Pre Season Friendly
at Rotherham Road, Swallownest
Swallownest MW (2)
Jason Markell 22, Ash Atkins 42
Staveley Miners Welfare (1) 4
Josh Scully 7, 71, Joe Harris 86, 88
Admission £2 inc. programme,. Attendance 30
The opening exchanges were fairly even as both sides came out looking to take the initiative.
Staveley got a foothold in the seventh minute, when Luke Walker put the home side's keeper under pressure and rushed him into making a clearance that went straight to Matt Cowan some thirty yards out, but as the former Hallam youngster weighed up whether to shoot or knock a pass back into the box, he was unceremoniously flattened.
Swallownest currently play in the Sheffield & Hallamshire County Senior League (step 7), two divisions beneath Staveley's first team, but they have designs on becoming a NCEL side themselves in the not too distant future. They showed this afternoon, particularly in the first half, that they could certainly hold their own at a higher level on the pitch, while their new facilities, including floodlights will draw many an envious look from opposition teams this coming season, especially when the new stands go up.
Sam Finlaw, tracking back to pick up the south Yorksire side's centre forward as he homed in on Chris Butt and a timely interception from Alex Pugh preserved the visitors lead, as Swallownest pushed forward looking for an equaliser.
James Colliver showed a touch of class, as he won the ball in midfield and started a quick passing move up the field, that saw Michael Blythen clear through into the box, one on one with the keeper who reacted well to thwart a golden opportunity.
Richard Williams floated an inviting cross to the back stick, that left back Jason Markell (playing out of position on the wing) met with a thumping header to put the home side level on 22 minutes. 1-1Luke Walker crashed the ball against the underside of the crossbar, but it ricocheted back into play as the equalising goal stung Staveley into action, but it was Swallownest who finished the first half more strongly.
Williams cut in from the right flank and tested Butt, who saved from close range and Markell was unfortunate that a cross into the six yard box narrowly evaded his outstretched leg.
With the clock ticking down to half time, some off the Staveley players were guilty of standing from Ash Atkins as he moved towards goal from the centre circle ... so without a moments hesitation, the Swallownest number 4 whacked the ball over them and into the back of the net from all of 40 yards out. HT 2-1
Swallownest's second half substitute Jack Hutchinson, probably didn't realise how much time and space he had shortly after the restart, when he powered an unchallenged header over the crossbar from 10 yards out.
And Staveley rode their luck again a few minutes later, when Chris Butt was forced into making a save with his legs ... unconventional or not, they all count!
At two apiece, Staveley began to look more comfortable and started to knock a few passes together and find some rhythm.
In spite of Staveley trying to force the issue, Swallownest were closing ranks and making a determined effort to hold out for the draw. But inside the last five minutes, Joe Harris scored twice, to put clinch victory for the Derbyshire side.
George Slack cut in from the right flank, avoided a last ditch challenge from the full back and played a short sideways pass to Harris, who took the ball in his stride and curled the ball into the top left hand corner. 2-3
Within 80 seconds, Harris struck again, when he reacted instinctively in the middle of a goalmouth scramble and stabbed the ball home from 10 yards out. 2-4
FT: Swallownest MW 2 v Staveley MW 4
Staveley MW MOTM - Alex Pugh
Staveley MW line up:
Butt, Jones (Colliver 81), Trench, Gabdon (Slack 52), Colliver (Payne HT), Pugh, Blythen (Jessop), Scully, Walker, Finlaw (Harris 67), Cowan ... having come off at HT, Colliver went back on in place of Jones for the final 9 mins