Football
Saints clinch runners-up spot

02/05 Updated: 02/05 12:20

Bolehall Swifts 2 Southam United 4

SAINTS finished the season in style with a spirited victory on Saturday which secured the Athium Midland Combination Premier Division runners-up spot.

Manager Luke Fogarty was forced into a number of changes with Joe Williams, who had played in part of the under-18’s match in the morning, making his starting debut, having made two previous appearances as substitute.

Despite the recent rain, the pitch was in good condition, although a biting wind blowing from side to side made control difficult.

Both sides made a lively start with Jim Stott forced to make a good save after five minutes but Saints went closest when Swifts cleared off the line from a corner after Luke Church’s original effort had been saved.

Ross Jackson also went close and, from a move started by Mark Briggs, Jack Taylor was clean through, only to see his lob partially saved by keeper Thomas McNulty and cleared by the defence.

Saints took the lead in the 38th minute when Simeon Smith, playing against his old club, fired hard and low across the goal and Church slid in at the far post to tap home.

Swifts responded with a shot into the side netting and Jackson put an effort wide before the interval.

Swifts took control after the break with Ian Purvey equalising in the 52nd minute before Michael Swan escaped his marker to head home.

Michael Clough, another from the under-18 side, replaced the injured Smith, taking up the left-back position and allowing Marc Passey to move into midfield and Jackson to lead the attack.

The changes seemed to lift Saints and James Hardie set up Jackson, who should have scored, but shot over the bar.

Taylor also had a good chance to even up the match, but he made amends in the 81st minute when sending in a good cross to Jackson who levelled with a powerful diving header.

An injury to Quentin Townsend saw Hardie drop back into the centre of the defence, but this did not stop Saints who regained the lead two minutes later as Taylor crashed an unstoppable shot into the roof of the net from 30 yards.

Swifts missed a good chance before Taylor wrapped up the points after McNulty failed to deal with a back-pass.

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