Updated: Apr 14, 2019
Jeanfield Swifts 3-3 Camelon Juniors
Riverside Stadium, Perth
EOSFL Conference C
For the second time this season a last-minute Connor McLaren penalty was needed to rescue a point for Jeanfield at the Riverside.
Exactly as they had done against Blackburn back at the end of December, Swifts grabbed a draw from the spot with the seconds ticking away to hang onto third place in Conference C.
Only two points separated these sides before kick-off, the visitors starting the day in fourth spot but with a crucial game in hand in the scrap for a top three finish.
Swifts typically start quickly, always looking to press on their opponents right from the first whistle. Today was no exception, Paul Simpson’s early free-kick bringing the first real chance of the game, Lee Deans getting on the end of his floated cross but penalised for bundling both ball and keeper into the net. Camelon looked dangerous too though, with a couple of quick counter attacks that forced saves from Mitchell as the game began to get going.
Swifts broke the deadlock after 23 minutes, Simpson driving at the visiting defence before being pulled down just inside the box and Rhys Davies converting the spot kick. It was quite an open first half, both sides giving it a good go and the game had a nice flow to it without the ref having to get involved too often.
Camelon equalised in the 40th minute, Connor McKenzie’s low shot from the edge of the box catching out Mitchell in the Swifts goal. It had been an even first half, and one apiece felt about right with the interval approaching, but Kieran Anderson had different ideas, slamming home his free-kick in stoppage time to give the visitors the lead at the break.
The second half was just as watchable as the first had been; two decent sides knocking the ball around in a free-flowing and entertaining match. Shaw in the Camelon goal had plenty to say for himself, but apart from that, both sides seemed happy to let the football do the talking.
Swifts were chasing the game trying to find an equaliser and leaving gaps at the back, which Camelon eventually exploited, Alan Doherty’s angled shot from the left finding the far corner of the net to make it 1-3 to the visitors. With just 15 minutes left on the watch, Camelon now had a two goal cushion to protect and the point looked safe.
Swifts have shown a resilience this season though and weren’t ready to chuck the towel in just yet. Scott Smith’s snap shot from 20 yards out beat everybody to give the home side a life-line with just five minutes to go.
Camelon were in survival mode now, but Shaw’s kicking was beginning to get more erratic and the failure to clear their lines was inviting pressure on the visitors. Jason Deans got involved in some verbals with a spectator and Camelon suddenly looked in danger of losing their composure. With seconds to go, they failed to deal with a high cross into the box, a hand went up and ref Craig MacRae blew for another penalty. There were protests and shouts on “natural position”, but MacRae didn’t want to know and when the dust settled, Connor McLaren kept his head to blast the equaliser past Shaw.
The game had barely re-started when the full-time whistle went, and the Camelon protests started again. The visitors were clearly unhappy, some refusing to shake hands and things began to turn ugly as the fans around the entrance to the pavillion started to get involved. The arguments continued inside with voices being raised and doors being slammed. If you’re a joiner in the Perth area, make sure you have plenty of hinges in your van as you might well be getting a call on Monday morning.
The result means no change in the top half of Conference C, Jeanfield stay third with two games left, with Camelon two points further back in fourth but with and extra game still to play which could yet make the difference. Either way, both of these sides are safely in the top five, enough to ensure they will meet again the EOSFL Premier League next season.
Man of the Match: Paul Simpson was Swifts most effective player throughout, always wanting the ball, always comfortable in possession and always with a burst of pace to trouble the visiting defence. Won the penalty for the first goal and was a threat all afternoon.
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