Swallownest’s last five Toolstation NCEL Division One games, which have yielded four defeats and a draw, all have pretty much the same thing in common – a failure to capitalise on dominant first-half performances at home and away. Yesterday’s 2-1 defeat to 14th-placed Rossington Main was another case in point; and although the Rotherham Road side secured an excellent tenth place in the final table, the result at Glasshoughton Welfare assumed much more significance than it perhaps should have done on a windy afternoon at Main’s excellent Welfare Ground, writes Colin Muncie.
Rossington Manager Ryan Hindley announced his resignation after the game, but he must have been happy with the way his side fought back in the second-half of yesterday’s game; watched by the crowd of 75, the visitors had controlled the first forty-five minutes, going ahead through Ollie Grady’s free kick from the right – with just a bit of help from Storm Hannah – which evaded the excellent Main goalkeeper Callum Fielding midway through the first half. Fielding was in great form in that first-half, saving well from Alex Lill, Richie Williams and Mitch Kent; and Juninho Blake headed against the post and saw a superb overhead kick crash against the cross bar, with Taylor Askham involved in much of Swallownest’s attacking play.
Again, and with a second-half into the strong wind to come, you wondered if the visitors might come to regret not leading by more at the break.
The second-half started fairly evenly, but on the hour Hindley withdrew striker Alec Denton and threw on departing club legend Lee Holmes in search of an equaliser; and after 67 minutes, he rose to head home past ‘keeper Josh Lill, although the last touch may have come from a Swallownest defender.
The Bootiful Game doubts that anyone will be taking the goal away from the striker on his last career appearance!
Within five minutes, the home side were in front, with Iren Wilson through to finish despite Lill getting a good left hand to the ball. Jordan Stocks through on Lloyd Gelsthorpe up front in search of a leveller, but it was not to be and although the visitors pressed, it was Luke Beedham who went closest with a right foot half volley in the dying minutes before four added minutes confirmed three points for Rossington and a fitting end to Lee Holmes’ playing career, and another disappointing loss from a winning position for Swallownest.
It was left to Assistant Manager Joel Evans to reflect on the afternoon, ahead of Tuesday night’s NCEL League Cup Semi-Final at Liversedge. “I’m tired and to be fair I’m ready for a break,” he admitted to TBG editor Craig Kendall. “We have a game on Tuesday but, all in all, I need a break. The last five games have taken their toll on me, and the players too, I think. We haven’t won; we have been in leading positions but haven’t seen a game out or been able to do the basics. I know I sound depressed having seen the team consolidate tenth, but results have been fortunate for us too.”
Joel suggested that there had been a fair post-mortem after the game. “The lads have been told how as a team we need to go forward, so we shall wait and see,” he told us.
“As I mentioned, we have Tuesday’s semi-final to look forward to – and the lads do deserve it – and we go in as underdogs; so, fingers crossed, we can maybe get to a final. We will need to do what we did at the start of the season, where we picked up points and hopefully impose ourselves on Liversedge.”
Joel had generous words of praise for Craig and the team. “Thank you to the Bootiful game on your reports which again have given the managers and players the chance to voice their opinions.”