Saturday 9 September 2017. FA Vase, 1st Qualifying Round.
Walton & Hersham 7 Little Common 1.
Little Common became the second side from The Southern Combination League, Division One to have seven goals put past them by Swans at Stompond Lane this season, faring little better than previous visitors Mile Oak, who lost 7-0 in the FA Cup. As on that occasion the match was over as a contest early, with Abdeen Abdul having notched a hat-trick after just 23 minutes. Abdul went on to score a fourth goal, the first Swans’ player to achieve that feat since Greg Andrews did so in the space of 16 minutes against Crawley Down Gatwick in the 2011-12 season, although he did include a brace of penalties. The Bexhill-on-Sea based club had come with an impressive record, being unbeaten and having scored 23 goals, with just three conceded, but they had no answer to a home side on form.
With Lea Van Sullivan a rare absentee due to injury and Jamil Okai unavailable, Swans were forced to make changes. Jim Fenlon returned after missing the previous game, but switched to left-back, with Julian Hornby moving further forward on that flank. Jake Newton again moved to central defence, with new signing Chris Onoufriou making his debut.
Swans went close with just a minute played, Fenlon crossing from the left for TJ Nkoma at the far-post to have a shot blocked for a corner. The lead came after just four minutes however. Hornby left visiting right-back Dom Bristow standing on the left before crossing into the box, where Abdul nodded past goalkeeper Matt Cruttwell.
Hornby was again found on the left to get in a cross, the ball coming out to Sanchez Benali, who made room before sending a low shot wide of the right-post. Elliott Simpson’s fine pass found Nkoma on the right, and he cut inside to drive in a shot that Cruttwell blocked with his legs.
It was nearly twenty minutes before the visitors threatened, Sam Ellis getting in on the left, but only finding the side-netting.
Swans made it 2-0 after 21 minutes, and the goal was gifted to them. A misunderstanding in the visitors’ defence resulted in Cruttwell giving the ball straight to Abdul, and he went around the keeper before rolling the ball into an empty net.
Abdul’s hat-trick goal two minutes later was a fine one however. Some clever play by Nkoma on the right ended with him picking out Abdul in the box, and he again planted a header past Cruttwell.
Swans’ keeper Brendan Norris was forced into rare action with just under half an hour played, blocking a shot from Adam Smith, who had been played in on the left.
Swans continued to dominate however, and they were awarded a free-kick centrally placed three yards outside the box, but Fenlon’s kick was taken by Cruttwell. Abdul then did well on the left before playing the ball inside to Sanchez Benali, who made room before sending a shot over.
Little Common won a corner on the right with three minutes left of the half, but Lewis Hole headed wide at the far-post from Rosh Wells’ kick.
It only took three minutes of the second-half for Swans, and Abdul, to score their fourth goal. Nkoma played Abdul through, and although Cruttwell half-stopped his shot the ball rolled just over the line.
Two minutes later it was 5-0, Sanchez Benali sending a fine shot into the far-corner from the left corner of the box.
Hornby was soon being played in on the left by Abdul to get in a shot that was taken high up at his near-post by the keeper.
The visitors had an opportunity with a free-kick 25 yards out, but Wells sent the ball straight through to Norris, and just before the hour the Sussex club capitalised on some slackness in Swans’ play. A free-kick was taken from out on the left touchline, and League top-scorer Hole was at the far-post to nod past Norris.
Swans almost hit back immediately when Nkoma got in on the right to have a shot blocked for a corner by Cruttwell.
The visitors replied with Smith having a shot from the edge of the box deflected over.
Hornby was having a fine game in his new role on the left for Swans, and he made a clever run to have a shot blocked for a corner.
Hole turned in the left of the box to put a shot over for Little Common, before Swans soon made it 6-1 with just over a quarter of an hour left. A fine diagonal ball from the right by another new signing, substitute Dwade James, picked out Hornby on the left, and he deservedly scored his first goal for Swans, cutting in before driving past Cruttwell.
Nkoma twice tested Cruttwell, the keeper parrying a low shot from the edge of the box, and then pushing away a strong strike from the right.
Swans’ seventh goal came with a minute of normal-time remaining when James was at the far-post to meet a cross from the left, and he drove the ball in on the half-volley.
Swans will now be away in the next round to Sporting Club Thamesmead of the Southern Counties East Football League Division One.
Swans’ Team: Brendan Norris, Shaun Smart, Jim Fenlon (Bilal Benali 80’), Chris Onoufriou, Jake Newton, Jamie Thoroughgood, TJ Nkoma, Elliott Simpson (Jamel Johnson 57’), Abdeen Abdul (Dwade James 62’), Sanchez Benali, Julian Hornby. Subs. not used: Cameron Gyeabour, Howard Newton. Scorers: Abdul (4’, 21’, 23’ & 48’), S. Benali (50’), Hornby (74’), James (89’). Cautions: S. Benali (50’), Smart (60’).
Little Common Team: Cruttwell, Bristow (Maynard 70’), Ryan, Ward, Walker, R. Eldridge, Wells, Smith (McEniry 62’), Hole, Crone, Ellis. Sub. not used: C. Eldridge. Scorer: Hole (58’). Cautions: R. Eldridge (29’), Walker (60’), Ward (83’).