Bristol Manor Farm 2 Slimbridge 2
In this hugely watchable game, Bristol Manor Farm launched a great second-
half fight-back to earn themselves a point having been second-best for the
games first hour.
Following on from a disappointing performance and result at home to Evesham
on Saturday, Farm fell behind inside five minutes of the kick-off when a cross
from the right was tapped into the net at the far post by an unmarked Adam
Price from two yards out. Not the start The Portwaymen were looking for.
Jordan Metters briefly troubled the Slimbridge goalkeeper in the sixteenth
minute with a deceptively well-struck free-kick from 25 yards out but that was
about the closest Farm came to scoring during a first half in which Slimbridge
looked well-organised at the back and dangerous when going forward.
Much of their play was driven through midfield by Ryan Beckinsale and just
past the half-hour mark The Swans number 8 almost scored with a blistering
effort from just outside the box which whistled inches high of the bar.
Beckinsale capped an outstanding first-half performance with a ‘pearler’ of a
goal from 25 yards out, advancing unchallenged from the half-way line before
striking a sweet curling effort high past Ben John’s spectacular diving effort to
At two-nil to the visitors at half-time, few in the ground would have predicted
the outcome but just as they did on Saturday, Manor Farm started the second
half well with Joe McClennan getting a good shot off but over the bar shortly
after the restart.
At the back however Josh Nelmes still had to make an important defensive
header away with the Farm box coming under increasing pressure once again.
Just before the hour mark Farm got a foothold back in the game when Lewis
Bamford (an early second-half substitute along with his namesake Lewis Leigh-
Gilchrist) netted a loose ball from a cross on the left, steadying himself before
volleying in low at the right hand post.
The game really opened up now with end-to-end attacks – Ben John making a
miraculous double-save as Slimbridge threatened to restore their two-goal
advantage and a dangerous cross from Metters was flicked over the bar off a
defender’s head as Manor Farm searched for an equaliser.
With seven minutes left to play Farm full-back Tyler Ashmead made a typically
bustling run to the byline, sat the ball up in the box and Leigh-Gilchrist’s header
screwed narrowly past the far upright but it was Ashmead’s superb reflex
header off the line up the other end that kept the home side in it following a
rebound shot from another fine stop by John.
With two minutes left of regulation play The Swans resolve finally broke as
Farm poured forward in pursuit of a point. Joe McClennan made a surging run
into the inside left channel and when his ball into the box finally came back out
to the right it fell to the lively Bamford, who beat his man before setting up
Leigh-Gilchrist in the box to gleefully poke home from close range.
For the home fans it was a stirring comeback and a warm end to a cold night.
They’ll be hoping Manor Farm can take the same intensity into the start of their
game against Basingstoke in Winchester this coming Saturday.
STAR MAN (Lewis Bamford, Bristol Manor Farm)