Evesham United 1 – 2 Slimbridge
Saturday 25th February
In a game dominated by the weather conditions, debutant Mason Lewis seals the Swans first victory for three months in injury time against an Evesham side reduced to 10 men.
Kicking against a strong headwind Evesham were unfortunate not to open the scoring in the first five minutes of the game with player manager Freddy Ward clearing a goal bound shot off the line. At the other end good work from Brad Martin and Joe Stoke ended with a firm Evesham defence blocking an effort from Jack Sklenar.
Evesham’s Liam Harding tried his luck from the halfway line but his strike sailed over the bar as it dipped into the wind. The home sides Elliot Kennedy also tried his luck from distance but again failing to trouble debutant Swans keeper Marcus Beauchamp with his shot wide of the goal. A 30 yard free kick from Adam Mace was floated in on the wind but just missed the top corner by inches.
A crazy 3 minute spell on 30 minutes started with Evesham winning three consecutive corners, the third of which resulted in the home side taking the lead through Kennedy after the visiting defence failed to clear. Immediately from the kick-off Slimbridge equalised with Stokes playing in Sklenar who controlled the ball well to fire past keeper Kevin Sawyer. Evesham restarted and forced their way into the visitor’s box, as the loose ball was being picked up by keeper Beauchamp, striker Lance Smith kicked out at the keeper in frustration earning him a straight red card.
Slimbridge took advantage of the extra man and finished the half with the better of the play.
The second half this time saw Evesham kicking with the strong wind behind them, and missed an early opportunity with Adam Mann failing to connect to a long through ball splitting the Swans defence. Sklenar at the other end fire a shot straight at Sawyer when well placed in the box.
Evesham failed to let the one man deficit hinder them as they continued to press the Slimbridge goal, Beauchamp growing in confidence pulled off a fingertip save from Mann destined for the top corner. As injury time approached the visitor’s counter attacked with Lee Smith through ball saw Sklenar’s shot well saved by Sawyer.
In the dying seconds, a long cross field ball by Smith caught the home sides defence napping allowing substitute Mason Lewis to run in from 30 yards out drilling the ball past a helpless Sawyer giving Slimbridge a much needed three points.
Next up is Tiverton Town at Thornhill Park on Wednesday at 7:45.
Slimbridge: Beauchamp, Turl, Mace (Lewis), Grimes, Thwaite, Twyman, Stokes, Ward (Oakes), Smith, Martin (Thomas), Sklenar
MOM: Jack Twyman
Swans announce two more new faces...
Thursday 23rd February
Slimbridge are pleased to welcome Mason Lewis and Michael Oakes to the club. Mason joins us from Lydney Town while Michael's last club was Upton St Leonards, Mason plays anywhere on on the left while Michael is a centre or left midfielder. Welcome to the Swans family both...
Marcus Beauchamp joins the Swans
Tuesday 21st February
Slimbridge Manager Freddy Ward has moved to strengthen his squad for the end of season run in, and the club have today announced that they have received International Clearance for the 2 month loan of Goalkeeper Marcus Beauchamp from Newport County.
The 19 year old stopper signed for Newport in August, and is a former Norwich City Academy Scholar. He won the 2014-15 Barclays Under 18s Premier League ‘Save of the season’ award while with the Canaries.
Freddy Ward said 'I'm glad to have Marcus on board, he's been getting some good reviews, and I'm hoping he will come in and give us something we've been missing.'
Marcus will go straight into the squad for Saturday’s trip to Evesham United (3.00pm)
Slimbridge 0-7 Taunton Town
Saturday 18th February
Taunton Town demolished the Swans in an eventful one sided encounter at Thornhill Park. The only bright spot of the afternoon for Slimbridge was that the bottom two sides both lost, thus the nine point cushion that they have over the relegation places remains, with another round of games ticked off towards the end of the season.
Taunton made an impressive start to the game, but it was Slimbridge who had the first real opportunity - Jack Twyman shooting wide with three minutes on the clock. At the other end, Pete Davies in the Slimbridge goal made a good stop when he pushed away Ross Staley’s header in the early exchanges.
The visitors took the lead on 15 minutes, when Jordan Rogers converted from close range after a header had come back off the bar, and five minutes later, the Peacocks doubled their lead, when Ed Palmer’s long throw was met by the head of Matt Wright, who beat Rich Thwaite to the ball to net the second.
On 33 minutes, an identical throw from Palmer saw Thwaite beat Wright to the ball this time, only for his header to end up in the same corner of the net, for the first of two Swans own goals.
