SWINEFLEET FC 3 BRIGGENSIANS 1
No hidden shocks for Swinefleet in this Challenge Cup tie against lower league opponents who are struggling near the foot of their division.
Brigg came with a game plan of quickly getting four banks of four behind the ball as soon as they lost possession. Regrettably these tactics never changed for the match even after conceding a spectacular 25 yard strike from Niall Barker on 21 minutes, the ball swerving and spinning away from the visiting keeper to give him no chance.
Early before this spectacular opening goal, Ryan Whitlam had just clipped the far post with a shot on 16 minutes after a good ball down the left from Danny Nicholson, inside the Brigg right back. Swinefleet played some great possession football throughout this match, in particular with Aaron Raymond in central midfield illustrating his wide repertoire of passes, ranging from the short 5 yard balls, played to fellow central midfielder Regan Allen, or to the long raking 30 yard passes picking put the runs down the flanks of Keir Vause on the right, or Whitlam on the left.
Given the lack of ambition from Brigg, most of the moves originated from Swinefleet’s back 4 unit of Liam Cooper, Roy Stephens, Will Sparkes and Danny Nicholson. With Swinefleet’s strikers Cohen Vause and Niall Barker having to drop deep for the ball to try to draw out the Brigg defence, possession football was key for Swinefleet in this match.
With the strikers dropping deep this created some space, and a Raymond pass on 26 minutes nearly found the surging run of right back Cooper popping up in the centre-forward position, with the Brigg keeper just quickly out onto his penalty spot to deny a certain goal. Swinefleet’s second goal came on 31 minutes with Sparkes, Allen, Whitlam and C. Vause all involved in the build up play, before Barker hit another screamer from 25 yards into the top corner. With Swinefleet’s keeper Jamie Ward having only one real shot to save in the first half, Swinefleet went into the interval with the 2-0 advantage.
The second half was more of the same. Berigg sat heir contant to try and keep the score down and Swinefleet having top pick their way through the two banks of four. C. Vause had a strong shot saved by the keeper on 54 minutes, but he was not denied on 62 minutes when Barker put him through for him to make it 3-0.
Immediately, substitutions were made by Swinefleet, Gareth Welsh on at centre-back for Stephens and Tony Nicholls on up front for Barker. A great move on 66 minutes involving Allen and Nicholls put C. Vause in down the right, but his unselfish ball across the goal for his younger brother Keir to tap in just went centimetres in front of him. With just over 20 minutes left, Chris Barker was brought on into left midfield with 16 year-old Keir Vause moving up front, to replace his 20 year-old elder brother. Barker showed some nice touches with the ball upon his introduction, and linked up well with Nicholls and Vause up front. Swinefleet did create further chances with efforts from Whitlam on 73 and 77 minutes just inches wide, but Brigg did manage to score a consolation goal on 81 minutes from a corner, when the ball just managed to sneak across the line.
Referee’s Man of Match went to Cohen Vause, and the Manager’s Man of the Match was shared between Aaron Raymond and Will Sparkes. Another quality performance from all 14 Swinefleet players. Next week Swinefleet are at home in the Centurion Cup V Bottesford Town Reserves, all players to meet at South Park for 12.30pm.