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Slimbridge lose eight-goal thriller despite Hawes’ hat-trick

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Slimbridge 3-5 Mangotsfield United

Southern League Division One South

The new year failed to bring the Swans much joy losing a thrilling battle with Mangotsfield United, writes Rob Peck.

With an almost unchanged line-up from the recent win against Highworth, the Swans started the game in dominant style gaining an early corner after a Marley Thomas cross was headed behind at the back post by the visitors and moments later Ben McLean struck a post from distance.

The first goal came on 5 minutes, McLean saw his shot saved by Marco Radovanovic however he failed to hold on to the ball and Will Hawes nipped in to score.

From the kick-off Mangotsfield’s top scorer Kye Simpson forced a save from Lewis Adams. The game however was levelled on 8 minutes, the Swans conceding a free kick 25 yards out from which the ball was squared to Harry Houghton who fired in from 30 yards.

Nathan Dennis made an important interception at the back with just over 20 minutes gone to keep the scores level. The home side then fell behind on 23 minutes with a long-range effort from Luke Smith which deceived the defence and Adams on the goal line.

Picture gallery by Brian Rossiter

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  • DSC 3218 1 | Slimbridge lose eight-goal thriller despite Hawes' hat-trick

The Swans continued to press forward Ben Hands shot was blocked and from the resulting corner, Mike Ford headed wide at the near post. A few minutes later Ford’s effort fell into the arms of Radovanovic from a corner. Then McLean had a shot deflected wide as the home side looked dangerous upfront.

Radovanovic kept the visitors lead with a double save from Hawes, after a pinpoint cross to the far post from Edji Mbunga. Adams at the other end kept the Swan in the game-saving with his feet from Simpson who had gone solo through the defence.

With only 5 minutes of the second half gone, McLean sent a delightful chip over the visitors defence for Hawes to run onto and slot calmly past Radovanovic to bring the Swans level.

Only 4 minutes later Mangotsfield opened up a two-goal lead Daniel Mcbean scoring direct from a corner then a minute later he robbed the ball from Hands on the edge of the box and slotted past Adams to make it 4 goals to the visitors.

The next 15 minutes saw both sides pushing for more goals in an entertaining battle in the middle of the park. It was however the home side next to score, Fords cross found Hawes in space to seal his hat trick with a far post tap in.

After a flurry of substitutions, it was the visitors that put the game to bed with just over 5 minutes remaining Joe Cattermoles effort squeezed into the corner of the net despite Adams getting both hands to the ball.

Slimbridge: L Adams, R Tomlin, B Hands, M Ford, N Dennis, T Lawrence, E Mbunga, M Turner,W Hawes, B McLean, M Thomas

Subs Used: J Martin, Z Berry, T Jaggers

Attendance: 193

Supporters’ player of the match: Will Hawes

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