Last gasp leveller saves Swifts
Selston 3 Stourport Swifts 3 MPL Sat 12th October Att: 76
A stunning right foot drive from Joe Billingham saved a late point for Stourport Swifts at lowly Selston last week.
After taking an early lead after just five minutes when Mark Danks fired in Nick MacPherson’s cross from six yards out, Swifts found themselves 2-1 then 3-2 down with twenty minutes to play.
Swifts failed to make their first half possession pay, and after some good approach work saw Danks and Jim Hanson both fail to add to their goal tally, Carl Moore fired in off the post to level for Selston before the break. Billingham’s shot was well saved by Warren Squires in the Selston goal, and MacPherson turned a good cross from Joe Hanson just wide, but the home side made Swifts pay for their wasted chances when Jack Havron volleyed past Richards thanks to a fortunate deflection to make it 2-1 . Swifts were level again when Jack Downing jinked past two defenders on the right and crossed low for Danks to drive in for his second at the far post.
Downing hit the bar after Selston failed to clear, but on 78 minutes they were back in front when Carl Moore shot low past Richards from the edge of the box.
It looked all over for the Swifts until with two minutes to go Jamie Clarke crossed low from the left and Billingham blasted an unstoppable rising angled shot past Squires to level again.
SWIFTS: Richards, Joe Hanson, Fulloway, Matt Hanson, Platt, Jim Hanson, Slevin, Billingham, Downing, MacPherson, Danks, . SUBS USED: Espley, Lees, Clarke
Swifts dig deep for a win
Stourport Swifts 2 Newark Flowserve 0 MPL Sat 5th October Att: 80
Stourport Swifts bounced back from their recent run of poor form to take a battling win against 4th placed Newark.
While still missing Drew Canavan, Dom Richards and Jamie Clarke, Swifts produced a performance of grit and determination to grind out a two goal win to end Newark’s 5 match unbeaten run.
Swifts weathered an early storm in which both Sol Miller and Tyrell Shannon-Lewis both tested keeper Ryan Smith in the opening 15 minutes, before Jack Downing set up Joe Billingham who shot wide, and Nick MacPherson his header cleared off the line by defender Mitchell Robinson. After 36 minutes Downing outpaced the Newark back line but shot tamely wide, then Newark twice missed chances to go in front when Miller and then Danny Meadows both failed to test Smith from close range.
Swifts broke the deadlock five minutes after half time when Downing, chasing a lost cause, blocked keeper Joe Searson-Smithard’s clearance attempt, which set up Joe Billingham to follow up and drive in from ten yards .
Falling behind prompted an immediate response, and Newark could easily have levelled after some fierce pressure when Miller blazed over from 8 yards out when looking certain to score, and James Timmins threw himself bravely in to block a goalbound effort from Kyle Dixon. Skipper Matt Fulloway held a creaking Swifts back line together with some solid defending, and on a rare Swifts attack with 12 minutes left, Lawrence Gorman was judged to have pulled down Macpherson in the box, and Downing stepped up to fire low into the bottom corner from the spot. Newark saw Mitchell Robinson dismissed for a second yellow for one foul too many on Downing with five minutes left and Swifts held out for a well earned three points.
SWIFTS: Smith, Joe Hanson, Fulloway, Timmins, Platt, Jim Hanson, Slevin, Lewis Clarke, Billingham, MacPherson, Downing. SUBS USED: Phillips, Lees, Espley
Swifts crash out in first round
Stourport Swifts 1 Worcester Raiders 1 (Raiders win 4-2 on penalties) Worcs Senior Cup Tues 1st Oct Att:81
Stourport Swifts went out in Round 1 of the Worcester Senior Cup against West Midland League Worcester Raiders after a dramatic penalty shoot out.
Raiders, featuring several former Swifts players, had much the better of the first half, and could consider themselves unlucky to go in 1-1 at the break. Josh Farnsworth put them ahead after 11 minutes when he beat the Swifts offside trap on the right hand side and raced through to blast past Swifts Under 18’s keeper Ryan Smith. Nine minutes later Roland Krol should have made it two, but his close range shot came back off Smith’s left hand post. Smith then did well to tip over a Dave Reynolds header, before Lewis Clarke levelled the score with a header from Slevin’s free kick from the left. Jamie Clarke almost gave Swifts a lead they barely deserved on the stroke of half time, but his tame header sailed wide.
