SWINEFLEET FC 0 CROSBY COLTS 1
This turned out to be a rather frustrating afternoon for Swinefleet, as they turned in an excellent performance but still managed to come away with nothing. Credit must go to the Crosby defence as they put up a great battling display getting bodies and blocks in at the last minute.
Swinefleet started the game at a blistering pace with Aaron Raymond and Danny Nicholson in central midfield quickly stamping their authority on the match. The long range accurate passing of Raymond soon had the Crosby defence on the back foot, with his balls finding the runs down the flanks of Regan Allen on the right and Keir Vause down the left. Up front, Swinefleet had the dynamic pace of Niall Barker and Cohen Vause for Crosby to contend with.
The Crosby defence led a charmed life in the first half with Swinefleet in the first 18 minutes of the match having three separate attempts from corner-kicks blocked on the line by Crosby. The first was from a Will Sparkes header on 8 minutes, the second a near-post Raymond flick in the 11th minute, and the third was an Allen shot and turn on 18 minutes. Cohen Vause had the ball in the Crosby net on 22 minutes, only for the referee to disallow the goal on the strength of the Crosby linesman’s flag. Vause scored again on 26 minutes, but yet again the flag went up, so no goal.
Despite all this Swinefleet pressure, Crosby were capable of playing some neat football themselves, and it was from one of their moves that they scored the opening goal on 30 minutes. Some great interplay and a sweet through ball put the Crosby number 9 in on goal, giving keeper Jamie Ward no chance. A fine save was needed from Ward three minutes later to prevent the visitors from extending their lead. But, 5 minutes later, Swinefleet had the ball in the Crosby net, but yet again frustratingly and controversially, the linesman’s flag yet again went up against Vause.
After a lengthy discussion with the Referee at half-time, the match resumed with again Swinefleet pinning the opposition back into their own half. Chances were still being created by the home side and the best chance of the match so far came on 56 minutes with the half-time substitute Josh Lamming, on for the injured K. Vause. Barker and Raymond combined for Raymond to play the ball inside the Crosby right-back for Lamming to run onto, but the Crosby keeper was quickly off his line to smother Lamming’s goal-bound shot. Four minutes later, Swinefleet’s Ryan Whitlam brought on for Allen, came in from the right and hit a half-volley from Lamming’s cross from the left, sailing just over the Crosby cross-bar. With 20 minutes to go and time running out, Swinefleet elected for a 3-4-4 formation. The excellent defender Roy Stephens was sacrificed, so Swinefleet could bring on up front their all-time top scorer and goal legend, Dale Noon.
Swinefleet still kept creating chances with Vause’s hooked shot on 72 minutes denied by the Crosby keeper and Nicholson’s shot on 76 minutes palmed away. Noon had a shot saved at the foot of the post by the keeper on 79 minutes. Crosby could have extended their lead further on 85 minutes when a shot rattled the Swinefleet post, but both Scot Jackson and Gareth Welsh between them managed to scramble the ball clear.
Despite the end result, this was a very good performance from all of the 14 Swinefleet players and on another day and with better luck, the score-line could have been 6-1 in their favour. The Dean Nicholls Sponsored Man of the Match went to Will Sparkes. Next week Swinefleet are away in the League V BBM, all players to meet at Marshlands at 1.30pm.