Sat 28th April
EVO-STIK South League West
Wimborne Town
3:00 PM
Match Program
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No rest for the Pitch Perfect team....
Saturday 2nd September
Although the Swans had a day off today, for some members of the organisation, it was business as usual.

The Thornhill Park Ground Staff team of Paul Chappell, Ian Wrixon and Ian Blount were at the club, as usual, working on all the behind the scenes activities that rarely get noticed - minor repairs to the clubhouse, making sure the facilities for visiting teams and officials are up to scratch, and, of course, tending to the Thornhill Park pitch, which is attracting so many compliments.

It was recently described by one of our visiting officials in the following glowing terms - '.....stunning, it looked superb and indeed was when we walked onto it.  I have rarely experienced such a good playing surface at this level of football of which I have been involved for many years. '

So, while we were all enjoying our day off, let's say 'Thanks' to Chap, Wricko and Blounty, some of the unsung heroes of any football club, but especially at this level. Enjoy the rest of your weekend, lads!

Slimbridge 1-3 Shortwood United
Monday 28th August
The Swans ended the Bank Holiday weekend with three points from six, after a second half Levi Cox hat-trick secured the win for Shortwood at Thornhill Park. The Swans had taken an early lead through Marley Thomas, but Cox struck three times to pocket the points for the visitors.

As to be expected for a local derby, the game started at a frantic place, and the visitors had the first decent effort on three minutes, when Swans’ Keeper Ollie Hall had to be sharp to tip over a long range effort from Adam Price.

Thomas and Joe Stokes were combining well at the other end, and Thomas was just off target on seven minutes, after a good through ball from Stokes.

In the ninth minute, the home side took the lead when Thomas threaded a shot from the corner of the Shortwood box over Shortwood Keeper Harry Pickering and under the bar to put Slimbridge ahead.

The hosts continued to press, in a good spell and Adam Mace’s long rage effort was fumbled by Pickering, but he recovered to gather the ball before any of the Swans’ attackers could convert the rebound.

With 22 minutes gone, Thomas’ run and cross was just cleared from the feet of Stokes as he shaped to shoot, as Slimbridge looked to extend their lead.

With just under half an hour on the clock, a miskick from Rich Thwaite opened up a great chance for Shortwood’s Harlie Price, but his effort was well off target.

Shortwood still looked dangerous though, and two smart saves from Hall, both from Price efforts, saw the home side go into the break with the lead.

The second half was just eight minutes old, when Shortwood levelled it up - Ben Prictor made good progress down the Swans’ left flank, and his cross left Cox with an easy finish to even the score.

In a game of chances for both sides, it was Slimbridge’s turn next - Thomas was just off target a minute after the equaliser, and Jack Twyman’s long range effort was saved by Pickering.

On the hour mark, though, Shortwood took the lead, when Cox chased down a long Pickering clearance, and lobbed the ball over Hall to notch his second of the game.

Stokes was still creating chances at the other end, and after a mazy run, there was no-one on the end of his dangerous cross on 65 minutes.

Slimbridge’s best chance of an equaliser came on 73 minutes, when Twyman played in Dean Turner with a superb diagonal, but Pickering got his fingers to his shot, and tipped the ball onto the post and out, where it was cleared.

As the Swans cursed their luck, Shortwood broke quickly and Hall was forced into another good save to deny Cox.

On 79 minutes, Turner and Nathan Payne combined well, with Payne’s effort beaten away by Pickering.

The game was put to bed with the practically the last kick of four minutes of stoppage time - A Shortwood break down the right saw Cox through on goal, and he made no mistake to claim his hat-trick goal.

Slimbridge have no game next weekend, but travel to Shortwood the following Tuesday (September 5th, 7,45pm) for a GFA Challenge Cup Tie.

Team: Hall, Turl, Mace, Thwaite, Hoyle, Turner (Lawson 82), Twyman, Birkett (Reeves 60), Stokes (Nathan Payne 76), Harper-Emerson, Thomas

Supporters Man of the Match: Dean Turner
AFC Totton 1-2 Slimbridge
Saturday 26th August
Swans’ Manager Freddy Ward said this week that he thought that his young side would surprise a few teams this season, and so it proved, as Simbridge came away from the Testwood Stadium with three precious points snatched from a Totton side who had won all of their League and Cup games this season. The Swans got two goals on the board early, although Totton pulled one back with the last kick of the first half. The second period saw Slimbridge defend resolutely and bravely, and see out a feisty clash which saw both sides end the game with ten men.

