The Swans got back to winning ways and moved up to third in the Uhlsport Hellenic Premier League with a come from behind victory against Binfield at Wisloe Road. A first half strike from James Suarez saw the visitors have much the better of the first period, but second half goals from Sean Bennett and a late winner from Liam Harding in an improved performance earned another three valuable points for the home side.
The game began at a good pace, and both sides had chances in the first 15 minutes. The home side had an early opportunity after Jack Twyman was fouled on the edge of the Binfield box in the first minute of play, but Tom Speers was penalised for a push as he tried to reach Freddy Ward’s free kick. Binfield responded with a good move involving Danny Wing, Carl Davies and James Suarez, which saw Suarez’s header defelcted for a corner, which the home side cleared.
On 9 minutes, Slimbrodge came close when Twyman’s cross nearly drifted under the angle of bar and post, but Dan Weait backpedalled and made the catch just in time. As the game swung from end to end, it was Davies who had the next opportunity for Binfield, but after a probing run, his shot drifted just the wrong side of the Slimbridge post.
With 17 minutes on the clock, another Speers header from ward’s Free Kick brought a save from Weait, but it was Binfield who broke the deadlock on 21 minutes – Evans spilled a shot from Davies, and the ball ran free to Suarez, who drilled the ball home to put the visitors a goal to the good.
This was a signal for Binfield to up their game, and they dominated the rest of the first period – Davies again went close on 27 minutes, when he hooked a shot just wide, and the visitors’ passing football caused real problems for the Slimbridge back four. Evans had to be at his beat to keep out a superb strike from Jake Butler as the first half entered its last ten minutes, and Binfield will have been disappointed not to go into the break with a bigger lead.
the second half began much as the first ended, with more pressure from Binfield, with Davies and Suarez both looking very dangerous – Davies forced Evans into another save on 52 minutes, and the ball was scrambled clear as the Swans clung on.
On 55 minutes, a rare change for the home side saw Harding’s run and shot go close, but still chances were few and far between for the home side.
Slimbridge equalised on 66 minutes. A cross from the right was half cleared by Weait to Dan Holloway, and the youngster was brought down by the Binfield Keeper as he shaped to shoot, with Referee Shaun Tobin immediately pointing the spot. Holloway’s penalty was saved by Weait diving to his right, but the ball ran free to Sean Bennett, who had only been on the pitch 5 minutes, and he confidently stroked home the rebound to level the scores.
The goal galvanised the home side, and a much improved period of play saw them have a goal ruled out, before taking the lead for the first time in the game.
There were 77 minutes played when Slimbridge thought they had taken the lead – Holloway sweeping home Bennett’s cross, but the goal was ruled out by a linesman’s flag indicating a handball from Holloway.
It was not all one way traffic though, and Binfield still looked dangerous going forward – just a minute laterCarl Withers ‘ drilled Free Kick forced another good save from Evans.
The winning goal came with seven minutes remaining – Robinson’s run and cross down the right flank was cleared to Harding on the edge of the Binfield box, and his shot left Weait no chance to put the home side ahead.
The final few minutes were nervous for the home side, as Binfield again pressed looking for a second goal – Jordan Rowland’s cross cum shot forcing Evans to move smartly to push the ball over the bar ebing the best opportunity, but the home side held on to record another home victory.
The Swans now have a trio of away games to come – they travel to Oxford City Nomads on Wednesday night (10th, 7.45pm), before making the long trip to Highmoor Ibis next Saturday (3pm). The following Wednesday, they make the short run down the A38 to Oaklands Park in Almondsbury, to face Winterbourne in a GFA Challenge Trophy Second Round tie (7.45pm)
Team: Evans, Anson, Robinson, Wellon, Speers, Ward, Twyman (Bennett 61), Harding, Fower (Lang 70), Holloway, Williams (O’Connor 60)
Goals: Bennett 66, Harding 83
Supporters’ Man of The Match: Liam Harding