SCUNTHONIANS 2-3 SWINEFLEET FC
This away victory at bottom club Scunthonians produced the three points required to keep Swinefleet in second place in the League table, on the same points with the leaders BBM. But the victory was marred with the game held up for 30 minutes due to a bad injury to Swinefleet captain Danny Nicholson. With important games coming thick and fast for Swinefleet, central midfielder Nicholson, will be sorely missed.
The early periods of the match saw Swinefleet enjoying most of the possession, with Aaron Raymond and Danny Nicholson controlling the central midfield area, and able to feed the ball out to the flanks for either wide midfielders Regan Allen and Ryan Whitlam, or to find the runs from deep of full-backs Liam Cooper on the right and Chris Barker on the left. Up front Niall Barker was dropping deep into a split-striker role, leaving Cohen Vause up front to pounce on any hesitancy in the home defence.
Swinefleet looked the more dangerous of the two sides, with Nicholson making some surging runs from midfield, and both Barker and Allen forcing saves from the Scuns keeper on 12 and 18 minutes. Swinefleet had the ball into the net from Whitlam after good interchange play between Allen, Barker and Vause, but a late flag from the linesman ruled this out.
The first goal of the game was scored by ‘The Fleet’, on 23 minutes. Will Sparkes played the ball out of defence to Cohen Vause, and he in turn passed the ball to Niall Barker. A quick swivel and turn from Barker beat his marker and his skill and pace took him by two more defenders for him tom place the ball into the bottom right hand corner of the net for a truly wonderful individual goal. The lead didn’t last that long though, as Cooper gave away a free-kick on the far edge of the penalty area. A Scunthonians header was well saved by Swinefleet keeper Aaron Lumley, but the home side quickly followed up on the save and bundled the ball over the line from 5 yards out, to level the scores on 31 minutes.
Swinefleet were ahead again, this time from the penalty spot on 36 minutes after Vause had been dragged down in the penalty area. Barker stepped up to convert. Four minutes later, a free-kick from Raymond was floated into the Scunthonians penalty area with both Barker and a Scuns defender both appearing to touch the ball into the net. Barker claimed this and ‘The Dubious Goal Panel’ confirmed this valid claim, to give the Swinefleet player a first half hat-trick. With just one minute of the half remaining, the game was stopped after the collision between Nicholson and a Scuns player, with the Swinefleet playing requiring hospital treatment.
After the lengthy delay, the referee agreed to blow for half-time and the game re-commenced 30 minutes later. With N. Barker moving into central midfield alongside Raymond, Swinefleet brought on the exciting 16 year-old Keir Vause on up front alongside his elder 21 year-old brother Cohen. The young Vause made an immediate impact with his skill and trickery getting him past two defenders, and his right foot shot just wide of the far post. The move of the match came from Swinefleet on 59 minutes, and carved open the Scuns defence. Delightful one-touch football involving Raymond, Cooper, Allen and K. Vause saw the elder C. Vause just lose his footing at the last moment after receiving a square ball across the face of the goal from his younger sibling.
The longer the second half went on, the more the home side seemed to sense they could maybe get something out of this match. Lumley in the Swinefleet goal had to turn a strong shot away for corner on 66 minutes. From the resulting corner though, the home side scored to make it 2-3. This goal gave them even more belief, and for the last 20 minutes of the match, it was really a case of Swinefleet absorbing the home side pressure and trying to hit them on the break. The experienced Dale Noon was brought on for the last 20 minutes for Swinefleet to help hold on to the ball up front, and so relieve the defensive pressure. With Swinefleet bursting out on the break, two fine point blank saves from the Scuns keeper on 73 and 79 minutes prevented C. Vause from scoring, and finishing off the match.
As the clocked ticked down to only 10 minutes left, the home side threw more and more bodies forward. Swinefleet centre-backs Will Sparkes and Archie Stephens had to make some strong decisive headers, and both full-backs Liam Cooper and Chris Barker had to be on sentry duty and curb their attacking instincts to deal with the threats down the flanks of two speedy wide men.
The Helen Challenger Man of the Match Award went to Aaron Raymond. Next week Swinefleet face their hardest game of the season so far, a Goole & Thorne Cup Semi-Final away V Thorne Colliery.