Fleet Town 0


SLIMBRIDGE ground out a superb victory against a young Fleet side battling the drop despite playing an hour of the game with only ten men after captain Dean Turner picked up a straight red card, writes Rob Peck.

Slimbridge started the game with a strong attacking line-up with Dan King and Steve Jackson missing, Ewen Dunbar and Jamie Martin stepped in to replace them. Fin Brown and Jaden Maddock sat on the bench to give the Swans' squad a youthful look.

Fleet's Billy Oram had the first shot of the game early on, firing wide from long range, at the other end Jamie Martin's cross from the right found Mark Magee in space in the box, but his first touch took the ball away from him allowing home keeper Harvey White to gather.

The Swans had the ball in the net after ten minutes; a free-kick on the left from Liam Smith found Magee, whose shot found the back of the net via the faintest of touches from Martin on the line, but Martin was in adjudged to be in an offside position. A minute later Will Hawes hit the side netting from close range as the Swans started to boss the game.

Fleet had a small spell of possession Dean Turner blocking a free-kick from 30 yards out before Cheltenham loanee Archie Brennan was called upon to make a double block inside the area from Bradley Wilson.

Slimbridge gained a corner on 17 minutes, Smith finding Joe Noakes in space but his header floated wide of the goal.

The visitors were lucky not to go behind soon after, Christien Turner played a poor backpass to Lewis Adams in goal allowing Wickens to nip in fortunately Adams was positioned well enough to block the shot.

After another spell of pressure Fleet's Bradley Wilson hit the side netting from close range as the host looked to hit the Swans on the break.

The first goal however came on the half-hour mark. Hawes on the left won the wall on the halfway line and made progress towards goal. Hawes then fed a neat pass to Magee on the edge of the box who then spotted Martin in space on the right and the pin point cross to Martin allowed him time to bring the ball down and fire the ball into the corner of the net giving the Swans the lead.

Two minutes later Slimbridge found themselves down to ten men, Joe Wilson tripped Dean Turner on the halfway line, the referee giving the free-kick, but Turner reacted kicking out a leg towards the Fleet player leaving the referee little choice, but to issue a red card. Myron Turner was introduced into the midfield at the expense of Ewen Dunbar with Christien Turner taking over the captain’s role.

Fleet had the ball in the net on 36 minutes through Bradley Wilson's strike on the left, but the offside flag was raised. Slimbridge at this point were coping well despite being a man down. A few minutes later Wilson was lucky not to have been carded for a rash challenge on keeper Adams for which he required treatment.

On the stroke of half-time Christien Turner forced a save from White tipping his 18-yard effort over the bar. Turner got on the end of the resulting corner, but headed just over.

The second-half started very scrappily with neither side gaining control of the ball hitting hopeful balls forward and passes going astray. Fleet's Jorden Stepey and Oram both reduced to long range shots missing the target on each occasion.

The Swans extended their lead just after the hour, Martin playing the ball to Magee on the right and after beating a defender his narrow effort found the net via the boot of home defender Edwin Plackett.

Five minutes later Bradley Wilson picked up the ball on the right beating Noakes before his poor touch allowed Adams to block the ball and concede a corner.

On 70 minutes, Danilo Cadete and Stepney broke through the defence, but Turner was on hand to block and clear the ball to safety.

With only eight minutes remaining - Liam Smith’s floated a free-kick from 35 yards picked out Cheltenham Town loanee Ioan Richards who thumped his header just inside the near post to seal a vital away victory.

Slimbridge: Adams, Brennan, Noakes, Richards, Dunbar (M Turner 35’), C Turner, D Turner, Smith, Magee (Maddock 89’), Hawes (Mendes 67’), Martin

Supporters man of the match: Mark Magee