An excellent end to a fine week for Swallownest, who followed up that midweek win over Shirebrook Town with a 2-0 victory over fifth-placed Nostell Miners Welfare to reclaim tenth spot in Toolstation NCEL Division One yesterday – and both Managers agreed that the result was the right one, writes Colin Muncie for the Swallownest FC Website and the Bootiful Game.
On a perfect afternoon for football, Swallownest took the first-half initiative with a goal on eleven minutes. A left-side free-kick was drilled in low by Alex Nightingale, and although the ball seemed to evade everyone on its way into the bottom left hand corner, Nathan Morritt got the lightest of touches to claim the opener. The dangerous Nostell front pair of Andy Horbury and Jack Owen were well marshalled by the excellent home centre-back pairing of Josh Statham and Tom Cropper, although Owen did produce a marauding left-wing run to create a headed chance for Horbury which flew over.
Swallownest’s lively front men continued to see a lot of the ball, with Adam Daughtrey and Ash Cooper providing good width and support, but half-time arrived with just the one goal between the sides.
The second-half followed a similar pattern to the first, with every ball keenly contested in a match well refereed by Piotr Zak, whose backward running was also highly impressive. Alex Nightingale was having a fine game down the right, and his shot, and a header from Josh Statham, were denied by Nostell’s excellent ‘keeper Matt Brooke. With fifteen minutes left, Swallownest – with Luke Beedham on and controlling the ball effectively in midfield – clinched the three points when they were awarded a penalty after Ollie Grady was tripped in a penalty area scramble. The home defenders protested vehemently, but the referee couldn’t have been better positioned, and Grady got up to send Clarke the wrong way to double Swallownest’s lead and clinch a deserved home win.
A good few days for Swallownest Manager Jordan Stocks, who now looks forward to a midweek trip to Armthorpe. “Obviously I’m very happy with our result and the performance,” he told us. “Nostell are a tough side and we competed for every ball and we looked sharp. Don’t get me wrong – the game wasn’t brilliant: but three points and a clean sheet will do me.”
“On to Wednesday now.”
Nostell’s Joint Manager Jason Dodsworth felt that his side had been far from their best as they fell to their first defeat in the calendar year, but took nothing away from the home side. “It was probably our worst performance of the season,” Jason conceded.
“Nothing went right from the first whistle and we looked totally out of sorts. I lost count of how many times we gave possession away and it gives us plenty to think about for next week. We want to finish the season strongly and I’m afraid today we let the supporters and committee down – and performances like this aren’t acceptable.”
“Full credit to Swallownest – they were the better team on the day and deserved the win.”