Slimbridge 1-2 Westfields
Monday 1st August
The Swans ended their home pre-season campaign with a defeat to Midland League Premier Division Westfields at Thornhill Park on Saturday.
The visitors took the lead with a first half penalty converted by Craig Jones, which was levelled up after the break by Adam Mace’s spot kick for the hosts. Westfield nicked the winner in the 64th monute when sloppy defending saw Jamed Fedry left in too much space to convert from a corner which should really have been cleared.
With the Swans missing Dean Turner and Alex Hoyle, Westfields made the better start to the game, and their best early chance fell to Richard Greaves, who headed over when well place with ten minutes on the clock.
In the 20th minute, Westfields did take the lead - Cidric Grant’s neat turn saw him fool Adam Mace, and Mace clipped his leg as the striker went past. Referee Darre McMillan had no hesitation in pointing to the spot, and Jones drilled the ball past Luke Merchant to open the scoring.
The visitors continued to have the best of the play before the half, but were unable to add to their tally - Aiden Thomas’ effort that brought a good save from Merchant being their best opportunity in the remainder of the half.
With Sean Lawson introduced at half time in the usual raft of rolling subs, the Swans started a lot brighter, and were back on level terms six minutes into the second period. Nathan Payne was brought down in the Westfields box executing a similar move to Grant’s in the first half, with the same result. Mace placed the ball to Kieron Blackburn’s right to level things up.
On 64 minutes, Westfields again went ahead, when a corner was allowed to reach James Fedrey in the Swans six yard box, and he made no mistake to record the visitor’s second.
There was time for Swans Keeper Pete Davies, playing the second half instead of Merchant, to make a good block from James Molineux, as he broke following Lawson going close down the other end, but in the end, the home side can have no complaints with the result.
The Swans start their League campaign on Saturday (6th August, 3.00pm) when Winchester City make the trip to Thornhill Park. They then travel to Bishops Cleeve (Tuesday 9th, 7.45pm) and Yate Town (Saturday 13th, 3.00pm).
Squad: (All Played): Merchant, Ward, Mace, ry Thwaite, Turl, Haskayne, Twyman, Oldham, Martin, Orchard, Major, Lawson, Davies, Brock, Payne, Prothero
Swans christen Thornhill Park with a battling display
Tuesday 26th July
On an evening when Slimbridge christened their ground as 'Thornhill Park' in honour of former Chairman Evi Thornhill, the side rose to the occasion on the pitch and pushed Forest Green Rovers all the way, coming behind on two occasions, before succumbing to a late winner for the Conference side.
Sean Lawson was the Swans' hitman, netting an equaliser after Rhys Murphy put the visitors into the lead, and then pulling the sides level just before the break, after Mohamed Chemail had put FGR back in front.
The game was ultimately decided with Murphy's second goal 15 minutes from time, in front of an appreciative crowd of 426.
The evening had started with an emotional ceremony, renaming the Wisloe Road ground in honour of the gift in 1960 from former Chairman Evi Thornhill of the land the club still occupies to this day.
Evi's son, Tony and his wife Margaret were on hand to cut the ceremonial ribbon, and Tony made a short heartfelt speech about how much the renaming meant to him and the entire Thornhill family, and how honoured they were that the football club had recognised their father in this way.
A souvenir programme was produced to mark the occasion, and pictures from the event will shortly become a new addition to the displays in the Clubhouse, ensuring the club will continue to recognise the important of Mr Thornhill's legacy.
Squad (All played): Davies, Turl, Hoyle, Rich Thwaite, Ry Thwaite, Turner, Twyman, Haskayne, Lawson, Brock, Cant, Ward, Oldham, Mace, Martin, Orchard
Tytherington Rocks 1-6 Slimbridge AFC
Saturday 23rd July
The Swans recorded a comfortable victory against their Hellenic Division 1 West opponents, ahead of the clash with Forest Green Rovers at Thornhill Park on Monday.
Liam Orchard (2), Rory Thompson, Nathan Payne, Adam Mace and Jamie Martin were on target for the Swans, while Ryan Stevenson netted for the hosts.
Slimbridge started the game on the front foot, and rarely relinquished control of the game, with Adam Mace and Liam Orchard both going close in the first ten minutes.
The first goal, when it arrived on 14 minutes, was controversial, and demonstrates well how difficult it is for match officials to apply the increasingly confusing rules about offside that the Guardians of our game have now developed - The ball was played down the left flank to Nathan Payne, who came from deep and beat the Rocks offside trap.
