Goals by Shane Whitmore and Shane Buckerfield continued the strong, unbeaten start to the season by Swanwick Pentrich Road in the Central Midlands League’s South Division.
The two Shanes struck in each half to earn The Swans a 2-0 victory away to mid-table Clay Cross Town and extend their sequence of games without defeat in the league to six.
They also kept a second successive clean sheet and are now full of confidence ahead of a league cup tie at home to Easington United this coming Saturday (kick-off 3 pm).
Fielding the same starting 11 from the previous week’s first win of the season, Swanwick were looking to create chances from the off, enjoying success particularly down the flanks, where Dean Owen and Guy Taylor both threatened. But Clay Cross were menacing themselves, cashing in on an extra man in midfield.
The match took a turn for the worse when nasty injuries to the two skippers forced them off the field where they needed further medical attention, But the changes enabled Swanwick to change their shape and restrict the impact the home side were having in midfield, and they duly took the lead ten minutes from the break, courtesy of a quality delivery by Chris Turner and a well-timed run and powerful headed finish from Whitmore.
Thanks to two fine stops by ‘keeper Adam Jablonski, The Swans were able to take a narrow lead into half-time when another encouraging message from the management resulted in a bright start to the second period.
Despite neat build-up play, however, both defences continued to stand firm, and it soon became clear that the next goal would be key.
It came from Swanwick in the 70th minute. Taylor worked hard to keep the ball in by the left corner and after bamboozling a Clay Cross defender, whose only option was to claw at the Swans flyer as he approached the box, the referee decided to blow for a free-kick. Turner dusted himself down to send over another accurate cross from the set-piece, and this time, Buckerfield found room to finish from close range.
With the introduction of substitutes Ash Buxton and Jamie Slater, Swanwick continued to defend well and threaten going forward, but the game would have been much tighter had not Jablonski smothered two further Clay Cross efforts as the second half wore on.
The home team also had a strong claim for a penalty refused five minutes from the end, but the referee ruled that the striker had lost control before Lewis Mason muscled him from the ball.