Fermanagh Juniors (Love 10’ 50’, S Murray 43’, Curran 48’) 4-3 Swindon Town (Rejek 1’, Wells 17’, Edwards 24’)
Fermanagh Juniors pulled off a remarkable second half comeback, in order to secure a dramatic win over the Swindon Town u15 Academy side at Rugby Avenue, Coleraine. An early Tom Rejek effort got Fermanagh off to the worst possible start, although they responded well through Conor Love. Swindon regained the lead through a Rhys Wells penalty and Shay Edwards put the Wiltshire outfit in control at half time. After a tight opening period in the second half, Fermanagh halved the deficit through a Sean Murray screamer. Eimhin Curran drew Fermanagh level with a well taken effort, before a second goal from Love completed the turnaround and secured a place in the semi-final of the Vase tomorrow.
The boys in Green started slowly and were soon a goal down in the 1st minute. A Wayne Nicholl clearance fell to the feet of Swindon’s Tom Rejek, who hit a low effort beyond goalkeeper Luke Johnston and into the Fermanagh goal.
Denzil McDaniel’s men bounced back. Conor Love was giving the opposition defence plenty to think about and had a number of half-chances. An unmarked Josh Largo-Ellis saw his header go over the Swindon Town goal, before Love got the equaliser. Darragh McBrien found Love, who managed to get the better of the Swindon goalkeeper, before rolling the ball into an empty net.
Town began to threaten again and were soon back in front. Wilf White made a driving run into the Fermanagh penalty area, before being brought down by Dean Corrigan. The referee pointed to the penalty spot and Rhys Wells slotted home to put The Robins back in front.
Darragh McBrien and Eimhin Curran were providing the main threat in the attacking third for the Ernemen, but Swindon soon doubled their advantage. A good run down the left from a very talented Jacob Bancroft saw him play in the penalty scorer Wells, who slotted a through ball in behind the defence into the path of Shay Edwards, who made no mistake in slotting the ball into the bottom right-hand corner. Bancroft had an effort himself from distance, just before half time.
Manager McDaniel made a couple of changes at half time and after a tight first 10 minutes, it was one of the substitutes that got Fermanagh back into the game. Wayne Nicholl put a cross from the right into Eimhin Curran, he moved the ball across to Sean Murray, who rifled home a terrific effort into the top corner of the Swindon goal, from the edge of the area.
This evenly contested match was then level 5 minutes later. From the left, Micheál Glynn played a ball through to Eimhin Curran and after getting the ball out of his feet, fired home the equaliser into the bottom right corner of the goal, much to the delight of him and his team mates.
But this wasn’t the end and the turnaround was complete with 10 minutes to play. A Darragh McBrien corner from the left was played to the onrushing Conor Love, with the forward glancing a header to the goalkeeper’s far post; putting Fermanagh in the lead after being two goals down only 7 minutes previously.
Swindon Town tried to reassert control in the tie, but Fermanagh snuffed out any danger from Anthony Cheshire and Owen Windosr and had chances themselves to go even further ahead. Forward Curran forced a good double save from the Swindon goalkeeper and later just couldn’t latch onto the end of a Love through ball. Swindon didn’t manage to fashion another clear goalscoring opportunity and the county side held on for a famous win.
By Aaron Hassard