Jamie Martin was clearly standing offside , and started to make a move towards the ball before realising he was offside and stopping. Payne continue through on goal with the Rocks defenders waiting for a whistle that never came, believing Martin to now be active (and therefore offside), and although Payne’s cross to Liam Orchard was a little too long, Orchard made room for himself to drill the ball under Rocks Keeper Adam Clarke and open the scoring. One can only hope that at some point, sense is seen to prevail and the rules are simplified again to make them easier to enforce.
A minute later, while Rocks were still disputing the previous decision, Slimbridge doubled their lead - Orchard played the ball across from a wide position and Rory Thompson slid the ball home to record the second goal of the afternoon.
Orchard was to prove to be a thorn in the Rocks’ side all afternoon, and he brought a good save from Clarke after some impressive work from Payne, and then, on 26 minutes, had a goal ruled out for offside as the Swans dominated.
Still the chances came for the visitors - Martin shot over following good work by Jack Twyman, and then Orchard made another good break down the right flank, before ballooning the ball high and wide with his effort.
Swans’ Keeper Pete Davies had largely been a spectator at this point, but he reacted well to make a good stop to a lovely 25 yard effort effort on the half hour.
Slimbridge retaliated with another good break down the left, and Payne set himself up neatly to beat Clarke one on one and put the third goal in the record books on 33 minutes.
Orchard and Mace combined well again two minutes later, with Mace’s shot just too high.
Just before the break, Mace was close with another effort from 35 yards, bringing a superb stop from Clarke.
The second half was only two minutes old when Slimbridge were awarded a penalty after Ed Major turned his man in the Rocks’ box, and was brought down. Adam Mace stepped up to convert the penalty and put the visitors four goals to the good.
All the chances were still going to the Swans, with Mace again, and then Martin just off target, before a break down the left flank on 58 minutes saw Orchard beat Clarke with an absolute peach of a shot from the corner of the penalty to record goal number five.
Clarke made a good stop to pick the ball off Major’s feet when he was through on goal, and then made a good stop from Payne’s effort as Slimbridge continued to press.
The hosts’ afternoon was summed up when a loose pass across the Swans’ back line was pounced upon by Luke Whittam, who then scuffed his effort well wide when he was through on goal.
On 74 minutes, Slimbridge recorded their sixth - a scramble in the box saw the ball fall to Jamie Martin with his back to goal, and his clever backheel beat Clarke and the defender on the line.
Rocks were still fighting though, and went straight up the other and and scored - Stevenson netting from a break straight from the Kick Off.
There was still time for a couple more efforts from the visitors - Johnny Cant played in Archie Haskayne with ten minutes remaining, and his effort drifted just too high.
Just before the final whistle, Payne’s effort was deflected for a corner, which saw Major’s header bring another good save from Clarke - the ball was played back into the box, but was just a little too high for Rich Thwaite, who headed wide.
Slimbridge Squad: Davies, Prothero, Mace, Ryan Thwaite, Hoyle, Turner, Thompson, Twyman, Martin, Orchard, Payne, Oldham, Cant, Rich Thwaite, Haskayne, Turl
Goals: Orchard 14, 58 Thompson 15, Payne 33, Mace (Pen) 47, Martin 74
Slimbridge 1-1 Brinscombe & Thrupp
Thursday 21st July
Two goals in the last ten minutes of the game saw the local rivals share the spoils at Thornhill Park this evening. Ollie Pitt put Brimmy ahead with a late penalty, before John Cant equalised for the hosts on a rain soaked evening. The Swans travel to Tytherington Rocks on Saturday to continue their pre-season campaign, before entertaining Forest Green Rovers on Monday for the game which includes the formal Thornhill Park renaming ceremony prior to Kick Off.
Swans defeat Legends on penalties
Sunday 17th July
The Swans defeated a team of Slimbridge Legends at Thornhill Park this afternoon in a fundraising game for Cameron's Cause, the charity set up to honour Cameron Hutchinson, who sadly succumbed to cancer last year. Cameron's Mum Becky was on hand to meet the teams before the game, which the current squad won 5-4 on penalties after a 0-0 score after 90 minutes.
Sincere thanks to Casey Johnstone and all his players for supporting the cause.
Legends Squad: Johnstone, D Foxwell, Hamilton, Martin, M Foxwell, Hine, Inch, Cornwall, Haddock, Bryant, Cole, Tustain, Wilton, Booth, Sterling, Roberts
Advance Travel warning for clubs travelling to Thornhill Park early next season
Saturday 16th July
The following information will be included in our correspondence to all our visiting clubs during the affected period, but we are also publishing the information here to spread the word as widely as possible.
Between 10th August and 11th November, an old railway bridge on the A38 at Berkeley Heath is being replaced. As a consequence, we anticipate major delays on the A38, specifically for visiting clubs who would use the A38 from Junction 14 of the M5.
