Report – Slimbridge 1-1 North Leigh

The Swans moved up to tenth in the Southern League South and West with a hard earned and well deserved draw against Second placed North Leigh at Wisloe Road tonight.

Goals either side of half time, firstly for the home side from Jamie Martin and then for the visitors from Lewis White saw the spoils shared on a very blustery Gloucestershire evening.

The game started evenly, with both sides trying to work out the wind which swirled around Wisloe Road, and it took until 13 minutes for the first good effort to arrive, going to North Leigh – Kieran Sanders saw his effort bring a good stop from Swans Keeper Adam Thomas, with the follow up shot being bravely blocked by Ryan Thwaite, who took a ball in the face for his troubles, but the Slimbridge line held firm.

Two minutes later, Jamie Martin’s corner came out to Jack Twyman, but again, another good block from two North Leigh defenders stopped his effort.

Slimbridge had a great chance to take the lead on 23 minutes, when Jamie Martin chased a through ball and lofted his effort over North Leigh Keeper James Foster, only to see the wind lift his effort too high over the bar.

Callum McNish was next to try his luck for the visitors, but his effort was taken well off target by the conditions.

Six minutes before the break, Paul Fahy attempted another lob over Foster, this time to see the wind hold the ball up and allow the Keeper to retrieve his effort.

A minute later, Slimbridge took the lead – Jamie Martin’s cross caught the crossbreeze and drifted over everyone and into the far corner of the North Leigh net, to send the hosts in ahead at the break.

As in the previous two encounters between the sides this season, North Leigh made a good start to the second period and got on the scoresheet early – Two minutes into the half, a scramble from a corner saw Lewis White put the visitors level.

In previous games, this had been a sign for North Leigh to up a gear, but Slimbridge continued to work hard, playing against the wind, and restricted the visitors chances.

Sam Blackie saw another good effort blocked on 67 minutes after good work from Sean Lawson, before Brad Martin forced a terrific save from Foster, after a run and shot down the Swans’ left flank.

As the game neared the end, Elliott Osbourne-Ricketts had a decent chance for the visitors, but blasted his effort too high from the edge of the Swans penalty box, on an evening when a draw was probably a fair result all round.

Slimbridge now travel to League Leaders Cinderford Town on Saturday (3.00pm) before returing to Wisloe Road the following weekend to entertain Wantage Town (28th, 3.00pm)

Team: Thomas, Turl, Ryan Thwaite, Greening (Brown 19), Rich Thwaite, Turner, Twyman, Blackie, Lawson, J. Martin (Ward 60), Fahy (B.Martin 63)

Alex Hoyle’s Man of the Match: Sam Turl