Colliers Wood United 0 Swans 4

Saturday 25 February 2017.     Cherry Red Combined Counties League, Premier Division.

Colliers Wood United 0   Walton & Hersham 4.

Two goals in each half gave Swans a convincing win on their first visit to the Wibbandune Stadium, as they made light of any possible pre-match concerns regarding team selection and player availability. They barely gave the home side a clear opening and came away with their second clean sheet in a row, after going thirteen games without one.

With Jamie Thoroughgood not able to make kick-off and named only as a substitute, Billy Marshall had to start, despite not being fully fit, while Alex Filipe came in at left-back for the unavailable Craig Tanner. Nathan Gordon and Elliott Simpson were both still out with injuries.

There was almost an early lead when Marshall’s cross-field pass found Malachi Thomas on the right and Jamil Okai got a touch on his low ball into the six-yard box, forcing former Swans’ youth team goalkeeper Wester Young to make a smart save on his line. Okai then tried his luck with a low shot from 25 yards that went wide of the left-post. There were then claims for a penalty when Marshall’s free-kick from the left touchline appeared to be handled in the box. Swans had started really positively, and with ten minutes played Filipe crossed from the left, and Marshall sent a lob just over as the ball came to him 25 yards out.

The home side had a chance from a free-kick out on the left touchline, but Jake Hill put the ball wide at the far-post when Sanchez Benali sent the kick in.

But Swans continued to look dangerous, and TJ Nkoma cut in from the right to drive in a low shot that Young had to push round his near-post. Filipe then knocked the ball forward to put Francois Gabbidon clear in the box, but he just couldn’t get the ball past the onrushing keeper. Swans won a corner on the left, and from Marshall’s kick Lea Van Sullivan was at the far-post to put a strong header just over.

Midway through the half Okai made a strong run on the left and was brought down by Tyrone Newton just outside the box, the home skipper picking up a booking for the offence. Colliers Wood were further punished from the free-kick as Marshall swung the ball in, and with Young distracted by Louis Taylor’s run across him it passed inside the far-post to give Swans the lead.

Benali looked the home side’s biggest threat, and from his free-kick on the left Hill put a header over.

With just under ten minutes left to the break Swans doubled their lead with a fine goal. Thomas made a run on the right before driving the ball into the six-yard box, where Okai was at the near-post to score with a terrific volley.

The home side tried to hit back, and after Hill drove a free-kick over from the right edge of the box, Benali cut in from the left, but shot well over from 25 yards. Liam Beach was then brought into serious action for the first time as Benali struck a low shot from the left, and the Swans’ keeper got his fingers to the ball to deflect it just wide of the far-post.

Swans continued to threaten however, and in stoppage-time Okai got the better of Dan Hughes on the left, and the ball was just cleared away in the box. Nkoma then drove a shot wide from 25 yards.

Beach had to make a block at his near-post as Colliers Wood got into the left of the box early in the second-half, and Thoroughgood soon replaced Marshall, who had done well in the first-half despite not being fully-fit.

Sullivan put a header wide when Howard Newton sent a free-kick into the box, before Swans made it 3-0 just before the hour. Beach took a free-kick from deep on the right, and Gabbidon was in the left of the six-yard box to put a header against the left-post, but he followed up to score his third goal in as many games.

With just over twenty minutes remaining Sean White, who had just replaced Thomas, lobbed the ball forward into the box to put Gabbidon clear, but his shot was well blocked by keeper Young.

The home side had a chance when substitute Elijah Ogunseye got past Sullivan on the right, but he shot into the side-netting.

Swans replied with Okai driving over at the far-post when Seb Castello sent in a free-kick from the right touchline.

With a minute of stoppage-time played Swans made it 4-0. Gabbidon stole the ball from Hill on the right before getting forward and driving the ball low into the six-yard box, where White was there to score against his former club.

Swans’ Team: Liam Beach, Corey Haywood-Roye, Alex Filipe, Louis Taylor, Lea Van Sullivan, Billy Marshall (Jamie Thoroughgood 54’), Malachi Thomas (Sean White 66’), Howard Newton (Seb Castello 74’), Francois Gabbidon, Jamil Okai. TJ Nkoma. Sub. not used: Cameron Gyeabour. Scorers: Marshall (23’), Okai (36’), Gabbidon (59’), White (90+1’). Caution: Castello, foul (86’).

Colliers Wood Team: Young, Hughes, Ottaway, Newton, Hill, Woodhouse, Mohammed (Rodney 77’), Kaddu, Harding, Benali, Nuur (Ogunseye 62’). Cautions: Newton (22’), Woodhouse (72’), Ottaway (82’).                  

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