Saturday 15 April 2017. Cherry Red Combined Counties League, Premier Division
CB Hounslow United 1 Walton & Hersham 0.
Missed chances in a stuttering performance cost Swans dearly as they saw their hopes of finishing higher than third in the table disappear. Although they had the bulk of the play their attacks constantly fizzled out in the last third, and the opportunities they did have, and there were several, were all spurned. In contrast the home side had few chances, and the only goal, scored with just over twenty minutes remaining, although well-struck, was a speculative effort from fully 35 yards.
Swans had to make one change from the side that had played so well against Camberley Town, Sean White starting in place of the injured Malachi Thomas. Jake Newton played his second match following his return, but he was to taste defeat for the first time in a league match in Swans’ colours.
Swans applied the early pressure, but the home side had the first opportunity when a long, diagonal ball from the left picked out Thomas Kanek on the right, but he sent a first-time half-volley wide of the far-post.
Swans’ first opening soon came when Corey Haywood-Roye’s cross from the right found Francois Gabbidon unmarked in the box, but he dwelt too long on the ball and goalkeeper Alex Wines was able to gather. TJ Nkoma then made a good run on the right, but there was no-one to get on the end of his low cross and Wines again claimed the ball. Nkoma and Howard Newton combined on the left, and the move finished with Nkoma striking a fine half-volley dipping over from 25 yards.
Swans’ best chance so far came when Jamil Okai put Nathan Gordon down the left. Gordon cut into the box before setting-up Nkoma, but he put the ball over the bar.
With just over a quarter of an hour played the home side broke from a Swans’ attack and Oliver Wright got in a shot from the edge of the box that was straight at keeper Liam Beach.
CB Hounslow’s Jack Watts was soon picking up a caution for a foul on the left edge of the box that gave Swans a free-kick in a good position. Nkoma took the kick, but when the ball came to White outside the box he struck a wild shot well over the goal.
Swans were unfortunate not to take the lead when Howard Newton made a good run forward before striking a fine shot from 25 yards, but the ball clipped the top of the crossbar and went over. Gabbidon then made a good run into the box on the right, but he again dwelt too long on the ball and Wines was again able to claim it.
The home side had a chance when Gavin Bamford sent a free-kick forward from the halfway line and Connor Harlow was free to get his head to the ball in the box, but it flew wide. CB Hounslow had seen off Swans’ early dominance, and with just over ten minutes left of the half they won three corners in succession on the left, but Beach claimed the ball from Bamford’s third kick to end the sequence. Another corner was soon won, this time on the right, and Bamford’s kick led to a scramble before the ball was cleared.
Swans had an opportunity early in the second-half when Haywood-Roye got White to the byline on the right, but his cross went just over the bar.
CB Hounslow soon won a free-kick just outside the box on the right, and when Billy Roach’s kick was charged down Kanek drove a follow-up shot over.
Swans had another chance when Okai set up Nkoma in the left of the box, but his low drive was saved at the near-post by Wines.
Just before the hour a double change was made with Matt Rose-Hazel and Jordan Wisdom-Muir coming on for Gabbidon and White. Seven minutes after coming on Wisdom-Muir, who was making his first appearance for Swans since December, cleverly beat Bamford on the right to get in a good cross. Okai nodded the ball on, but no-one was at the far-post to capitalise and it went harmlessly wide.
Midway through the half Swans missed another great chance to take the lead. Nkoma did well on the left before playing the ball low into the box, but Lea Van Sullivan put the ball over the crossbar with the goal at his mercy.
Swans were soon left rueing their wasted chances when home right-back Tommy O’Neill tried his luck when he found space 35 to 40 yards out, and the ball flew into the net past Beach.
Howard Newton sent a free-kick into the box for Swans and Jamie Thoroughgood got his head to the ball, but it was cleared off the line.
With just under ten minutes remaining another great chance went begging when Beach sent a free-kick from deep on the left into the box. Thoroughgood, who was now playing up-front, nodded the ball down to set up Okai, but he hit the ball first-time and it again went over the goal.
Three minutes into stoppage-time Rose-Hazel’s cross from the right found Nkoma in the left of the box, but his low cross again failed to find a teammate. There was one last opportunity when Nkoma’s run on the left won a corner, but the elusive goal would not come.
Swans’ Team: Liam Beach, Corey Haywood-Roye, Nathan Gordon, Jake Newton, Lea Van Sullivan, Jamie Thoroughgood, Sean White (Jordan Wisdom-Muir 59’), Howard Newton, Francois Gabbidon (Matt Rose-Hazel 59’), Jamil Okai, TJ Nkoma. Subs. not used: Seb Castello, Jack Darby, Elliott Simpson.
CB Hounslow Team: Wines, O’Neill, Roach, Ireland, G. Bamford, Chiedozie, Kanek, Watts (Driver 74’), Harlow, Wright (Hardy 79’ [S. Bamford 86’]), Beyene. Sub. not used: Rolfe. Scorer: O’Neill (69’). Caution: Watts, foul (17’).