Slimbridge 1

Cinderford Town 3

DESPITE going down to a spirited defeat against a strong Cinderford Town side vying for a play-off spot, Slimbridge secured their place in the Evostick Southern League for another season with the help of Street beating Barnstaple, writes Rob Peck.

It was Cinderford who struck first 10 minutes into the game, Joshua Hunt’s long range effort was saved well by Lewis Adams, but the ball rebounded out into the path of former Slimbridge player James Harding, who headed home past a stranded Adams.

Less than 15 minutes later the Swans were on level terms when Jacob Waddington’s run down the left found Sam Mendes on the edge of the box. Mendes crossed the ball for Ewen Dunbar to riffle home a goal.

On the half-hour Dunbar forced a save from Alex Harris and soon after Christien Turner just missed the target.

Cinderford, looking dangerous up front, took the lead three minutes before half-time, a corner was not cleared by the home defence and Mathew Macdonald was given space to score from close range.

Early in the second-half Craig Norman sailed a free-kick over the bar from 25 yards out. A great Slimbridge passing move from the back saw Mendes and Mark Magee link up on the left, Magee winning a corner for his efforts. The corner was initially cleared as far as Magee who fired the ball back in again Christien Turner getting his head to the ball but it just cleared the top of the bar.

The game was almost over for the Swans on 63 minutes when Norman was allowed to run through the middle of the defence squaring to Richard Greaves on the right of the box and his fierce shot hitting the back of the net past Adams.

It was all Cinderford for much of the second-half. Ioan Richards and Christien Turner called into action to block.

With only seven minutes remaining Richards pulled off a goal line clearance from Harding.

With only a couple of minutes of normal time left, Archie Brennan found Will Hawes with a throw in his shot was just wide of the post.

In injury time Joe Noakes cross from the left almost found Jamie Martin running in at the far post with Martin inches away from connecting with the ball for a certain consolation goal.

Slimbridge finish the regular season with a trip to Thatcham Town to complete what has been another tough season in Step 4 of the non-league football pyramid.

Slimbridge: Adams, Brennan, Waddington (75’ Noakes), Richards, C Turner, M Turner, D Turner, Mendes, Magee (69’ Martin), Hawes, Dunbar (69’ King)

Subs not used: Jackson, Pring

Attendance: 205