Totton created the first decent opportunity with four minutes on the clock, when Nathaniel Sherborne’s dangerous shot was well dealt with by Swans’ Keeper Ollie Hall, and the hosts continued to press, with Winger Curtis Young, who had a great afternoon for Totton, just off target in the ninth minute.

However, any thoughts that Totton had of a straightforward afternoon were shattered in the tenth minute - Henry Birkett lofted a superb ball into Dean Turner, and he saw his effort well saved by Stags Keeper Shane Murphy. However, Sam Turl found acres of space in the box, to meet Joe Stokes’ corner with a bullet header and put the visitors into the lead.

Eight minutes later it was two - this time the corner taker was Adam Mace and the head belonged to Swans Skipper Alex Hoyle, but, again, the Totton back line allowed far too much room as the corner came over and Hoyle made no mistake to double the advantage.

Slimbridge were doing well to keep ace goalscorer Craig Feeney quiet, but he nearly made his mark on 21 minutes, when a foul by Hoyle brought his run to an end. However, Totton failed to take advantage of a free kick in a good position, and the ball was cleared.

As the game approached the half hour mark, Totton finally seemed to settle, and Young was just off target with another effort following a mazy run that saw him beat three Swans defenders.

Sherborne was next to try his luck, but was way too high with ten minutes remaining in the half.

Slimbridge hit back, and Nathan Payne was unlucky with a strike just off target after good work by Turl and Stokes. A minute later, Stokes took a nasty looking knock on his ankle and was replayed by Max Harper-Emerson.

Totton scored with the very last kick of the half, when a free kick was allowed to go too far into the Swans’ box, repliki zegarków and Stuart Mott beat Hall to bring the home side back into the game.

As expected, Totton came out of the blocks at the start of the second period, as they pressed for an equaliser, and the Slimbridge performance as a consequence was a lot more disjointed - Sherborne’s third decent effort was again just wide, before Hall made another superb stop from Feeney. The resulting corner saw the ball end up in the Slimbridge net, but Hall had been fouled as he went to collect the cross, and Referee Colin Hubbard rightly ruled the goal out.

On 62 minutes, a scuffle between Totton’s Curtis Young and Dean Turner saw handbags in the Slimbridge penalty area, but the Referee, who appeared unsighted, settled for speaking to both Captains before allowing play to continue without punishment for either player.

Seven minutes later, another Totton effort was ruled out for offside, and the home supporters began to take their frustrations out on the officials, as temperatures continued to rise on the pitch.

With 72 minutes played, Harper-Emerson was felled by Charlie Gunson as he broke clear. Gunson picked up his second yellow card and the hosts were down to ten men.

Totton’s closest effort in the final stages of the game saw Alex Hoyle clear a Oluwatobi Adekunle effort off the line with just over ten minute remaining.

As the game hit ninety minutes, Harrison Reeves picked up a secodn yellow card, and so both sides ended the game with ten men.

After four agonising minutes, the final whistle saw scenes of great celebration both on and off the pitch as the Swans celebrated their first ever victory at Totton.

Slimbridge return to Thornhill Park on Monday, when Shortwood United are the visitors (3.00pm)

Team: Hall, Turl, Mace, Thwaite, Hoyle, Twyman, Turner, Birkett, Stokes (Harper-Emerson 44), Nathan Payne (Reeves 58), Thomas (Luke Payne 73)

Supporters Man of the Match: Sam Turl

Slimbridge 1-2 Cinderford Town
Saturday 19th August
It is an immense credit to Freddy Ward’s young Slimbridge side that, for the second time this week, they more than matched, and at times outplayed opponents that last season were playing Southern League Premier standard football - However, once again, the Swans were taught a harsh lesson about what happens when you don’t take your chances at this level.

Cinderford took the lead early on with their first shot on target through Craig Norman, and with delicious irony, it was Swans' Player of the Season last year, Nick Grimes, who stepped up to convert an 89th minute Free Kick to win the game for the visitors after Adam Mace’s penalty had levelled things up.

