Swifts draw a blank
Stourport Swifts 0 AFC Wulfrunians 1 MPL Sat 26th Sept Att: 123
Stourport Swifts missed chances cost them dearly as they went down one nil at home on Saturday.
After an early scare when Martin Slevin cleared off the line, Bailey Fuller just failed to connect with a Joe Hanson cross at the far post, and in the 15th minute Nick MacPherson raced clear of the Wulfrunians defence but delayed his shot and allowed Chris Knight to get back and block his eventual effort. Another Joe Hanson cross saw Jack Watts’ goalbound header deflected wide and Harrison Yates’ snap shot was saved by Tom Hayward in the Wulfs goal.
After 31 minutes it was the visitors who took the lead when James Spray turned inside 20 yards out and drove a curling shot past Dom Richards. Watts shot tamely at Hayward from a good position as Swifts responded, but then had a narrow escape when Jack Pearlman thudded a blistering 30 yard effort against Richards’ right hand post. Swifts best chance of the half fell to Kirk Layton, who on the stroke of half time failed to make contact with Fuller’s low cross from the left from three yards out with the goal at his mercy.
Wulfrunians dug in well in the second half, and despite some long spells of pressure from the Swifts, an equaliser did not look likely. Manager Quentin Townsend introduced Joe Phillips and Drew Canavan, and Phillips quickly brought a smart save from Hayward, and Jim Hanson saw his ten yard effort blocked by Wulfs skipper Ben Jevons. Swifts best effort came with five minutes left from a 25 yard Canavan free kick, but his curling shot came back off the crossbar to see Swifts bright start to the season dampened by two defeats in a row.
SWIFTS: Richards, Joe Hanson, Cordell, Wollacott, Yates, Fuller, Slevin, Layton, Jim Hanson, MacPherson, Watts. SUBS USED: Canavan, Phillips, Danks
Swifts have two away games this week, with a visit to league leaders Sporting Khalsa on Tuesday, and Coventry United next Saturday
Swifts slump to first defeat
Romulus 2 Stourport Swifts 1 MPL Mon 21st Sept Att: 107
Stourport Swifts crashed to their first league defeat of the season after taking an early lead at Romulus last night.
Swifts started with some early pressure which saw Joe Phillips test Stuart Parsons in the Romulus goal with a 20 yard effort, then Harrison Yates and Jack Watts combined well on the left, but Watts’ low cross somehow missed all four of the Swifts players in box. Watts saw his snap shot fizz narrowly wide before Bailey Fuller turned smartly in the box to force a fine save from Parson, and Jim Hanson was on hand to drive in the rebound from six yards out off a defender.
Romulus slowly began to build some pressure themselves as they looked to level, with Malachi Farquarson narrowly wide with a spectacular overhead effort, and Richards saved well with his feet from Chad Degville-Cross. After 36 minutes Ryan Wollacott did well to block another Farquarson effort, but from the resulting corner Romulus skipper Cameron Lee powered in a bullet header past Richards to equalise. Jim Hanson fired into the side netting from a narrow angle, and Drew Canavan saw a long range effort dip over the bar as Swifts looked to get back in front.
In the second half Romulus stepped up a gear, and dominated possession for long spells, and while Fuller and Canavan went close following a Phillips free kick, Farquarson should have scored after being picked out by a Johnathan Haynes cross from the left, but headed wide. Swifts best chance in the second half came when Canavan picked out Watts with a pass which split the Romulus defence to send Watts clear, but a last gasp tackle from Lee blocked his shot.
Romulus snatched the winner with just 3 minutes left when Kieron Clarke squeezed in a cross from the left and Degville-Cross was on hand to head in from five yards out.
SWIFTS: Richards, Joe Hanson, Timmins, Wollacott, Yates, Fuller, Slevin, Jim Hanson, Phillips, Canavan, Watts. SUBS USED: MacPherson, Johnston, Danks.
Swifts can’t break through
Stourport Swifts 1 Lye Town 1 MPL Sat 19 Sept Att: 156
Stourport Swifts could not follow up their midweek performance and stuttered to a point at home against Lye on Saturday.
