Cinderford 1 Slimbridge 0

Slimbridge started 2019 with a narrow defeat away at Cinderford Town despite a strong defensive display writes Rob Peck.

The home side started like an express train with Richard Greaves missing two early chances Lewis Collins also firing a weak shot at Lewis Adams in the Swans goal before Ben Watkins cross just sailed wide of the far post.

It was in the 11th minute that Cinderford made the break through, Collins on the left skipped passed Korey Pring before delivering a pin point cross to Josh Hunt to tap in at the far post.

Moments later Collins escaped the attentions of Myron Turner forcing a double save out of Adams.

This was immediately followed by another home attack Collins initial shot being saved by Adams then Pring heading off the line by Greaves follow up.

With only 20 minutes gone, Slimbridge were lucky to have been only a single goal down as the home side had enough chances to have been at least 4-5 ahead. It was not until 23 minutes that Slimbridge finally had sight of the Cinderford goal, Ewen Dunbar’s shot straight at keeper Alex Harris.

As Cinderford continued to attack with a number of crosses coming into the Swans box from the full backs Sam Turl and Lewis Binns they failed to find a home player and the visitors were able to clear the danger. As half time approached Hunt’s header forced a save from Adams from a long range cross field ball.

Swans manager Lee Driver-Dickerson introduced Joe Noakes at the start of the second half replacing debutant Archie Brennan and a shift in formation from 5 to 4 across the back. This change gave Slimbridge a bit of early momentum Myron Turner shooting just over after a good run through the middle.

Cinderford continued to press for a second goal the ball flashing across the Swans goalmouth from the left and Turl’s follow-up blocked and cleared away to safety. Collins broke through the visiting defence and with just Adams to beat fired past the keeper only to see the ball strike the post.

Yeshaya Lomotey fierce shot was blocked by the home defence the subsequent corner was then claimed by Harris. Greaves headed the ball into the net on 56 minutes but the referee’s assistant had his flag up for offside.

Dan King now playing in a midfield position was tripped by Andy Lewis as he ran towards goal resulting in a Slimbridge free kick 35 yards out from goal as the visitors started to put a little pressure on the home side. King’s delivery was headed down to Noakes whose initial shot was blocked before Dunbar’s follow-up was also stopped by the home defence.

On the hour Lomotey’s 25 yard shot was deflected for a corner from which Pring headed over the bar. Moments later Mark Magee fired just over before King’s cross was cleared as Magee lurked in the box.

Cinderford still looking dangerous going forward fired a 25 yard free kick wide after a handball from Noakes. With just over 10 minutes to go a home side corner was dropped by Adams and bundled into the back of the Swans net but the goal was ruled out for a foul in the box to the relief of the visiting fans. Dean Turner conceded a corner blocking an in swinging cross from which the ball flashed across the Slimbridge goal mouth missing the on running strikers.

Moments later another home side free kick from just over 25 yards was flashed inches past the post by Dan MacDonald. With a couple of minutes to go Ioan Richards cross found Dean Turner in the box Harris managing to claim the ball at the second attempt from Turners toes but the referee had blown for a foul on Harris. The last chance of the game came in stoppage time Lomotey’s chip deflected wide for a corner and then Pring heading the corner wide at the far post.

The Swans go again next Saturday facing 2018 FA Vase winners Thatcham Town at Thornhill Park with a 3pm kick off.

Slimbridge: Adams, King (80 Mendes), Brennan (45 Noakes), Pring, C Turner, Richards, D Turner, M Turner, Magee, Dunbar (71 Martin), Lomotey

Supporters’ man of the match: Lewis Adams