Swifts made a better contest after the break, but Smith was still called on to save twice from Dave Reynolds and once from Krol. Chris Conway and Joe Billingham both went close for the Swifts, but too many attacks came to nothing as they struggled to deliver a telling final pass.
The 90 minutes finished at 1-1, but after Joe Billingham scored the first penalty, Mark Danks saw his spot kick saved and Martin Slevin blazed his over the bar, Kyle Belmonte stepped up put Raiders into the next round 4-2 .
SWIFTS: Smith, Hayer, Fulloway, Timmins, Jim Hanson, Lewis Clarke, Slevin, Billingham, Danks, Jamie Clarke, MacPherson. SUBS USED: Matt Hanson, Conway
Wasteful Swifts lack finishing touch
South Normanton Athletic 3 Stourport Swifts 1 MPL Sat 28th September Att: 62
Stourport Swifts came away with nothing once again after dominating this match for most of the 90 minutes.
After a bright start in which Jack Downing shot narrowly wide from the left, and then shot tamely at keeper Curtis Hall when put through by Jim Hanson, Swifts fell behind in the 36th minute when ten goal Richard Hanslow was first to Eric Graves’ left wing cross to send a thumping header low past Richards left hand. Swifts looked confident in possession, and Downing and Chris Conway both went close to levelling the score, and they finally drew level after Joe Billingham skipped past two defenders on the edge of the box, and saw his low drive well saved by Hall, before Nick MacPherson pounced to drill in the loose ball from six yards.
Conway went close once again, but two minutes later James Timmins conceded a needless free kick on the left, and Swifts were behind again when defender John Guy evaded the attention of Matt Hanson and powered in an unstoppable header to make it 2-1. Stourport continued to press forward, and Jim Hanson blazed wide after being set up by Downing, while Billingham tested Hall again with a fierce drive from the edge of the box.
With 17 minutes left and Swifts looking most likely to level, MacPherson’s misplaced pass fell straight to Hanslow, whose slide rule through ball played in Dylan Garnett, who raced through to fie low past Richards and make it 3-1. Jamie Clarke was introduced as Swifts still threatened, and his clever turn and cross saw Matt Fulloway head narrowly wide. Billingham’s free kick shaved the crossbar, but Swifts could not set up a grandstand finish.
SWIFTS: Richards, Joe Hanson, Fulloway, Timmins, Matt Hanson, Downing, Slevin, Jim Hanson, Billingham, MacPherson, Conway. SUBS USED: Platt, Danks, Jamie Clarke
Downing snatches late win for Swifts
Stourport Swifts 1 Racing Club Warwick 0 MPL Sat 21st Sept Att: 70
Stourport Swifts dominated for most of this match, but had to rely on a single 76th minute goal from Jack Downing to seal the three points.
Warwick failed to take the best chance of the first half in the 12th minute, when Jarrell Hylton raced clear, but failed to test Richards when Matt Fulloway’s last ditch tackle saved the day. John Pykett cut inside seven minutes later, but his tame shot was easily collected by Charlie Bannister in the Warwick goal. Jack Downing was then sent clear by Danks, but Bannister saved well with his feet as the striker tried to go past him.
Bannister then reacted quickly to tip over a deflected shot from John Pykett.
Swifts came out strongly after the break, and John Pykett saw his smart volley from 18 yards dip just over the bar, and ten minutes later Bannister saved with his feet from the same player and Mark Danks’s clever chip from the rebound came back off the bar. Defender Adam Miles then cleared Pykett’s goalbound header off the line with 63 minutes gone.
Downing then headed wide from a Danks free kick, and then with the match heading for a stalemate, he chased down what looked like a lost cause and forced full back Miles into a short backpass to the keeper, and pounced on the loose ball to drive through Bannister’s legs for the winner.
SWIFTS: Richards, Rankin, Fulloway, Timmins, Matt Hanson, Pykett, Slevin, Binner, Billingham, Danks, Downing, SUBS USED; Platt, Lewis Clarke
Swifts edged out after fightback
Heather St John’s 1 Stourport Swifts 0 MPL Tues 17th Sept Att: 56
Swifts fell behind again to an early goal and even an outstanding second half performance which produced nine attempts on goal and nine corners could not produce the win they deserved.
