Toolstation Western League Premier Division: Slimbridge 2 Hengrove Athletic 1

SLIMBRIDGE recorded their third win on the bounce after a stirring first-half performance against Hengrove.

Aaron Nash and Will Wellon were both in the scoresheet in the first 45 minutes, which ended with the dismissal of Hengrove’s Elliot Saunders.

The second-half was a different affair, as a reshuffled Hengrove side put the home team under late pressure, and snatched a goal back in the dying stages courtesy of Javare Blackman.

But Slimbridge held firm to record a victory which moves them six places up the table.

Slimbridge made a sensational start. From the kick-off Aaron Nash picked the ball up in midfield and ran at the Hengrove defence down the left flank. As the visitors backed away, Nash drilled the ball into the far corner to register a goal with just ten second on the clock, a strike which sent the statisticians scratching their heads trying to find any records of a quicker goal in the club’s history. So far, they have been unsuccessful.

The Swans then had an extended period of pressure, which saw debutant Hartpury College student Harry Fenner hit the Hengrove bar after a great run from Will Wellon had set him up.

With 27 minutes gone, Slimbridge doubled their advantage. Will Wellon was left unmarked on the right side of the Hengrove box, and he struck the ball past keeper Liam MacFarlane

After losing Dan Robinson in midweek to a hamstring injury, the Swans’ injury jinx struck again when Rhys Denton turned his ankle and had to be replaced by Jamie Martin.

It was Martin, however, who was instrumental in the other crucial event of the first-half. Dispossessing Saunders in injury time, Martin was bearing down on goal when the defender pulled him back. Although the offence was outside the Hengrove box, the red card which followed was inevitable.

In the second period Rhys Hickery and Blackman both went close for Hengrove before a superb Wellon tackle cleared the danger after Blackman had played the ball past Dave Evans.

Two minutes remained when Hengrove got a goal back. Blackman was left in too much space on the right of the Swans’ box, and his shot gave Evans no chance.

Hengrove could have nicked an equaliser a minute later when Chaz Jest saw his effort hit the Slimbridge bar.

Slimbridge: Evans, Wellon, Njoya, Halford, Bennett, Cole, Turner (Parrott 55), Twyman, Denton (Martin 34), Fenner, Nash (Hughes 56).

Star man: Niall Halford.

  • Slimbridge travel to Buckland Athletic on Saturday for a league encounter (3pm).
  • The Swans will be running a free supporters’ coach to their FA Vase second round tie at Farnham Town on September 21. The Coach will leave Wisloe Road at 11am. Ring Colin Gay on 07702 070229 to reserve a place.
  • The club have also taken delivery of a defibrillator financed through a grant and the contributions of the club’s committee members. Staff are currently being given appropriate training to use the equipment.