South Yorkshire Football Communities at their best.

Wednesday evening was Champions League semi final night between AC Milan and Inter Milan, a match that the media said had 2 million people wanting tickets to go and see.

It was also Super Wednesday evening in the Sheffield and Hallamshire County Senior Football League with Swinton Athletic at home to Dodworth Miners Welfare in the last game of the season in a winner take all match. This was however complicated because if the game was a draw then Wombwell Main FC would win the league as they were playing Ecclesfield Rose 1915 who had only won 2 games all season. The winners of the League would only have another ten leagues to win and all of the rounds in the Champions League to be where the two Milan giant sat.

I journeyed back to Swinton and there had been some changes, the barriers around the ground were mended, the new stand now had a floor and there appeared to be more advertising boards around the perimeter. Swinton are trying hard to up the standard of the Recreation Ground to meet future ground regulations should they be able to progress from this level. Unfortunately I had recently read that their initial planning application for floodlights had been turned down due to an objection by one of the local residents. The nearby social club was this time offering food but I had already eaten having been disappointed at this venue before. There was no charge to get in and there was a friendly atmosphere amongst the over 300 people who had been lured by this crunch match.

There were dark cloud overhead but the rain had cleared although the air still felt damp. The gloomy skies echoed the 14 degrees. The rain had contributed to the muddy goal mouths but overall the undulating long grass pitch looked well.

Swinton Athletic 4 Dodworth Miners Welfare 3

Wednesday 10th May 2023 Welfare Ground Swinton Kick off 18.00 but didn’t start until 18.14

Swinton; Black and white vertical striped shirts with black shorts. Dodworth; Red and black vertical striped shirts with red shorts.

The female referee got the game underway and was soon barking orders to make sure two competitive teams knew she was in charge.

There were no fancy coloured boots here but plenty of passion as Dodworth were the more enterprising team early on. Swinton’s number 7 and Dodworth’s number 11 looked the most dangerous and it was a through ball to Swinton’s danger man that led to the first goal. He received it on the right and his fast pace left some defender in his wake as he hit a low cross. the ball bobbled along the ground illuding defenders and the goalkeeper ending up in the back of the net. It looked all over in the first half as on 37 minutes when the home sides number four chested down the ball, took it to his right avoiding defenders and scored past the advancing goalkeeper. Dodworth did not give up and 3 minutes later from a free-kick on the left their number 6 rose at the far post to head towards goal. It was as if every one froze and time stood still as the ball finally went over the goal line to make it 2.1. Dodworth hit the cross bar with a minute to go to half time in this pulsating match. The news came through that Ecclesfield had surprisingly taken the lead so there was definitely all to play for as the teams regrouped at half time.

Swinton exerted sustained pressure to start the second half but a very strong penalty appeal at the other end could have resulted in an equaliser. The Swinton pressure produced results when with 24 minutes gone a Swinton player ran through to tap the ball to the right of the keeper to restore their 2 goal advantage.

Dodworth seemed to draw on untapped reserves and kept themselves in the game when a few minutes later there was mayhem in the goal mouth after a corner and a Dodworth player manged to get a clear shot at goal for their second. News came through that Wombwell were now leading and they must have thought it would be their title when on 35 minutes a reckless sliding tackle meant the referee awarded a penalty to Dodworth. A long injury treatment on the penalty spot and some over the top protests to the referee and a linesman did not put the penalty taker off as he made it 3.3.

What now for this exhilarating game, well within 2 minutes Swinton’s number 11 ran in from the right to latch on to a through ball and hit it across the goalkeeper into the net to regain the lead.

There were no more twists and the Swinton team were jubilant at the referees whistle.

What a finale to the season, a great game to watch. I can’t wait for the start of next season.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s