With just nine minutes gone a hesitant Swifts defence let in leading scorer Malachi Farquarson for the simplest goal he is likely to score all season with a tap in from six yards.
Swifts slowly began to take charge, with Martin Slevin going close from a long range free kick, Nick MaPherson twice seeing his shots blocked and Matt Smith firing over the top. Dean Waldron was forced off just before the break with a knee injury, and the introduction of Lewis Platt gave Swifts an added threat down the left. Jamie Clarke blazed over the top from close range, and defender Brett Lloyd cleared off the line when MacPherson seemed certain to level the score.
Seven corners in ten minutes saw Matt Fulloway twice go close, Danks shot narrowly wide and Chris Conway was inches from connecting with Downing’s right wing cross, but the game turned messy when Jamie Clarke was brought down in the box by Craig Evans and referee Alex Harris spent fully five minutes sorting out the protests from irate Swifts players, with finally just Mark Danks seeing yellow. Richards produced an outstanding save from Kieron Clarke after the heat settled, but still Swifts came back with a flurry of chances where Downing and Conway both headed wide of the target.
SWIFTS: Richards, Joe Hanson, Fulloway, Waldron, Matt Hanson, Downing, Slevin, Smith, MacPherson, Danks, Jamie Clarke. SUBS USED: Platt, Billingham, Conway
Swifts lift Cup
Stourport Swifts 7 Bewdley Town 0 Chris Reynolds Cup and John McDonald Trophy Fri 13th Sept Att: 103
Stourport Swifts won back the annual memorial cup for chairman Chris Reynolds and general manager John McDonald with a resounding win against last season’s winners Bewdley Town.
Swifts, still smarting from their poor display against league leaders Walsall Wood in midweek, and a run of three defeats in a row, surged back to form with a much improved performance and some well taken goals.
Jack Downing set up Joe Billingham to put Swifts in front after nine minutes, before further goals from Mark Danks, two from Downing and one from Chris Conway gave Swifts a 4-0 half time lead.
Bewdley responded well in the second half, and pressed Swifts back, with only some stout defending and two fine save from Richards preventing Dylan Hart, Ben Worthington and Dan Bayliss getting on the scoresheet.
In the 67th minute Lewis Platt somehow hit the post from Downing’s cross from the right when it seemed easier to score, but made amends ten minute later when he thumped home into the roof of the net following Slevin’s free kick, then Chris Conway added two more as Swifts ran out comfortable winners.
SWIFTS: Richards, Joe Hanson, Waldron, Fulloway, Matt Hanson, Downing, Slevin, Matt Smith, Billingham, Danks, Conway.SUBS USED: Timmins, Jim Hanson, MacPherson, Platt, Ryan Smith
Swifts slump to another defeat
Walsall Wood 3 Stourport Swifts 0 MPL Tues 10th September Att: 84
Stourport Swifts suffered a sound beating at the hands of last season’s runners up in midweek, and were fortunate not to come away with an even heavier defeat.
Swifts new look strike force had barely stretched their legs before leading scorer Joey Butlin and full back John Haynes had given Wood a racing start within the first six minutes. Jack Downing, the returning Jamie Clarke and Nick MacPherson were spectators as the hesitant Swifts defence twice made a mess of clearing their lines, and the home side took full advantage to take control of the game from the kick off.
Swifts failed to muster any serious threat in the first half, and remained uneasy at the back without the influence of skipper Matt Fulloway, and were fortunate that Richards pulled off a fine save from the dangerous Garfield Robinson, and that Kris Taylor’s 20 yard free kick came back off the bar.
Despite some improvement in the second half in terms of resistance, Swifts still failed to trouble Reiss Wagstaff in the Walsall Wood goal, and after Chad Degville-Cross came inside past three defenders and shot narrowly wide, Richards again was forced into action to deny Butlin.
With 62 minutes gone Jake Evans somehow gained the freedom of the Swifts 6 yard box to thump in Taylor’s free kick from the right and end a miserable night for the Swifts.
