SWINDON Town Under 14s played their second and final tour match at the Ed Bush Arena last night and came away with a hard-fought 1-0 victory.
In front of a big crowd, the players and staff were welcomed by the Premier and the President of the West Bay Foundation, the organisation that helped obtain the sponsors to help with the trip. This was completed by both the British and the Cayman national anthems.
The game started and Swindon got into a good passing rhythm, looking more comfortable on the ball than in their previous game. They kept their shape well and at times were really playing some fantastic football.
It was a special evening for Sebastian Martinez, a Cayman who plays in the Academy. He scored the first goal with a nice finish, coming off the right wing to put Swindon 1-0 up. Town then went on to put more pressure on the West Bay team, with Aiden Compton hitting the crossbar from 25 yards with a good strike.
The tourists were creating some good chances with the dangerous Tyreke Johnson down the left side crossing balls in and running with the ball. Martinez had another chance to score when he mis-timed his shot. Had he been more relaxed he would have scored. Swindon went into the break 1-0 up.
The second half started and more of the same was being asked from the coaches: a good tempo and passing from the start. Goalkeeper Lehmann was called to action and he pulled off some fantastic saves to keep his side in the lead. Swindon could have scored again when Jordan Morris put in a dangerous ball that eluded everyone and ran harmlessly across the box.
Tyreke Johnson then hit the crossbar after cutting in from the right hand side. Swindon continued to play very well at times and did a good job of soaking up pressure from the balls played in by the home side. Swindon held on for a 1-0 victory and the players were thrilled by their hard work in getting something from the game.
Speaking to the STFC Website, Academy Manager Jeremy Newton said: "It was a real pleasing performance, both individually and collectively as a whole squad.
"The players have enjoyed the experience and with the crowds, the attention from the local footballers, also along with the national anthems, they can take away a lot of positives from the trip along with some negatives. More importantly it has been a huge learning experience of what it takes both physically and mentally to play in different climates.
"The Under 14s fly back on Saturday morning, where they will have Sunday off before returning to training on Monday evening.
"I would like to personally thank all the players and staff for their professionalism during the week. I was very proud of their conduct on and off the pitch - they are a credit to the Academy of Swindon Town."