Slimbridge U18s produced a stunning comeback against Cheltenham Town U18s at Thornhill Park, as they came from 3-0 down to remain unbeaten in the MIdland Floodlit Youth League.
In the early goings both sides exchanged chances, with Dan Kerr forcing a save from Slimbridge keeper Curtis Walker after Jaden Maddock nearly saw his shot nestle in the bottom corner had it not been for some great defending.
Maddock, fresh from being included in the Severn Sport Team Of The Month for October looked to get involved as much as possible down the right hand side. His cross was turned wide by Adam Bloomfield as the Swans started well.
The hosts were stunned just short of the 10 minutes mark when right back Adam Townsend slipped on the ball on the corner of his own box. The initial shot swerved before kept palmed down by Walker, but the ball fell to Jeremiah Idowu who tapped home.
Ten minutes later and Idowu got his second of the game and this time it was a beauty. After picking the ball up wide on the right and deep in the corner, Idowu glided his way into the box before squeezing his effort beyond Walker at the near post.
Slimbridge came back at the opposition, with Fin Brown’s driven free kick trickling across goal before colliding with the post. From there Cheltenham broke and won a free kick wide on the left.
The free kick was swung in deep and it appeared Walker second guessed coming to claim the ball. The hesitation allowed Dan Kerr to nip in to side foot volley the ball home and give the young Robins a 3-0 lead.
With half time approaching Slimbridge dragged themselves back into the game just before the break when centre half George Callinan rose highest to head home a corner and stir the Swans.
Slimbridge manager Adam Coyle sent his players back out for the second half nearly 10 minutes before Cheltenham, with the Swans manager making all five changes at his disposal.
The move looked to have worked like a dream inside the first 90 seconds when Raiyan Ahmed was felled in the box. Adam Bloomfield stepped up to see his spotkick saved by the Cheltenham keeper.
As the clocked ticked on and Cheltenham started to look like they had done enough the game was flipped on its head. Slimbridge were awarded a corner for a deflected shot, with the decision dubious and angering the visitors. From the corner the keeper was caught flapping at the delivery, leaving Slimbridge captain Finlay Byrnes a tap in.
To Cheltenham’s credit they kept pressing, trying to catch Slimbridge on the counter in the remaining minutes. However, Slimbridge completed the unlikely comeback with just three minutes left on the clock.
After Slimbridge won a free kick wide on the right the ball in pinged around before that man again Byrnes was on hand to level the game and keep his side’s unbeaten record in tact.
It really was an incredible game of football, with the draw the fair result in the end. Both sides had enough chances to win the game and neither deserved to lose.
Slimbridge U18s: Walker, Townsend, Griffiths, Line, Callinan, Brown, Maddock, Byrnes, Bloomfield, Ahmed, Sarson
Subs: Adams, Davies, Virgo, Buckland, Waddington
Cheltenham U18s: N/A, Jones, Davis, Idowu, Baldwin, Gondo, Sluman, Colbourne, Kerr, Gyasi, D’Jalo
Subs: Coles, White, Massey, Osabuohien
Severn Sport Man Of The Match – Finlay Byrnes (Slimbridge U18s)
Elsewhere in the Midland Floodlit Youth League, Tuffley Rovers U18s notched up a big win as they beat Bromyard Town 3-2. In the Premier Division South Gloucester City U18s won 4-2 at Longlevens’ Saw Mills against Alvechurch.