Swifts survived a tough test in this game at the impressive new Parkside stadium of their Essex hosts on Saturday and showed just how much they have improved since their last visit to Aveley.
On the new 3G surface both sides seemed to find it difficult to adapt with passes going astray and crosses not finding their men, although Swifts dominated the early stages of the game with a number of good attacks and Bantick linking well with Callender.
Luque nearly put Swifts ahead when his superb volley was well saved by home’ keeper Rhys Madden following Ben Griffiths excellent ball to the far post. Full back Guillem Ramon looked dangerous going forward and his shot on the run went just wide of the post.
Aveley’s back 4 was well marshalled by skipper Jack Barry, while their full back Paul Preston had an excellent match, keeping close tabs on Swifts’ top scorer Luque. Ex Swifts striker Adam Bolle battled hard up front but found it difficult with Henshaw and Dark once more proving a great central defensive pairing.
It seemed only a matter of time before Swifts scored and the goal came on 34 minutes when excellent passing and movement saw Sam Bantick shoot from close range, being denied by the feet of Madden, before Luke Callander gratefully slotted home the rebound.
The second half was a different affair and the first 20 minutes saw Aveley dominate and they were unlucky not to get an equaliser with a header from Jack Barry gainst the bar from a corner, before Jack Giddens made a great save at the far post from a right-wing cross. Swifts found it hard to get flowing attacks going, although did hit the bar when a home defender mis kicked.
Most of the attacks from the home side involved high balls into the box and these were dealt with superbly by Jack Giddens, whose handling was once more exemplary, catching everything the home side had to offer, and the back four competing so well in the air.
So the Swifts passed the first of their tough tests ahead and this will stand them in good stead for this Tuesday’s visit to Canvey Island, kick off 7.45pm.
Swifts star man: Guillem Ramon