20th Jan, 2019

Lights go out on Feckenham’s bid to build on their winning start

Liam Moakes 16th Aug, 2018

FECKENHAM were unable to build on their opening day victory over Bolehall Swifts as a floodlight fire caused the abandonment of Tuesday’s match at FC Stratford.

The score was 1-1 at the Arden Garages Stadium in an entertaining affair before referee Will Cemis had to call off proceedings at half-time due to a fire in one of the floodlights.

It was a frustrating end to proceedings for the Millers who had again looked good on the back of Saturday’s 2-1 triumph in their Midland League Division Two opener at Bolehall Swifts.

Feckenham withstood a late fightback from Swifts to earn the three points through goals from Jay Gifford and Matt Green.

A number of new faces featured in the squad in the shape of Gifford, Gary Walker, Ashley Bunn, Brad Hands, Jordan Porter, and Aqeel Davis, but it was not just the playing personnel which had a new-look as the management team now includes Luke Evans, Keith Green, Kristian Rock, Wayne Littlehales, Steve Dipple and physio Tom Barr alongside manager Aaron Blackwood.

The deadlock was broken inside the opening ten minutes as a wonderful cross-field pass found Gifford who raced clear and the Feckenham marksman controlled well before dispatching low past the onrushing Swifts goalkeeper.

The returning Umit Eminoglu was catching the eye with some stylish ability on the ball and on 16 minutes his drilled free-kick around the wall was well saved.

Bolehall had a fair share of possession during the opening proceedings, but George Harris was very rarely tested in the Millers goal thanks to a well marshalled defensive unit. A problem did arise, however, when Swifts countered following a Feckenham corner with pace and precision but the cross-shot whistled past Harris’ far post.

On 33 minutes, Feckenham’s man of the match Ben Welsh continued to be a man mountain whilst leading the line and a fine touch and half-volley was well saved.

However, Bolehall levelled on the stroke of half-time when a sustained period of Swifts possession culminated in their equaliser.

A neat passage of play saw Bolehall’s Kyle Crawford find himself in space on the edge of the Feckenham area and he curled a fine effort into the far corner which left Harris with little chance.

The winner arrived when smart hold-up play by Welsh allowed him to find Gifford whose through ball released Green to flick the ball around the Swifts goalkeeper into the corner of the net.

Moments later, a lapse in concentration saw Harris save his back line’s blushes as an aimless punt upfield was not dealt with. The Swifts forward raced clear but the Millers custodian was able to save well down to his right and Hayden Smith was on hand to clear the rebound.

At the other end, fresh impetus from substitutes Daniel Williams, George Tolley and 18 year-old Davis helped Feckenham regain control of the game and Eminoglu, Tolley and Gifford all came close to extending the Millers’ advantage.

Feckenham return to action with a Les James Challenge Cup tie at Redditch Borough on Saturday, August 25.

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