Chertsey Town 1 Swans 2

Tuesday 7 February 2017.     Cherry Red Combined Counties League, Premier Division.

Chertsey Town 1   Walton & Hersham 2.

Swans picked up a much-needed win in this local derby, although for a large part of the match that result had looked unlikely. After taking an early lead they could easily have trailed at the break as the home side had much the better of the first-half and created several opportunities to add to their single goal. But Swans had a much better second 45 minutes and finally got a late winner.

The lead came after just six minutes and was somewhat of a gift, although the goal was well-taken by TJ Nkoma. Chertsey passed the ball across the edge of their own box from their left and it went straight to Nkoma, who rifled a shot past goalkeeper Chico Ramos.

The home side quickly responded with a free-kick from 35 yards that Swans’ keeper Liam Beach had to tip over.

Swans soon had a chance to double their lead when Billy Marshall played Nathan Gordon into the left of the box, but Ramos just got to the ball. Gordon was injured as he collided with Ramos, and soon had to be replaced by Seb Castello.

Chertsey had got well on top, and they played a ball low across the goal-face from the left.

Swans relieved the pressure when a clearance found Jamil Okai, who made his way into the box. After several attempts to create an opening he went down under a challenge, but claims for a penalty went unheeded.

The home side quickly broke and Beach had to dive to his left to push the ball wide as a low shot came in. Chertsey continued to threaten and a shot was driven over after a build-up by the left corner of the box.

But with 25 minutes played their pressure paid off when they equalised. The award of a free-kick on the edge of the box was highly debateable, but Swans’ susceptibility to such situations was highlighted again as Andy Crossley drove the ball past the wall and into the bottom, left corner.

Ten minutes later The Curfews went close to taking the lead. Following a corner on the right a header came in, and Beach did superbly to defect the ball onto the right angle of bar and post.

Swans quickly got to the other end, and some clever play by Marshall in the left of the box led to his cross being headed behind for a corner.

But the home side continued to threaten, and after getting into the left of the box a shot was driven over.

With a minute left of normal-time in the first-half Marshall sent the ball over from the right, and when it came to Louis Taylor five yards outside the box, he sent a volley dipping over.

There was still time for Chertsey to go close to taking a half-time lead when they were awarded a free-kick outside the right of the box, but Crossley curled the ball just over the near, top corner.

Elliott Simpson replaced Taylor for Swans for the second-half, and they had a chance less than a minute after the resumption when Malachi Thomas’s cross from the left picked out Nkoma beyond the far-post, but he volleyed wide.

Chertsey had a free-kick deep on the right and the ball was deflected for a corner, following which a header was put wide.

Swans should have regained the lead eight minutes into the half when Marshall crossed from the left for Nkoma to knock the ball back across the six-yard box from the far-post, but neither Thomas nor Okai could force it in.

Beach was soon having to get behind the ball at the other end when Crossley got in a volley from outside the left of the box.

Swans had started the second-half much improved, and home keeper Ramos just managed to claw the ball away at his far-post when Olade Yusuf crossed from the right. Ramos was then spotted off his line by Marshall, but his shot from 40 yards out dipped just over. Nkoma put Okai clear on the right, but after cutting into the box he put his low shot straight at Ramos. Nkoma was then found in the right of the box, and he cut in to strike a left-foot shot that Ramos did well to tip over. With an hour played Okai turned in the box to put a right-foot shot just over.

Midway through the half there was a lengthy hold-up when Chertsey’s Crossley was treated for an injury before being stretchered off.

With just under ten minutes remaining Swans’ Castello got in a good cross from the left, but no-one could get their head to the ball. But Swans soon regained the lead when Yusuf got to the byline on the right, and when Ramos could not cut out his cross to the far-post Jamie Thoroughgood was there to knock the ball over the line.

In the fourth minute of a lengthy period of stoppage-time Simpson sent Nkoma away on the right, and after getting into the box he was clearly fouled, but again there was no penalty award.

Swans’ Team: Liam Beach, Olade Yusuf, Nathan Gordon (Seb Castello 19’), Louis Taylor (Elliott Simpson 45’), Lea Van Sullivan, Jamie Thoroughgood, Malachi Thomas (Sean White 80’), Howard Newton, Jamil Okai, Billy Marshall, TJ Nkoma. Sub. not used: Cameron Gyeabour. Scorers: Nkoma (6’), Thoroughgood (82’). Cautions: Thoroughgood, handball (45+2’), Marshall, foul (67’),

Chertsey Team: Ramos, Wadmore, Geraghty, Mealing, Batten, Blendell (Thompson 83′), Cullen (Pomroy 37’), Jones, Young, Crossley (Gooden 73’), Ross. Subs. not used: Cartwright, Sergeon. Scorer: Crossley (25’). Cautions: Mealing, Ramos, Wadmore, Jones, Batten, Crossley.                  

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