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Dicker double shoots down impressive Swifts
10:27pm Tuesday 11th September 2012 in Stourport Swifts
Stafford 2, Swifts 1 (aet)
HEROIC Swifts saw their FA Cup adventure ended in the cruellest fashion as a Ryan Dicker double shot them down in Tuesday night's first qualifying round replay.
Swifts had been moments away from a famous giant-killing over their Northern Premier opponents thanks to Lewis Poutney's first half strike.
But defender Dicker, who had been at fault for Swifts' goal, made it 1-1 in the 90th minute and bagged the winner in extra-time.
Defeat was harsh on Midland Alliance Swifts, who had defended doggedly and attacked with verve and would have thoroughly deserved to meet Gresley Rovers in the next round.
Swifts had to defend stoutly for the first 15 minutes but they had the best chance to break the deadlock in the 18th minute.
Paul Jones led a counter attack and set Pountney free but as he strode into the box, keeper Danny Read dived down to save his effort.
For all their pressure, the home side were not opening up doughty Swifts.
Inspirational captain Michael Carr flashed a low shot wide from the edge of the box for the hosts.
But Stourport were soaking up the pressure and hitting Rangers on the break.
Pountney played in Joe Adams with a clever flick and but the midfielder was unable to latch onto the ball in a very good position.
Midfielder Courtney Pitt had a shot on target with a well-hit free-kick but keeper Haydn Whitcombe was equal to it.
But Stourport grabbed a deserved lead in the 41st minute. Paul Jones' probing ball caused chaos between the hapless Dicker and Read and Pountney barged his way inbetween to slot the ball into the back of the empty net.
Right back Jordan Jones could have added a second moments later, firing wide after good work by Tim Jackson and Pountney.
Paul Jones nearly grabbed a second just after the break. The striker pounced on a poor header by Liam Walshe but rolled his flicked shot agonisingly wide.
In a bid to add some desperately needed muscle to their attack, Stafford threw Dicker forward as a striker. The big man came close when headed wide from a corner.
It took a fine challenge by George to deny Paul Jones after more good work by his strike partner.
Swifts we're coming under increasing pressure and Whitcombe was given a few scary moments by a Pitt corner. But he and the rest of Swifts stood resolute under the Rangers onslaught.
The away side were still dangerous on the break and another pacy move broke down when Jones overran the ball.
There was another chance for the busy hitman but as he raced clear, substitute defender Karl Espley stuck out a long leg to stop him in his tracks.
Swifts were under constant pressure but still looked dangerous on the counter.
The best chance for the hosts fell to Simon Everall in the 87th minute but he blazed over the bar.
But stout Swifts' resistance was broken in the 90th minute when Dicker glanced a leveller home at the far post to force extra-time.
Both teams went searching for what could be the decisive goal. Calvin Dinsley let fly with a powerful long range effort which deflected wide.
In the second half of extra-time Carr flashed a firm shot a fraction off target.
But Swifts fell behind in the 110th minute when Dicker looped a header over Whitcombe.
Jackson nearly found an immediate reply but Read tipped over his attempted chip.
Despite throwing everyone forward, Stourport could not find a way through and suffered their first defeat of the season.
Swifts: Whitcombe, J Jones, Willetts, Spencer, Smith, Walker, Adams (Evans, 75), Dinsley (Taylor, 118), Pountney, P Jones (Bridges, 114), Jackson.
Subs: Pearce, Bannister, Benbow, Hurrell.
Stafford: Read, George, Brown, Dicker, Walshe, Downes, Street (Espley, 46), Carr, Quinn (Newman, 75), Everall, Pitt.
Subs: Forde, Davies, Allcock.
Referee: James Thornhill.