Swifts had just 8 players for the game, but thankfully, and sportingly from their opposition; Garden City dropped their squad of 10 back down to play 8v8 for the match. In an unusual change for Chippy, Zachery Gray started in goal, allowing John Makinson a chance to start outfield in a league game. In defence, Tyms Dang, Jaydon Townsend and Finley Chrich were tasked with providing a strong base, allowing a midfield of Makinson, Alex Payne and Antonio Virk the opportunity to get forward and supply Lucas Timms, the lone striker. Stan Jackman, Giovanni Virk, Charlie Edwards and Harry Dalton were all missing, for various reasons.
Unfortunately, Swifts seemed half asleep for much of the first half - with the visitors cutting through at ease, and grabbing a couple of goals for themselves within the first 15 minutes. Swifts first meaningful forray forward didn't come until around the 20 minute mark; as Jonny Makinson had a tame shot blocked after being rolled through by Alex Payne. At the other end, Zachery Gray was forced into making two good saves, one at his near post, and the other across to his left.
As the first half drew to a close, Garden City grabbed another which looked as though it would kill the game off - far, far too much standing and watching from Swifts saw the visitors number 12, their centre-back, walk past FIVE players, before rolling the ball into the net.
But there was to be a twist in the final few minutes of the first period - from absolutely nowhere, a blistering run down the right from Antonio Virk saw him skip past the winger and the full-back for Garden City, before standing up a cross. The ball in was only half cleared to the edge of the box, where it was beautifully swept into the far corner, first time, by Alex Payne.
Then, no more than a minute later, another superb turn of pace from Antonio Virk set him clear again - but Garden City were wise to his threat, and proceeded to stop him with a cynical foul. Swifts still punished their opponents - from the resulting free kick, Jaydon Townsend struck an absolute cracker. Despite being right against the right-hand touchline, the set piece was drilled hard and over the wall, dipping just in time, over the keeper and down below the crossbar, a lovely goal to put Swifts right back in the game, whether they deserved it or not.
Much of the half time team talk was spent trying to get Swifts going again - they hadn't performed anywhere near their best in the first half, but the final minutes showed how good they can be when the application and confidence is right. They were now well in the game again, and were more than capable of gaining a good result. John Makinson went back in goal for the second half, with Zachery Gray moving into the centre of the back three. This allowed Jaydon Townsend to step into the midfield, and look to pose a threat with his long-range shooting.
Swifts did improve in the early stages of the second period - another series of runs from Antonio Virk down the right saw him win a series of corners in the opening 5 minutes - however none led to a clear chance - and in truth, the first 5/6 minutes of the half was all we really saw from Swifts in the game, as all the belief and positive energy seemed to drain once again.
Garden City scored their fourth of the day with a really well worked goal - two-touch passing through three players out to the right, where the ball was drilled across goal and turned in at the back post. They then rounded off the scoring in the final minute - a goal which summed up Swifts performance. They scrambled a cross from the left clear, but as the ball dropped to the number 12 in space on the edge of the box, none of the 6 Swifts players behind the ball looked to press and attempt to block the shot - instead allowing him all the time in the world to pick his spot - and he did just that.
A day to forget for Swifts, although with so many away, you would be very suprised if a performance of that nature was to happen again this season. They will pick themselves up ready for next week, where they will hopefully have many returning faces for their away trip to play Witney Vikings (September 28th).