On a spring-like afternoon in Gloucestershire, and on a pitch that was in exceptionally good condition for the time of year - kudos to the Swans’ groundstaff, the Cobblers put on a dominant display and should really have won by a much bigger margin against a Slimbridge side that has been struggling to find any kind of consistency throughout the season to date.
During the 90 minutes the visitors created 19 good goal-scoring opportunities with several efforts missing the target by inches - which could have cost them dear as the hosts nearly grabbed a share of the spoils right at the end.
The early stages of the game were a cagey affair with both set of players testing each other out, but it was the visitors who created the first good chance when a drilled Steve Murray cross/shot was fired just wide by Jamie Short with Lewis Adams in the Slimbridge goal well beaten.
Short turned provider 2 minutes later when his corner picked out Sam Hedges who saw his header go agonisingly wide; and with Street really finding their feet Short saw another effort go wide in the 23rd minute after he’d cut inside to shoot following good build-up play by Dave O’Hare, then Murray headed wide moments later.
Lewis Waldy then got in on the act, but he saw his strike tipped round the post by Adams after being teed up by O’Hare, then as the first half came to a close Craig Herrod had a couple of chances, his first from a far post header that was blocked on the line, and the second being saved low down by Adams after Herrod broke through the middle and found himself one on one.
The second half began in dramatic fashion with the visitors carrying on where they’d left off before the break, and just 3 minutes in they finally made the breakthrough as in form Aidan Chainey was on hand at the far post to volley home for his second goal in two games.
However, the home side were back on level terms just four minutes later when, after a rare foray into the Cobblers’ penalty area, Will Hawes got the vital touch to scramble the ball past Liam Kingston into the net.
The visitors went straight back on the attack and Herrod saw another effort go just wide before Matt Hurley’s magnificent volley from outside the box regained the lead for Street - a real contender for ‘goal of the season’! The chances kept coming as Street pushed forward in search of a third goal to create some breathing space.
Josh Bennett had a superb strike blocked by some desperate defending after 63 minutes, before great work by substitute Harry Foster set up Short, who saw his shot deflected wide, with Leigh Bailey’s towering header hitting the post from the resultant corner.
Several more half chances came and went for the visitors before, with a couple of minutes remaining on the watch, Oscar Latas had the chance to kill the game off, but his effort was straight at Adams who blocked on the line.
There was almost a nasty sting in the tail for the Cobblers as the home side, out of nowhere, saw a firmly struck effort by Jamie Martin cannon off the crossbar and thankfully fall to safety.
So another good ‘away-day’ performance from Richard Fey’s charges which sees them up to seventh in the table after Saturday’s round of matches.
Next up this Saturday is a home game against 5th place Evesham United
UP THE COBBS!
Report by Roger Palmer
Man of the match Leigh Bailey with manager Rich Fey