NCEL Division One – 26th Septemeber 2020
The second home league game of the week, and once again The Robins left The Fairfax Plant Hire Stadium empty handed. In truth, they got what they deserved, generally lacking in creativity, bite and defensive solidity. Early doors, of course, but after two home games Town are only saved from being bottom of the table by goal difference.
Selby suffered a blow immediately before kick- off with George Bissett pulling out, Cam Collins replacing him. In a change to the usual formation, Town played Ryan Gothard, Brett Lucas, and Cam Collins as a three man defence, with Nick Kennedy, and Jon-Paul Vass operating as wing backs. In midfield Ryan Cooper came in to replace the injured Brad Freer, joining Charlie Clamp, and Zeph Thomas. Josh Street and Liam Flanagan completed the line-up.
Before kick-off there was a minutes silence to remember both Goole AFC Life President, Eric Lawton, and Glasshoughton Welfare secretary, Frank MacLachlan, who have passed away this week.
The game started well for The Robins as a Zeph Thomas shot from range sailed just wide, but it wasn’t long before Swallownest took control, despite playing into a strong wind. Town were not stringing any passes together, and their long balls over the top were meat and drink for the Swallownest back line. The Selby midfield was having to chase up field to try to support the front men, and then were being bypassed as Swallownest swept forward, putting the Town back line under pressure.
Cam Collins was called upon to make a smart block as Swallownest dominated the early proceedings, but it wasn’t long before a good passing move played in Nathan Morrit who gave goalkeeper Dylan Parkin no chance.
It wasn’t until the twelfth minute that The Robins looked like threatening the opposition goal. Unfortunately, Liam Flanagan fell foul of the offside flag. The same player shot high, and wide after Town won the ball in midfield. Jon-Paul Vass had a rare forward run, but his cross into the box was cut out. Zeph Thomas managed a shot which was blocked.
All this time, Town were launching the ball forward, seeing it generally being returned with interest by the opposition. Town were struggling to play any of their usual passing football, and even the shortest of passes were being misplaced. Town did manage to get some possession but were not able to trouble the resolute opposition defence, and so create real chances. Frustration was increasing both on and off the field.
Swallownest were able to control the middle of the park, and kept the pressure on the Selby back line, which was looking unsure of itself.
It was no surprise when Swallownest increased their lead. A long throw into the box caused problems for The Robin’s defenders, and they were pleased to scramble the ball away for a corner. Town had been defending corners with eight men in and around the penalty box, with the two front men stationed on the half way line. Of course this leaves a huge amount of space for anyone dropping off the penalty area, and sure enough the Swallownest corner was played to one of their men in acres of space outside the area. As The Selby defenders rushed out the ball was slipped back to the corner taker who whipped a cross towards the penalty spot. The cross cried out to be attacked, and sure enough Matthew Morton outjumped his marking defenders, to deftly head the ball into the corner of the Selby net.
Shortly after Swallownest had another headed chance; this time the ball flashed narrowly wide of the post.
Town continued to look all at sea as Swallownest continued to pour forward. Selby were struggling to contain the opposition, but managed to keep themselves in the game. Swallownest were pushing up and playing a very high defensive line, and were very nearly caught out. A Josh Street challenge set up Liam Flanagan who managed to get behind the back line, streaking towards the opposition goal. As all Selby fans hoped Liam would convert his one on one chance, he unleashed a shot which brought out a super point blank save from Owen Evans in the Swallownest goal.
Swallownest roared back forcing a good save from Dylan Parkin. Josh Street had remained down after winning the, chance creating, challenge, and was forced to leave the field, Mark Simpson replacing him.
After all their struggles, The Robins showed just what they are capable of. A terrific passing move carved open the Swallownest defence leaving Charlie Clamp in the clear to blast his shot home.
The half time whistle sounded shortly after, with Town fans, at least, having some grounds for optimism.
The second half commenced, and it looked as though that optimism was well founded. A run, then a cross from Nick Kennedy was met by Mark Simpson charging towards the near post. Unfortunately, taking the chance on the volley, he turned the ball just the wrong side of the post.
Town were looking more like their old selves and were soon on level terms. The charging Mark Simpson drew defenders towards him before playing the ball inside for Liam Flanagan. He gave the goalkeeper no chance to enable The Robins to draw level.
Hopes that Town would now take the game by the scruff of the neck, and go onto win, just did not materialise. Frustrations were increasing again, and Brett Lucas and Cam Collins were booked with a Swallownest player after an altercation in the corner. Another referee, and all three could easily have seen red.
Dylan Parkin was forced into a good save as Alex Nightingale cut inside leaving two defenders in his wake. Brett Lucas cut out a dangerous cross from Selby’s left. A header from the resulting corner found the side netting.
A good through ball from Zeph Thomas played in Mark Simpson. The ball was nicked away from him just in time to stop him shooting. Ryan Cooper made a good run through the middle but was denied the space to shoot.
Selby were pushing up, creating pressure, but not creating the chances their pressure suggested. Unfortunately, all the good work was undone as Swallownest scored their third to retake the lead. Selby always looked out of shape as Swallownest worked the ball to Thomas Cropper. He tiptoed past two defenders before beating Dylan Parkin with ease. Mark Simpson had a good run on goal beating defenders, but unfortunately his left foot shot lacked the pace, and direction, to really trouble the keeper.
Things nearly got worse for Selby, as Swallownest were awarded a penalty. The penalty was taken by one of their defenders, Tyler Bradley. Much to Selby’s frustration, all game he had tackled, and headed everything that came his way. Fortunately, for Town, he showed that spot kicks might not be his forte as he skied the ball way over the bar. Try as them might Selby could not take advantage of the let off, and were unable to create an equalising goal.
Selby’s players trooped off the pitch at the end of the game with heads down. They will have to lift themselves for Tuesday night as Skegness Town visit The Fairfax Plant Hire Stadium for a 7.45 pm kick off.
The Robins are finding it tough at the moment, so every supporter’s help would be greatly appreciated. Make sure that you are there to get behind the lads.
Selby Town: Dylan Parkin, Nick Kennedy , Cameron Collins, Zeph Thomas, Ryan Gothard, Brett Lucas, Ryan Cooper, Charlie Clamp, Liam Flanagan, Josh Street, Jon-Paul Vass.
Subs: Mark Simpson, Joe Matique, Myles Lawman, Reuben Pearse.
Swallownest: Owen Evans, Charlie Myers, Jake Squires, Luke Beedham, Alfie Smith, Tyler Bradley, Jay Evison, Alex Nightingale, Thomas Cropper, Matthew Morton, Nathan Morritt.
Subs: Mitchell Kent, Richard Williams, Sam Fewkes, Joe Pearson, James Gamble.