SWINEFLEET FC 7 BRUMBY HOTEL 0
A Challenge Cup Semi-Final place now awaits Swinefleet, but don’t be fooled by the score-line as this was a much tougher game than the score actually says. For 62 minutes of the match, Swinefleet held a slender 1-0 lead against dangerous and sometimes physical opponents.
Swinefleet started the match by leaving on the subs bench their top goalscorer of the last 3 seasons, Cohen Vause, with the in-form younger brother Keir Vause, starting up front with Niall Barker. Swinefleet picked a strong hard-working midfield quartet with central midfielders Aaron Raymond and Scot Jackson and Regan Allen tucked in from the right, and the attacking wing-play of Ryan Whitlam on the left. With Jamie Ward in the nets, and a solid back four of Liam Cooper, Archie Stephens, captain for the day Will Sparkes, and Chris Barker starting his first full match, this made up the Swinefleet starting 11. A strong bench of Cohen Vause, Will Nicholson and Nick Johnson were on standby to await the call to action.
It was an impressive first 25 minutes from Swinefleet. Raymond and Jackson in midfield winning tackles, good pace and movement up front from both Barker and Vause, some good attacking full-back play down the right by Cooper, and the speed and trickery from Whitlam on the left. Sometimes though, it was just the delivery of the final ball, either over-hit from midfield or from the flanks by both Cooper and Whitlam that was letting Swinefleet down. But the scoring was opened on 17 minutes. A free-kick on the right was whipped into the box by N. Barker, touched on by Allen and K. Vause eased the ball past the Brumby keeper to score a classic poachers goal. It was only the sharpness off his goal-line by the Brumby keeper on 21 and 25 minutes that prevented Swinefleet from adding further goals from Whitlam and Vause.
The match then swung Brumby’s way for the next 15 minutes with quick skill and movement from the Brumby attack. A Brumby corner on 33 minutes required a brilliant strong left handed save from Ward to prevent an equaliser from going in, and top quality defending was required from Stephens and Sparkes at the back to maintain Swinefleet’s slender half-time advantage.
The first 10 minutes of the second half again belonged to the visitors, and Swinefleet’s defence were having to work overtime to keep them out. After this initial spell of pressure though, Swinefleet gradually turned the tide. Regan Allen had a good chance to extend the lead on 57 minutes, but 4 minutes later Raymond made no mistake as side-footed the ball into the net following a cross from Whitlam on the left. Cohen Vause was brought on into the action on 63 minutes, replacing Keir Vause up front, and Swinefleet secured the match on 67 minutes with Whitlam firing across the keeper to make it 3-0.
Swinefleet brought on both W. Nicholson and N. Johnson on 70 minutes, replacing C. Barker and R. Allen, to shore things up.
Brumby in desperation pushed men forward, but Swinefleet with the lightening pace in the side were able to quickly break down their attack, and hit them on the break. Vause scored on 70 minutes latching onto to a ball from Whitlam, and on 74 minutes Vause and Barker combined for Barker to rifle in a left foot shot. Swinefleet were now running riot. Will Sparkes unselfishly set up Vause for his second goal on 78 minutes, and the final goal of the match coming on 84 minutes with Barker also scoring his second of the match.
Despite the score-line this was a difficult and fairly even fought contest for 62 minutes, and credit must go to Brumby for their contribution to this. The John Holt Man of the Match Award went to Scot Jackson.
Next week is a tough League match away at last season’s Champions, College Wanderers. All players to meet at Marshlands at 12.30pm.