Predict the Score
Monday 7th March
Due to an error at our printers, this week's Predict the Score tickets have all been printed with games on that are not being played. Therefore this weeks competition will not take place. We will resume again next week, when the Prize Pot of £850 will again be up for grabs. Sellers, please do not take money for tickets this week.
Slimbridge 2-3 Taunton Town
Saturday 5th March
Fifth placed Taunton Town may have recorded their expected double over the Swans this afternoon at Wisloe Road, building on a 4-1 victory at the Viridor Stadium in October, but were made to fight hard for the victory after a spirited Slimbridge revival saw them claw back a two goal deficit, before eventually losing to a badly defended corner.
The result leaves the Swans in 15th position in the table, mathematically still ten points from being assured of playing at this level next season, but with now a seventeen point gap between the Swans and Burham, who occupy the second from bottom spot, it would take an astonishing turn of events to see the Swans sucked into the relegation battle.
During the previous encounter between the two sides, the difference between them was down to some clinical finishing, and it looked like history was repeating itself when the Taunton took the lead in the first minute - Rich Thwaite attempted a back header to Keeper George Burton, only to see Jamie Short to pounce on the ball and drill it past Burton to put the visitors on the scoresheet early on.
Slimbridge felt they may have had a shout for a penalty on ten minutes, when Sam Babatunde’s volley was blocked, possibly with a hand, but the Referee was having none of it.
With 20 minutes on the clock, Lewis Powell converted a cross to double Taunton’s lead, despite these being their only two efforts on target. The visitors were dominating proceedings, with crisp, bright passing moves, despite the lack of a real end product.
Slimbridge’s best efforts of the half came late on - firstly, Freddy Ward’s Free Kick was too high just before the break, but there was still time for Babatunde to shoot wide when well placed, leaving Taunton well in control at the half.
The first ten minutes of the second period saw Taunton again pressing - Rich Thwaite nearly netted an own goal with another back header that looped over Burton, but just edged the right side of the post as far as Slimbridge were concerned, while Short’s header, and then another from Ollie Chamberlain both went close for the visitors.
But one thing that we have seen from this Slimbridge side this season is determination, and they fought their way back into the contest in spectacular style - After Babatunde had brought a good save from Taunton stopper Lloyd Irish, Sean Lawson’s strike from the edge of the box on 56 minutes beat Irish all ends up, and the Swans were back in it.
Within a minute, Lawson had swept in his second of the game after great work and a good lay off from Paul Fahy, and the scores were level.
The deciding goal of the game came on 64 minutes, when slack Slimbridge marking from a corner allowed Owen Irish far too much space in the six yard box, and he made no mistake to retake the lead for the visitors.
Slimbridge nearly clawed it back again on 75 minutes, when a superb double stop from Lloyd Irish denied firstly Lawson, and then Jamie Martin.
Taunton thought they may have had a fourth with five minutes remaining, when Craig Veal reacted quickest to nod home after Ben Carter’s shot rebounded into play off the bar, but the effort was ruled out for offside, and Taunton were able to play out time to take the three points back down the M5 to Somerset.
The Swans, meanwhile, turn their attention to Tuesday night, when they travel to Bridgwater Town (7.45pm) before hosting League Leaders Banbury United at Wisloe Road on Saturday (3.00pm)
Team: Burton, Turl (Brown 77), Ry Thwaite, Hoyle, Rich Thwaite, Ward, Turner (Mace 67), Twyman, Fahy, Lawson, Babatunde (Martin 64)
Supporters Man of the Match: Sean Lawson
AFC Totton 2-0 Slimbridge AFC
Sunday 28th February
Two fatal defensive errors was the difference between these two sides which resulted in the Swans returning back from Hampshire pointless.
On a bitterly cold afternoon, in front of 251 supporters and with a surprisingly flat surface to play on, which was a credit to the Totton ground staff, it was the home side who exerted the early pressure.
Nathaniel Sherborne went close for Totton in the second minute when his free kick from 20 yards went just past George Burton's post.
With just 11 minutes on the clock the Stags went ahead in rather Bizarre fashion.
A free kick was awarded just inside the Swans half and was taken quickly by an alert Michael Gosney who spotted Burton off his line, Burton struggled to control the ball as he back peddled and it appeared to finally go into the goal via the post and Burton's hand.