Two minutes after the break, Staley converted an Ollie Chamberlain cross, only to see his effort ruled out for offside, but the respite was short lived for the Swans.
With just under an hour gone, Pierce Mitchell’s drilled effort was turned into his own net by Sam Turl for Taunton’s fourth.
On 68 minutes, Taunton’s Shane White picked up an innocuous second yellow card from Referee Gareth Hubbard for taking a free kick before the whistle had been blown and was dismissed, much to the bewilderment of everyone in the ground.
Ten minutes later though, numbers were evened up after a clash in the Slimbridge box, which saw Dean Turner pick up a straight red, and the awarding of a penalty to Taunton, despatched by Palmer for Taunton’s fifth.
Taunton notched a further two goals in the last ten minutes - Matt Buse with an impressive shot on 83 minutes, and Craig Veale with a classy 25 yard lob in the final minute, to round off a miserable afternoon for the hosts.
Slimbridge’s ‘Month of death’ now moves on to a visit to Fourth placed Evesham United on Saturday (3.00pm), followed by the visit of second placed Tiverton Town to Thornhill Park a week Wednesday (March 1st, 7.45pm)
Team: Davies, Turl, Ryan Thwaite, Grimes, Rich Thwaite, Turner, Mace, Twyman, Sklenar (Stokes 62), Smith, Thomas (Jamie Martin 58)
Supporters Man of the Match: Jack Twyman
Predict the Score update and advice for Taunton Town Fans next weekend
Sunday 12th February
There were no winners of this weeks Predict the Score comepetition, so the £1000 prize rolls over to this weekend. Tickets will be on sale behind the bar on Saturday - and at only £1 a shot, it's got to be worth a punt!
We are reminding everyone travelling up from Taunton at the weekend that the A38 is fully closed at Berkeley Bridge from February 14th-23rd. if you follow your usual route, leaving the M5 at Junction 14, you will have a complicated and convoluted diversion which will take you a substantial amount of time. Please do not exit the M5 at Junction 14 (Falfield/Thornbury), but continue North to Junction 13 (Stroud), and then follow the A38 South back to Thornhill Park. This will put an additional 30 minutes or so on your journey, but we promise that will be a lot quicker than exiting at Junction 14.
Salisbury 3-0 Slimbridge
Saturday 11th February
The Swans run of defeats stretched to six games, after another battling performance was undone by better finishing from their opponents. Salisbury had a massive slice of luck early on when Taurean Roberts’ cross caught the wind and sailed over Keeper Pete Davies to put the hosts ahead early, but it was not until the last 15 minutes that two further goals secured the points for home side, who looked a lot more uncomfortable than the scoreline might suggest.
In front of a crowd numbering 545, Salisbury pressed well early early on, and earned a series of corners in the first five minutes, but their efforts were restricted to a Roberts shot that was blasted well too high.
Two minutes later, Roberts saw his cross from the left flank drift in at the far corner to put Salisbury ahead.
Brandon Munday had a great opportunity to double the advantage a minute later, but Davies saved well when the Striker was one on one with the Swans Keeper.
The games developed into much of a stalemate as both teams struggled to deliver any meaningful final balls - Roberts had another effort off target for the home side, while Dean Turner’s effort on 19 minutes was too high.
On 24 minutes, a massive scramble in the Slimbridge box saw another Salisbury effort go to waste, while Adam Mace and Brad Martin were working hard to create opportunities without any real success, leaving Salisbury a goal to the good at the break.
Salisbury Manager Steve Claridge, who watched the entire game from the lofty position of the Press Box, obviously had a few words with his players at half time, and they came out of the traps after the interval. A free Kick from Lewis Benson two minutes into the secodn period saw a game of pinball take place in the Slimbridge box before the ball was cleared, and Thomas Wright was just off target with his header from Thomas Whelan’s cross a minute later.
Benson and Justin Bennett then had efforts blocked as the home side pressed, until Slimbridge started to edge back into the game.
On 56 minutes, the visitors had their best chance of the game when Martin put Jack Sklenar through one on one with Portsmouth Loanee Keeper Alexander Bass, but Sklenar couldn’t get enough lift on his effort, and Bass made a save to keep the hosts’ lead.
The better chances were still being created by the home side, and Roberts was wide with another headed effort, before after a neat one two with Whelan, his shot was blocked by an excellent challenge from Sam Turl.
