A worrying fifth League defeat on the bounce to fellow strugglers Bishop Sutton at Wisloe Road has left Slimbridge just above the Western Premier League relegation zone, and the Swans now have to look back to September 9th for their last three point haul.
After an encouraging first 15 minutes, capped by Adam Mace’s opening goal, two goals in less than ten minutes from Joe Bishop and Lance Gingell for Bishop Sutton visibly drained confidence from the Swans. Luke Mills’ third widened the gap for the visitors before Mace’s second reduced the deficit. However, Joe Dakwa’s strike confirmed the victory and saw the visitors leave Gloucestershire with three points.
With Paul Carter back from injury, Slimbridge started well, with good movement and passing, and should taken the lead when Carter’s corner skimmed across the face of the Sutton goal in the first minute, but with no-one to take advantage from the home side, the chance was lost.
Carter was at the heart of much of the home side’s invention in the first few minutes, and he combined well with Elliott Kennedy to put in another dangerous cross which was cleared as Slimbridge pressed.
With seven minutes gone, Carter was again involved, his cross headed back into the Sutton box by Freddy Ward, but Jack Twyman couldn’t control the ball enough to keep his shot down, in what was proving to be a promising start for the home side.
In the fifteenth minute, Kennedy again went close, bringing a good save from Sutton Keeper Lewis Coombes, before the Swans took the lead in bizarre circumstances. Adam Mace’s dangerous resulting corner drifted over Coombes and his defender on the far post to sneak into the top corner of the net and put Slimbridge ahead.
Unfortunately, instead of consolidating the home side’s advantage, it only took five minutes for Sutton to strike back – Lance Gingell went on mazy run down the left flank, and his cross found Joe Bishop in acres of space, his header giving Swans’ Keeper Dave Evans no chance.
As the visitors gained momentum, Mike Purnell went close with a header before a mix up in the Swans defence allowed Gingell space to latch onto a pass, and dink the ball over Evans to put Sutton ahead on 29 minutes.
Despite the setback, Slimbridge continued to work hard, and Twyman was unlucky when he tried to convert a chance after Coombes had fumbled Carter’s Free Kick.
Before the break, Slimbridge had two more good chances to get the game back on terms – firstly, with a minute left in the half, Kennedy steered home a Carter Free Kick, an effort which was ruled out by Referee James Whittington on the signal of the linesman at the far side for an alleged handball offence, and Kennedy again should have done better when put through by Carter, but his attempted chip of the Sutton Keeper left Coombes with an easy save.
Within ten minutes of the start of the second period, Sutton went another goal in front. Lloyd Mills drilled home from 30 yards with one of the best goals seen at Wisloe all season to put clear distance between the teams.
With 68 minutes on the clock, a skilful run and shot from Adam Mace head pulled the Swans back to within a goal.
Firstly Purnell for the visitors and then Twyman for Slimbridge failed to make the most of good chances before the game was effectively ended by a superb strike on 78 minutes from Joe Dakwa, after Slimbridge had again failed to properly clear a corner.
The Swans travel to 14th place Bridport next Saturday (3.00pm).
Team: Evans, Hughes, Wellon, Bennett, Halford (Sterling 72), Ward, Turner (Martin 64), Twyman (Harding 60), Kennedy, Carter, Mace
Supporters Man Of The Match: Adam Mace