Western League Premier Division
Hengrove Athletic 0 Slimbridge 1
IT TOOK a disputed penalty to separate these two sides in a six-pointer at the bottom of the table, but on the balance of play Slimbridge left The Grove with the spoils that they deserved.
Hengrove started the game sharply, but were handicapped by a lack of firepower up front which rendered many of their early forays ineffective, not helped by a strong wind and bumpy surface, which meant we were never likely to see a smooth flowing encounter.
A dangerous break after eight minutes from Hengrove's Wayne Pearce saw Ben Tunnicliffe make a superb saving tackle, before, at the other end, Alex Hoyle's header from Danny Chandler's corner dropped just over the bar.
As the game settled, the Swans began to gain the ascendancy. Chandler saw his long range effort drift too high, while his own cross a couple of minutes later was just too long for the incoming Jack Twyman, after good work from Liam Harding and Dean Turner had set the move up.
The game swung on an incident in the 58th minute, when a Swans attack was threatening the Hengrove goal, and a defensive clearance cannoned into Hengrove's Joe Brimble, who was only a yard or so away.
Despite the fact that Brimble had no chance to get out of the way, referee Brian Durie deemed him to have handled the ball, and Chandler converted the penalty for the crucial Slimbridge strike.
The Swans nearly doubled their lead ten minutes later, when Hoyle made a surging run through midfield, and it took a great save from Mark Drinkwater to deny him.
There was even time for Callum Brown to get in on the act, with an effort which went wide after good work by Turner.
In a nervy last ten minutes, Hengrove had a couple of opportunities, but James Dunn's header was well over, and a shot from Pearce, which bobbled as he struck the ball, and ended up well wide, and Slimbridge held on for a priceless three points.
The Swans travel to Meksham Town on Monday (7.30pm) before returning to Wisloe Road next Saturday, when Willand Rovers make the trip up the M5 from Devon.
Slimbridge: Evans, Ward, Brown, Tunnicliff, Thornton, Twyman (Fenner 75), Fahy, Harding, Chandler, Hoyle, Turner.
Goals: Chandler (Pen) 58.
Star man: Paul Fahy.