Bluefin Sports Challenge Cup: Lambourn Sports 1 Slimbridge 0

First published in Sport

SLIMBRIDGE were dumped out of the League Cup by Hellenic Division One West side Lambourn Sports.

A defensive mix-up in the first half saw Alex Toley gifted what proved to be the winner, and the second half dismissal of Sean Bennett topped off a bad day at the office for Slimbridge when nothing seemed to go right for them.

With Marvyn Roberts assuming the manager's role in the absence of both Leon Sterling and Freddy Ward, the game started uneventfully, with the Swans having the only two efforts on goal in the first 15 minutes - a Chris Fower header from Liam Harding's corner which was high, and a Bennett turn and shot which provided an easy save for Lambourn keeper Steve Howe.

Dominique Njoya and Fower combined to set up Harding, but his shot drifted just past the post as the visitors pressed.

It was typical of the afternoon as a whole that what proved to be the winning goal came from an error rather than a good piece of play with 24 minutes gone.

A Lambourn through ball was not dealt with by Swans captain Shane Anson, with his header falling to Toley, who gave goalkeeper Tom Betts no chance when he eventually managed to get his shot away.

With less than half an hour on the clock, Slimbridge were pushed into an unwanted reshuffle when Dan Robinson was taken ill and had to be replaced by Dan Holloway.

Whatever was said by Roberts and assistant for the day, Dave Evans, at half time looked as if it was going to pay dividends as the start of the second period saw the best chances of the game for Slimbridge. Anson, Holloway and Alex Higgs all saw efforts go close, before Fower blasted over from the edge of the box.

The momentum changed as the visitors were reduced to ten men after a flare up on the edge of their box. Bennett and Toley came together after a tackle by the Swans man, and a scuffle ensued with Bennett dismissed and Toley booked.

As the game entered the last ten minutes, there were chances for both sides, with Harding and Gates going close for Slimbridge, and Chris Collin somehow missing after Betts had miscued a clearance at the other end.

The last chance of the afternoon went to Slimbridge, with Roberts' header deep into stoppage time being headed off the line, but Lambourn held on for victory.

Slimbridge are back at Wisloe Road for their next two games. On Saturday they entertain Highmoor Ibis (3pm) in the Hellenic Premier Division, and they then face Newbury in the next round of the Floodlit Cup on Tuesday (7.45pm).

Slimbridge: Betts, Robinson (Holloway 30), Njoya, Anson, Wellon, Bennett, Williams, Harding, Higgs (Gates 56), Fower (Roberts 71), Coombes Man of the Match: Liam Harding.

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