Swingler and Vere star as Tigers win well at Alphington

PUBLISHED: 16:55 03 March 2019

Axminster Town player Cameron Vere who was one of the Tigers' Man of the Match award winners in the 2-0 win at Alphington. Picture SARAH MCCABE

Axminster Town player Cameron Vere who was one of the Tigers' Man of the Match award winners in the 2-0 win at Alphington. Picture SARAH MCCABE

Archant

Axminster Town were good value for their 2-0 South West Peninsula League Eastern Division win at Alphington.

Axminster Town player Connor Swingler, one of the Tigers' Man of the Match award winners in the 2-0 win at Alphington. Picture SARAH MCCABEAxminster Town player Connor Swingler, one of the Tigers' Man of the Match award winners in the 2-0 win at Alphington. Picture SARAH MCCABE

The Tigers made a good start, but their desire to get the ball forward early at every opportunity was all too predictable and comfortably dealt with by an experienced home back line.

The Alphas were left feeling aggrieved when the referee waved aside strong claims for a penalty against Connor Hannaford. Indeed, such was the fury felt by the home joint boss Jason Warren with his protestations to the man in the middle, that he was sent from the technical area!

Just before the break, Ashley Small played in a terrific left wing cross that caused havoc for the Alphas back line and this allowed the excellent Connor Swingler to toe poke the ball past the helpless Fred Kingdom in the home goal and the Tigers led 1-0 at the break.

During the interval the Tigers made a couple of changes with the experienced Darren Hutchings and the talented Nathan Antat, replacing youngsters Charley Skilton and Kieran Daniels.

The changes paid off as the Tigers started the second period with a greater solidity about their back line with Hutchings breaking up the Alphington attacking intent extremely well. Alphington looked to get the ball forward as quickly as possible but found the visiting defence of Hannaford, Cameron Vere, Dan Beer and Antat in defiant mood, with goal keeper Ashely Smith dominating his area.

By the 70th minute Alphington were throwing everything they could at the Tigers who had now resorted to a 4-5-1 formation getting bodies behind the ball to deal with some heavy pressure.

The points were made safe in the 75th minute when Ben Allen picked up the ball in midfield, before playing a terrific through-ball to Tony Pinder who rifled the ball home.

Moments later the Tigers introduced 16-year-old Reece McCabe for his second appearance in a Tigers shirt, McCabe preformed his defensive duties extremely well for someone so young.

After the game, Town joint-manager Josh Stunell said: “Alphington gave us a really tough game, we had to show some real resilience, we weren’t at our normal free flowing best but we worked very hard for the clean sheet and ultimately we had that little bit of extra quality required to bag the points.”

The Town Man of the Match award was shared between Cameron Vere and Connor Swingler.

On Saturday (March 9) the Tigers travel to second placed Brixham who will start the game sitting two places and seven points better off than Town. However, the Tigers have played a game fewer.

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