Borough's Swallow relieved to end his goal drought on the big stage

RELIEF: Ryan Swallow celebrates ending his goal drought with Haverhill Borough's second at Woodbridge Town in the Suffolk FA Senior Cup sponsored by CNet Training quarter-final   Picture: Gary Brown
RELIEF: Ryan Swallow celebrates ending his goal drought with Haverhill Borough's second at Woodbridge Town in the Suffolk FA Senior Cup sponsored by CNet Training quarter-final Picture: Gary Brown
0
Have your say

Ryan Swallow spoke of his relief that he was able to rediscover his scoring touch to fire a brace that sent Haverhill Borough into their second successive Suffolk FA Senior Cup semi-final.

Martin Wescott's side will officially learn their last four opponents when Tuesday's secretive draw is broadcast on BBC Radio Suffolk's matchday programme later today (from 5.30pm with the full draw on this website at 6pm), following their league game at home to Holland FC this afternoon (3pm).

But the week since last Saturday's 3-1 win at fellow Thurlow Nunn League First Division high-flyers Woodbrdige Town has seen a permanent smile on deep lying attacker Ryan Swallow.

The 23-year-old, who has already played for a host of clubs in the league, including Haverhill Rovers, Halstead Town, Long Melford and AFC Sudbury Reserves, had been wondering where his next goal would come from, having gone into a double-figure drought.

But after playing a key role in setting up the first goal for Charlie Homes to bundle home as early as the fifth minute, he hit the back of the net himself with a cool-headed finish from Holmes' flick on from a Paul Walker goal-kick just seven minutes later to double Borough's advantage.

With the Haverhill side having to soak up pressure in a disciplined performance for large periods thereafter, with a sense they were playing a dangerous game after Liam Scopes' glancing header brought it back to 2-1 before the end of the first half, Swallow was on hand to seal Borough's semi-final spot in the 82nd minute.

Goalscorer Ryan Swallow (second from right) is mobbed by his team-mates during Haverhill Borough's 3-1 Suffolk FA Senior Cup quarter-final win over Woodbridge Town   Picture: Mecha Morton www.photos.iliffemedia.co.uk

Goalscorer Ryan Swallow (second from right) is mobbed by his team-mates during Haverhill Borough's 3-1 Suffolk FA Senior Cup quarter-final win over Woodbridge Town Picture: Mecha Morton www.photos.iliffemedia.co.uk

"My thought was just to hit the target," he said, after substitute James Regan's hanging cross had been cut back into his path by fellow substitute Rory Bone.

"I have had a bit of a personal drought - I have gone about 11 without a goal, so to score two today, I'm really pleased.

"That one at the end was bobbling all over the place, but I managed to get a good connection and it felt good."

Asked if he felt the first goal should have been ruled out for offside, as heavily protested by the home side, with Holmes' body appeared to deflect in Matt Staines' shot from Craig Pruden's precise cross, after Swallow had put him in down the right-hand channel, he said: "I couldn't really see it from where I was, to be honest, as I had a defender in front of me.

"But from what it looked like to me, Stainesy pulled it back and it looked like the ball went backwards to me. But I don't know; I think they had a player on the line anyway."

He added: "But if it was offside you need that luck sometimes."

Having booked their semi-final spot, Borough are now just a potential 90 minutes of football away from ensuring they will be running out at Ipswich Town's Portman Road in the final.

Problems over pitch maintenance and an Elton John summer concert led Ipswich to offer up only one day to stage one of the eight Suffolk county cup finals, with the Senior Cup selected by Suffolk FA on the basis that the Premier Cup would have clashed with the Ryman League play-offs.

Of making the last four in the Senior Cup, Swallow said: "It feels really good. It was a hard shift and I thought we dug in and weathered the storm in the second half before managing to kill it with the third goal.

"We started quickly, which is what we have been doing all season to be fair.

"They made it 2-1 which made things a bit difficult, and the game could go either way there, but like I said, we hung in there and dug in, winning our tackles and headers."

Other results meant Borough are now the highest ranked team left in the competition, with all the three other side remaining (Achilles, Capel Plough and Crane Sports) all plying their trade in the league below, the Suffolk & Ipswich League (SIL).

But Swallow said he has no preference ahead of the draw being made public.

* Log back onto this website at 6pm to find out who Borough have in the last four of the Suffolk FA Senior Cup sponsored by CNet Training and where and when they will be playing the tie.

* We will also bring you a Saturday round-up of all of our Ryman League and Thurlow Nunn League sides across our five titles before 6.30pm with reporters at AFC Sudbury, Soham Town Rangers and Stowmarket Town. Follow @russclaydon @liamapicella and @lalmoss for team news and updates from 2.30pm on Twitter.