After mauling Tividale for seven on Tuesday, a bumper crowd was not treated to a repeat this time out. In the early stages Lye were content to sit back and soak up any Swifts pressure, and only Jack Watts threatened going forward, but his shot was blocked by defender Matt martin.
Swifts took the lead in the 26th minute when Lye failed to clear Martin Slevin’s corner, and Tyreace Brown diverted the ball into his own net. Bailey Fuller saw his 20 yard free kick well saved by Ben Newey, 8 minutes before the break.
Lye’s bright start to the second half seemed to catch the Swifts off guard, and they were soon level when Sammy Prince drove a fierce shot past Richards from the edge of the box off the underside of the bar. Substitute Orlando Joao then cut inside and fired narrowly over the bar.
Swifts defender James Timmins saw red when he was dismissed for a second yellow card, but Newey produced another outstanding save from a Watts header as they still pressed for a winner. Aaron Brett was also inches away from a pinpoint cross from Watts, but Swifts had to settle for a point when they finished the game with nine men after Kirk Layton finished the match in the Sin Bin.
SWIFTS: Richards, Joe Hanson, Timmins, Wollacott, Yates, Danks, Slevin, Layton, Fuller, MacPherson, Watts.
SUBS USED: Brett, Phillips, Jim Hanson
Swifts are away at Romulus on Monday night, and at home to AFC Wulfrunians, kick off 3.00pm
Watts treble gets Swifts flying
Tividale 1 Stourport Swifts 7 Tues 15th September MPL Att: 126
Summer signing Jack Watts led the way with a hat trick as Stourport Swifts romped to their biggest ever Midland Premier league win.
Manager Quentin Townsend was forced to make several changes due to injuries, but Tividale still had no answer to Swifts clinical night in front of goal.
Aaron Brett was first on the scoresheet when he headed in from close range after nine minutes, and seven minutes later Watts was on hand to make it two after good work from Fuller on the right.
Tividale were working hard to get back on terms, and Richards in the Swifts goal almost allowed Dan Smith a chance on goal after misjudging a long ball from Tom Hurdman, but recovered well, and was fortunate to see a 30 yard free kick from Jacob Barnes come back off the post.
After the break Joe Hanson scored his first goal for the Swifts with a thumping 15 yard drive after Fuller squared his low cross perfectly for him to strike first time past Adam Harrison in the Tividale goal. Watts notched his second when he left two defenders in his wake to race clear and coolly slot low past the advancing Harrison two minutes later. Watts completed his hat trick in the 76th minute when he again broke free of the Tividale defence to slip his shot through Harrison’s legs to make it 5-0.
In a crazy four minute spell which started in the 82nd minute, Tividale pulled a goal back when skipper Curtis Cocking headed in a right side corner, but Swifts responded immediately as Drew Canavan thumped home number six, and two minutes later James Timmins headed home Slevin's right side corner from close range.
SWIFTS: Richards, Joe Hanson, Timmins, Wollacott, Yates, Fuller, Slevin, Layton, Danks, Brett, Watts. SUBS USED: Phillips, Canavan, Jim Hanson
Slevin snatches hard earned late win
Stourport Swifts 2 Selston 1 MPL Sat 12th September Att: 51
An 88th minute goal from Martin Slevin gave Stourport Swifts a hard fought win in their opening league match of the new season.
Swifts struggled to make their mark against a dogged Selston side who battled for every ball and denied Swifts the space play. With the Swifts misplacing far too many passes, it looked like likely to be a difficult afternoon in the early stages. Bailey Fuller played in Jack Watts after 14 minutes, but his tame shot was easily gathered by Matt Leam in the Selston goal. Carl Moore shot wide when well placed to score for Selston, but on the stroke of half time Swifts finally produced some quality when Joe Hanson crossed from the right and Watts rose to plant a smart header past leam to give his side the lead.
