9:18pm Tuesday 18th March 2014
By Fraser Watson
Senior Cup semi final:
Tenby 2–0 Monkton Swifts
TWO goals from Sam Christopher fired Tenby into their first ever Senior Cup final as they accounted for Monkton Swifts at the Conygar Bridge Meadow.
Christopher volleyed home after 26 minutes and then tapped in from close range with 11 remaining to clinch the tie for his side.
The desire of both sides to reach the final was plain to see, with referee Dai Badger issuing seven yellow cards during the 90 minutes.
In a tight opening, it was the Seasiders who went close five minutes in when midfielder Richard Perry surged forward and crashed a 25 yard shot onto the top of the crossbar.
But with quarter of an hour played, the Swifts squandered a great chance when Lee Brockway played in Wayne Brunton, whose hooked left foot shot beat Tenby keeper Dafydd Jones but also cannoned off the crossbar.
Christopher made the Swifts' pay when an Ashley Andrews cross deflected into his path, and the striker hammered home on the half volley from eight yards out.
The Seasiders then proceeded to take command and after Billy Vaughan’s low cross just evaded Christopher, the latter was involved again when he was seemingly taken down by Sean Jones in the area, but referee Badger waved play on.
At the other end, Monkton midfielder Tom Meiring saw his curling left footed free kick well held by a diving Jones.
Then on the brink of the half time, Swifts' defender Jamie Callan nearly diverted a Daryl Mansbridge cross into his own net, but it remained 1-0 Tenby at the break.
Like the first half, the early stages of the second period were again tight and after Tenby winger Daryl Mansbridge saw his low cross evade everybody, Phill Cattlin hit a spectacular volley from 40 yards out that sailed just over.
But the Swifts upped the tempo on the hour mark and went close twice in quick succession. A long free kick was headed into the path of Daniel Scourfield, whose close range effort was blocked by Jones, before Brunton miscued with the goal at his mercy.
At the other end, Christopher made no mistake when clean through but saw his goal ruled out for offside.
Then with 13 minutes left came a crucial moment. A Scourfield long throw fell to Swifts' defender Gareth Lewis, whose flicked shot was brilliantly tipped away by Jones.
It proved pivotal as from the resultant corner, the Seasiders broke and Vaughan surged down the right wing and squared to Christopher, who tapped home to effectively end the tie.
Tenby came close to a third late on when Daryl Mansbridge saw his close range effort saved well by Creese – but by then the Seasiders had done enough to book their place in the final for the first time.
They will play the winners of the Johnston v Merlins Bridge semi final will again take place on the Meadow on Thursday night, with kick off at 7pm.
Tenby: Dafydd Jones, Ashley Andrews, Sonny Phillips, Alex Harley, Phil Cattlin, Curtis Hurlow (Jordan Richards 80), Jerome Mansbridge, Richard Perry, Sam Christopher, Billy Vaughan, Daryl Mansbridge (Jake Proctor 89).
Sub not used: Toby Rossiter.
Monkton Swifts: Lance Creese, Sean Jones, Gareth Lewis (Marcus Blair 80), Jamie Callan, Richard Hughes, Joe Lewis, Ben Nicholas (Ben Adams 77), Wayne Brunton (Jimmy Russell 80), Daniel Scourfield, Lee Brockway.
Referee: Dai Badger
Assistants: Steve Williams and Angus Scourfield.
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