It was a historic day for Slimbridge Football Cub as they played their first ever game at Step 4 at Alfredian Park, and an Adam Mace goal saw them return to Gloucestershire with three points against their old foes from the Hellenic League days.
Wantage started at a pace, and it took some time for the Swans to settle into the game – Keeper Dave Evans was tested early, making a good block from Sam Collier, before the visitors had the two best chances of the half.
With six minutes gone, Evans’ Free Kick was brought under control superbly by Sean Lawson, but his shot was tipped over the Wantage Keeper Gareth Tucker.
Two minutes later, Paul Fahy had an even better opportunity – played in by a superb Freddy Ward pass, Fahy was one on one with Tucker, but placed his shot wide.
The home side felt they should have been awarded a penalty just before the half hour, when Nicholas Thorne seemed to have brought down by Ben Tunnicliff, but Referee James Vallance awarded a corner to the home side, much to their dismay to leave the game goalless at the break.
On 53 minutes, Lawson had another good chance to put the visitors ahead in another one on one, but lifted his shot too high.
A Minute later though, Slimbridge took the lead – the ball bounced around the Wantage box before finding it’s way to Adam Mace on the left, and he powered a drive home past Tucker to register the first Slimbridge goal at this level of football, and earn himself a place in the Swans’ history books.
The goal changed the momentum of the game, as Wantage upped the pace again in an attempt to gain an equaliser. Evans was forced into action on more than one occasion to keep out an increasingly dangerous looking home side, making good stops from Sam Barder and Piers McGlynn.
As Wantage continued to press, the Swans’ back line held firm, with Ben Tunnicliff and Ciaran Greening throwing themselves in front of goalbound efforts to keep a cleansheet, much to the delight of the travelling Slimbridge faithful.
The Swans now face their first home fixture at this level on Wednesday, when Evesham United are the visitors for a game which kicks off at 7.30pm. They are back at Wisloe Road on Saturday, when Larkhall Athletic make the trip up from Bath, for another highly anticipated encounter.
Team: Evans, Turl, Brown, Greening, Tunnicliff, Ward, Twyman (Ryan Thwaite 60), Turner, Lawson, Fahy (Blackie 70), Mace (Martin 65)
Supporters Man of the Match: Freddy Ward (Playing his 500th game for the club)
Picture: Dave Evans, Adam Mace, Jack Twyman and Dean Turner defend a corner for Slimbridge as Wantage press