Football: Three is the magic number for high-flying Swans

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First published in Sport by

Western League Premier Division

Melksham Town 0 Slimbridge 3

ANOTHER convincing display from Slimbridge saw them record their third consecutive 3-0 victory this season and retain their position on top of the table at this early stage on goal difference from Bristol Manor Farm and Buckland Athletic.

Goals from Jack Twyman and Sean Lawson in the first 25 minutes put the visitors in a comfortable position, although the game may have taken a different direction had Dave Evans not made a good penalty save from Melksham's Gary Higdon before the break.

A third from Jamie Martin ten minutes into the second half effectively killed the game off.

The Swans set about their business with a purpose from the start and Lawson went close on nine minutes when his turn and shot brought a good save from Melksham keeper Tom Drewitt.

Three minutes later the visitors took the lead, Drewitt this time failing to hang onto Lawson's shot, and Twyman was first to the ball as it came back into the penalty box, forcing the ball home ahead of the back-pedalling Melksham defenders.

On 25 minutes, the lead was doubled. Freddy Ward's free kick found Lawson in acres of space in the Melksham box, and his header beat Drewitt comprehensively.

Drewitt made a good save in what was increasingly becoming one-way traffic when he tipped Twyman's effort over the bar just before the half hour mark and two minutes later made another good stop following a superb move involving Twyman, Jamie Hammond and ultimately Lawson.

Melksham were offered a way back into the game five minutes before the break when Twyman was penalised as a cross came into the box and referee Phil Staynings awarded a penalty to the home side. Evans guessed right as he dived to his right and held the ball, thus denying Higdon the chance to reduce the deficit.

Slimbridge were denied what seemed a cast iron penalty just after the break when Lawson was felled in the box by Drewitt as he attempted to take the ball round the Melksham keeper, but the referee was having none of it.

On 56 minutes it was game over. Twyman broke from midfield and sent Martin through on goal. The striker drilled the ball past Drewitt for his opening league goal of the season and effectively ended the game as a contest.

The Swans had another penalty shout denied when Ward was taken out as he rounded a Melksham defender, but again, Mr Staynings was unmoved.

Slimbridge travel to Bitton on Tuesday night (7.30pm) for another league game before entertaining Southern League Central side Chalfont St Peter on Saturday at Wisloe Road in an FA Cup preliminary round tie (3pm).

Slimbridge: Evans, Turl, Ryan Thwaite, Freeman (Sterling 82), Rich Thwaite, Ward, Twyman (Harding 63), Turner, Hammond (Parrott 45), Lawson, Martin

Goals: Twyman 12, Lawson 25, Martin 56

Star man: Rich Thwaite.

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