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Slimbridge take the spoils at Brimscombe

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Brimscombe & Thrupp 0 Slimbridge 2

Slimbridge joint-manager Tom Deakin hailed the Swans’ fledglings after they took the spoils at Brimscombe & Thrupp, writes Tim Blake.

Three graduates from the successful Under 18s all made vital contributions to the victory, which lifted the Swans to fourth place in the Hellenic Premier League. 

Jack Smith started the game following his goal on Saturday against Lydney Town, Theo Clayson was an early replacement for the injured Edgi Mbunga after only thirteen minutes, and Kieran Bennett had a very impressive cameo in the last fifteen minutes of the game. 

Goals in either half – a superb strike from Rudi MKinnon in the first, and a penalty from Dale Evans in the dying embers of the second saw his side home, and with a very solid all round team performance, Deakin was happy to heap praise on his young players.

Deakin said: “I’m proud of what we’ve seen today – It’s definitely good to see the young lads kicking on – we said to the lads at half-time that we trust the lads in the squad – whether they are young or older, we trust them to do their job, and it showed today. 

“Smithy has started the last three, Theo has come on, he scored on Saturday and he’s come on today and had an assist and won the penalty, and Kieran has run them ragged in the last fifteen minutes, so it shows that we do give the young players every chance, and we back them.”

Slimbridge could have been ahead in the first minute of the game, when Ben Hands played in Edji Mbunga. He rounded Brimmy Keeper Jordan Schofield, but took the ball just a little too wide and couldn’t convert the opportunity, hitting the side netting. 

At the other end, George Peare a couple of minutes later saw a good effort cleared off the Swans goal-line as the game went from end to end.

Slimbridge were forced into an early change with 13 minutes on the clock, when Mbunga pulled up with a groin injury, and was replaced by Theo Clayson. 

Four minutes later, Clayson was a key part of the opening goal, playing a lovely 1-2 with Rudi McKinnon, with McKinnon placing a beautiful strike beyond the reach of Schofield to put the visitors ahead.

Slimbridge had other chances to increase their lead – Jack Smith was wide with a good effort, before Clayson had another effort blocked. 

As the first half ended, Marley Thomas saw a good effort deflected for a corner, with Smith again being too high as the ball was cleared to him. 

Clayson still had time for another superb effort that unluckily hit the Brimmy post in first half stoppage time and came out, but Slimbridge went in ahead at the half. 

The second half was a similar story to the first – the best chances of the game were created by the visitors, but they were unable to kill the game off. 

Three minutes into the second period, a great run from Smith saw his cross cleared for a corner, which again came to nothing. 

Dale Evans then had a good effort from a free kick that eventually resulted in a corner, but again, the second goal proved elusive. 

With 20 minutes to go, a probing run from Clayson was stopped by a well timed tackle, but Slimbridge were still bossing the play. 

On 78 minutes, a back pass from Brimmy’s Ashley Caldwell eluded Schofield, and was scrambled off the line as Bennett closed in, but the game eventually was settled in a two minute period just before the close. 

Firstly, Ollie Pitt saw his deflected effort rocket back into play from a Slimbridge post, and, as the Swans broke forward, Clayson was felled in the Brimmy box by Pitt as the visitors pressed forward. 

Dale Evans stepped up and converted the penalty to seal the win for Slimbridge, to the delight of their travelling fans. 

Slimbridge are back at Thornhill Park on Saturday when they entertain Roman Glass St. George in a replay of their game which was abandoned after a floodlight failure. 

The Under 18 side have arranged a friendly on Thursday (31st August 7.30pm) when they travel to Taverners.

Slimbridge: Parker, Turner (Mara 54), Mbunga (Clayson 13), Hands, Dennis, Hitchings, McKinnon, (Mills 80) Evans, Hawes (Bennett 74), Smith (Prictor 80), Thomas

Goals: McKinnon 17, Evans (Pen) 88

Supporters’ Man of the Match: Ben Hands

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