SWIFTS: Richards, Joe Hanson, Waldron, Timmins, Platt, Downing, Slevin, Lewis Clarke, Canavan, Jamie Clarke, MacPherson. SUBS USED: Danks, Billingham, Jim Hanson
Swifts out of FA Cup after replay loss
Boldmere St Michaels 4 Stourport Swifts 1 FA Cup Preliminary Round Mon 2nd September Att: 183
Stourport Swifts took an early lead in this FA Cup replay, but could not match the finishing of rampant Boldmere in this Preliminary Round replay.
After a 0-0 draw at the Walshes 9 days ago, and a 3-2 defeat on Saturday against Boldmere, Swifts finally got their noses in front with ten minutes gone when Drew Canavan picked out Nick MacPherson with a precision pass, and the striker lobbed coolly over Lewis Fenney in the Boldmere goal. Canavan then wasted a golden opportunity to extend the lead when fired over the top from close range, then Jim Hanson could not make a clean contact from two yards out and Boldmere scrambled clear. Just a minute later, Barry Healey, scorer of the winner on Saturday, cleared off the line following a Canavan corner.
Boldmere levelled when skipper Harry Craven was first to react after Swifts failed to clear Taylor’s free kick to drive low past Richards from 12 yards. Jim Hanson then shot tamely at Fenney after Canavan and Clarke combined well, then Craven showed how to take a chance when Clarke’s poor clearance fell invitingly for him, and he blasted an unstoppable shot into the top corner from 15 yards ten minutes before half time.
Swifts looked the set for an equaliser with their best spell of pressure after the break, with Hanson’s shot bravely blocked by Joe Lyng, and Slevin’s free kick just wide, but disaster struck with fifteen minutes to go when Richards could not hold Palmer’s free kick and Jack Skinner was on hand to tap in from six yards. Skinner then killed off any chance of a Swifts recovery with a superb header from Palmer’s free kick made it 4-1 with twelve minutes left.
SWIFTS: Richards, Joe Hanson, Fulloway, Timmins, Matt Hanson, Jim Hanson, Slevin, Lewis Clarke, Platt, Canavan MacPherson. SUBS USED: Smith, Conway.
Swifts crash out of FA Vase in 1st round
Boldmere St Michaels 3 Stourport Swifts 2 Buildbase FA Vase Sat 31st Aug Att: 81
Stourport Swifts went out in Round 1 of the FA Vase for the second year running as their watertight defence sprang a leak.
Swifts were a goal down after just two minutes when the bounce on Boldmere’s artificial pitch, plus a swirling wind, deceived keeper Dom Richards and Owen Parry tapped into an empty net.
Stourport responded well, and ten minutes later Brad Lindsey flattened Lewis Platt in the box with a clumsy challenge, and Mark Danks drove low past Lewis Fenney to level the score. Swifts then enjoyed their best spell of the match, and after 25 minutes took the lead when Danks’ cross was only half blocked and Jamie Clarke pounced to drive past Fenney from 8 yards out.
Swifts looked good for a half time lead, but on the stroke of 45 minutes, Rikardo Reid was sent clear and somehow evaded the challenge from three defenders to slide past Richards and make it 2-2.
Matt Fulloway was inches from restoring the lead five minutes after the break from Slevin’s free kick, but Swifts were undone shortly after when Parry’s clever backheel released Barry Healey surging forward, and he blasted an unstoppable rising shot past Richards at the neat post. Richards produced an amazing point blank save from Reid before Clarke turned a low cross from Jim Hanson over the bar when he could have done better. Sub Cameron Peters then shot narrowly wide from another Hanson cross in the dying minutes, but Swifts could not find the cutting edge to force extra time.
Swifts are back at Boldmere on Monday night in the FA Cup replay, kick off 7.30pm
SWIFTS: Richards, Timmins, Fulloway, Matt Hanson, Jim Hanson, Slevin, Lewis Clarke, Danks, Platt, Jamie Clarke, MacPherson. SUBS USED: Tustin, Peters, Lees
Swifts draw another blank
Worcester City 0 Stourport Swifts 0 MPL Mon 26th August Att: 360
Swifts drew a blank for the second successive match, and have only themselves to blame after gilt edged chances went begging.
