FA Trophy

Mangotsfiled United 1

Slimbridge 2

SLIMBRIDGE’S mesmerising form continued with a swashbuckling victory at Mangotsfield, writes Rob Peck.

Fresh from an epic mid-week 2-1 victory at league leaders Frome Town, Slimbridge started this FA Trophy tie on the front foot. Sol Wanjau-Smith’s free-kick was whipped into the box and took a deflection off Keith Kearney to sneak into the net at the far post.

A couple of minutes later it should have been two, Wanjau-Smith pounced on Dan King’s through ball but fired straight at keeper Liam Armstrong. Ashley McGrane tested Slimbridge keeper Joe Wright shooting from 25 yards however the young stopper claimed the ball well.

Will Hawes failed to shake off an early knock and was replaced by Rhys Sarson on eight minutes.

After a scrappy period of play, where both sides failed to make any head way it was Mangostfield that capitalised on a free-kick from 30 yards out. Wright failed to hold on to the ball at the near post and after a scramble in the goal area Ben Brooks poked the ball home to draw the tie level.

This spurred the visitors to up their game, a great team move from the back saw Ryan Beckinsale pass to Wanjau-Smith in space but his shot sailed over the bar. Kearney almost got on the score sheet at the other end heading a long free kick wide.

On 32 minutes Beckinsale hit a ferocious shot that Armstrong expertly pushed around the post as the Swans continued to press the opposition. Five minutes later Beckinsale played a neat 1-2 with Wanjau-Smith only to fire over with just the keeper to beat. With just over 5 minutes of the first half remaining Sarson forced another save from Armstrong. A minute later Armstrong blocked Dean Turner’s shot conceding a corner to the visitors. Armstrong did well again, tipping a Sarson header over the bar.

In first-half injury time, Dean Turner blocked a Mangotsfield corner followed by Ioan Richards heading the subsequent corner clear.

Mangotsfield started the second half brightly, Thomas Hillman shooting over, and then substitute Lewis Dix forcing a save from Wright.

On 56 minutes, Jack Goodall’s cross found King but he headed over.

On the hour, a long kick downfield from Wright fell directly into the path of Wanjau-Smith on the left his cross into the box was met by Sarson who managed to sky the ball over the bar from 10 yards. Hillman tested Wright again at the other end but Wright did well to hold on to the shot. Another passing move from the Swans back line, through to Wanjau-Smith who could only find the side netting with his effort.

The visitors looking for a winner continued to put pressure on the home defence, Goodall’s cross into Sarson but his shot was fired wide.

On 75 minutes there was a hold up in play, the referee Thomas Staten stopped the game for a foul then proceeded to sprint off the pitch to the dressing rooms for what was presumed to be a comfort break before returning to the field 3-4 minutes later to a big cheer from the crowd.

With less than five minutes of normal time remaining, Slimbridge got the goal they deserved, Sarson collected Leighton Tuodolo’s cross from the right beat two defenders then rounded the keeper Armstrong and tucked the ball into the net to the delight of the band of visiting supporters behind the goal.

The Swans had the ball in the net again 5 minutes into injury time Jack Horrell scoring from a free kick, but one of the Slimbridge players was judged to be in an offside position.

On Wednesday the first team entertain Yate Town in the league cup before returning to league action next Saturday with Bideford the visitors to Thornhill Park.

Slimbridge: Wright, Goodall, Peck, M Turner, White, Richards, King (Tuodolo 75), D Turner, Hawes (Sarson 8), Beckinsale (Horrell 71), Wanjau-Smith

Unused subs: C Turner, Chambers

Mangotsfield: Armstrong, Anderson, Tanner, Cox, Kearney, Rennie, McGrane, Saunders, Hartshorn, Brooks, Hillman

Attendance: 142

Supporters’ man-of-the-match: Joel White