A trip to Selby to see Selby Town play Swallownest in a Northern Counties East League Division One fixture had the background of rapidly increasing Coronavirus infections but the game was on with Social Distancing and Track and Trace regulations.
Selby is an historic market town with a beautiful cathedral but as you drive in from the East you pass the gigantic Drax Power Station that dominates the sky line. The cooling towers will however be demolished in the future with the move towards more environmental energy generation.
Selby Town have been in existence since 1919 although a team of the same name and nickname had been dissolved nearly 10 years before. They were once in the Northern Counties East LeaguePremier Division but have spent most of their time at their current level.
Swallownest started life as Aston F.C. only 14 years ago changing their name to Swallownest Miners Welfare F.C. and in 2016 to Swallownest F.C. They have progressively moved up to their current level. Swallownest is on the outskirts of Sheffield in the middle of an ex mining area.
This is a compact ground tucked away down a street of pretty terraced houses and entry through the gate reveals a pretty flat surface with amazing thick grass cover. The only disappointment is the weather with its grey skies and blustery cold North wind. But a coffee and Kit Kat, no chips, from the newly built wooden refreshments hut and a seat out of the wind behind the goal soon makes the world OK. There are no prawn sandwiches on offer here, pork pies, sausage rolls, scratchings, Bovril and more. The 177 stalwarts in the ground used this and the bar to good advantage all afternoon helping the coffers of this community club. It was good to see the good mix of ages in the ground with perhaps 25% below 20 years old.
The Robins are in their all red and the Swallows in all blue with white shoulder flashes.
Selby Town F.C. 2 Swallownest F.C 3
It only took Swallowness 8 minutes playing against the wind to take the lead when Nathan Morritt was put through to slide the ball between the legs of the exposed goalkeeper. Swallownest kept control of the game and were worth their second goal when Matt Morton headed home a good cross from Alex Nightingale after a short corner. With the half coming to the end Charlie Clamp of Selby was put through for him to easily score to the right of the goalkeeper to make it 1-2 at half time.
Within a few minutes of the restart a revitalised Selby released Flanagan on the right edge of the penalty area and he curled the ball into the top right of the goal. After a period of Selby pressure a high ball into their penalty box was taken down well by Thomas Cropper who smashed it into the net for Swallownest to take the lead again.
Swallownest took strong advantage of the wind behind their backs and their dominance led to a penalty for them which was blasted over after 84 minutes. Despite some pressure from Selby they didn’t create any further chances and the away team were worthy winners.
It was the Selby keeper who impressed me with his distribution and none of the goals could be put down to him. I would expect to see him playing at a higher level in the not too distant future.