Swain's 21st goal seals brave victory
6:01pm Wednesday 11th December 2013 in Penarth sport
DINAS POWYS U16s 2
SULLY U16s 0
IN an impressive display against the odds, a nine-man Dinas Powys Football Club U16s team defeated their local rivals on Saturday.
Weakened by absentees, the brave Dinas lads played a 3-4-1 formation, yet still managed to dominate with a disciplined first-half performance. Sully played a back five to combat the goalscoring threat of Luke Swain who has scored 20 goals from five matches this season. This allowed a midfield, led by powerhouse centre midfielder Gavin Lewis and including strong new signing Cian Taylor, to secure parity. Callum Keating was the pick of the Sully midfielders, with strong tackling and decisive runs.
Sully Blues’ Matthew Bennett, returning from three years at Newport Academy, led from the front with an accurate passing display, bringing his team mates into the game. However, Dinas captain Mabon Evans, at centre back, was staunch and intelligent in defence, reading the play to snuff out early attacks from striker Josh Lewis.
Dinas drew first blood with an outstanding goal in the 30th minute. A back heel from Swain baffled three defenders and right wing Charlie Baister doubled around to collect the pass and race unchallenged for 25 metres before coolly sliding the ball past the 'keeper.
Sully launched a number of attacks through Lewis and Bennett, but Dinas 'keeper Zac Dyer remained a safe pair of hands whilst gaining confidence in the outstanding efforts of the tenacious Tom Edwards and Luke Garland. These two midfielders, who made up the makeshift defence, tackled and chased everything.
Dinas assistant coach Ryan Garland urged his charges to maintain their shape and keep attacking in the second half, and Swain struck the post twice but was unable to convert the long ball strategy adopted.
Replacement Alex Candy made an immediate impact when joining Sully’s man of the match, Morgan Smith, and they tightened their hold on the Dinas attack. However, a combination of Dinas’ strike force unlocked the defence when Garland beat his marker and fed Reuben Brill who threaded an exquisite pass that took out three defenders. Running on to the pass, Swain struck with a first-time shot.
Sully came back, culminating in a well struck shot by Josh Lewis from close range, but Dyer showed great reflexes to dive to his left and tip the ball over the bar.
Dinas coach Alun Lewis said: “In all my 25 years of coaching and playing, this was an unbelievable achievement for the boys considering the quality of the opposition.”