Swinton made to work for fourth trophy

SWINTON WMC added a fourth piece of silverware to their bulging trophy cabinet after seeing off battling Mexborough Wetherspoons in the Challenge Cup final at Hampden Road.

The Mexborough Premier Division champions always looked the more technically gifted side but came up against a Wetherspoons outfit who never gave them a minute’s peace.

A second half Brady Roberts header from a corner proved the only difference between the sides.

Division One runners-up Wetherspoons ran themselves into the ground and showed exactly why they are tipped to cause problems for top tier stalwarts such as Swinton next season.

There was a somewhat sour note to proceedings with referee Matthew Bacon on the receiving end of a lot of harsh abuse from the largely pro-Mexborough crowd.

Bacon was confronted by a number of angry supporters as he left the field at the end of the game but several Wetherspoons players acted swiftly to calm the individuals down.

Only one decision from Bacon was genuinely contentious and it was certainly a difficult one to make.

Wetherspoons’ Michael Jones went leapt in the area, sandwiched between two Swinton defenders, and the ball appeared to come off an arm one of the six arms in the air. Bacon waved play on under shouts for a penalty.

It was around this time, midway through the first half, that Wetherspoons truly began to assert themselves on the contest.

Swinton controlled large portions of the early possession and seemed content to wait for the opening goal to come.

They did appear to be playing with fire though as they conceded several free kicks on the edge of their area.

Those free kicks provided the only shots on target in the early stages, until Swinton’s Ryan Morton curled an effort narrowly wide on 27 minutes.

Wetherspoons went close with two spectacular vollies from Jones and Matthew Wilson in the space of a minute, while Nicky Darker was called upon to deny the latter with a last ditch tackle on the half hour.

These were chances Wetherspoons would rue missing when Roberts rose to meet Morton’s corner and nodded Swinton in front seven minutes after the break.

The Mexborough side did produce the best chance of the game just after the hour.

The ball fell kindly to substitute Johnny Morton on the edge of the area and he drilled an effort towards the far post which Swinton keeper Tim Whitehouse got just enough on to tip it wide.

It was as close as Wetherspoons got to levelling the contest as their high intensity approach to the match told on their legs in the late stages.

Skilful midfield battler Dean Sherratt took the man of the match award in defeat.

SWINTON WMC: Whitehouse, Wheeler, Darker, Billups, Roberts, Sandland, Whitehead, Morton, Thomas, Lovell, Morton. Subs: Chapman, Pickering, Lynam, Roden, Wild.

WEATHERSPOONS: Kelly, Critchley, Whitehead, Dwyer, Cutts, Sherratt, Wilson, Brookes, Jones, Brackley, Kiru. Subs: Black, Harris, Tolley, Morton, Dunn.