SWINEFLEET FC 4 SCUNTHONIANS 3
Let us hope Santa is not as late delivering his Xmas presents to the Swinefleet team next week as the team are at winning three points! For the second successive week, Swinefleet came from behind with two goals in the last 4 minutes to win the game, the winner being scored with literally the last kick of the match. These valuable three points now moves the ‘Fleet to 3rd in the League table.
Their opponents last Saturday started the games currently bottom of the table with no points on the board, and certainly belied their true position by playing some good football and a strong will and desire to pick up their first points of the season. The visitors nearly took the lead on 3 minutes, lobbing Swinefleet keeper Jamie Ward, but the ball struck the crossbar and Swinefleet cleared away the danger.
Swinefleet then as expected took control of the match, but were guilty of not finishing their chances in the first 15 minutes with Niall Barker twice being put through but failing to beat the Scuns keeper. On 19 minutes though, Swinefleet went ahead. A quick throw from Ryan Whitlam down the line caught the Scuns defence asleep, and Cohen Vause accelerated away to place the ball into the bottom corner of the net.
Despite this set-back, the visitors started to pin Swinefleet back, and a long ball from their right hand side on 23 minutes paid dividends for them as the Swinefleet defence misjudged the flight of the ball, allowing the lone Scuns Scuns striker to score with ease. Worse was to come for Swinefleet as again another long ball into their box was not dealt with and with the Scuns right-midfielder making a late run into the box, the ball scruffily ended up into the back of the Swinefleet net, despite centre-back Will Sparkes’s attempt to hook the ball off the line. With the score-line at 2-1 and 30 minutes played, Swinefleet were looking second best and just could not get hold of the ball, with the ball being cleared by the defence but coming straight back, and with midfielders Danny Nicholson, Aaron Raymond, Regan Allen and Ryan Whitlam struggling to make an impact in the midfield battle.
After what can diplomatically be described as a stern talking to at half-time, Swinefleet came out with a lot more purpose and desire. But they would not find things easy against a determined Scuns side growing in confidence and also capable of playing good, swift quality football. The Swinefleet defence of Scot Jackson, Will Sparkes, Gareth Welsh and Chris Barker were still being tested, but with Welsh masterful at centre back, most of their opponents attacks were being extinguished.
Swinefleet’s revival came through Welsh, scoring a fantastic equaliser on 64 minutes involving some great link up play between Scot Jackson, Niall Barker and Dale Noon, on as a 53rd minute substitute for Regan Allen. Disaster struck for Swinefleet though on 76 minutes when a long range 25 yard strike flew past keeper Jamie Ward and into the top corner of the net. Swinefleet now found themselves 3-2 down with only 14 minutes left.
A Cohen Vause effort on 82 minutes was cleared off the line by a Scuns defender and with 4 minutes left to play, Vause was brought down in the penalty area. Welsh stepped up to convert and equalise to make it 3-3. Swinefleet were now bombarding the Scuns defence and with the game now into injury time and the referee signalling 1 minute of injury time left to play, Swinefleet forced a corner kick. Niall Barker whipped the ball in, but the ball got blocked on the goal-line, and with Swinefleet goal legend Dale Noon set to pull the trigger from 5 yards out, his legs were taken from him.
With a couple of minor scuffles breaking out, and some of the Swinefleet supporters not currently under a banning order, entering the field of play, the game was held up while the referee quickly restored order. With what was to prove the last kick of the match, Gareth Welsh blasted the ball down the middle of the goal, to notch his first ever-hat-trick, no mean achievement for a centre-back!
Man of the Match deservedly went to Gareth Welsh. The next fixture is for this Thursday night when all players are meeting up pre-Xmas Meal at the Hungry Horse at 7.00pm. Also on the 29th December there is the Official Swinefleet Team Xmas Party with a Day at Doncaster Races, with the Doncaster Night Scene being sampled immediately afterwards.
On the football front, Swinefleet have no game now until the 5th January, when they are at home against local rivals Crowle Utd.