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Swallownest hold on to narrow win

Pre-season ended in defeat as a first-half penalty guided Swallownest to a hard-won result in Forest Town.

AFC had the majority of the ball and chances throughout the tie, but it counted for little with a clinical South Yorkshire side battling well to earn a clean sheet.

Starting ahead of last season's top scorer Ross Duggan, Luke Walker led the Bulls' front line with some excellent hold-up play, but blasted over an early chance when he was fed down the left-hand channel.

New signing Matt Sykes also had a couple of half-chances, but couldn't find the target from the edge of the penalty area.

Despite rarely creating a chance, Swallownest were then given the biggest opportunity of the first half when Jordan Annable was penalised for allegedly bringing down his man inside the penalty area.

Swallownest's number four tucked the spot-kick home emphatically via the top corner, with Hugo Warhurst sent the other way.

Only several minutes later, the Bulls had a penalty shout of their own, but the referee wasn't convinced that Walker was felled in the visiting box despite strong appeals.

AFC remained largely on top in the second period, as Ross Duggan came off the bench in an attempt to add firepower to the Bulls' front three.

Duggan didn't take long to test the Swallownest goalkeeper, forcing a strong two-handed save with his 20 yard free-kick which seemed to be destined for the far corner.

The striker then almost set up team-mate Lynton Karkach several yards out with a hooked ball from a long-range free-kick, but Duggan was frustratingly flagged for offside.

Despite all efforts from Matt Chatfield's men in the game's dying moments, Swallownest reamined resolute at the back, and the visiting goalkeeper once again came to the rescue to tip Duggan's strike over the bar when Karkach did superbly to feed the striker in on goal.

With pre-season wrapped up, attention turns to Tuesday night's huge local derby when AFC host Sherwood Colliery in the Emirates FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round at 7:45pm.


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