Magnificent team performance sees Swifts through to first round proper

Swifts travelled to north London to meet their strong Bostik League rivals in this vital FA Cup clash with a place in the first round proper of the competition at stake.

With an excellent crowd of over 400; a club record for Haringey, over 100 of whom were Swifts fans it was certain to be a great ocassion and Swifts started well, dominating possession and restricting the hosts to break away attacks.

Swifts almost took an early lead on 6 minutes when skipper Lewis Dark’s header was cleared off the line after Ryan Henshaw headed back across goal from a corner. It was no great surprise then when Swifts took the lead on 13 minutes when Lewis Godbold picked up a dropped ball from the keeper Pajetet and fired a cross from the byeline which was turned into his own net by Yiga.

Striker Luke Callander then had a chance to make it two, latching on to a cross from the left, seeing his left foot strike saved well by Pajetet. Ryan Henshaw then picked up a yellow card before a corner only partially cleared by Danny Sambridge was volleyed over by home midfielder Dtassi-Sambu. Home left back Michael O’Donoghue then had an excellent left foot drive from long range which went just wide.

At half time Swifts looked good value for their lead but the early stages of the second half saw the hosts come back strongly. First they hit the post from close range and then dominated possession with Swifts having to defend deeply. The equaliser came on 59 minutes when top scorer Ralston Gabriel finished off a fine passing move from close range following a driven left wing cross.

Swifts nearly responded immediately when Lewis Godbold’s glancing header went just wide but that was cue for the Luke Callander show to begin! On 66 minutes he picked up a through ball from Guillem Ramon, turning 2 defenders to slot through to Sam Bantick who finished emphatically. Luke then only 4 minutes later broke away superbly, beating 2 defenders before being fouled heavily before he could shoot. He then got up to slot home the resulting penalty kick on 69 minutes.

With speedy striker Josh Fagbohun replacing Sam Bantick just after his goal, he then made a great run down the right, sending over an excellent cross which Callander slotted home at the far post to make it 4-1. In an 8 minute period Callander had scored 2 and made 1 and literally won the game for Swifts, showing tremendous skill and strength in the process. Having said that, it was a brilliant team performance in both halves which sent the hosts to their first defeat in 12 matches, having won all of their last 7.

This proved to be an historic win for the Swifts, whose travelling fans were sent home delighted and with fans and players celebrating together after the game. Swifts now eagerly await Monday night’s first round draw which will be televised live on BBC at 7pm. A plumb home draw against a league one or two club would be great for the club in what has already been a memorable season. National media attention will now descend on the club, being one of the lowest ranking sides left in the competition, as well as the highest scorers.

What a season so far it has been for Jody and the boys!

See match highlights here: