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Swan pounces after Eagles waste quick start

Goal hero: Shaki Swan, the former Southampton Rangers striker, notched the winner for Flanagan’s Onions yesterday (File photograph by Blaire Simmons)

Somerset Eagles 1 Flanagan’s Onions 2

All three goals came in the first half, as Flanagan’s Onions upset Somerset Eagles at White Hill Field, with a come-from-behind victory.

Eagles scored first in the fifth minute through Kanhai Fray, before Michael Lindsey-Bailey equalised for Onions in the twelfth minute and then Shaki Swan scored Onions’ winner in the 35th minute.

Eagles came strong out the blocks. Marcus Iris-Simmons, the Eagles midfielder, got away from his marker, dribbled to the byline and delivered a low cross in front of goal that Fray, the Eagles forward, was on hand to tuck home to give the home side an early lead.

Before Eagles could go looking for a second goal, Onions began to hit back. In the seventh minute, Reece Calvert, the Onions full back, sent a shot over the bar after being played in by a through-ball. Then Keston Lewis, the Onions forward, went down in the box, but no penalty was awarded.

Lewis would then play a big part in creating Onions’ leveller. Lindsey-Bailey, the midfielder, made an unchecked run into the box and arrived just in time to drive a Lewis cross into the bottom corner and put Onions on level terms.

This goal brought the game to life. Eagles’ Fray went on a mazy dribble that brought him one-on-one with Stephen Gould, the Onions goalkeeper, but he could only manage to shoot right at Gould. Then, Lewis had his free kick tipped over the bar by Lorenzo Lambert, in goal for Eagles.

Shortly after Lewis’s free kick was saved, Onions would score again and Lewis would once again be involved in the goal. Lewis found himself in space in the box and crossed for Treshun Smith. Surrounded by Eagles defenders, Smith put his shot wide of goal, but Swan was alert to redirect Smith’s shot into the back of the net.

Just before half-time, Iris-Simmons was caught offside when chasing a long ball from out of midfield and then Swan had a shot go wide.

Early in the second half, Iris-Simmons was replaced by striker Akale Bean, their new signing from Southampton Rangers.

Next Eagles brought on Marlon Rojas, their player-coach, for Shentoine Lambert. Onions also made some changes, with Peter Robey replacing Swan and Bron Turner replacing Smith.

Rojas immediately tried to get his side back into the game. He dispossessed the Onions midfield of the ball and ran towards the final third, but he had the ball cleared from his feet before he could get off his shot.

Eagles then conceded a dangerous free kick on the edge of their box, which Calvert put wide of goal. Eagles would then find themselves in more trouble, when Lorenzo Burch, the Eagles centre half, was booked for fouling Lewis, after an Onions breakaway. Moments later, Onions would make their final substitution, bringing on Mick Ward, their player-coach, for midfielder Joseph Scott.

Eagles still tried to carve out chances, with Davin Riley-Clarke heading over a Rojas cross and then Eagles thought they should have had a penalty — after substitute Bean went down in the box. But the referee correctly ruled that Bean went down too easily.

Eagles’ quest to get back on level terms was made all the more difficult after Burch was shown a second yellow for hauling down Lewis in the wake of an Onions quick break in the 90th minute.

With the numerical advantage, Onions had two late chances in stoppage time to extend their lead, which Robey and Lewis both failed to take advantage of. At the whistle, Onions secured their first win of the season and moved to within two points of Eagles.


Somerset Eagles

Fray 5

Flanagan’s Onions

Lindsey-Bailey 12

Swan 35

Somerset Eagles (4-4-2): L Lambert — A Furbert, G Smith, L Burch, R Quinn — D Riley-Clarke, A Telford, T Smith (sub: C Henry, 23min), M Iris-Simmons (sub: A Bean, 53) — K Fray, S Lambert (sub: M Rojas, 62). Substitutes not used: S Johns, C Medeiros, J Santos, R Seaman, J Simmons. Booked: Burch, Riley-Clarken. Sent off: Burch.

Flanagan’s Onions (4-4-2): S Gould — A Brown, G Muir, D Luck, R Calvert — C Burns, M Lindsey-Bailey, J Scott (sub: M Ward, 77), T Smith (sub: B Turner, 66) — S Swan (sub: P Robey, 66), K Lewis. Substitutes not used: C Berkeley, M Laws. Booked: Brown, Scott.

Referee: R Cann.