Mace masterclass inspires Swans to important win

A magnificent first half free kick by Adam Mace set Slimbridge on their way to a much needed three points as they defeated Winchester City 2-0 in a wet and windy fixture at Thornhill Park.

Both sides started strongly and both tried to take a strangle hold in a competitive midfield battle throughout. Dean Turner fired an effort straight at Ryan Pryce in the Winchester goal before Dan Williamson fired wide for the visitors as each side traded blows.

Winchester would go closest as a gloriously looped ball in from the right hand side fell to Pat Cox at the back post, but his effort was blocked by a heroic last ditch block by centre back Tom Hoskins. Cox would fire straight at Ollie Hall with his next effort as City started to take control of the game.

That was until the 25 minute mark when Sam Turl was chopped down by Liam Gilbert. Up stepped left back Adam Mace who curled a beautiful free kick into the very top corner, beyond the despairing dive of Pryce. From the right corner of the box he caressed the ball up and over and the deadlock was broken.

Alex Hoyle went close for the Swans before Dan Williamson showed incredible pace to get in behind the Slimbridge left twice in short succession, with his second effort blocked by the sliding Korey Pring. Pring would subsequently be named supporter’s man of the match for his performance.

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The second half started a bit slower, with the wind and rain increasing in intensity and making playing conditions very difficult for those involved.

Winchester’s livewire upfront Oli Bailey caused the Slimbridge back line a lot of trouble but the Swans as a whole did a great job of blocking the space in the channels in which the pacey visiting players were looking to occupy. Slimbridge would have to soak up a lot of pressure as the second wore on.

They got their just rewards with 25 minutes left as a ball whipped in from the left was calmly headed down by the impressive Mike Bryant where it was nodded home by Jack Twyman from inside the six yard box. Winchester would be upset at how much time and space the midfielder had but Twyman made no mistake.

Twyman nearly added a third late on as Marley Thomas and substitute Lee Smith stretched the Winchester back line, but his effort flew over the bar.

Oli Bailey hit the bar late on for the visitors on a frustrating night for City and despite the pressure the points were safe for Slimbridge who move up a place to 19th, 9 points clear of the relegation zone. Winchester City stay 7th thanks to Swindon Supermarine being held at Evesham.

Slimbridge: Hall, Turl, Pring, Hoyle, Hoskins, Mace, Turner, Twyman, Thomas, Bryant, Harper-Emerson (Smith 67′)

Subs not used: Ward, Ponting, Philp

Winchester: Pryce, Hayward, Jenkinson, Gilbert (Carr 45′), Cook, Harfield, Williamson (Hill 64′), Barron (Davis 69′), Bailey, Cox, Tomasso

Subs not used: Andrade

Severn Sport Star Man: Adam Mace