Worcester began brightly, and Richards had to react fast to keep out Liam Lockett’s effort at the near post, and Lewis Platt cleared off the line following a right wing corner, and Jim Hanson did the same after Richards palmed out another effort from Lockett. After 21 minutes Dimitri Brown blazed over from close range as Worcester threatened again , but Swifts best chance of the half fell to Jamie Clarke, who took an extra touch when through on goal, but fired over the top from six yards.
Two minutes into the second half Platt cut inside from the left past two defenders but shot wide when clean through on goal, then Fulloway’s header from Canavan’s corner was tipped onto the bar by keeper Ted Cann.
Mark Danks gave Swifts a cutting edge when introduced after 67 minutes, but twice shot wide, while Jim Hanson also went close after narrowly failing to connect with Danks’ cross.
Richards came to the rescue late on with an outstanding double save from first Tyrell Ruddock then Jordan Harrison.
SWIFTS: Richards, Waldron, Fulloway, Matt Hnason, Jim Hanson, Slevin, Billingham, Canavan, Platt, Clarke, Peters. SUBS USED: Danks, Lees.
Swifts live to play another day
Stourport Swifts 0 Boldmere St Michaels 0 FA Cup Preliminary Round Sat 24th August Att: 108
Stourport Swifts can consider themselves fortunate to be in the hat for the 2nd Preliminary Round draw after this forgettable match last Saturday.
Boldmere, sitting winless at the bottom of the MPL before the game, controlled most of the play in the sweltering heat as Swifts, without Slevin, Timmins, MacPherson and struggled to create or mount any real pressure.
In the first half Dean Waldron did well to head clear a cross from the dangerous Ty Knight on the left, and Rikardo Reid threatened with a dipping 2o yard free kick.
After the break Swifts at least managed to get up a head of steam, with Canavan testing keeper Lewis Fenney at the near post, and Jim Hanson twice crossing well for first Jamie Clarke and then Lewis Clarke forcing Fenney into action. A careless Joe Billingham pass let in Owen Parry after 50 minutes, but Richards saved well to his left.
The match looked over for the Swifts in the 61st minute when Waldron brought down Stephen Palmer in the box, but Reid drove his spot kick wide of Richards’ right hand post. Swifts responded with their best spell, and Jamie Clarke cut inside to shoot but his shot was well blocked by Craven. Chris Conway blazed over from close range after Fulloway’s header from Canavan’c corner, and Jim Hanson saw his angled drive shave the bar.
Elliott Lees also went close, but his downward header just lacked the pace to beat Fenney.
SWIFTS: Richards, Waldron, Fulloway, Matt Hanson, Jim Hanson, Lewis Clarke, Billingham, Canavan, Platt, Jamie Clarke, Conway. SUBS USED: Danks, Joe Hanson, Lees.
Swifts have to settle for a point
Coventry Sphinx 1 Stourport Swifts 1 MPL Tues 20th August Att: 116
Stourport Swifts hit straight back after falling behind to another early goal, but despite being on top for most of the second half, had to be content with a point.
Their slow start was punished after Sphinx had twice threatened to take the lead, with Lewis Noone shooting narrowly wide, and Dominic Richards saving well from Lawrence Rawlings and Iyseden Christie, before defender Adam Bilic was on hand to lash in from six yards after Ryan Harkin’s shot came back off the bar.
The Swifts response was immediate, and in the 20th minute Cameron Peters scored his first goal for the club when he arrived at the far post to turn in past keeper Tom Cross following some great work from Jamie Clarke on the left. Jim Hanson was unlucky ten minutes later to see his long range effort fly narrowly wide with Cross stranded. Clarke then just failed to connect at the far post after Hanson had skipped past Tufan on the right.
Swifts were fortunate though when Sphinx striker Ryan Harkin hit the post on the stroke of half time.
In the second half Swifts pushed hard to get their noses in front, with Canavan twice going close, first seeing his shot blocked by a desperate tackle from Guest, then forcing a fine save from Cross after a clever pass from Clarke. Martin Slevin almost gave Swifts the lead after evading two challenges on the edge of the box, but his 20 yarder flashed over the top, then a Danks cross from the left was inches away from Jim Hanson on the far post.
Richards however came to the rescue in the dying minutes when he tipped Harkin’s low effort past the post.
