Swallownest stay thirteenth in Toolstation NCEL Division One after their 4-3 win in a fantastic ding-dong battle with Harworth Colliery (18th) at Rotherham Road yesterday. Colliery Manager Lee Needham was returning to his old team at the Swall Siro, and for long spells looked set to take three points home with him – but, not for the first time, home Manager, Jordan Stocks had a quiet, motivational word with his players during the half-time break, and the game was turned on its head, writes Colin Muncie.
None of the 79 paying customers will have asked for a refund, but probably didn’t anticipate the final outcome when the home side trooped in 2-0 down at the break – Alex Nightingale scoring after 5 and 24 minutes. On the restart though, Swallownest hit back through Ollie Grady (53 minutes) and new recruit Luke Beedham (59 minutes), and Grady struck again with twelve minutes left to give the home side the advantage. Nightingale, however, levelled for Harworth from the spot to complete a fine hat-trick with less than ten minutes to go, but Joshua Statham grabbed an 84thminute winner to ensure a lively post-match atmosphere in the Welfare Club.
Jordan admitted that his side were second best before the break. “After a thrilling game, I’m obviously the happier. First off, we were lucky; Harworth should have wrapped the game up in the first half. We went in two nil down – not knowing my team could play as badly!”
“In the second half – and after a roasting and some home truths – we clicked,” he told us. “We were outstanding to a man, especially with the formation change. Jay Short and new signing Luke Beedham were outstanding! We pressed and we got our rewards. I feel for Lee (Needham, Colliery’s Manager) and Tom (Hague, Assistant) as their first half performance was brilliant – but fair play to our boys for reacting and showing some bottle.”
Jordan’s Assistant, Joel Evans, agreed that the crowd had invested their fivers wisely. “Yesterday’s game had everything, and as a neutral you certainly got your money’s worth,” he told us. “The first half performance was lacklustre – no desire, no passion and on our behalf Harworth deservedly went in two to the good. A few harsh words were said at half time to the boys – and to be fair they responded in great style, and their second half performance warranted the win.”
Swallownest welcome Goole in the NCEL League Cup in midweek. “On to the Cup, Tuesday,” Joel said, “where we want to show a team – who are a League above us – how good we actually are from the word go!”