Superb Swans end season in style lifting the County Cup 


Slimbridge u18s were crowned GFA u18 County Cup champions following a well-earned 4-2 victory over Hallen u18s at Oaklands Park on Thursday night, writes Sam Yapp.

The Swans secured a third piece of silverware in two seasons thanks to a first half comeback and some fantastic displays on the pitch in their final game of the season. 

Hallen’s strong start was rewarded on nine minutes when Harrison Fairman got on the end of a Barney Ray deflected effort to poke home from close range.  

The Swans responded with intent and cancelled out the opener 20 minutes later when Jake Portch rifled a volley home from inside the area. 

Kieran Bennett turned the game on its head 37 minutes in when he curled a low effort into the bottom corner from 18-yards after sitting his man down with a cheeky nutmeg. 

Hallen levelled the game back up on 57 minutes when Ray was left unmarked in the area to calmly bend his effort around Evan Coombs. 

But the Swans never let up and retook the lead with an unbelievable finish from substitute, Arian Askari who arrowed an effort into the bottom corner from 20-yards on 68 minutes. 

Bennett secured the trophy for the Swans on 88 minutes when he outpaced his man into the area to round the goalkeeper and roll the ball home in front of the travelling support. 

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To add to the excitement of the match both teams were left thankful to the woodwork and their ‘keepers which could have seen the result play out differently. 

Bennett was denied by the post in the build-up to Portch’s goal when he saw a curling effort cannon back off the upright. 

Hallen were the next to denied by the woodwork when Fairman wriggled across the box before his dipping effort rebounded back of the crossbar just after the hour mark. 

Coombs denied Hallen an equaliser on 83 minutes when he reacted well to a deflected effort just meters in front of him. 

Askari almost had a second minutes later but Zac Thomas, at full stretch, clawed his driven effort over the bar. 

Following his sides trophy lift, Head of Football Development Kevin Russell shared his proudness of the players following a tough season: 

“We’re absolutely delighted and really pleased for the players as they have worked so hard all season. 

“You saw the best of us again tonight we were really resilient, determined and some of attacking play was exceptional. 

“We’re so proud of these boys and we could not be happier for them,” he said. 

Hallen U18s: Z. Thomas (GK), Brown, Waller, Cheeseman©, Goodfield, Nicholls, Lewis, Samadi, Ray, Fairman, Wenham 

Subs: Golder, Sert, L. Trueman, C. Trueman, Heyns 

Slimbridge U18s: Coombs (GK), Stratford, Morgan, Barclays, Wainwright, Jagger, J. Tainton, Portch, Bennett, W. Tainton©, Low 

Subs: Pullin, S. Thomas, Askari, Gardiner, Pennant, Jones, Moore, Freckleton 

C Martin Roofing Man of the Match – Alex Stratford (Slimbridge u18s) 

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

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

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