SWIFTS: Richards, Timmins, Fulloway, Matt Hanson, Jim Hanson, Slevin Lewis Clarke, Canavan, Platt, Jamie Clarke, Peters
Swifts come back to win in style
Stourport Swifts 3 Coventry United 1 MPL Sat 17th August Att: 77
Stourport Swifts fell a goal behind early in the second half, but came back to turn the screw on visitors Coventry United and earn a well deserved win.
Swifts struggled to come to terms with a competitive Coventry side, in the first half, but two early chances fell to loan signing Cameron Peters from Bromsgrove Sporting, but he twice shot straight at keeper James Wardle.
In the space of four minutes United striker Jake Holt first blazed over on the turn after good work from Smith, then saw his fierce drive tipper around the post by Richards.
Richards then had to alert to turn over a goalbound header from skipper Matt Fulloway as he attempted to clear.
After 34 minutes Jamie Clarke looked to have put the Swifts in front after being set up by MacPherson, but his shot came back off the right hand post. Matt Gardner and Kyle Carey both tested Richards as Coventry finished the half strongly.
Manager Quentin Townsend introduced Lewis Platt at the break, but before Swifts could get into gear, Holt was sent clear by Aaron Williams, and he cooly slotted low past Richards after 52 minutes. A minute later Holt looked like he had increased the lead but Matt Fulloway cleared off the line in a scramble. Matt Hanson then replaced Birch and released Platt, becoming a constant threat on the left, who picked out Martin Slevin to level the score with a downward header from six yards. Swifts surged forwards in search of a winner, and Lewis Clarke, pushed back into midfield, gave his side a competitive edge missing in the first half. Jim Hanson skipped past fullback Melis Bushaj with ten minutes left, and drilled a low cross to the near post which Wardle could only parry, and Jamie Clarke was on hand to force in from a yard out to give Swifts the lead.
With four minutes left Cameron Peters broke into the box and was brought down by Bushaj, and Drew Canavan drilled low past Wardle from the spot to give Swifts a well earned three points.
SWIFTS: Richards, Timmins, Lewis Clarke, Fulloway, Jim Hanson, Slevin, Birch, Canavan, Jamie Carke, MacPherson, Peters. SUBS USED: Platt, Matt Hanson.
Swifts move into next round of FA Cup
Atherstone Town 1 Stourport Swifts 3 FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round Sat 10th Aug
Stourport Swifts had keeper Dom Richards to thank for a string of fine saves to carry them through to the Preliminary round of the FA Cup.
In a testing first half for the Swifts, Atherstone created the clearest opportunities, and Richards produced outstanding saves from Sam Belcher twice, Brady Middleton and Joe Obi. Richards then produced a fine double save from striker Middleton as Atherstone coped far better with the windy conditions. At the other end Swifts looked wasteful in front of goal, with Billingham blasting over following a Slevin corner, and Jim Hanson and Jamie Clarke both shooting tamely at Atherstone stopper Carl O’Neill. James Timmins then did well to block Naughton’s goalbound effort after a mistake by Fulloway.
Swifts were fastest out of the blocks in the second half, and Jamie Clarke was sent clear, rounded O’Neill, but somehow shot wide of an empty goal. Swifts then took the lead a minute later when after first seeing his shot blocked, Jamie Clarke crossed for Jim Hanson to head in at the far post.
Atherstone pressed hard after falling behind, with Middleton lobbing over the top when sent clear, and Nathan Haines just failed to connect with Thomson’s free kick at the far post. Swifts were looking more assured after taking the lead, and scored again in the 68th minute when Matt Fulloway forced in from close range following another Slevin corner from the right, and increased their lead again when MacPherson caught Catwright in possession, and put Clarke through, and though his goalbound shot was cleared off the line by Scott Goodby, Joe Billingham was on hand to drive in the rebound.
Middleton pulled one back for Atherstone in the last miunte when fired in from ten ten yard past Richards after Swifts twice failed to clear.
Swifts now meet Boldmere St Michaels at home on Saturday 24th August in the next round.
SWIFTS: Richards, Waldron, Fulloway, Timmins, Jim Hanson, Slevin, Lewis Clarke, Billingham, Platt, MacPherson, Jamie Clarke.
