Pete’s pearler sends Swinton back into the promotion reckoning

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A late wonder strike from Pete Jepson fired Swinton Athletic back into the Doncaster Senior League Division One promotion race.

Jepson’s last-minute heroics helped Athletic to a 3-2 win over a youthful Scawthorpe Scorpions outfit, who had earlier drawn level after Swinton established a two-goal lead.

Bouyed by the previous week’s victory over league leaders FC Central, Athletic entered this fixture in high spirits and they took the lead after just ten minutes, when Mark Clare took advantage of a poor clearance from the Scorpions goalkeeper and finished expertly.

Swinton continued to pile on the pressure, and went 2-0 up through Clare’s third goal in two games in the 25th minute.

Steven Hughes found Tony Davies in space on the left wing, and Davies cut across Scorpions left-back Harrison before finding Clare, who again made no mistake.

Scawthorpe looked down and out until they were handed a lifeline, when Lee Woodhall misjudged the flight of the ball and was caught out by pacey forward Torran Adams.

Adams took the ball down and finished well from inside the box, to reduce the lead to 2-1 at half time.

Swinton began the second period sluggishly, and they were punished further after 54 minutes when Nathan Wroe drew Scawthorpe level.

An excellent one-two between Wroe and Adams created the opportunity, and the former made no mistake to level the scores.

Swinton were forced on the back foot as a rejuvanated Scawthorpe went in search for a winner, but their defence - led by Josh Cooke, on his first Swinton start - held firm.

The game looked to be heading for a draw until the final minute of normal time, when substitute Rory Rollett’s left-wing cross was only cleared as far as Jepson, who met the clearance 30 yards out and fired a first-time effort straight into the top corner to seal the points.

The win sent Swinton third in the table, with a game in hand on second-placed FC Central. On Saturday, they visit league leaders Dunscroft United.

“It was a great result against a very good young side who, to be fair, didn’t deserve to lose,” Swinton manager Ryan Jones said.

“But what a way to win it. It’s moments like that that every player dreams of.

“Pete has really come on over these last few weeks, and I am sure he won’t let myself or any of the lads forget that strike in a hurry!”

“What was really pleasing,” Jones added, “was seeing how much it meant to the lads as the winner went in.

“You can see everyone is putting every last ounce into each game, and it makes me proud as a manager to see that.

“We have another big test of character this weekend, and we will all have to be on top form again to go to their place and get something.”