Totton's winger Nick Watts was causing the Swans defence all sorts of problems with his pace up the right and a cross by Watts in the 17th minute just evaded the head of the onrushing Mark Gamble.
In the Swans first real attack after 20 minutes Paul Fahy forced a corner with some good work on the right but Adam Mace's kick was fired well over by Dean Turner.
On 28 minutes a good cross from Fahy was headed just over by Jamie Martin as the Swans tried to get back on level terms.
Slimbridge were applying a bit of pressure themselves now and a good ball into the box by Callum Brown caused problems for the Stags defence as Richard Thwaite's header was cleared for a corner.
Controversy arose in the 38th minute as Fahy escaped the Stage defence as was bearing down on goal when he appeared to be tripped by Liam Hibberd, who had already been cautioned for a foul on Freddy Ward, but referee James Robinson waved the Swans appeals away,much to the annoyance of the Slimbridge players and supporters and resulted in Robinson having to hold up play and give the Swans Captain Alex Hoyle a good talking to.
Hoyle did not help himself just two minutes later as his name was added to Robinson's notebook for a clinical foul on Gosney.
Totton started the second half as they did the first and Mark Gamble went close after 50 minutes when he controlled a cross well but fired his shot just wide.
Gosney was next in the referees notebook for a poor looking challenge on Sam Turl as the game hotted up.
Adam Mace was putting some dangerous looking balls into the Stags box and one such ball nearly resulted in Martin equalising but he could not stretch far enough to reach the ball.
Slimbridge should have been level on 62 minutes when Turl's cross from the right found Dean Turner who was well placed to fire the ball into the net but Jamie Martin stole the ball from his feet and shot tamely wide much to the disgust of Turner.
Burton made a fine stop on 65 minutes when he pushed away a goal bound effort by Marc Diaper.
Swans manager Leon Sterling replaced Martin with Sean Lawson in an attempt to find an equaliser but disaster was to strike on 70 minutes when a cross from the left was headed by Richard Thwaite straight into the path of Gamble who had the easy task of firing the ball low past the helpless Burton to increase the Stags lead.
As the Swans pushed forward in an attempt to get back into the game a good cross by Fahy found Lawson who forced a corner with a good shot but it was easily cleared.
At the other end Nathan Sherborne headed inches over but as the clock wound down it was the Swans who had the final chance of the game when Lawson, who did well to retrieve the ball from the goal line and cross for substitute Liam Antonio Orchard but the latters shot from 8 yards out went well high and wide which just about summed up the Swans afternoon.
Slimbridge now turn their intentions to next Saturday when high flying Taunton Town are the visitors to Wisloe Road, 3pm and on Tuesday evening they make the journey down to M5 to face a struggling Bridgwater Town side, 7.45pm.
Team: Burton,Turl, Brown ( Antonio Orchard 73) Hoyle,Rich Thwaite,Ward,Turner(Ryan Thwaite 70) Twyman, Fahy, Martin (Lawson 63) Mace
Supporters man of the match: Paul Fahy
Slimbridge 6-0 Bashley
Wednesday 24th February
The Swans recorded their biggest win if the season at Wisloe Road tonight, a result which sees them rise two places to 14th position in the League, and puts a massive eighteen point gap between Slimbridge and the bottom two.
Despite the scoreline, Bashley put up a very spirited defence for the first hour of the game after Paul Fahy had put the home side again early on, but Adam Mace’s superb solo effort on 66 minutes knocked the stuffing out of the visitors. Further goals from Jack Twyman, a brace for substitute Jamie Martin and a further score from Fahy meant a very satisfactory outing for the Swans.
Slimbridge started the game well, and Bashley Keeper Joe Promodo was busy in the first couple of minutes, making stops from Sean Lawson and Rich Thwaite.
On ten minutes, the home side took the lead - Paul Fahy went on a mazy run beating two Bashley defenders, and rounded Promodo to open the scoring.
The first half was all one way traffic - Lawson again went close on 15 minutes, Ryan Thwaite was just off target a minute later, and Mace was unlucky a few minutes later with an effort that was just off target.
On the half hour, Mace was close again, hitting the side netting. Bashley’s best opportunity fell to Callum Neate on 41 minutes, but his header drifted just the wrong side of the post, to leave the Swans a goal to the good at the break.
