At almost exactly the same moment that a David Jones deflection at West Brom denied Sheffield’s Massive a third consecutive League win, the same thing was happening to Jordan Stocks and his Swallownest side, as Jamie Austin headed home with almost the last kick of a blood and thunder Toolstation NCEL Division One encounter at Rotherham Road to give Worsbrough Bridge Athletic a last-gasp point – but Swallownest Manager, Jordan Stocks was looking at the bigger picture as he reflected on a terrific December for his club, in a game watched by the Bootiful Game’s Colin Muncie.
Few quarters were asked or given in a frenetic first-half, after a couple of injuries had broken the early play up. Swallownest’s Alex Lill and Briggers keeper Aiden Tyas took centre stage in a couple of one–on–one battles in front of the 81 crowd, with Tyas just about coming out on top. Swallownest had taken control by the interval though, and immediately after the break, Jay Short looped in a curling right-footer from twenty-odd yards to give the home side a deserved lead. The Swallownest pace was causing the visitors defence a bunch of problems on a tricky pitch, but as the clock ran down, Worsborough Manager Lee Morris – kicking every ball with his players – went direct, using his big men to advantage as crosses, corners, and towering long-throws from Briggers skipper Scott Batty rained in on the home goal, with keeper Spencer Bingley, the Swallownest defence, and the crossbar defending brilliantly. In between the seemingly-interminable aerial bombardments though, Swallownest had a number of great chances to kill the game on the counter; but as the contest entered the fourth of four added minutes signalled by the excellent Sheffield and Hallamshire referee Melissa Burgin, Austin headed a deep cross into the roof of the net to ensure a share of the spoils for Worsbrough and ensure that they finish the calendar year in a fine sixth.
Swallownest end 2018 in the top ten, leaving Jordan delighted with the position, if more than a little frustrated by the late goal. “Before today, I said we just don’t lose,” he told TBG. “We didn’t, but god I’m disappointed; to concede in the manner we did – in the last ten seconds – makes it worse.”
Assessing the sides display, Jordan told us, “we were okay generally today; there were a few slight hangovers from Christmas, but overall I was pleased. I’m not going to go mad as in the grand scheme of things, we are in great form. December saw us play four of the top six, and we came out unbeaten and with 11 points from 15, so not bad.”
“We start 2019 in a great position – so now we build on that.”
Swallownest Assistant, Joel Evans couldn’t quite explain how his side took one point and not three. “How we haven’t won that game, I don’t know,” he told us. “Apart from the first ten minutes – where the game was stop/start – we controlled the remaining 80 minutes. We have had enough chances in the second half to win two games; but in football, as they say, if you don’t score, you don’t win. I’m just disappointed that we conceded with the last kick of the game – but we move on undefeated in our last five games, so we’ll take the positives.”
“Have a Good New Year everyone”.
Across the white line from the opposing dugout, Worsbrough BA manager Lee Morris reflected on the last gasp draw, “One we got away with today! Our second half performance wasn’t good enough to get anything from the game. We have to do more in the final third of the pitch as we are no where near what we should be with the players we have got an it is something I need to address.
“But I’m taking the positives out of 2018 and we have come along way and still in the top 6 at the turn of the year is a massive achievement we have only lost two out of our last 11 league games so we are on a good run going into next year so I’m looking forward to kicking on in 2019 and see how high we can finish.”