SOUTHERN LEAGUE: Ben feared being hauled off before brace
BEN Whitehead feared he was going to get hauled off prior to scoring the two goals that handed Swindon Supermarine a 2-0 opening-day victory against Clevedon.
The former Abingdon United man scored twice in the lead-up to half-time - the first a glorious strike from 25 yards - as Marine started their Southern League Division One South & West campaign where they left off last season.
But the 19-year-old admitted that prior to bagging his brace at the Webb’s Wood Stadium, he was concerned that his first competitive appearance of the season would end at the interval.
“I wasn’t playing well, that was the thing. I thought I was going to get brought off at half-time because it just wasn’t happening for me,” said Whitehead.
“The first goal is one of the best I’ve scored, especially for Supermarine.
“The main thing is we got three points and it doesn’t matter who scores, but personally it is nice to get off the mark. I’d like a few more but we’ll see how it goes.”
Prior to Whitehead’s stunning opener, all Marine had to show in the way of genuine opportunities was a 29th-minute header from Rob Dean that cleared the bar.
But in the 42nd minute, good work from full-back Kyle Lapham and league debutant Aaron Ferris resulted in Whitehead receiving the ball outside the box, and the former Swindon Town youth player curled a wonderful effort beyond keeper Danny Greaves and into the top-right corner.
Two minutes later, the advantage was doubled. Winger Josh Morse, also making his competitive debut, played the ball into the gap between defender and goalkeeper and Whitehead was able to nip in, round Greaves, and tap into the net.
The Seasiders rarely threatened in the second period and stopper Kent Kauppinen was largely untroubled as Marine cruised to victory.
“It was good to get three points and get the ball rolling for the season,” continued Whitehead.
“The first 30 minutes it was frantic and everyone was trying to impress what with it being the first game of the season.
“But once we got our first goal we settled down and were able to kick on, and the second goal killed the game off really.
“They kept the ball well but Kent didn’t have a save to make the whole game. Our back four was decent, they are always solid and they didn’t give their strikers a sniff.”
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