Slimbridge started the better side, and Max Harper-Emerson’s cross early on caused a massive scramble in the Cinderford box, before the ball was eventually bundled clear.

Cinderford hit straight back, and, with five minutes on the clock, took the lead when Craig Norman was allowed far too much space, and beat Slimbridge Keeper Ollie Hall with a neat finish.

The home side were creating the best opportunities though, and Joe Stokes was just wide with an effort on ten minutes after good work from Marley Thomas.

Five minutes later, Thomas saw his effort cleared off the line after a good run and shot down the Swans’ right flank.

After Stokes was fouled on the edge of the box, his Free Kick was tipped over by Cinderford Keeper Cameron Clark as the home side pressed forward.

The resulting corner was cleared to Henry Birkett on the edge of the Cinderford box, but his effort was just off target.

Although being pushed back, Cinderford still looked dangerous on the break, and on 22 minutes, Declan Morley-Lynn went close after another mazy run, after again being given too much space by the Swans’ back line.

Just before the half hour, Morley-Lynn was again close with a header before Slimbridge equalised from the penalty spot.

Henry Birkett was fouled as he attempted to ride out a tackle in the Cinderford box, and Adam Mace stepped up to convert the spot kick.

With the break approaching, Slimbridge were again bossing things, with Harper-Emerson’s cross just too far in front of Thomas, before Stokes and then Thomas were off target with good chances, leaving the sides even at the half.

The Swans came out of the blocks again for the second half, and Sam Turl’s run and shot saw him hit the Cinderford crossbar, with Stokes unable to convert the follow up as the team continued to create good opportunities.

On 49 minutes, Harper-Emerson’s cross was just missed by Rich Thwaite.

The Foresters gave a reminder they were still dangerous going forward, when Nick Humphries played a peach of a ball across the Slimbridge goal, only to find no-one on the end of it. While at the other end, Harper-Emerson saw his effort beat Clark, but roll agonisingly the wrong side of the Cinderford post.

With eight minutes remaining, Ollie Hall made a super stop from Sammie Hicks’ effort, before Stokes and Joe Wilton combined to create another opportunity which was blocked by a good Cinderford challenge.

On 89 minutes, the visitors were awarded a Free Kick on the edge of the Slimbridge box, and Grimes got the ball around the wall and into the net to clinch the tie for the visitors.

Slimbridge make one of their longest trips of the season next Saturday when they travel to AFC Totton (3.00pm), before hosting Shortwood United (3.00) on Bank Holiday Monday at Thornhill Park.

Team: Hall, Turl, Mace, Thwaite, Hoyle, Luke Payne (Nathan Payne 69), Twyman, Birkett (Turner 60), Stokes, Harper-Emerson (Wilton 64), Thomas

Supporters Man of the Match: Henry Birkett

Slimbridge 1-3 Cirencester Town
Wednesday 16th August
The Swans were very unlucky not to take something from this game after a very impressive performance at Thornhill Park. After falling behind to an Alan Griffith penalty, Slimbridge struck back with a Joe Stokes strike, before Adam Connolly restored the visitor’s advantage before the break. With the Swans bossing the second half, a 90th minute breakaway goal from Ben Whitehead meant the scoreline did not really reflect the balance of play, but Swans Manager Freddy Ward saw many encouraging signs from his young side as they worked their way into the new season.

The first half was two teams going toe-to-toe, and was very entertaining to watch as the game swung from end to end - Jordan Stoddart was off target for the Centurians with an early effort, while Stokes just failed to reach Marley Thomas’ cross a minute later.

Stokes was again unlucky in the sixth minute, charging down a clearance from Ciren Keeper Matt Wieczorek, but he recovered to gather the ball safely.

With 12 minutes gone, Sam Turl had a dangerous effort blocked, before Alan Griffiths took a tumble in the Swans box as he chased a cross from Jake Watts.

Referee Scott Tallis awarded a spot kick for the visitors, and Griffin stepped up to convert the kick to put the Centurians ahead.

Three minutes later, Slimbridge were level - Alex Hoyle played a superb crossfield ball to Marley Thomas, and his cross was swept home by Stokes to level things up.

