martin to put the home side a goal up.
The home side dominated the first period - Ryan Thwaite went close a couple of minutes later when his lob beat Willand Keeper Kurtis Parkin, but his effort was deflected just too high by a tackle as he struck the ball.
Willand looked sluggish and struggled to make much of an impact on the game, a shot from Dean Stamp which was well wide the sole decent early effort from the visitors.
On 24 minutes, Slimbridge doubled their advantage. Parkin failed to gather a relatively simple free kick from Martin, and allowed the ball to slide under him for the Swans’ second of the afternoon.
Martin had a great opportunity to notch his third five minutes later, but he stumbled as he went to collect a through ball from Sean Lawson and the chance was lost.
Dean Turner went close on two occasions before the break - firstly, a long range effort on 34 minutes which drifted just wide, and then an effort five minutes before the half, which was deflected over.
In between, Stamp had made another chance for himself, but again, his effort was well off target and the home side went in deservedly two goals to the good at the break.
Fahy went close a couple of minutes into the second half, but his effort found only the side netting, and the game developed into a stalemate.
On the hour mark, Rich Thwaite was penalised for a push in the box as a cross came over and Referee Mark Lawrence awarded a spot kick to the visitors. Despite going the right way and getting his hands to Worbey’s penalty, Dave Evans was unable to keep the shot out and the deficit was reduced.
The goal did little to change the tempo of the game, whose only other moment of note was a disallowed strike from Jamie Martin on 70 minutes, as the game petered out tamely to see Slimbridge claim the spoils.
The Swans have two trips to Devon next weekend to complete their fixtures for this season - On Saturday, they travel to potential title contenders Buckland Athletic (3.00pm) before another trip back down the M5 on Bank Holiday Monday, to play the return fixture against Willand Rovers (3.00pm)
Team: Evans, Turl, Brown, Odiero, Rich Thwaite, Ward, Turner, Ryan Thwaite (Parrott 76), Lawson (Hammond 80), B. Martin, Fahy (J. Martin 68)
Supporters Man of the Match : Brad Martin
Gillingham Town 2-0 Slimbridge
Sunday 19th April
A disappointing performance by the Swans which allowed their lowly Dorset hosts to take all three points at a windswept Hardings Lane.
The game was only ten minutes old when Gillingham took the lead, a free kick from the half way line was helped on by the strong wind and the Swans defence found the ball difficult to clear, William Pike took full advantage by firing in a low shot from 15 yards out which left Dave Evans in the Swans goal no chance.
Just five minutes later the Swans were nearly level, Paul Fahy was felled on the edge of the box and Adam Mace saw his fierce free kick rebound back from the crossbar, Fahy blasting the rebound high over.
On 23 minutes the hosts should have increased their lead but Steven Smith saw his goal bound header cleared off the line by Leroy Odiero.
The Hard, bumpy surface was adding to the problems of the strong wind as neither side could really string a series of passes together and goalmouth action was at a minimum.
On the Half hour a good through ball from Jamie Martin set Fahy clear but his strong run was halted by a last ditch tackle from Nicholas Hewlett.
Just before the interval Richard Thwaite was dispossessed some 25 yards from goal and as the Gillingham forward bore down on goal, Thwaite chased him back and brought the striker down on the edge of the box which earned the Central Defender a caution from Referee Rob Cockle who also added Adam Mace in his notebook for talking out of turn.
The second half started well for Gillingham and a strong run from the dangerous number 10 saw his excellent cross evade everyone in the Swans box.
A thunderous volley by the home sides Daniel Cox was well held by Evans as Gillingham started to up the tempo.
And it was Cox who missed a glorious chance to increase their lead when a cross from the left found him free on the far post but Cox somehow managed to head the ball wide of the open goal.
Manager Leon Sterling made three quick substitutions, bringing on Sean Lawson, Ryan Thwaite and Jamie Hammond in an attempt to shake things up and it looked like it might pay dividends as the Swans upped the tempo themselves.
On 73 minutes Sam Turl was grounded after a strong challenge but the ball fell nicely for Callum Brown, as referee Cockle played a good advantage, Brown ran on and let fly with a thunderbolt of a shot from 25 yards which Sam Filikns in the home goal did well to reach, pushing the ball round for a corner.
Slimbridge were going forward in numbers now in an attempt to get an equaliser and forced a series of corners resulting in Hammond and Fahy going close but in the final minute of the match and with Keeper Evans joining the Swans forwards in the box for yet another corner disaster struck when the ball was cleared downfield for the Gills number 10 to run on and fire into an empty net.
Slimbridge must now pick themselves up for what looks like on paper three very difficult final games, starting with Willand Rovers at home on Saturday followed by a Bank Holiday weekend away at both Buckland Athletic on Sat 2 May and Finally Willand on Mon May 4.
Team; EVANS, TURL, BROWN,ODIERO,RICH THWAITE, WARD, TURNER (RYAN THWAITE 67) PARROTT, MARTIN (LAWSON 64) FAHY, MACE (HAMMOND 70).
SUB NOT USED TWYMAN.
MAN OF THE MATCH, CALLUM BROWN.