MATCH REPORT: Walker and Price goals send nine-man Swifts through to play-off final at Maldon

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By JAMES COLASANTI

RESULT: Aveley 0-2 Heybridge Swifts

COMPETITION: Bostik North Play-Off Semi-Final

DATE: Wednesday, May 1, 2019

VENUE: Parkside

ATTENDANCE: 573

SCORERS (MINUTE): Dan Walker (18), Matt Price (91)

IN A NUTSHELL: A game that had a bit of everything. But when the dust settled – it was nine-man Swifts who saw off ten-man Millers to set up a mouth-watering play-off final date at derby rivals Maldon on Sunday.

KEY ACTION: After the disappointment of losing experienced midfielder Nick Brown to injury early on, Swifts took the lead in spectacular style. Evans Kouassi broke down the right and fizzed in a low cross for Dan Walker to steer home at the near post with an outrageous Cruyff flick. The hosts had a great chance to level at the start of the second-half but ex-Swift Sam Bantick headed Sam Cross’ excellent cross wide. And the game absolutely exploded ten minutes after the restart with three sendings off following the same incident. Swifts midfielder Charlie Kendall was shown a second yellow for a foul on ex-Swift Adam Bailey-Dennis. The challenge sparked an ugly melee which saw straight reds issued to Swifts’ Manny Osei-Owusu and Bantick. So it was nine against ten! And it played out in predictably tense fashion until left-back Joe Claridge sent a raking ball over the top for sub Matt Price to race in and slot calmly under advancing keeper Lamar Johnson.

SWIFTS STAR MAN: Evans Kouassi (probably!). The Swifts winger was unplayable at times. But there were terrific performances from Swifts all over the park, with notable displays from Kreshnic Krasniqi, Dan Walker and Toib Adeyemi.

SWIFTS DEBUTS: None.

INJURY CONCERNS: Nick Brown. Went off after an early awkward fall.

ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: 9/10

NEXT MATCH:  Maldon & Tiptree (away), Bostik North Play-Off Final, Sunday, May 5, 3pm KO.