After Thomas had again gone close, Ciren had their best chance of the half, but Henry Spalding’s header was cleared away by Swans Keeper Ollie Hall for a corner with a good stop. From the resulting kick, Stoddart header over.

Thomas and Stokes were continuing to cause havok in the Ciren back line, and Thomas’ effort which was deflected for a corner was a whisper away from an own goal, while Wieczorek and the post somehow combined to keep out a point blank Stokes header as Slimbridge pressed for another goal.

But the Swans were punished for not taking their chances on the half hour, when Mace’s clearance fell to Adam Connolly on the edge of the box, and he hit a superb strike past Hall to restore the visitors’ advantage, which they held to the break.

The second period started with a bang for Slimbridge, with Sam Turl being denied by the post, as the home side continued to apply pressure.

Luke Payne was next to try his luck with a run and shot that was eventually deflected wide, and Thomas, Stokes and Twyman were all unlucky with chances, with Max Harper-Emerson particularly influential in much of their play.

At the other end, chances for Ciren were few, but Ben Whitehead’s effort on the hour saw a great block from Corey Pring, as the Swans held firm.

Slimbridge Skipper Alex Hoyle had a header cleared off the line, before Nathan Payne was off target as Slimbridge continued to press.

It was cruel on the hosts when a last minute break from Ciren saw Whitehead notch the third for the visitors, but as Manager Freddy Ward noted afterwards ‘It was a good lesson for a young side about the need to take your chances when they arrive’

Slimbridge return to Thornhill Park on Saturday, when they host Cinderford Town in the FA Cup Preliminary Round (3.00pm)

Team: Hall, Turl, Mace, pring, Hoyle, Luke Payne, Twyman, Turner (Nathan Payne 60), Stokes (Wilton 68), Harper-Emerson, Thomas (Thwaite 87)

Supporters Man of the Match: Max Harper-Emerson

Paulton Rovers 1-2 Slimbridge AFC
Saturday 12th August
The Swans returned from Winterfield Road with three points after a feisty encounter against a Paulton Rovers side that looked unrecognisable from the side from last season. The hosts took the lead just before the break with a disputed penalty, but two goals in five minutes from Slimbridge substitute Marley Thomas secured the win for the visitors.

Both sides began the game well, and it was clear from the kick off that it was going to be a quick passing game, and the first ten minutes saw the teams cancelling each other out as they eased their way into the new season.

There were then two good chances at either end - James Byrne shot wide for Paulton, and Rich Thwaite had an effort blocked for the Swans.

Slimbridge had a good opportunity to open the scoring on 14 minutes, when Thwaite was fouled on the edge of the Paulton box - Adam Mace’s free kick was saved by Paulton Keeper Kieran Hodges, and Nathan Payne’s attempted follow up was ruled out by the offside flag.

Paulton hit back strongly, and Slimbridge had Ollie Hall’s point blank stop and Thwaite’s subsequent goalline clearance to thank for keeping the scores level before Byrne blasted way too high for the home side in a dangerous passage of play.

As the game ebbed and flowed, Joe Wilton was unlucky at the other end after good work from Harrison Reeves, before Hall and Thwaite again combined to keep Paulton out - this time to stop Dave Sims’ effort.

Jack Twyman was off target with an effort as the Swans pressed forward again, and then Alex Hoyle was next to try his luck, shooting too high in the 35th minute.

With seven minutes remaining in the half Thwaite was penalised for a tackle on Sims in the Paulton box, although the Swans man appeared to make clean contact with the ball. After consulting with his Linesman, Referee Andy Sheppard confirmed his decision as a penalty, and Bryne’s shot just evaded Hall, going in off the crossbar to put the hosts ahead at the break.

The second half saw more of the same - Luke Payne was off target with a header from a Wilton cross, and Reeves had a good effort blocked after Sam Turl had created a good opening on the edge of the Paulton box.

The Swans were gaining the upper hand, and Joe Stokes was unlucky with another 20 yard effort after a free kick was cleared to him on the edge of the Paulton box.

On the hour mark, Wilton was replaced by Marley Thomas, in a move by Manager Freddy Ward that would ultimately have a huge influence on the outcome.