Selston pushed forward at the start of the second half and were rewarded with an equaliser in the 53rd minute when Kenan Layton turned on the edge of the box and drilled a low angled shot past Richards. Swifts introduced Aaron Brett and his first time ten yard effort from Fuller’s low cross came back off the post. Both George Layton and Jordan Black passed up the chances to put Selston ahead as both shot wide as a draw looked increasingly likely, but with two minutes to go Jack Watts persistence paid off when he robbed defender John Fones in possession and squared a low cross for Slevin to arrive and drive home the winner from twelve yards.
SWIFTS: Richards, Joe Hanson, Timmins, Wollacott, Matt Hanson, Fuller, Slevin, Layton, Canavan, Phillips, Watts. SUBS USED: Brett, Danks, Jim Hanson
Swifts fall at first hurdle
Stourport Swifts 1 Coventry United 3 Emirates FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round Att:160
Stourport Swifts crashed out of the FA Cup in their first competitive match since 14th March
Coventry were the winners by the same scoreline to go top of the table back in March, but this match was a different affair as Swifts can count themselves unlucky not to have taken this match at least to a penalty shoot out.
Stourport opened brightly, and with 8 minutes gone Nick MacPherson robbed Quirke in possession and sent Bailey Fuller free on the right, but his low cross was just behind Jack Watts. Six minutes later Fuller brought the first save of the match from Coventry keeper Reece Francis, who parried away his fierce ten yard effort.
United began to force their way into the match, and Joe Cairns headed over at the far post when it looked easier to score, but Riley-Cole O’ Sullivan made no mistake when he forced home from close range in the 37th minute after Carey headed back across the box.
Seconds after the break Watts shot wide from a good position after being picked out by Drew Canavan, but in the 53rd minute the game turned when after what seemed a clear foul on Canavan, Coventry broke in behind the Swifts defence and Kyle Carey turned inside to curl a fine shot inside Richards’ far post. As the arguments continued, Swifts responded at once to reduce the arrears when Ryan Wollacott headed in from a right side free kick.
Coventry full back Harrison Sawyer was sent off with 20 minutes left for a nasty challenge on Kirk Layton, which signalled some fierce Swifts pressure during which Johnny Johnston shot wide, Watts saw his close range shot blocked, and defender Joshua O’Grady cleared off the line. But with Swifts throwing everthing forward for an equaliser, Coventry broke in injury time and Carey made the game safe with his second goal of the match.
SWIFTS: Richards, Joe Hanson, Timmins, Wollacott, Jackson, Jim Hanson, Layton, Phillips, Fuller, Watts, MacPherson. SUBS USED: Canavan, Johnston, Danks.
Swifts are away at Selston for the opening Midland Premier League match of the season on Saturday, kick off 3.00pm, and at home next Tuesday, 8th September to Gresley, kick off 7.45pm
Swifts level in last friendly
Stourport Swifts 1 Droitwich Spa 1
Stourport Swifts came back to draw against Droitwich on Saturday in their final pre season warm up.
A Jim Hanson header early in the second half made it all square after Scott Smith had given Droitwich the lead with a far post header on the stroke of half time.
Manager Quentin Townsend rested the bulk of his first team squad at the start with Tuesday’s FA Cup tie against Coventry United coming up, but he was happy with the performance of his Under 21 debutants. ”This was great experience for these youngsters. Most are still only 18 or 19, and they stepped up well. Sam Howard and Ethan Hanson in particular handled the Droitwuch strikers really well, as they scored more than 40 goals between them last season”
Only four first team regulars started the game, including skipper Martin Slevin, who will be suspended for the FA Cup match, carried over from the last match of the season, ironically against Coventry United, back on March 14th. “That’s got to be the longest one match suspension anyone has ever served,” said Townsend.
SWIFTS: Smith, Joe Hanson, Howard, Ethan Hanson, Phillips, Cordell, Slevin, Johnston, Syson, Brett. SUBS USED: Jim Hanson, Canavan, Jackson, Vine, Timmins, MacPherson
Swifts win another warm up
Stourport Swifts 4 Redditch United 1 Att:105
Stourport Swifts turned on the style again with another pre season win against Southern League Premier Central Redditch United.