SUBS USED: Matt Hanson, Lees, Tustin
Missed chances cost Swifts
Sporting Khalsa 2 Stourport Swifts 1 MPL Tues 6th August
A host of missed chances in the first half of this match cost Stourport Swifts dearly as they went down 2-1 at Sporting Khalsa.
Once again they fell behind to an early goal after a sluggish start, when Dan Westwood pounced at the far post to force in with the Swifts defence napping.
Swifts gradually got to grips with the game, and it was a sign of things to come when Canavan put Jim Hanson through on goal but was given offside.
The Khalsa back line were extremely fortunate when first Platt and then Conway were also adjudged offside, and after 25minutes goalkeeper Sam Arnold somehow escaped with just a booking when came out of his box and floored Conway as he raced through on goal. Swifts had the last laugh however when Canavan fired the resulting free kick over the wall and past Arnold to level the score.
Dean Waldron saw a blistering 30 yard effort parried out by Arnold, and Conway just failed to finish the rebound as the keeper collected at the second attempt. In the 38th minute Billingham played in Conway again through the square Khalsa defence, but the striker fired narrowly wide with the goal at his mercy, and Arnold saved bravely at the feet of Platt when Swifts broke through again.
Khalsa were a different proposition after the break, and although Billingham blazed a good chance over the top after a cross by Hanson, Swifts were pushed back and looked vulnerable at set pieces. Dom Richards managed to tip a fine effort from Westwood onto the bar from close range, but after a corner from the left which Swifts twice failed to clear, Westwood put Khalsa back in front. Five minutes later Swifts escaped when Fulloway somehow blocked David Meese’s shot on the line when he looked certain to score. Meese was unlucky again when his effort came back off the post with Richards stranded.
Swifts introduced Danks and Crowe up front as they searched for an equaliser, and Canavan drove straight at Arnold from the edge of the box, and with minutes on the clock, Danks broke through on the right after a mazy run, but his driven cross somehow evaded Crowe, Canavan and Platt as it fizzed across the six yard box.
SWIFTS: Richards, Waldron, Fulloway, Timmins, Jim Hanson, Canavan, Slevin, Billingham, Platt, Conway, MacPherson. SUBS USED: Danks, Crowe, Lewis Clarke.
Swifts come from behind to seal first win
Stourport Swifts 3 Selston 2 MPL Sat 3rd August
Stourport Swifts were a goal down after just five minutes but battled back to take three points in their first league match of the season against newly promoted Selston.
A freak rebound left Selston striker Joe Butler in the clear and he made no mistake a dipping volley past Dom Richards from 18 yards.
Swifts hit back hard, and Jim Hanson saw his goalbound shot hit Selston keeper Alex Smith- Eccles' legs after a fine cross from Platt to the far post.
Drew Canavan’s 20 yard free kick left Eccles-Smith scrambling, but shaved the post on it’s way wide. Hanson then blazed high and wide from a good position after being set up by Clarke.
Swifts were level after 27 minutes when Lewis Platt crossed, and Jamie Clarke, making his first appearance for the Swifts, headed powerfully down and in at the far post. Just 7 minutes later Swifts went ahead for the first time when Matt Fulloway headed in off the post from Canavan’s pinpoint cross.
With Swifts in full control, Selston were awarded a bonus when Joe Billingham was judged to have handled in the box when the ball was driven straight at him from a yard away, but Henry Brooks took full advantage to drive low past Richards to make the scores level at the break.
In the second half Jamie Clarke twice went round the keeper after being sent clear by Macpherson, but saw his shots block on the line by first Renshaw then Ben Moore.
After 66 minutes, Lewis Platt was sent sprawling in the box and Canavan sent Eccles-Smith the wrong way to put the Swifts back in front.
Jamie Clarke skipped past two defenders on the left as Swifts looked to extend their lead late on, but Ieuan Crowe blazed over the top from close range.
SWIFTS: Richards, Waldron, Fulloway, Matt Hanson, Jim Hanson, Slevin, Canavan, Billingham, Platt, Jamie Clarke, MacPherson. SUBS USED: Timmins, Crowe, Lewis Clarke
Stourport Swifts 1 Droitwich Spa 2 Pre season friendly Tues 23rd July
Swifts fielded a much changed side in the first half as manager Quentin Townsend had a closer look at some of his new players and emerging youngsters from the Under 18’s,but apart from off target efforts from Billingham, Ieuan Crowe and Mark Danks, did not show the goal threat that was seen in the previous two matches.