On 65 minutes, Thwaite had a header cleared off the line, and it was beginning to feel as if it would be a frustrating afternoon for the visitors - Thomas had an effort just wide a couple of minutes later after some neat play by Max Harper-Emerson, and then Thomas couldn’t convert a rebound after Hodges made a good save from Mace’s long range effort.

Slimbridge were not having it all their own way though - Omar Simpson shot too high on 70 minutes, and then Hall made a superb stop at his near post to deny Kailen Gould as Paulton continued to look dangerous when they broke as Slimbridge pressed for the equaliser.

The Swans got the leveller their play deserved on 76 minutes, when Sam Turl’s great work down the right saw him feed Stokes - his cross was drilled home by Marley Thomas to even things up.

Slimbridge again went close three minutes later, when Thwaite just missed Harper-Emerson’s dangerous cross, but, two minutes later, Thomas was again on hand to follow up a saved Harper-Emerson shot and put the visitors ahead.

With three minutes remaining, Paulton Keeper Hodges was penalised for handling the ball outside the box as Slimbridge pressed, but Mace’s effort was blocked.

Paulton were appealing for a similar decision to go their way when Hall chased down a through ball and chested it clear from the oncoming striker, but Referee Sheppard waved play on.

As the game went into stoppage time, Thomas’ effort was deflected for a corner as he chased his Hat-Trick, and Paulton Captain Dale Evans was way too high with a 94th minute effort, before the whistle blew on a very tight and entertaining encounter.

Slimbridge kick off their home League campaign on Wednesday, when Cirencester Town are the visitors to Thornhill Park, before hosting Cinderford Town in an FA Cup Preliminary Round game a week today (3.00pm).

Team: Hall, Turl, Mace, Thwaite, Hoyle, Luke Payne, Twyman, Reeves (Turner 79), Stokes, Nathan Payne (Harper-Emerson 59), Wilton (Thomas 60). Subs not used: Pring, Squires

Supporters Man of the Match: Harrison Reeves

Programmes for the 2017-8 Season
Friday 11th August
The Evo-Stik Southern league has this season made the decision that programmes can either be made available by home clubs in the traditional printed format, or alternatively as an electronic download from the club website.

Therefore we will not be selling printed programmes for all home games this season. Games where we feel there will be a low demand will only be available this season in their online version.

However, all programmes will be uploaded to this website (whether we physically print or not) and will be available 24 hours before any home game.
Freddy looks forward to the new season...
Tuesday 8th August
Swans’ Manager Freddy Ward is delighted with a pre-season campaign that has seen Slimbridge win four of their six pre-season games, with one draw and a single loss to Gloucester City, although he has warned against anyone getting carried away ahead of Slimbridge’s third Southern League season – ‘The slate has been wiped clean now (ahead of the start of the new season), so let’s hope we have a similar set of results after six League games!’

Ward admitted, though, that he was pleased with the progress his young side was making prior to their opening game at Paulton Rovers this weekend. ‘It’s looking very promising – we had a couple of really good tests, which we coped with well, and I’m hoping it bodes well for the season ahead.’

With the Swans adopting a much faster paced passing style than they have played with in recent seasons, Ward is impressed with how the players have coped with the new system – ‘When we press as a team, and break at pace, we’ll certainly cause most teams problems. We’re working hard to give the players the confidence to pass the ball with belief and confidence, and results have been very pleasing so far.’

With a large influx of new players into the squad ahead of the new campaign, how the new arrivals settled into the team would be very important, and again, Ward is pleased with results so far.  ‘The new lads haven’t looked out of place, and with hopefully a couple more additions in the next couple of weeks, I’ll be very happy with the squad I have!’

The other big change at the club in close season has been the arrival of Lee Driver-Dickerson as Ward’s Assistant Manager, and Ward is full of praise for his new Assistant – ‘Dickers coming in to help me has been a blessing – I can’t praise him enough. As I was hoping when I asked him to join the club, he is just what both I and the boys needed.’

Following the game at Paulton, Slimbridge face two big local fixtures – they kick off their home campaign on Wednesday 16th August at Thornhill Park against Cirencester Town (7.45pm) before hosting Cinderford Town in the FA Cup on Saturday (19th, 3.00pm)

Photos below - Swans Management Team Freddy Ward and Lee Driver-Dickerson