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Efficient James clinch win from Vanbrugh

A dominant James seconds pulled off a vital victory against a determined Vanbrugh thirds as the Swans chase a place in the Cup qualifications in Group A

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Group A

A dominant James seconds pulled off a vital victory against a determined Vanbrugh thirds as the Swans chase a place in the Cup qualifications in Group A.

Matt Hosier gave James an early lead before Andreas Boedt doubled their score before half-time. William Knowles curled in an excellent free kick as Vanbrugh looked to mount a come-back, but James put the game to bed when James Axford tucked in a Hosier cross.

Vanbrugh knew that they were going to be on the back foot for the majority of the game and set up with two holding midfielders in front of the back four in a bid to keep the likes of Ralph Gill from controlling the game.

As expected, James dominated possession for considerable parts of the match but looked short of ideas in the final third for the first few minutes. However, Vanbrugh's defence only held for five minutes when an Ameer Alhasan throw missed the head of Gill but found Matt Singleton at the far post, who fizzed the ball back across goal to the far post and the unmarked stooping header of Hosier.

To give credit to Vanbrugh, they didn't let their heads go down and they refound their previous defensive shape, with centre-backs Alex Habeck and Charlie Frobisher clearing up most balls that came their way. James were now being limited to shots from range.

However, Vanbrugh leaked in another goal shortly before half-time from yet another throw-in routine. A long throw from Alhasan found the head of Singleton, who's dinking effort came back into play off the crossbar before Andreas Boedt half-volleyed an excellent effort past the helpless Vanbrugh keeper James Graves.

Yet Vanbrugh, despite being 2-0 down, still came out resiliently in the second half. For the opening stages, they looked like the better side for the first time in the game as they tried to create their own chances instead of trying to hit James on the break.

They deserved found a goal for their efforts just two minutes into the half when Knowles stepped up to a free kick on the left that he curled into the far post with his right-foot before it bounced over the line.

As Vanbrugh pushed forward more in search of an equaliser, they left themselves more open for the first time in the game as James found more and more to move the ball around the edge of the D before they finally put the game to bed in the 37th minute from a somewhat fortuitous finish.

Singleton played in Hosier on the right, before his low cross into the mixer found the off-balance feet of James Axford, who managed to get enough on the ball to tuck the ball across the line with pinpoint precision at Graves' near post, placing the ball just where the keeper couldn't reach.

James continued to see out the match with the result more or less decided. A flanking header from Gill slammed off the crossbar in the closing stages from a Will Baker corner, but that was all there was to shout about in an uneventful final ten minutes.

Charlie Frobisher, the Vanbrugh captain, told Nouse after the game, "I don't feel hard-done by but the goals that went in were sloppy on our behalf. But when you're under a sustained amount of pressure then you're not always going to get the rub of the green. We did set up to contain them, we didn't want to come here and get our arse handed to us, and I think that we did that more than well."

A content but relieved James captain, Ameer Alhasan, said, "I felt that getting an early goal really helped settle our nerves and it really helped to get our game going. In the end it was quite an efficient performance; nothing special but we got the job done".

James: Balzan, Axford, Steel, Lane, Embleton, Baker, Alhasan (C), Gill, Boedt, Hosier, Singleton
Man of the match: James Axford

Vanbrugh: Graves, Habeck, Franklin (Western), Waldock, Brack, Lloyd, Hill (Basaglia), Habgood, Knowles, Frobisher (C), Priest
Man of the match: Leo Brack

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