The only goal of the first half came when Chris Hayden brought down Morris in the box and Connor Collins stepped up to blast past Richards from the spot.
The introduction of Slevin, Platt and Macpherson saw Swifts looking far more dangerous, and Macpherson turned inside with 11 minutes gone in the second half, and drove smartly past Matt Oliver in the Droitwich goal.
Swifts took control for the first time in an impressive spell after the equaliser, with Conway seeing his chip headed onto the bar, before Oliver saved well at his feet, and Jim Hanson raced clear but Oliver saved well with his legs when another goal looked likely.
With 14 minutes left Matt Fulloway brought down James lemon in the box with a clumsy challenge, and Collins again stepped up to score from the spot.
SWIFTS: Richards, Howard, Matt Hanson, Fulloway, Hayden, Clarke, Canavan, Billingham, Jim Hanson, Crowe, Danks. SUBS USED: Platt, Slevin, Conway, Macpherson, Lees, Charlie Howard, Waldron, Jarvis.
Stourport Swifts 0 Kidderminster Harriers 1 Tues 16th July Pre season friendly
A crowd of over 200 saw a competitive friendly as Swifts gave a good account of themselves against a strong Kidderminster Harriers side.
Harriers were the first to threaten when Richard Prasketwent clear after Matt Hanson miscued, but shot wide from a good position.
Drew Canavan twice went close for the Swifts with two free kicks within a couple of minutes, one curling just wide, and the other shaving the crossbar. After 25 minutes Martin Slevin was unlucky to see his fierce free kick from the edge of the box cannon back off the inside of Tom Palmer’s right hand post, and ten minutes before the break Nick MacPherson steered a clever flick from Slevin just wide.
In the second half Harriers saw a lot more possession, but Quentin Townsend’s new look back three were still held firm and Swifts 17 year old keeper Ryan Smith was rarely tested.
Chris Conway was put through by Canavan in the 65th minute, but Palmer saved with his legs, and Elliott Lees saw his dangerous cross cut out by Palmer.
The only goal of the game came in the 76th minute when a speculative shot from Taylor-Randle squirmed from Smith’s grasp and Darragh Lowth was on hand to score from close range.
SWIFTS: Smith, Waldron, Fulloway, Matt Hanson, Jim Hanson, Billingham, Slevin Canavan, Platt, MacPherson, Conway. SUBS USED: Timmins, Joe Hanson, Lees, Matt Smith, Hayden, Danks
Kidderminster Harriers U23’s 1 Stourport Swifts 6 Sat 13th July Pre season friendly
Swifts continued their pre season goal fest with a second 6-1 win in a week against Harriers’Under 23’s.
After falling behind to a goal in the 3rd minute, Swifts took control to rack up a 5-1 half time lead with goals from Chris Conway, Yi Crowe (2) , Matt Fulloway and Jim Hanson.
Despite making 4 changes at the break, Swifts continued to dominate, but the Harriers goal led a charmed life as Macpherson twice hit the woodwork, and Crowe somehow miscued from 2 yards out.
Drew Canavan drilled home a 56th minute penalty after being brought down in the box for the only goal of the second half.
Pershore Town 1 Stourport Swifts 6 Sat 6th July Pre season friendly
Stourport Swifts began their pre season matches with a convincing win over West Midlands League Pershore Town.
Manager Quentin Townsend introduced several new players as Swifts look to improve on last season, but after a scrappy start in which both teams struggled to settle, it was Swifts goal threat which caught the eye.
Nick MacPherson opened the scoring with a neat finish from ten yards out, but a sloppy tackle from Matt Hanson gifted Pershore an equaliser from the spot ten minutes later. R’mar Murray put Swifts back in front with a low drive from a narrow angle, and Chris Conway, looking sharp after his long spell of inactivity last season, made it three with a neat turn and finish.
In the second half MacPherson added his second, then Murray produced the goal of the match when he skipped past three players in a mazy run and fired a fierce drive high into the top corner, and Jim Hanson rounded off an impressive display with a left foot screamer with five minutes to go.