MATCH REPORT: Swifts win shoot-out at Park Drive for play-off final victory and a shot at promotion

Avatar
By JAMES COLASANTI

RESULT: Maldon & Tiptree 2-2 Heybridge Swifts (AET)
(Swifts win 2-0 in a penalty shoot-out)

COMPETITION: Bostik North Play-Off Final

DATE: Sunday, May 5, 2019

VENUE: Park Drive

ATTENDANCE: 945

SCORERS (MINUTE): Dsane (90), Awotwi (92) / Nick Brown (48), Evans Kouassi (82)

IN A NUTSHELL: Swifts hold their nerve to win penalty shoot-out and claim a famous derby win at Park Drive. All eyes will turn to a match in Gloucestershire tomorrow now. In order to confirm promotion, Swifts now need Cinderford Town to win at Yate Town in the Evo-Stik Southern Division One South play-off final, which kicks-off at 3pm.

KEY ACTION: It was a very tight first half in which there were only half-chances until Eddie-Louis Dsane twisted and turned in the Swifts box and saw a low drive hit the outside of the post. Swifts won lots of corners in the first-half and looked like they might score from most of them. And they had a great chance from one which saw centre-half Toib Adeyemi head down and into the ground and over from Nick Brown’s delivery. Clear-cut chances were at a premium after that but ex-Swift Jack Cawley did see his header headed off the line by former team-mate Guillem Ramon. Swifts took the lead two minutes after the restart with a stunner from Brown as the midfielder looked up from well outside the box and sent a shot flying into the top corner. It was a terrific moment for a player who was forced off early after an awkward fall in the midweek semi-final win at Aveley. Swifts were on top after their goal and almost doubled their lead when a sensational run by Evans Kouassi saw him beat four or five, only denied by the legs of keeper Ben McNamara. But they did bag their second with a little under ten minutes to go when Kouassi broke inside the left channel and side-footed the ball under the body of the advancing McNamara. The Jammers pulled a late goal back through Dsane to set up a nervy finish and then forced extra-time at the death when full-back Kojo Awotwi forced the ball over the line when Swifts failed to clear a corner. So it went to penalty kicks and after three saves from Chris Haigh – and two converted kicks from Joe Claridge and Harrison Chatting gave Swifts a famous victory.

SWIFTS STAR MAN: Toib Adeyemi. The centre-half was an absolute Colossus when his side were under pressure and needed him most.

SWIFTS DEBUTS: None.

INJURY CONCERNS: None.

ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: 9/10