10:59pm Tuesday 13th March 2012
Stourport Swifts 1, Thatcham Town 2
Stourport’s impressive run shuddered to a halt as visitors Thatcham took the spoils with two goals in a six-minute blast midway through the second half.
But the goals were overshadowed by a bizarre sending off three minutes from time when Swifts defender Kevin Spencer appeared to see red for trying to wrestle free from visiting striker Shane Kingston.
Referee Kevin Morris would have been within his rights to give both players a ticking off but he decided that Spencer’s part in the proceedings merited an early bath – a decision that seemed to bemuse both sets of players.
The dismissal came so late in the game that Swifts’ fate may already have been sealed but it came when they were piling the pressure on their mid-table visitors, pushing for an equaliser.
The late excitement was in contrast to a dismal first half that saw little in the way of chances. Stourport managed to bundle the ball over the line only to have the effort disallowed for offside while Thatcham defender Mark James glanced a header wide just before the interval.
But it was a different tale after the break as both sides sensed the points were there for the taking.
Nathan Hands drilled a free-kick just wide of the visitors’ goal before Thatcham opened the scoring from the penalty spot on 56 minutes. The impressive Carl Self sneaked in behind the Swifts defence only to be tripped by keeper Haydn Whitcombe and Jamie Clarke slotted home the resulting kick.
But Stourport levelled inside a minute. Hands crossed from the left and new signing Roy Curtis lifted the ball over keeper Paul Strudley and into the net despite the efforts of a Thatcham defender to clear on the line.
At this point there was little to choose between the sides but it was the visitors who struck what was to be their winner in the 61st minute. Self raced through the Stourport defence and calmly took the ball past keeper Whitcombe before slotting home for a fine solo effort.
Swifts boss Rod Brown made a triple substitution midway through the half but, despite having much of the play in the final stages, Stourport could not find a way through to extend their unbeaten run to four games.
Swifts: Whitcombe 6, Triana 7, Pearce 6 (Benbow 66, 6), Willetts 6, Spencer 6, MAHON 8, Taylor 6 (Dinsley 66, 7), Evans 7, Pountney 7, Curtis 7 (Bridges 66), Hands 7. Subs (not used): Jacuson, Ashton.
© Copyright 2001-2013 Newsquest Media Group