Football: Slimbridge stun high-flying Gillingham

Gazette Series: Dan Holloway is congratulated by Liam Harding after his goal. Picture by Kyle Bradley Dan Holloway is congratulated by Liam Harding after his goal. Picture by Kyle Bradley

Toolstation Western League Premier Division

Slimbridge 3 Gillingham 0

SLIMBRIDGE'S best performance of the season saw them topple high-flyers Gillingham Town and bag three valuable points in their quest to pull away from the relegation zone.

Right from the start Slimbridge hassled their visitors with some good attacking moves.

Jamie Martin, Danny Chandler and Dan Holloway were asking some serious questions of the Gills defence with their pace.

In the 13th minute Swans manager Leon Sterling tripped Ben Thompson in the penalty area but Steve Smith's spot kick was superbly saved by Dave Evans.

Within a minute the Swans were ahead when a good run and cross from Martin found Chandler unmarked and his bullet like header from eight yards out left Gills keeper Jamie Beale with no chance.

In the 19th minute a good move involving Martin, Paul Carter and Liam Harding saw the latter's shot go just wide.

The Swans went further ahead in the 21st minute when Holloway picked up a loose ball in midfield and ran at the Gills defence, leaving two defenders in his wake to fire a low shot past Beale.

Harry Baker hit the woodwork for the visitors on 33 minutes and the Swans survived another scare just before the interval when Thompson shot wide when it looked easier to score and then the same player hit the woodwork with a close range shot.

Evans tipped over a Aiden Chainey effort as referee Steve Oakey blew for half-time.

Gillingham tried get back into the game with some good attacks early in the second half but they found the Swans defence in no mood to surrender their advantage.

On 57 minutes a good run and cross by Holloway was fired just wide by Harding.

Sterling made two substitutions in the 68th minute bringing on Freddy Ward and stalwart Marvyn Roberts, who was making a guest appearance, for Chandler and Carter respectively.

Roberts nearly got on the scoresheet on 75 minutes when keeper Beale lost the ball outside of his area but the big man's shot trickled just wide of the post.

Jack Twyman went close on 76 minutes when his lob went just over but on 77 minutes the game was over when man of the match Martin took advantage of a goalmouth scramble, his close range shot going in off keeper Beale.

The Swans who now look towards the Christmas fixtures starting with a trip to Bristol Manor Farm on Friday evening (7.30pm), followed by a Boxing Day visit to Winterbourne United, who play at GFA Headquarters in Almondsbury (3pm).

Two days later the Swans will entertain current league leaders Larkhall Athletic at Wisloe Road, 3pm.

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