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Swinton Athetic 2
Joker 1

Goals:  SAFC:  Matt Thornton 2
JFC:  Joe Austin

Final 31/5/21 @ Hampden Road

SWINTON Athletic clinched a record-breaking eighth success in the Mexborough Montagu Cup on Bank Holiday Monday .
Their deserved 2-1 win in the final over favourites Joker means that Swinton move ahead of seven times winners Mexborough Main Street and Wombwell Main to become outright Cup Kings of the ‘Mont’.
Although two goal Matt Thornton was the match winning hero, it was the all-round teamwork of Swinton which earned them their victory over the crack Rotherham Sunday League side.
Swinton, the holders, seemed to relish their underdogs tag right from the start and whether defending or attacking, their energetic, committed performance never gave Joker a moment’s peace.
The lack of serious goalmouth action in the first half was largely due to strong defending by both sides but it was an intriguing opening half for the crowd of around 600.
The decisive goals arrived within two minutes of each other early in the second half.
The troublesome Enzo Guarini provided the perfect centre for Matt Thornton to rise at the far post and head Swinton into a 57th minute lead.
Two minutes later, Thornton pounced on a loose ball around 25 yards out and smartly lobbed keeper Jamie Bailey to put Swinton in dreamland.
It was inevitable Joker would hit back hard and they wasted two great chances with Jordan Watson making a couple of important saves including denying Josh Nodder when he was clean through.
By the time Joker did reply, Joe Austin powering home a header from Nodder’s cross, it was the first minute of stoppage time and it proved too late.
It meant Joker failed in the first leg of a Cup double attempt as they conclude their season in Thursday’s Rotherham Charity Cup Final against Sheffield side AFC Three Feathers at Parkgate (7pm).
Les Payne


Matt "Choco" Thornton
Credit:  Blueline Photography

1 SAFC team best.jpg

Swinton Athletic
Credit:  Blueline Photography

First goal.jpg

Matt Thornton's first, a header from an Enzo Guirani cross.
Credit: 1) Blueline Photography 2) TravelsTyke 3) DribblingCode


Matt Thornton's and Swinton's second.
Credit:  DribblingCode

2nd goal.jpg

Joe Austin heads in a late consolation from a Josh Nodder cross.
Credit:  TravelsTyke


Links to the work of....
Official Photographer:
Blueline Photography

Other Photographers:




Semi Final 28/12/20 @ Hampden Road
Joker 3 AFP 3
Joker win on penalties

2019 Mont winners Joker clawed back a 2 goal deficit to overcome their Rotherham Sunday League rivals, setting up a final against the 2020 winners Swinton Athletic.

Alan Smith slotted home for AFP after 18 minutes, latching on to a cross from Brandon Bagley.  Jamie Austin almost made it 2-0 with a free-kick that Steve Mcdonnell headed clear off the line. 

Joker were pushing forward more than AFP without creating clear cut chances.  This continued in the second half but it was AFP that scored when Bagley converted a flicked on free-kick 6 minutes in.

Joker continued to pile on the pressure with Craig Nelthorpe slipping at a vital moment when clean through.  On 54 minutes Alex Hardwick pulled one back for Joker after Jack Owen's shot was parried out.

Four minutes later it was 2-2. Nelthorpe's deep cross found an unmarked Brad Morton at the back post to head home.

Nelthorpe began to dominate proceedings creating numerous chances with pin-point left-footed crosses.  On 77 minutes one of these crosses found Steve Mcdonnell who scored to give Joker the lead.

Joel Spence was impressive for Joker as they looked for a fourth goal - Owen's shot hitting the bar and bouncing down close to the line.  From this AFP launced a counter-attack leading to a free-kick, which Austin curled in to the top corner to make it 3-3 with the best goal of the game. 

The remaining 4 minutes played out and then it was straight to penalties.  Joker missed their first two penalties (one saved by Ben Brunt), but then scored the next five to win the sudden death shoot out.


Photos :  BlueLine Photography


Morton makes it 2-2 with a header.


Craig Nelthorpe


Jamie Bailey saves an AFP penalty in the shoot-out

Semi Final 27/12/20 @ Hampden Road
Swinton Athletic 3 Dog Daisy 0

Holders Swinton Athletic are through to the final and a chance to become the outright top Montagu Cup club as the competition nears its 125 year milestone.

Sunday League side Dog Daisy were playing without five players who had elected to represent Swinton in the competition.  Despite this, it was an even contest in the opening stages - although the match failed to flow due to a succession of aggressive fouls.

On 32 minutes, Curt Wilkinson's free-kick found Justin Greenwood who provided the cross for Jon Billups to head home from a yard out.  Ten minutes later it was Greenwood again who laid on for Sam Hanna to slot home from close range, with the key pass in the build up from Shawn Mitchell.

In the second half, Dog Daisy left more gaps for Swinton to attack as they tried to reduce the deficit.  The industrious Tommy Needham and tricky Jake Phillis provided most of the endeavour.

Hanna's shot from range was tipped on to the crossbar by Ben Dring with only Enzo Guarini reacting to the possibility that it was dropping back into play - clattering into the post as he bundled the ball in.

Photos :  BlueLine Photography


Billups with the opening goal

Guarini with the 3rd goal.


Smart parking helped these to overcome the spectator ban.

Quarter Finals

Dog Daisy 7 Monkwood 3
Joker v Wombwell Main

Robin Hood 1 Swinton Athletic 4
AFP 6 Westville 1


First Round

Caulfield 0 AFP 11
Cafe Sport 0 Robin Hood 6
Monkwood 13 Cross Keys 1
Westville 4 Mexborough Athletic 1
Wickersley 1 Swinton Athletic 4
Dearne Tap 2 Joker 7
Birdwell Rovers v Wombwell Main
The Cottage v Dog Daisy Utd

Preliminary Round

Castle Bar 2 Mexborough Athletic 7
Swinton Over 35s 3 Cafe Sport 3
Cafe Sport win 4 2 on penalties

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