Sunday, 4 September 2011

Swifts Fail to Topple Dominoes

We ignored the cricket match on the adjacent ground ...
Swifts are in the gold and black in the clips and pics below

Leigh Miller (Stone Dominoes) about to make another clean catch in the second half
Hopperational details
Date & Venue
3 September 2011 at Walshes Meadow
Stourport Swifts 1 (Mahmoud 6)
Stone Dominoes 1 (Griffin 89 pen)
FA Cup Preliminary Round.  Stourport play at step 4 in the Southern D1 South & West while Stone are in their second season at Step 5 in the North-West Counties Premier.
There were practical reasons behind this choice of venue today – but #2 son Chris aka @yappattack joined me.  He is not yet a fully-fledged groundhopper, but there’s time.  It's in the genes.  Well done and thanks to everyone involved in promoting and supporting Non-League Day 2011.
This match in one sentence
Unlucky for Stone, who took an early lead against their higher-ranked opponents and held on comfortably enough until the last moments of the game.
So what?
Barwell must wait until Tuesday evening’s replay to find out who they will be playing in the next round.
The drama unfolds
Stone started brightly and the first you-are-the-ref clip is from six minutes into the game.

Omar Mahmoud stepped up to take the kick.  0-1

Stourport were not playing well.  After half an hour they could easily have gone two down.  The Stone goalkeeper had a fairly quiet half as the defence dealt well enough with the home side’s long balls from the back.  Mahmoud was the best player on the pitch by a street.  0-1 at half-time

Spectators in the gents at half-time heard the home manager’s unhappiness through the walls.  He was angry about negative body language and about his side failing to get into danger areas.  Being of a sensitive disposition, I went back to pitchside.  Stourport started the second half stronger and began to play the ball on the ground in their approach.  The next clip shows a chance from a 56th minute corner, and the one after that (72 mins) shows how Stone keeper Leigh Miller gave his teammates confidence with a number of safe catches, and that Stone got back into the game after weathering the initial storm.

Stourport continued to press, but the Stone defence held firm.

Stone made their own substitution and brought Mahmoud into the centre of midfield – a good move.  They looked to have held on for the win until, in the 89th minute, striker John Griffin was bundled over in the box.  The clip shows that he got up and tucked away the penalty, though Miller got a touch. 1-1

Both sides had half-chances in the closing seconds, and Mahmoud himself almost clinched the win in the last move of the game.  Final score 1-1


Omar Mahmoud of Stone Dominoes with honourable mentions to his teammates Leigh Miller (goalkeeper) and James Curley (centre-back).  He showed enough composure to score by following up his saved penalty, was good on the ball and protected possession well, and could even have won it in the last seconds.
A snippet from the programme
Surprisingly, nothing about Non-League Day.

From the manager’s notes:
“It’s very important not to lose sight of reality: we have the smallest budget in the league, we have nine players aged 20 or under, five at only 18, two at 19 years and two at 20 years of age.  In a squad of 17 we are going to come up against, on a regular basis, teams that are established and experienced with good funds, therefore we as a side need to work twice as hard to compete.”
Rod Brown is getting his explanations in early.

The Swifts' fund-raising dinner later this month will have "Big Ron" Atkinson AND a comedian... make up your own jokes for this one, please.
What I learned today
The match kickoff was moved to 1.30pm because of the town carnival.

I really have no idea.  "Oliver Twist" I think, but don't quote me.
Brown Owl must have seriously good contacts in the haulage industry
There was only one winner today ...
What Next?
Watch the @GrahamYapp Twitter feed for details – work commitments allowing, I hope to get to at least one replay this week.

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