Slimbridge 3-0 Bridgewater

It’s too early in the season for serious talk of six point games, but there is no doubt that this was a very important game for both sides. The Swans’ ultimately comfortable victory sees them rise to 13th in the League table, while Bridgwater drop into the bottom two after Totton and Wimborne both picked up points.

The home side made the better start, but it was the visitors who had the first good opportunity – Chas White set up Ollie Chamberlain, whose effort brought a good stop from Adam Thomas just before the quarter hour mark.

After Dean Turner had gone close a couple of minutes later, Slimbridge took the lead on 18 minutes when Paul Fahy’s cross found it’s way to Dean Turner, who set up Adam Mace to drill the ball back across goal and leave Bridgwater Keeper Paul Viney no chance.

Mace had another opportunity to add to his tally 2 minutes later, but he was too high after being neatly played in by Jack Twyman.

Bridgwater’s best chance of the half came on 27 minutes – a free kick from Connor O’Sullivan scorched across the Slimbridge 6 yard line, but none of the oncoming attackers could get their foot on the ball to convert.

The Visitors had their best period of the game before the break, but solid defending by the Swans’ back line, marshalled superbly by Alex Hoyle and Ciaran Greening, kept the clean sheet for the hosts at half time.

Five minutes after the restart, the lead was doubled – Mace put a dangerous cross into the Bridgwater box, and Greening rose highest to nod home the second.

Slimbridge had further chances to increase their lead, but Twyman was again just too high, and Freddy Ward’s free kick bounced back into play off the post as Slimbridge continued to create opportunities.

On the hour mark, both sides were reduced to ten men, when a scrap occurred between Mace and Bridgwater’s Josh White. Referee Richard Gardner issued a straight red to both players after a scuffle.

The introduction of Shaun Anthony had brought fresh momentum to the visitors, but his volley on 65 minutes was too high when well placed.

At the other end, Turner and Sean Lawson worked well to set up Paul Fahy, but Viney was alert to the danger and cleared his lines.

Bridgwater’s best chance of the match came on 70 minutes, when Anthony set up George Sinnott, who managed to blaze the ball over the bar when one on one with Adam Thomas.

Sean Lawson had been creating chances since he was introduced as a sub for Jamie Martin, and went close on 77 minutes, bringing a good save form Viney and a corner, which was cleared.

With six minutes left, Sam Babatunde went close for the home side after good work by Sam Turl, but his shot was just too high.

Lawson wrapped the game up two minutes from the break, turning his man and driving the ball past Viney to break his goalscoring duck for the season, and sparking wild celebrations on and off the pitch.

The Swans are in Dorset next Saturday, travelling to Wimborne Town (3.00pm), before returning to Wisloe Road on November 14th for a local derby with Bishops Cleeve.

Team: Thomas, Turl, Ryan Thwaite, Hoyle, Greening, Ward (Parrott 68), Turner, Twyman, Martin (Lawson 62), Fahy (Babatunde 75), Mace

Supporters Man of the Match: Ciaran Greening