The Swans interest in this season’s FA Cup ended at the first hurdle after a scrappy, physical encounter at Oak Farm. Slimbridge never found any sort of rhythm or pattern to their play, and were caught on the hop twice by the home side. With 20 minutes to go, Jake Baxter beat Dave Evans with the help of a deflection to score in a game which was looking increasingly like it would finish goalless. As the Swans swarmed forward in the final minute of the game, a swift break from the home side saw Calvin Thomas double the advantage and send Cove on to a home tie against Thatcham Town in the next round of the competition.
On a muggy day and with a bumpy pitch, the game never really settled, with a very disjointed start to the game from both sides, with passes going astray regularly as both sought to settle into the match. Chris Fower thought he may have had a shout for a penalty after 11 minutes, when his cross after being set free down the right was blocked by a defender, but Referee Sunny Gill said the hand contact was accidental and the chance was cleared.
At the other end, Aaron Cole-Bolt had a decent change with 15 minutes on the clock, but his shot from outside the box was scuffed and saved easily by Dave Evans in the Visitor’s goal.
After Jack Ball had skied another good chance for the home side on 21 minutes, Slimbridge began to play with a little more cohesion, and Fower was the victim of two borderline offside decisions as the visitors began to press.
Cole-Bolt was continuing to exert an influence on the game, and putting himself in some good positions, but his finishing was awry again as the game drifted uneventfully towards the half hour mark.
Cove had the two best chances of the half shortly afterwards – firstly, Ball brought a fine save from Evans with a shot from the edge of the box on 33 minutes, and, as the home side presses, a neat move involving Thomas and Aaron Parfitt saw a cross which was headed wide by Baxter with the goal gaping in front of him.
Slimbridge went close on 38 minutes, when Stuart Gates’ shot brought a good save from Cove keeper Stuart Harris – the resulting corner from Ward saw Fower penalised for a push as he looked to get his header in.
Slimbridge seemed to have possibly nicked equalised a minute later, when Inch met Ward’s corner with a bullet header, but again, a free kick for pushing let the home team off the hook.
The second half very much continued on from the first, with little to entertain the crowd. Hardin’s cross found Shaun O’Connor in space on 46 minutes, but the youngster’s cross went harmlessly across the Cove box with no-one on hand to convert.
Thomas continued to look the most dangerous player on the pitch, but yet again failed to capitalise on two good opportunities on 53 and 55 minutes with wayward shots keeping the game goalless.
Eventually, Cove took the lead with 69 minutes on the clock. Parfitt’s Free Kick from the right flank was guided home, with the help of a deflection, by Jake Baxter to break the deadlock.
Still, the game didn’t open up any further, and chances were few and far between as the game reached 90 minute.
With Slimbridge pressing forward and everyone except Evans in the Cove box, for a corner a quick clearance saw a three on one break against the Swans keeper. Thomas was the man who rounded Evans to double the advantage and make the game safe for the hosts.
Team: Evans, harding, Anson, Inch, Wellon, Ward )Sterling 80), Turner (Paterson 66), Twyman, Fower, O’Connor (Nash 60), Gates
Supporters’ Man Of The Match: Shane Anson