A lightning start put Stourport in the driving seat, when after just four minutes Bailey Fuller squared for Jack Watts to drive smartly past Ollie Taylor in the Redditch goal to put Swifts in front. Redditch almost levelled in the 12th minute when former Swifts striker Dan Sweeney tested Under 21’s keeper Ryan Smith, who saved well low at his near post. Luke Shearer also came within inches of levelling the score but his low drive came back off the post. At the other end Taylor produced a fine save from the dangerous Fuller when he tipped over a curling 20 yarder.
On the half hour it was Swifts turn to hit the woodwork when MacPherson’s fierce shot came back off the post, but two minutes later Joe Phillips’ bullet header from Fuller’s corner put Swifts two in front, before Watts drilled a clinical drive into the bottom corner from 15 yards to make it 3-0.
Redditch came back strongly in the second half after both managers made changes, and headed over when he should have scored, and Smith saved well from Shearer low to his left. Ioan Richards pulled one back for Redditch with a well placed free kick from 25 yards, but with six minutes to go, Swifts rounded off an impressive display when Jonny Johnson raced clear and rounded Taylor to score.
SWIFTS: Smith, Cordell, Wollacott, Timmins, Jackson, Layton, Slevin, Phillips, MacPherson, Watts, Fuller SUBS USED: Joe Hanson, Jim Hanson, Brett, Johnson, Danks
Swifts hit GNP for six
GNP Sports 0 Stourport Swifts 6
Stourport Swifts stepped up their pre season preparation with a 6-0 rout of Division 1 side GNP Sports.
Swifts opened the scoring after just four minutes when Jim Hanson was brought down in the box and Jack Watts fired in from the spot.
Three minutes later Aaron Brett and Watts combined to set up Jim Hanson who cooly slotted home from eight yards out. Swifts went 3-0 up on 18 minutes when Watts was played through and chipped over keeper John Cleary from 20 yards. Bailey Fuller, one of three new signings from Kidderminster Harriers, then opened the GNP defence with some clever footwork, and squared for Brett to tap in from close range.
Swifts eased off after the break, but still managed to add a couple more to their tally, first when Cleary’s poor clearance dropped to Nick MacPherson, who lobbed the ball straight back over his head to make it five, and then Elliott Lees was sent through by Mark Danks and finished smartly from a tight angle into the roof of the net.
Swifts return to action
Shawbury Athletic 2 Stourport Swifts 3
Stourport Swifts were back on the pitch last night for the first time since March 13th in this pre season friendly at The Ludlow Stadium, played behind closed doors.
Manager Quentin Townsend took a full squad, including three of his six new signings, and raced into 3-0 lead in the first half. After 20 minutes Bailey Fuller and Jack Watts combined well to create an opening for Nick MacPherson to score from eight yards, and just five minutes later Fuller set up Watts for a close range tap in to make it two. With 37 minutes gone a Mark Danks corner was headed home by Ryan Wollacott to make it 3-0, but Shawbury’s Keanu Cooper pulled one back just before the break.
Townsend used all six of his substitutes at the break, and although it took time to find some rhythm, Aaron Brett twice failed to increase the Swifts lead with just the keeper to beat. Martin Slevin and Kirk Layton both hit the Shawbury bar with long range efforts as Swifts got their act together, but Shawbury set up a jittery last ten minutes for the Swifts when they grabbed a second with a curling 20 yarder from Joe Ratcliffe.
Townsend was delighted with their first outing for almost five months, and said after the game “We looked very sharp in the first half, and Jack Watts linked really well with Bailey Fuller and Nick MacPherson up front”. Townsend though was disappointed that last season’s skipper Matt Fulloway has left to join title chasers Sporting Khalsa. “We wish Matt well, but we will miss him. With Ryan Wollacott coming back it would have been fantastic if we could have played them together.”
SWIFTS: Richards, Cordell, Wollacott, Timmins, Jackson, Fuller, Slevin, Layton, Danks, Watts, MacPherson. Subs used: Jim Hanson, Joe Hanson, Matt Hanson, Brett, Yates, Phillips.