Up to tenth in Toolstation NCEL Division One for Swallownest after their excellent 3-1 win over sixth-placed Winterton Rangers at a freezing Rotherham Road yesterday. Sadly-and surprisingly, though, the result brought to an end an impressive fourteen months at the West Street helm for Rangers Manager Rob Watson just a week after a fantastic FA Vase run came to an end at home to Irlam -but let that take nothing away from a terrific display from the home side, with Swallownest Manager Jordan Stocks hailing his side’s performance in horrendous conditions, writes Colin Muncie.
The club’s efforts to attract local school children and students to the game were scuppered by the desperately cold weather, including the freezing rain, but that didn’t stop Mitch Ward entertaining the 73 brave souls with his pre-match routine dressed as Banana Man, and Chairman Mick Kent expertly modelling the Santa hats he’d acquired for the occasion. The crowd included a number of travelling supporters, including stellar volunteers Paul and Robin, on camera and keyboard respectively for Winterton.
The first half was a battle against the opposition and the elements for both sides. Few chances were created and half time offered the spectators the opportunity for some mulled wine, with Anne in the tea cabin doing a roaring festive trade.
After the break, the home side began to impose themselves on Winterton, with Swallownest’s mobile front men a constant threat and, three minutes into the half, Ollie Grady put the hosts in front with the help of a deflection. Alex Lill’s movement and pace was a constant thorn in Rangers side and it was no surprise when, after 55 minutes, put through on goal he found an excellent finish to double Swallownest’s advantage. Lill was again instrumental twelve minutes later with a fine through ball to strike partner Nathan Morritt, who finished comprehensively under the Rangers keeper to make it 3-0.
interton battled on, and managed a late consolation (90 minutes) when Adam Lee converted from close after a save from Josh Lill but, as ref Jason Carpenter blew the final whistle, both sides dashed off to the well deserved comfort of the changing rooms.
t was, as Chairman Kent summarised, a game of two halves, but Manager Jordan Stocks had no doubt that the outcome had been the right one. “It was a fantastic result for us” he told TBG. “In all honesty, we deserved the three points. In very bad conditions we adapted the better”.
“To be honest, we played some good stuff”