Between 10th August and 11th November, one lane only of the bridge will be open, and traffic lights will direct traffic. It is anticipated this will cause major delays on the A38 in both directions.
Between 6th-15th September, the road will be completely closed, with a lengthy diversion in place.
Our recommendation during this period is that if you were planning to use the A38 travelling north towards Thornhill Park from Falfield (Junction 14), take the M5 (or stay on the M5) northwards to Junction 13, and then take the A38 southbound. This could add potentially another 30 minutes to your journey, so please allow plenty of time.
Once the roadworks start and are in place, we will be able to make a better assessment of potential delays, however we wanted to make you aware as early as possible of this potential hold up.
Slimbridge 2 -2 Frome Town
Saturday 16th July
Slimbridge played out an entertaining draw at Thornhill Park this afternoon against Premier Division Frome Town.
Playing against the wind, Frome started brightly in the first minute when Jonno Davies tried his luck from 30 yards out but his shot was too high. The first goal came on 6 minutes when a Jack Oldham free kick from the right was scrambled in by Rich Thwaite at the far post. Three minutes later after some nice interplay from the Frome midfield the ball fell to ex Slimbridge favourite Micky Bryant who slotted home to level the scores. On 11 minutes Slimbridge restored the lead through a bullet Adam Mace header from Sam Turl’s pin point cross.
With game flowing end to end, Frome had a chance on 20 minutes when Sam Boverton shot sailed over the bar from a free keck. Slimbridge almost had a chance to increase their lead on 29 minutes when a Mace through ball was pounced on by Ed Major only to find the offside flag was up. On 31 minutes Frome missed a great chance when Mitchell Page miss hit his shot when he should really have scored. However a minute later the scores were level when Rob Hobbs weaved through the Slimbridge defence to slot home. Slimbridge continued to press for the remainder of the half with crosses from Turl, Oldham and Ryan Thwaite failing to find a Slimbridge man in the visitors goal area.
The second half was a more subdued affair with both sides making a number of changes at half time and during the course of the half. The best chance fell to Frome’s Darren Jefferies who forced substitute keeper Luke Merchant into a save on 53 minutes and the resulting corner hitting the Slimbridge post. Oldham forced the visiting keeper Darren Chitty into a save on 67 minutes and Mace’s follow up was just wide into the side netting. Although Slimbridge had a good spell of play late on in the second half, credit must go to both teams for an entertaining game.
Sharmen, Turl, Ry Thwaite, Hoyle, Ri Thwaite, Twyman, Haskayne, Oldham, Lawson, Major, Mace. Subs Martin, Walker, Orchard, Thompson, Ward, Merchant
Chitty, Griffiths, Walker, Boverton, Marstone, Hobbs, Davies,D Jefferies, Bryant, Page, Johnston. Subs Cleverly, Jackson, Alime, S Jefferies
Longlevens 1-2 Slimbridge AFC
Friday 15th July
A much improved performance from the one at Bradford Town a week earlier resulted in a narrow 2-1 win for the Swans at Hellenic Premier side Longlevens.
Included in Leon Sterlings starting eleven were recent signings Jack Oldham and John Cant.
Archie Haskayne and Ed Major also made second half appearances along with trialists Rory Thompson and Jamie Walker.
Sterling gave 45 minutes each to goalkeepers James Sharman and Pete Davies.
Jack Oldham nearly got off to a perfect start but his 5th minute goal bound shot was cleared off the line for a corner.
Former Swans player Brad Martin gave the hosts the lead on 30 minutes, converting a cross from the left but Slimbridge should really have been three goals to the good by then after good chances for Rich Thwaite, Liam Orchard and John Can't were all missed.
Five minutes into the second half and Slimbridge were level.
Sean Lawson, who was looking very lively, fired home from 15 yards after a lapse in the home defence.
A Free kick on the edge of the box by Adam Mace was cleared off the line as Slimbridge started to control things.
On 65 minutes the Swans deservedly went in front when Jamie Walker delivered an excellent cross from the right for Ed Major to poke home from close in.
Martin should have scored his second goal of the game late on but fired wide with the goal at his mercy as the Swans held on for a morale boosting victory.
The Southern League fixtures have been released which sees the Swans open their campaign with a home game versus Winchester City on Aug 6th followed by trips to local sides Bishops Cleeve and Yate Town.
The much anticipated games with Hereford will take place on Tues Sept 27th at Edgar Street with the return at Thornhill Park on Sat 4th February.
Steve Claridge's Salisbury will visit Slimbridge on Sat Oct 15th.