The clash between two of Toolstation NCEL Division One’s most promising Managers went the way of FC Bolsover’s Matt Chatfield, as his side – whose relegation was pretty much confirmed last weekend – secured a deserved 2-0 win at Jordan Stocks’ tenth-placed Swallownest – and both Managers felt that the result was the right one, writes Colin Muncie.
It was a glorious day at Rotherham Road as a decent crowd of 109 – taking the club’s average for the season to 99 – watched members of the Under-11’s (Green) from the visiting Sheffield Caribbean Sports Club walk out with the two teams ahead of the game. The youngsters would act as ball boys for the ninety minutes, doing a fine job in the sunshine, and benefitting from the generosity of Swallownest sub Jordan Livett who passed on a Mars bar to one of the lads as the heat took its toll.
The home side were on the front foot from the start. Nathan Morritt saw an early chance denied by Bolsover ‘keeper Chris Hinchcliffe and Swallownest thought they had the lead when Adam Daughtrey fired home, only for the goal to be ruled out for offside. Tom Cropper saw a shot saved, Morritt shot wide from the edge of the box, and a loose ball drifted across the six-yard box just begging to be put away. Half-time came with the game goal-less, leaving the crowd to wonder if the hosts would pay for failing to take their chances.
And so, it proved. FC Bolsover were a different proposition after the interval and took the lead six minutes in, when Brett Lucas headed past Spencer Bingley from a right-wing corner. Ollie Grady saw a fierce left-footer cleared as Swallownest battled back and Jordan threw all three subs on, in an effort to level the contest.
Jordan Livett had a great free-kick well saved before Swallownest were reduced to ten men after a bad injury to Nathan Morritt who had to go off. The game opened up, but erupted late on as a tussle for a loose ball led to an unpleasant coming together between Bolsover ‘keeper Hinchcliffe and Swallownest’s Jay Short, triggering a full-scale brawl between the teams – and red cards for both involved in the original incident.
The ten men of Bolsover clinched the win as they caught the home side on the counter with three minutes left and Adam Lee finished well to secure the three points. FC Bolsover entertain Winterton Rangers next weekend. For Swallownest, it’s a trip to Rossington Main before that NCEL League Cup semi-final at Liversedge, a week on Tuesday.
Jordan Stocks showed his frustration after the game. “There’s not really much I can say,” he told TBG. “In the first half we were good, but in the second we were abysmal and the officials made the game a circus. It was a bad day all round, but we’ve had a fantastic campaign and still two games left, so we’ll take it on the chin and learn.”
“All the best to Bolsover and their gaffer for the future.”
Bolsover’s Matt Chatfield admitted that his side had been on the rack in that first forty-five. “We really did go through all the emotions today,” he conceded. “Starting the game, the lads looked ready to get three vital points as we look to finish the season as strongly as possible.”
“We started the first-half and if I’m being honest looked like we were going to get battered; we left runners, didn’t challenge second balls, and every time it went forward it came back twice as quickly. It was a very poor half, but the only saving grace was the score was 0-0 at half-time, as Swallownest should have been at least two or three up. If it wasn’t for our defenders and goalkeeper, it would have been. It’s fair to say that a few words were exchanged at half time.”
“We started the second-half brightly, starting to win the second balls and holding onto the ball well, and got the lead when Brett scored from a well worked corner.” Matt explained.
“After that it was an end to end game, to be honest, but the difference was that we really limited their chances and looked good on the break. They then made three changes and went to 3-4-3, so we knew we would get chances in the wide areas.”
Touching on the sending’s off, Matt noted, “It was absolute bedlam; but then after we all regrouped, we got our second coming on the counter – from a wide area with a great cross and Adam there to seal the three points for us.” “It was a great effort from the lads after being told they were relegated last week, showing they will fight for those last points.”
Swallownest FC would like to thank Caribbean Under-11’s (Green) for their visit and for their fine work as ball boys at the game.