The Sheffield and Hallamshire Senior Cup Party is over for S and H Senior League side Swinton athletic, at least for this year-and despite the extra time loss at Swallownest last night ,Manager Andrew Billups was absolutely and justifiably chuffed by his side’s performance, but disappointed by the Cup exit, writes Colin Muncie.
Andrew told the Bootiful Game “After losing the lead so late in the game, we left Rotherham Road feeling immensely proud but utterly distraught. We would like to praise and thank Swallownest co-chairman Glenn Watts and Mick Kent, and their ground staff for getting the game on. After two minutes, it was clear that the pitch was not going to be conducive to our fast flowing football game, and certainly suited the more direct physical long ball game of Swallownest. The pitch was a real grueller for both teams. Swallownest started the game well and had a lot of possession in and around our box, without really causing us any problems. We took the lead against the run of play really and looked comfortable without really creating too many clear cut chances. However our major chance to extend the lead was thwarted by a wonderful point blank save from the Swallownest keeper”.
Andrew felt his side were still on the front foot after the break, but rued the fact that they didn’t convert their opportunities. “I think we were looking the more prominent team in the second half, with us looking the more likely to strike again. However in typical cup football, when you don’t take your chances you will get punished, which we did. The equalizer gave Swallownest the lift that they had been looking for, at a time where we started to look a little dead on our feet. With their tails up they made the most of our tiring legs and put us to the sword with two late goals
Andrew made special mention of a player who doesn’t forget his roots.” I would like to single out one player for Swallownest FC for special praise – substitute Jay Short. He was very kind with his words to our club” Andrew reported “We know Jay well; he’s a player our reserve team were trying to sign a few years ago. He has played most of his football in the Sunday league and the County Senior League, so it was noted how well he respected ‘minnows’ Swinton both on and off the pitch. It is always nice for teams like Swallownest FC to be humble and appreciative to clubs like ourselves. They know the difficulties county senior clubs face when they can ‘t throw money at players”
“Last year we faced each other three times in the same League and Cup, and know they are competing in the heady heights of the NCEL. It’s a great grassroots football story and is why I have so much time for Swallownest -, they just understand who they are and where they have come from”.
“ Swinton would like to thank Swallownest for their hospitality and wish Jordan(Stocks ) and his management team all the best- and hope they can pull away from the relegation battle in NCEL Division One.