Slimbridge moved back up to second place in the Uhlsport Hellenic Premier League with their victory this afternoon over a hardworking and organised Flackwell Heath side at Wisloe Road. A well taken Dan Holloway goal just under the quarter hour put the home side ahead, and a second goal from Chris Fower with 20 minutes remaining doubled the lead. Flackwell Heath came back, and Adam Harman closed the gap with a strike on 83 minutes, but the Swans saw out the game to register an important three points.
The game started at apace, with Slimbridge looking sharper than in their previous outing against Wokingham & Emmbrook, and Dan Holloway, who had an impressive afternoon, saw two strikes in the first three minutes go wide, but it was an indication of the pressure the home side was to exert. With Marvyn Roberts back in the side holding the play up superbly, the home side made a lively start, and a good move involving Liam Harding and Alex Higgs broke down when Roberts was flagged offisde.
The early pressure was rewarded on 14 minutes, when Freddy Ward’s cross found its way via Roberts to Dan Holloway in the box, and the youngster controlled the ball well, before drilling the ball home past Flackwell Keeper Sam Southerden to put the home side into the lead.
Holloway was causing all kinds of problems for the visitors, and had a good opportunity to double the advantage two minutes later, but his attempted chip over Southerden was not high enough and the Keeper saved easily. As the ball went down the other end from the clearance, Louis Cordice shot over with the visitor’s first decent chance of the afternoon.
Harding continued to be influential in midfield, and was unlucky to see his shot drift wide on 20 minutes after Holloway and Roberts had combined well, in a spell of good football from the home side.
Holloway was again involved two minutes later, providing a cross which saw Higgs go close with a header.
Dan Robinson’s game came to an early end when he limped off with 24 minutes on the clock with a hamstring injury, and he was replaced by Tom Paterson, forcing a reshuffle in the Swans’ back four.
Flackwell were playing some nice football, but were unable to create chances in the final third, being reduced to long range efforts – Cordice seeing his effort saved easily by Dave Evans as the visitors sought to even things up.
Roberts nearly got his name on the scoresheet when he finished off a lovely move involving Shane Anson and Freddy Ward, but his shot was wide of the target with half an hour on the clock, and the teams went into the break with the hosts still a goal to the good after an entertaining 45 minutes of football.
Slimbridge survived a couple of scares early in the second half, when Cordice and Adam Harman both went close, but Slimbridge broke back again, with Anson and Holloway combining well to set up Higgs, but his shot was saved by Southerden as the game went past the hour mark.
Flackwell continued to look dangerous, and Zak Gill scuffed a good chance after Roberts’ defensive header from a corner found it’s way to Gill in space, but he couldn’t take advantage of the opportunity.
Slimbridge doubled their lead on 70 minutes when Chris Fower broke forward, and his shot from outside the box took a deflection to beat Southerden and notch the Swans” second of the afternoon.
Ward had a good chance to add a third four minutes later, but the Swans’ Assistant Manager skied his shot, and with ten minutes remaining, a Higgs header forced Southerden into a good save under the crossbar.
Flackwell Heath nicked a goal back when Adam Harman slotted a cross home with seven minutes remaining, but never threatened the home side, who played out the remaining time to secure three valuable points.
The Swans are back at Wisloe Road next Saturday, when Kidlington are the visitors.
Team: Evans, Anson, Robinson (Paterson 24), Wellon, Speers, Ward, Twyman, Harding, Roberts (Turner 74), Higgs, Holloway (Fower 61)
Goals: Holloway 14, Fower 70
Supporters Man Of The Match: Liam Harding