Last minute Slevin winner keeps Swifts in the hunt

Stone Old Alleynians 3 Stourport Swifts 4    MPL  13th April 2024  Att: 81

Skipper Martin Slevin’s last minute winner direct from a right wing corner put Stourport Swifts within one match of the first ever Midland league play offs.

With Studley going down 2-1 to runners up Lichfield City on the last Saturday of the season, Swifts must win at relegated Bewdley Town on Tuesday night to secure a play off place.

Swifts quick start saw Stone defender Josh Sedgley give them an unlikely leg up in their promotion push when he deflected Jamie Meddows right wing cross into his own net . Swifts could have made it two six minutes later, but Ben Tilbury shot tamely at keeper George Hill. Tilbury then set up Aaron Birch for a close range effort, but Hill was on hand to save. Drew Canavan then rattled the Stone crossbar after being nicely teed up by Birch, then minutes later Birch made no mistake to make it 2-0 when he latched on to Joe Hansons through ball to cooly slide past Hill.

Three minutes before half time Swifts should have made it three when a neat 1-2 with Canavan left Birch through on goal but Hill blocked well.

The second half turned into a goal fest with Stone pushing hard to get back into the match, and Jack Bowater pounced in the 57th minute to fire in from close range as the Swifts defence dithered. Bowater then forced Swifts keeper Raajan Gill into a fine save with a powerful 20 yarder, but  six minutes later Stone were back on terms when Ollie Turtursson was brought down in the box and Bowater made no mistake from the penalty spot.

In the 75th minute  Swifts were back in front when George Baker played Meddows in behind the Stone defence, who calmly slid home past Hill. The Stourport defence began to look nervously at the clock as Stone continued to press, and with eight minutes to go, as Ethan Hanson and Gill hesitated, Bowater was on hand again to score from close range.

Swifts poured forward in the dying minutes as they desperately looked for a winner, with Canavan, Meddows and Ethan Tivey all going close, and after a spell of constant pressure, Slevin’s right wing corner sailed over a packed six yard box into the top corner to give his side the three points they needed.

 SWIFTS: Gill, Joe Hanson, Jevons, Ethan Hanson, Jim Hanson, Canavan, Slevin, Birch, Meddows, Harland, Tilbury.  SUBS USED: Baker, Matt Hanson, Tivey, Murray

Meddows winner keeps hopes alive

Atherstone Town 0 Stourport Swifts 1    MPL  6th April 2024  Att: 203

Jamie Meddows revived Stourport Swifts play off hopes with a crucial goal in this instantly forgettable match plagued by high winds and a bumpy pitch.

Atherstone, who had dropped out of the play off race after losing four in row following their win at Walshes Meadow last month, struggled to mount any pressure on the Swifts goal early on, and Meddows and Goodluck Eke both saw shot saved as the Swifts coped well in the windy conditions. Drew Canavan saw his free kick palmed away by Atherstone keeper Jack Sindell before  Josh Steele crossed low from the left and Nathan Mcgarrith forced a fine save from Raajan Gill. Atherstone then failed to take advantage when Lewis Collins broke clear of the Swifts defence but chipped his long range effort wide with Gill stranded in no mans land.

Swifts broke the deadlock on 70 minutes, when Jim Hanson linked up well with George Baker to create space for Meddows to drive low past Sindell from ten yards out. Stourport held firm in the face of some late pressure, and Jake Bown gave them a scare when his header came back off the bar, but the Swifts weathered the storm to hang on for a precious win.

 SWIFTS: Gill, Joe Hanson, Matt Hanson, Ethan Hanson, Jim Hanson, Canavan, Slevin, Birch, Meddows, Eke, Tilbury.  SUBS USED: Baker, Harland

Play offs in the balance

Stourport Swifts 0 Darlaston Town 2    MPL  3rd April 2024  Att: 176

Stourport Swifts suffered their second loss in 5 days to play off rivals Darlaston to leave their promotion hopes hanging by a thread.

Darlaston leapfrogged the Swifts into 5th place with 3 games to go and Highgate just two points behind and three games in hand.

A much improved display compared to Saturday’s defeat could not disguise the  visitors superior credentials for promotion.

After surviving an early string of corners and set pieces, the Swifts produced some chances of their own, with Jack Watts firing just over after a mazy run into the box, and going close again five minutes later but shot over again after a sharp turn. Ben Tilbury then caused problems for the Darlaston defence but his snapshot was scrambled away.

Stourport finished the half just on top but the match turned just a minute after the break when Jack Downing’s raking cross from the right evaded everyone to sail over Swifts keeper Raajan Gill to give Darlaston the lead. Kieron Cook then headed narrowly wide as Darlaston began to dominate, with some solid defending from Ben Podmore and skipper Alex Foreshaw snuffing out any danger despite Swifts efforts to get back on terms. With 68 minutes gone, Darlaston increased their lead when Rivel Mardenborough took advantage when some careless Swifts defending gave him the chance to fire home a second with Gill stranded.

Swifts pressed hard to get back into the match, with only a timely tackle from Podmore denying Watts a shot at goal, but could make little impression on a commanding Darlaston back line.

 SWIFTS: Gill, Joe Hanson, Matt Hanson, Ethan Hanson, Jim Hanson, Harland, Birch, Meddows, Watts, Eke, Tilbury.  SUBS USED: Baker

Play off hopes dented

Darlaston Town 4 Stourport  Swifts 0    MPL  30th March 2024  Att: 168

Stourport Swifts crashed to a demoralising defeat in this crucial match at fellow play contenders Darlaston.

Darlaston striker Aaron Bishop bagged three of his sides’ four goals as Swifts went behind in the fourth minute and rarely threatened throughout the ninety, as the home team’s all action opening left them chasing the game.

Bishop’s first came as the Swifts defence, looking uneasy for what was not to be the first time, hesitated, and he was first to react to force in from range after a long free kick from the right. Stourport almost got back on terms when Matt Hanson just failed to get a vital touch at the back post following Jamie Meddows free kick, and Goodluck Eke went close with a snapshot on the turn whistled narrowly wide.

But the danger always looked more likely from Darlaston, and Bishop notched his second from an almost identical situation as the first, sweeping in after the Swifts again failed to clear their lines.

Early in the second half, Swifts keeper Raajan Gill produced a fine save as Bishop threatened again, but could do nothing to prevent Darlaston increasing their advantage to three when James Rowland blasted in from the spot after Jim Hanson was judged to have fouled Kieron Cooke in the box.

Substitute Josh Jones set up Bishop for his third when he crossed low from the left to give an easy close range at the far post.

Ben Tilbury had a golden opportunity for  a consolation goal with ten minutes left, but Tom Allsopp produced a reflex stop to complete a miserable afternoon for the Swifts.

Swifts face Darlaston again at home on Wednesday night, kick off 7.45pm

 SWIFTS: Gill, Joe Hanson, Matt Hanson, Ethan Hanson, Jim Hanson, Harland, Birch, Meddows, Tivey, Eke, Tilbury.  SUBS USED:  Canavan, Murray, Baker

 

 

Chairman: Pip Hanson 07966 644762

Treasurer: Pip Hanson

Secretary: Graham Haighway  07780 997758 email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Committee Members: Ian Sword, Margaret Sword, Tony Lavery, Paul Reynolds, Claire Davis, Paul Frankling, Mark Wenham.

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Life Members: Ian Sword, Sylvia McDonald

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