Slimbridge move back into play-offs after hitting Longlevens for six


Slimbridge moved back into the Hellenic Premier play-off places with a 6-0 demolition of a Longlevens side, who suffered another capitulation.

Rudi McKinnon’s penalty against his former side had the Swans ahead at the break, before Charlie Hitchings’ second after half time gave the visitors breathing space.

However, Longlevens were still in the contest until substitute Marley Thomas beat the offside trap and added a third with just over 10 minutes to go.

That cued a horror show from the hosts in the final stages of the contest, conceding another penalty – which Harrison Reeves dispatched, and two injury time efforts from Theo Clayson rounding off the scoring.

Slimbridge will be delighted with both the performance and result, with four of the goals coming from the substitute bench to cap off a wonderful night for Adam Coyle and Tom Deakin’s side.

For the hosts, it was a tough final 20 minutes or so, with the missing spine of Luke Hitchman, Cam Williams and Brad Martin having a major impact on their ability at both ends.

Levens’ Management will be frustrated after Wednesday’s game as a number of players downed tools following Thomas’ goal and a catalogue of errors and players switching off were duly punished by a clinical Slimbridge side.

Slimbridge started fast and looked set to make the breakthrough early on and they did when Shaun O’Connor caught Nathan Dennis as he tried to clear a corner, and McKinnon stepped up to fire home from 12 yards.

Credit to Longlevens though, they created chances, with Shaun O’Connor having a free kick saved by Ellis Parker and the Swans keeper was called into further action to keep out Jack Beardsell, before watching Shiyak Sutherland whip an effort just wide.

Sam Blackie should have made it 2-0 just before the break, when he was given a free header from a corner, but his effort was saved by Matty Wieczorek.

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But Slimbridge didn’t have to wait too long after the restart to all but kill the contest, as Charlie Hitchings fired home after his header from a corner was initially blocked.

Longlevens huffed and puffed, but couldn’t supply for new forward Ryan Dobbins, although Sutherland did go close to pulling one back – but again, Parker saved well.

Slimbridge kept their hosts at an arms length for the majority of the second half, before striking four times in the final 15 minutes.

Thomas found himself in on goal and easily slotted past Wieczorek for three, before Ollie Long conceded the second penalty of the night.

After Harrison Reeves converted, the Swans took advantage of a completely exposed Longlevens back line.

After a scuffed effort fell through to Theo Clayson, the young winger slid the ball home, before Clayson finished off a neat move after the hosts lost the ball instantly from kick-off.

Whilst the result and second half performance will hurt the hosts, their season won’t be defined by this defeat.

They have a trip to Thornbury in February and a trip to Hereford Lads Club at the start of March, as well as playing bottom placed Wantage Town home and away – plus have up to 5 games in hand on some of the sides who will be looking over their shoulder.

Longlevens are 14 points clear of the singular relegation place this season, but if they lose both games vs Wantage at the end of the season, that could be catastrophic.

So Michael Palmer’s side will be eagerly looking to bounce back and make sure of their Hellenic Premier status as soon as possible, starting with the visit of another local rival chasing the play-offs in Fairford Town, this weekend.

For Slimbridge, they move up to 4th in the table ahead of the visit of title chasing Worcester City this weekend, and they will need to focus on their own results first, despite knowing they have played more games than the rest of the play-off chasing pack.

Longlevens: Wieczorek, Beardsell, Iddles, Long, Parker, Finch, Timbrell, O’Connor, Dobbins, Sutherland, Mason

Subs: Aldridge, Alderman, McLean, Troke, Haswell

Slimbridge: Parker, Turner, Prictor, Hands, Dennis, Hitchings, McKinnon, Blackie, Neill, Smith, Mbunga

Subs: Mara, Thomas, Clayson, Reeves, Holder

C Martin Roofing Man of the Match – Sam Blackie (Slimbridge)

READ MORE: Check out this Saturday’s fixtures in and around Gloucestershire right here

READ MORE: Check out this Sunday’s Women’s fixtures in and around Gloucestershire right here

Cover photo taken by and copyright to Brian Rossiter. Check out his Flickr account for all of his pictures by clicking here

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