First half blitz puts Swifts in charge
Stourport Swifts 3 Studley 2 MPL 24th February 2024 Att: 148
Three first half goals saw Stourport take control of this match with a commanding display against 3rd placed Studley.
Ethan Tivey opened the Swifts account in the 9th minute when he drove in a cross from the right from Joe Hanson which Studley keeper Brendon Bunn could not hold at the near post. Tivey was on hand again just four minutes later when his driven cross was parried out by Bunn only for Ben Tilbury to arrive and tap in at the far post. Skipper Ben Jevons was alert to clear a dangerous cross from Bailey Fuller, and seconds later Jack Watts cleverly set up Tivey for another attempt but his shot flew wide.
Swifts went three up in the 29th minute when he chased a lost cause into the box, but Bunn’s clearance was fired straight at him and rebounded into an empty goal.
Watts almost made it four ten minutes before the break, but his thunderous effort crashed back off the crossbar, and Tivey then saw his snap shot blocked by the advancing Bunn’s legs.
Studley began the second half with some real purpose, but Watts, clean through on goal, delayed his shot to allow Matt Hughes time to block his attempt with a last ditch tackle, and Tilbury, just a minute later, saw Bunn save with his legs with a similar chance. The visitors kept up some sustained pressure as Swifts seemed happy to sit back and defend, and they were rewarded in the 52nd minute when Zac Guinan fired an angled drive past Emery to pull one back. Watts and Tilbury both forced Bunn into further action, but Swifts nerves began to jangle when Finn Holmes raced in behind in the 67th minute to calmly round Emery to score.
Swifts struggled to hold back the wave of attacks, and after Emery saved well from Studley sub Romario Martin, Jim Hanson produced an acrobatic clearance off the line from Holmes’ follow up effort.
With ten minutes to go, Tivey did well to stretch tall and head clear as Harry Eden almost connected with Reiss Taylor-Randle’s free kick, and Emery held on well to a series of threatening crosses as Studley continued to pressed hard, but Swifts back line held firm to hang on to all three points.
SWIFTS: Charlie Emery, Joe Hanson, Jevons, Ethan Hanson, Jim Hanson, Harland, Meddows, Canavan, Tilbury, Watts, Tivey. SUBS USED: Murray, Glenister, Bailey, Eke
Tilbury late show puts Swifts back on track
Uttoxeter Town 2 Stourport Swifts 3 MPL 22nd February 2024 Att: 39
Stourport Swifts looked set for a third straight defeat when they went two goals down with 30 minutes to play, but surged back to snatch a dramatic injury time winner to keep their play off hopes alive.
Swifts went behind after 23 minutes when skipper Ben Jevons deflected a speculative shot past debut keeper Charlie Emery, and despite all their efforts, could not force their way back in the first half.
R’mar Murray saw his header saved, and Ben Tilbury also tested keeper Charlie Wood, but matters took a turn for the worse for the Swifts when Tom Thorley headed the home side 2-0 up in the 64th minute.
Matt Harland gave Swifts a lifeline when he swept in from close range with 18 minutes to go, and Jamie Meddows set up a grandstand finish when he turned in Adam Hanson’s cross from the right ten minutes later.
Tilbury then gave the Swifts a battling win when he turned to fire in Ryan Glenister’s right wing cross in the second minute of injury time.
SWIFTS: Charlie Emery, Joe Hanson, Jevons, Matt Hanson, Ethan Hanson, Murray, Harland, Jim Hanson, Meddows , Eke, Tilbury SUBS USED: Glenister, Bailey, Adam Hanson, Slevin
Swifts hit for five again
Dudley Town 5 Stourport Swifts 1 MPL 17th February 2024 Att: 186
Dudley striker Harry Crook bagged a hat trick as Stourport Swifts got their second 5-1 beating in a week.
Crook cut inside from the right after just 8 minutes to fire Dudley into the lead from 20 yards off the underside of the bar into the top corner. Swifts responded quickly, and after Adam Hanson shot narrowly wide, Matt Harland chipped smartly over advancing keeper Alex Graham to level for his side in the 19th minute.
Hanson forced Graham into a fine save, and the Swifts finished the half on top with Jamie Meddows testing Graham after skipping past two defenders in the box, and Ben Tilbury playing Harland clean through on goal only to see Graham block with his legs.
The game swung crucially Dudley’s way three minutes into the second half when Luke Hennessey’s left wing corner escaped the clutches of Jamie Emery and struck the unfortunate Ben Jevons and divert into the net to put Dudley in front. In the 55th minute Emery produced a reaction save from Connor Armstrong, who then just minutes later played a slide rule pass in behind the Swifts defence for Crook to race through and make it 3-1.
Ethan Muckley exposed the Swifts defence again three minutes later to fire past Emery from ten yards , and with Meddows, Goodluck Eke and Harland all passing up good chances for the Swifts to make a game of it, with a minute to go Crook completed a fine hat trick to drive in number five from 25 yards to complete a miserable week for the visitors.
SWIFTS: Emery, Joe Hanson, Jevons, Ethan Hanson, Jim Hanson, Harland, Meddows, Slevin, Tilbury, Bailey, Adam Hanson. SUBS USED: Murray, Canavan, Matt Hanson, Eke
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