Slimbridge continued to dominate the second period, with Lawson, Dean Turner, Fahy and Sam Turl all going close, but the second goal, when it finally arrived was a piece of class from Adam Mace.
Picking the ball up in the Bashley half, he rode two tackles before drilling the ball across Promodo into the far corner to double the advantage.
Bashley were beginning to tire badly now, and it was no surprise when Slimbridge recorded their third - Jack Twyman bundling in Mace’s free kick at the far post on 77 minutes.
Six minutes later, it was four - Fahy broke down the Bashley left and played the ball across goal for Martin to slide into the empty net.
The Swans added two more goals in the last two minutes - firstly Martin’s break saw him repay the favour and leave Fahy to run the ball into an open goal, and then Martin got his second with a good shot from outside the Bashley penalty area, to finish off a good night for the home side.
Slimbridge travel to AFC Totton on Saturday (3.00pm) before returning to Wisloe Road on March 5th when Taunton Town are the visitors (3.00pm)
Team: Burton, Brown, Mace, Hoyle, Rich Thwaite, Turner, Ry Thwaite, Twyman, Fahy, Lawson (Turl 63), Antonio-Orchard (Martin 57)
Supporters Man of the Match: Adam Mace
Predict the score prize pot hits £750
Sunday 21st February
With no winners of this week's competition ( 5-1 Chelsea anyone?) the rollover to next week makes the prize pot a record £750. Contact John Ashplant (Twitter: @john_ashplant) to enter for this week.
Slimbridge 0-1 Swindon Supermarine
Saturday 20th February
Marine extended their unbeaten run to 14 games at Wisloe Road this afternoon, but a spirited Swans performance pushed the third placed side hard in a game played in dreadful conditions. The game was ultimately decided by a second half strike from Marine’s Josh Morse, but the sides were evenly matched in terms of chances, and Slimbridge were certainly not disgraced either by their performance or the scoreline. The result leaves the Swans still in 16th position in the League, but with 5 of the 6 teams below them losing, the result moves the Swans another step towards securing their place in the Southern League South & West for next season, with games in hand over all of their rivals at the lower end of the table.
With heavy rain blanketing the ground before kick off and during the first half, this was never going to be a game for the purist. With the middle of park quickly turning into a quagmire, with players slipping as they kicked the ball, it was a tribute to both sides they managed to serve up an entertaining first period, even though chances were short on both sides.
Slimbridge had the first decent effort of the half on nine minutes, when Sean Lawson, who put in another tireless display up front, saw his shot punched clear by Marine Keeper Harvey Rivers. The visitors broke immediately, and it took a well timed tackle from Rich Thwaite to break up a potentially dangerous situation.
With 22 minutes on the clock, Sam Turl put in a good cross which Rivers again punched. This time it fell to the feet of Paul Fahy, but the Stopper grabbed the ball from his feet as Fahy shaped to shoot.
The conditions were probably best summed up by some comedy in the 25th minute, when Rich Thwaite’s back pass to his Keeper George Burton saw Burton wildly miscue his clearance in the mud. The ball arrived at a perfect height for Marine's Josh Parsons, but his attempted volley was again affected by his standing foot sliding in the mud, and his effort was nearer to the corner flag than the Swans goal.
Probably the best effort of the first half came on 32 minutes, when Sam Morris’s shot from the edge of the Slimbridge box brought a superb save from Burton, tipping the ball over the bar.
Just before the break, Dean Turner and Jamie Martin combined well to create an opportunity for Fahy, but he snatched a little at his shot, and ended up over the bar rather than underneath it, leaving the game goalless at half time.
The goal that ultimately decided the game came six minutes into the second half - Morse saw his initial effort blocked, but the ball rebounded back to him, and this time he found the space to beat Burton and put the visitors ahead.
On 66 minutes, a great Slimbridge attack saw Turl and Fahy combine to set the ball up for Lawson, but a double tackle from two Marine defenders took the ball from under his feet as he prepared to shoot.
Five minutes later, Marine had a good opportunity ot double their advantage when Connor Waldon set up Bradley Gray, but again, Burton was equal to the task and made another good save.
With ten minutes remaining, an Adam Mace corner was met by the head of Swans’ Skipper Alex Hoyle, but Rivers was equal to the task and made a stop on the goaline. It was to prove the last opportunity of the game for Slimbridge, and Marine played our the remaining time to take the three point back to Wiltshire, gaining revenge for the Swans’ win at the Webbswood Stadium earlier in the season.
