Sam's the man for Swifts
By Chris Daines
2nd Jan 2023 | Football
Great Wakering Rovers 0, Heybridge Swifts 1
Swifts were without Lee Noble through injury and both Darren Phillips (missing his first game of the season) and Jack Mochalski were unavailable for the trip to Great Wakering on Monday, 2 January.
Callum Taylor came in alongside Quba Gordon and Sam Carter came into the starting line up with Andrew Fennell on the bench alongside Joe Whitney, Jordan Elongo and Archie West.
Great Wakering Rovers had former Swift Ernest Okoh in their starting line-up.
Swifts were on the attack from kick off and went close after 5 minutes when Ben Sartain had a shot saved by keeper Harry Fairs. A number of corners were won and only desperate defending from the hosts kept Swifts at bay. In the 16th minute Rhys Henry received a ball at the wide edge of the 6-yard box and his shot drew an excellent save from Fairs.
Swifts were finally rewarded for their efforts when a corner was headed home by Sam Carter with his third goal of the season after 28 minutes - the relief amongst the players and travelling Swifts fans was palpable with the lead deserved after our domination in the opening period.
Carter almost doubled Swifts' lead three minutes later when his header at the far post went into the side netting from another corner.
Five minutes before the break, Rhys Henry got to the ball and lobbed the keeper but Mendes managed to clear the ball off-the-line!
The second half started more closely with both sides having their share of possession. Swifts went close on the hour when Ross Wall broke clear but put his shot wide of the goal. The home side made a double change after 66 minutes.
Ben Sartain went close when a spectacular half volley whistled over the bar with Fairs beaten and Swifts then made a change wth Andy Fennell coming on for Kieran Jones after 77 minutes.
As the game entered the last 10 minutes, it seemed that Great Wakering Rovers started to believe they might get an opportunity to level - a poor clearance fell to Johnson who attempted to lob Callum Chafer but placed his effort wide of the target after 82 minutes and in injury time substitute Campbell broke into the box but a last ditch tackle from Callum Taylor cleared the danger.
Swifts had two chances to score in injury time - the first saw Andy Fennell break clear on the right and his cross found Rhys Henry who was unable to keep his shot down and in the 4th minute of stoppage time Rob Harvey saw his shot go wide.