Slimbridge 1-1 Bradford Town

After the drama of last weekend’s encounter with Bitton, it was back to proper business as usual for the Swans, who fought out a well deserved draw with third placed Bradford Town. Leading through Leroy Odiero’s first half opener, Bradford’s top scorer Sam Jordan, named on the bench as he arrived late at the ground after being caught in traffic levelled things up with a second half strike to see the sides share the spoils. The result leaves the Swans in eighth place in the Toolstation Western League, although in a very tight end to the season, just six points separate the eight clubs chasing runaway leaders Melksham Town.

The game nearly got off to a sensational start, when, with three minutes on the clock, a back pass to Bradford Keeper Jamie Bartlett bobbled over his foot as he was about to clear, and it took a goalline clearance to prevent Sean Lawson, who had been chasing down the pass, from making an early breakthrough.

Two minutes later, the visitors had their first opportunity when Rich Thwaite was penalised 25 yards out from the Swans goal, but Simon Gilbert’s free kick lacked power and Dave Evans was able to make a simple save.

Slimbridge nearly took the lead with ten minutes on the clock, when Lawson headed on a Rich Thwaite header, but his effort was off target.

The home side were definitely having the better of the first period, and Lawson’s superb volley on 22 minutes deserved a reward, but Barlett was equal to the task and made a great stop to push the ball behind for a corner.

Just after the half hour, the home side’s pressure was rewarded – Adam Mace’s Free Kick was headed goalward by Thwaite, and Bartlett again made a good instinctive stop, but Leroy Odiero was on hand to net the rebound as the ball came out into the Bradford box.

As Slimbridge pressed, Paul Fahy skied a good chance, and Sam Turl again tested Bartlett with a long range effort.

Just before the break, Bradford had their best opportunity of the half, when Evans made a good stop at the feet of Martin Johnson, and then saw Neikell Plummer’s header from the resulting corner go over the bar.

On the hour mark, with Bradford stating the second period well, Evans made a good stop from Johnson, pushing his effort onto the crossbar and out for a corner as the visitors pressed for an equaliser.

On 65 minutes, Jordan entered the fray for the visitors, and took only five minutes to make an impact, drilling the ball home from the edge of the Swans box to level things up.

With the sides now level, both sides were cancelling each other out, and there was only one decent chance to break the deadlock after the equaliser – Dean Turner making a great break from midfield, and being stopped by an equally good tackle from Mike Reaney as he closed in on goal.

The Swans travel to Winterbourne United on Good Friday (1pm) before entertaining Hallen at Wisloe Road on Easter Monday (1pm).

Team: Evans, Turl, Brown, Odiero, Rich Thwaite, Ward, Turner, Parrott (Preece 75), Lawson, Fahy (Martin 71), Mace

Supporters Man of the Match: Sam Turl