On 73 minutes, the second goal came for Salisbury, when a cross from Eddie Perrett fond it’s way to Salisbury Captain Kane O’Keefe, and he lofted the ball over Davies to double the advantage.
Ten minutes later, Roberts took advantage of too much space in the Slimbridge box to drill home the third, and finally put the game to bed.
Davies was called into action again in the third minute of stoppage time, when he made a good stop from Benson, but the Swans ‘Month of Death' now moves onto next weekend, when fifth placed Taunton Town come to Thornhill Park. The Swans next two games after that feature a visit to third placed Evesham United (25th February, 3.00pm) before they entertain second placed Tiverton Town (1st March 7.45pm)
Team: Davies, Turl, Ryan Thwaite, Grimes, Rich Thwaite, Turner, Smith, Twyman, Sklenar (Thomas 59), Martin, Mace (Stokes 63)
Supporters Man of the Match Nick Grimes
Slimbridge 0-3 Hereford FC
Saturday 4th February
The Swans may have been defeated by the runaway League Leaders in front of a record Thornhill Park crowd, but they were certainly not disgraced, as clinical finishing proved to be the difference between the two sides.
With just under 900 fans crammed into the ground, the first period of the game was evenly matched as both sides tried to adapt to a surface which cut up quickly, and it was the home side who had the first decent opportunity - Dean Turner’s effort on seven minutes drifting wide, while at the other end, Nick Grimes did well to block an effort from John Mills after Pablo Haysham had set him up.
Brad Martin went on a good run for Slimbridge on 18 minutes, hurdling three tackles, but his effort was weak and easily gathered by Bulls’ Keeper Alex Harris.
Hereford went closest to opening the scoring on 22 minutes, when Mike Symons’ header clipped the top of the bar on its way over.
After another effort from Symons that was too high, the visitors took the lead on 36 minutes, when neat play between between John Mills and Tristan Plummer set up Symons who converted past Swans’ Keeper Adam Thomas.
One minute into the second period, Joe Stokes was off target after a Lee Smith cross found him in space, and Smith himself saw his volley go over off the Hereford bar on 52 minutes.
Two goals in five minutes then effectively killed the game off - Mills converted after a scramble in the Slimbridge box 0n 54 minutes, and five minutes later, tristan Plummer made space for himself of the Swans’ left and drilled the ball past Thomas for Hereford’s third.
The last half hour saw the visitors comfortably play out time - Adam Mace had a couple of efforts for Slimbridge that came to nothing, while Plummer had a good shot blocked after good work from Mills and Bradley Williams, but the visitors secured the three points that now see them 21 points ahead of second spot in the table.
Team: Thomas, Turl, Ryan Thwaite, Grimes, Rich Thwaite, Turner, Twyman, Stokes (Cant 63), Martin (Sklenar 72), Smith, Thomas (Mace 62)
Manager’s Man of the Match: Ryan Theaite
With today attracting the biggest crowd in the history of Thornhill Park, it is only right that we recognise the army of volunteers who helped to make the day run smoothly - We couldn't have done it without you, and have had many complimentary messages from visiting fans about their matchday experience, so on behalf of Slimbridge Football Club to all of you - a massive and sincere 'Thank You'.
Hereford ticket and pitch update - the countdown begins
Friday 3rd February
We seem to have escaped the worst of the storm, and the pitch is in very good condition, therefore we are not anticipating to have to schedule a pitch inspection tomorrow, especially as the rain has passed through according to all the forecasts.
We will provide a further update at 9.30am tomorrow via our Twitter feed (@slimbridgeafc), but at this point are completely confident that the game will go ahead, and do not anticipate any issues.
Ticket sales remain brisk, and we are already assured of breaking (by a substantial margin) our previous ground record attendance of 525, with ticket sales well North of 800 at this point. However, we remind everyone that there is no cash admission on the turnstiles tomorrow once they are open at 11.30am. We are open between 9am-11am for last minute ticket sales.
An additional bar, food outlet and extra toilet facilities will be in place at the Scoreboard End of the ground.
Please follow the instructions of our stewards who will be directing the parking arrangements, and respect our neighbours by not parking where you will obstruct their movements.
Finally, this is a game that we have been planning for probably about seven months. We hope that you all enjoy your visit to Thornhill Park, and would like to place on record our sincere thanks to all our regular volunteers, who work so hard every home game for us, as well as the army of extra people who have generously donated their time to helping us out managing this particular occasion. We literally could not have done this without you.
Enjoy your afternoon!