Spelthorne Sports 2 Swans 0

Monday 28 August 2017.           Cherry Red Combined Counties League, Premier Division.

Spelthorne Sports 2   Walton & Hersham 0.

Swans put on a lack-lustre performance in the midday August Bank Holiday sun as they failed to beat their near neighbours in three attempts. Although playing poorly they looked like going in to the break at 0-0, with the chance to regroup for the second-half, but a penalty conceded with just two minutes of the first period remaining left them chasing the game. There was scant improvement in their play after the resumption, and they seldom looked like getting a result.

Two changes were made to the previous starting line-up, Sanchez Benali and Elliott Simpson coming back in and TJ Nkoma and Jamil Okai dropping to the bench.

Swan had the first effort on goal after ten minutes. Following Simpson’s free-kick from deep on the right the ball came to Bilal Benali 25 yards out on the left, and his strong shot was beaten down by home goalkeeper Jake Tayler.

The home side soon went close when Graeme Edwards’ far-post header clipped the bar following Ben Ewing’s right-side corner.

With half an hour played Jake Newton and Bilal Benali combined on the right before getting the ball over, and Sanchez Benali curled a shot wide from outside the box. Swans then forced three successive corners as they applied some pressure.

Spelthorne won a corner of their own on the right, and from Ewing’s kick Edwards headed well wide at the near-post.

With five minutes left to the break a knock down put Bilal Benali in on the left, but his low shot went wide of the far-post.

In a poor game Swans had begun to look the more likely, but just before half-time they gifted the home side the lead. Mathew Weston got past Jamie Thoroughgood on the left, and was brought down by the Swans’ defender just inside the box. Weston slammed the spot-kick down the middle past Brendan Norris.

Spelthorne had an early effort in the second-half, Calum Beachamp getting in on the left to drive a shot over. Swans continued to struggle to create openings, and it was the home side who went close again just before the hour, a strong shot from the left rattling the crossbar.

Sanchez Benali tried to make a chance for himself by cutting in from the left, but his low shot was straight at the keeper.

Swans’ skipper Lea Van Sullivan had twice gone down injured, and he finally had to come off after 64 minutes. This triggered a triple substitution, with Mo Jarraz, Okai and Nkoma coming on, and Howard Newton and Sanchez Benali also coming off.

But with just under twenty minutes remaining Swans conceded again. Julian Hornby failed to clear on Swans’ left, and when the ball went to the other wing a shot came in that was blocked, but the ball hit Weston at the far-post and went in.

The closest Swans came to getting a goal back was ten minutes from time, Abdeen Abdul heading against the bar from Bilal Benali’s right side corner.

From then on Swans were frustrated as the play was continually broken up by home players going down with a succession of injuries, and as they pushed up in stoppage-time they were in danger of getting caught on the break. Norris had to make a fine block, and then save a low shot as Weston got through.

Swans’ Team: Brendan Norris, Jim Fenlon, Julian Hornby, Jake Newton, Lea Van Sullivan (Mourad Jarraz 64’), Jamie Thoroughgood, Bilal Benali, Elliott Simpson, Abdeen Abdul, Howard Newton (Jamil Okai 64’), Sanchez Benali (TJ Nkoma 64’). Sub. not used: Shaun Smart. Cautions: Thoroughgood, foul (43’), J. Newton, foul (69’), Nkoma, foul (90+1’).

Spelthorne Team: Tayler, Richards, Ewing, Edwards, Sotonwa, Bersey (Sinclair 81’), Remedios, Thorne, Weston, Henzi (Flatman 20’), Beachamp (Summers 88’). Sub. not used: Sidaoui. Scorer: Weston (43’ [pen.] & 71’). Cautions: Bersey, foul (39’), Sotonwa, foul (57’), Richards, foul (79’).                  

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