SLIMBRIDGE put up a valiant effort but could not produce a moment of FA Cup magic to cause an upset against Chalfont St Peter as their interest in this year’s competition ended at Wisloe Road on Saturday.
The Southern League Central side proved too strong and streetwise for the Swans and Alan Hedley’s 24th minute strike was enough to send them through to the next round.
The game will not live long in the memory for many, but one person who will not forget it is Jonathan Summers, who enjoyed something of an FA Cup fairytale.
Summers, a goalkeeper for Stroud League Division Two side Stroud Harriers who had previously turned out for Slimbridge reserves, was given the chance to play in the oldest cup competition in the world with Dave Evans suspended following his sending off in the last round against Thatcham and certainly did not look out of place, making some impressive saves.
He was tested early on from a dangerous Daniel Hughes corner, which he tipped onto the bar.
Slimbridge’s first decent chance also came from a corner when Fred Ward’s delivery was headed narrowly over by Jamie Martin on 15 minutes.
Hughes wasted a great chance from inside the D when he blasted over following a quick Chalfont counter attack but the visitors went ahead one minute later.
The Slimbridge defence was sliced open by a ball through the middle and Hedley confidently tucked his shot past Summers.
Chalfont looked to press home their advantage, but Glen Yala sliced wide from inside the box after a neat move and Alex Paine could not direct his header goalwards when he reached Hughes’ corner at the far post with Fred Ward and Adam Mace making vital blocks as Slimbridge held on.
Slimbridge got the ball in the visitors’ box on several occasions without creating many clear-cut chances and the ball just would not break for them.
On the stroke of half-time Yala’s looping header from Remmel Clarke’s cross into the box almost caught out Summers, who could only watch as the ball came off the underside of the bar and post before gathering it gratefully.
Captain Jack Twyman tried to get Slimbridge on the front foot at the start of the second half but after bursting forward from midfield and getting the ball back following a neat turn by Alex Hoyle he could not keep his shot down.
Summers kept Slimbridge in the game when he came off his line to block an effort from Aaron Lansquoit, who went through on goal after beating three defenders using power, trickery and pace.
Manager Leon Sterling rang the changes as he attempted to get the Swans back in the game. Substitute Alex Parrott’s fine corner was met by a thumping Hoyle header but went just wide.
Hughes had a great chance to seal Chalfont’s win with six minutes left but he dragged wide from ten yards, while Summers made a superb save, diving low to his left to keep out Lansquoit’s fierce strike from 25 yards.
However, Slimbridge ran out of energy and ideas as Chalfont hung on.
Slimbridge: Summers, Turl, Mace, Freeman, Tunnicliff (Fahy, 64), Ward (Parrott, 67), Turner, Twyman (c), Lawson, Hoyle, Martin (Hammond, 55). Subs not used: Irvine, Radford.
Ref: James Whittington.
Gazette star man: Jack Twyman – Driving force in Slimbridge midfield.