Slimbridge entertain Bashley, who gained their first point of the season in a goalless draw at home to Mangotsfield United during the week, on Wednesday (7.45pm), before making the long trip to AFC Totton next Saturday (3.00pm)
Team: Burton, Turl, Mace, Hoyle, Rich Thwaite, Ward (Twyman 64), Ry Thwaite, Turner, Fahy, Martin (Babatunde 60), Lawson (Brown 74)
Supporters Man of the Match: Alex Hoyle
Predict the Score Jackpot at all time high
Thursday 18th February
With no-one successfully guessing the three game results last week, the prize pot for this week now stands at its highest ever total of £700. Pick up your tickets at the bar on Saturday or contact John Ashplant (Twitter: @ashplantjohn) to enter. For a quid a go, it may well be the best decision you've made all year!
Burnham 0-2 Slimbridge
Saturday 13th February
The Swans returned from the long trip to The Gore with three priceless points this afternoon. After a goalless first half which saw Slimbridge top scorer Paul Fahy see his penalty saved, Fahy made up for it with a peach of a strike to finish a well worked team attack on 56 minutes, and Jamie Martin chased down Adam Mace’s pinpoint through ball fifteen minutes later to notch the second.
It was not all plain sailing though - in the fifteen minutes after the penalty save, Swans Stopper George Burton made two superb stops to deny the home side, who had all the momentum for the rest of the first period, and for whom the half time whistle came at completely the wrong time.
The win moves Slimbridge up to fifteenth in the table, but more importantly, establishes a fifteen point cushion between the Swans and the bottom two. With five of the six teams below them that played losing, it was a very good day for Slimbridge as they can begin to look to consolidate their position in the League table rather than looking over their shoulders downwards.
On a ploughed field of a pitch, the game was never going to be pretty, and with the hosts looking to disrupt Slimbridge’s momentum at every opportunity, Fahy was on the end of two very industrial tackles early on as he started causing problems for Burnham full Back Charlie Barton. Both Free Kicks were in dangerous positions, but the Swans were unable to capitalise as firstly Dean Turner, and then Mace were off target.
On the half hour, Freddy Ward lofted a free kick into the Burnham box, and Swans Skipper Alex Hoyle was felled as he went in for a header, with Referee Marcus Carmichael awarding a spot kick to the visitors. Fahy placed his effort too close to Burnham Keeper David Lyons, who beat the ball away, and it was cleared for a corner.
Burnham took the initiative, and had a much better spell when they should have scored themselves, but George Burton was on hand firstly to deny Danny Pilcher - the ball coming back out to Marcus Green, who was well off target with his effort. On the stroke of half time, Burton made an even better stop from a Ricky Oboagye volley, after he latched on to a lovely lofted pass from Michal Gorniak. The half time whistle came as a relief to the visitors, giving them the chance to regroup for the second period.
The Second half started a lot more evenly - Fahy headed wide after good work and a dangerous cross from Mace, while at the other end, a mix up between Hoyle and Burton saw Burton dive to take the ball off the feet of Green as he shaped to shoot.
On 56 minutes, the deadlock was broken - Mace, Ward and Sean Lawson combined well to set up Fahy, and he drilled the ball home to put the Swans into the lead.
Ten minutes later, Slimbridge thought they had scored a second, but Jamie Martin’s effort was ruled out for handball, perhaps unluckily for the striker.
Five minutes later though, Martin’s determination to get on the end of a superb pass from Mace in the left back position saw him reach the ball the same time as Burnham Keeper Lyons. As the ball broke loose between them, Martin reacted quickest, to walk the ball into the empty net, and double the advantage.
Slimbridge could have got a third as the game entered stoppage time after Fahy was fouled just outside the Burnham box, but a mix up between Ward, Mace and Martin saw the opportunity lost as they messed up the free kick routine. In the end though, it was three well deserved points for the visitors, ahead of the visit of Third Placed Swindon Supermarine to Wisloe Road next Saturday (3.00pm). Marine will be looking for revenge after Slimbridge beat them in Swindon earlier in the season.
Team: Burton, Turl, Mace, Hoyle, Rich Thwaite, Ward, Turner, Ry Thwaite (Twyman 70), Fahy, Lawson (Brown 72), Martin
Supporters Man of the Match: George Burton