Tuesday 7 November 2017. Cherry Red Combined Counties League, Premier Division.
Walton & Hersham 9 Banstead Athletic 1.
A Swans’ side still missing injured top scorers Abdeen Abdul and Jamil Okai put the visitors to the sword with a terrific all-round performance. Both Flo Bojaj and Malachi Thomas notched hat-tricks, Swans’ 7th and 8th such feat of the season, and the goal tally could well have been greater as the goal-frame was also struck twice. The last time they scored nine in a league game was back in the 1998-99 season when Chesham United were beaten by a similar score at Stompond Lane.
With Bedfont Sports having won 7-0 at the weekend they had gone above Swans on goal difference, but this win redressed the goals situation as they moved above them into second spot in the table.
The rain made the 3G pitch at Waterside Drive even slicker, Swans moving the ball around quickly from the kick-off, and with a minute played Jim Fenlon played Bojaj down the left, but no-one could get on the end of his driven cross. But, after just four minutes, Bojaj tucked the ball in at the near-post when Athan Smith-Joseph played the ball in low from the left.
The visitors won a free-kick on the left, and when the ball was knocked back at the far-post home goalkeeper Brendan Norris punched it away from under his crossbar. A shot came in from the edge of the box that was deflected over, and this led to Banstead equalising after seven minutes, Tayler Maddock heading home at the far-post from the corner-kick on the right.
With both defences looking less than secure the match was very open for a while, but Swans again went close twice. Fenlon played the ball in low from the left for Bojaj to make room, but shoot just wide, and Elliott Simpson had a low shot from the left of the box deflected wide of the far-post.
Banstead’s Matthew Robinson sent over a high cross from the right and the ball struck the top of the bar on its way over.
Swans regained the lead just before the quarter of an hour when Smith-Joseph was sent down the left to drive the ball in low, and although stumbling, Bojaj knocked it past keeper Chico Ramos from close-in.
Smith-Joseph was soon driving in a low shot from the edge of the box, and Ramos went down to push the ball away. Bojaj followed up in the left of the six-yard box, but could not turn the ball in from a tight angle. Bojaj then broke into the right of the box and appeared to be tripped, but the referee did not agree.
Swans lost Fenlon through injury after 27 minutes, with Howard Newton coming on, and they made it 3-1 after half an hour. A sweeping move sent Julian Hornby surging down the right to get the ball over to Thomas in the left of the box. He made a couple of feints before driving a low, left-foot shot across Ramos and inside the far-post.
Five minutes later it was 4-1 to Swans. Thomas took a corner from the left, and the ball came back to him when Bojaj failed to get his far-post header on target. As the ball was crossed to the far-post Banstead’s Jack Higgins was guilty of a blatant handball and the referee pointed to the spot. Bojaj completed his hat-trick by driving the spot-kick into the left corner past Ramos.
Three minutes before the break it was almost 5-1 as Simpson struck a terrific shot from 30 yards out, and the ball struck the crossbar before bouncing down just clear of the goal-line.
Swans’ fifth goal did come just three minutes after the resumption when a superb pass down the line by Howard Newton got Thomas into the right of the box, and he struck a fine shot into the far, top corner past Ramos.
Three minutes later it was 6-1 to a rampant Swans. Simpson had a shot from the edge of the box deflected over, and from his corner on the right Billy Jeffreys leapt to thump a header home at the far-post.
Simpson was soon playing another superb long ball to put Thomas clear on the right, but no-one could get on the end of his driven cross.
The visitors had a rare opportunity, but Danny Penfold shot well over from 25 yards.
Swans scored their seventh goal, and arguably their best, just past the hour. Some great play by Smith-Joseph close to the goal-line on the right got the best of his markers, and when he played the ball low in, Howard Newton clipped it past Ramos and into the far corner.
Lea Van Sullivan and TJ Nkoma came on for Jamie Thoroughgood and Smith-Joseph, and midway through the half Nkoma jinked forward before striking a shot from outside the box that the keeper got well behind. Simpson sent a good effort just over, and when Bojaj got to the goal-line on the left he clipped the ball over to Nkoma at the far-post, and he thumped a left-foot volley against the bar.
Swans made it 8-1 with a quarter of an hour remaining when Simpson was in the middle to power a header past Ramos when Nkoma crossed from the right.
Five minutes later Thomas got into the right of the box to complete his hat-trick with a firm shot past the helpless keeper.
There was still ten minutes remaining, and it looked like Swans would possibly not end the scoring there, but the final whistle blew at 9-1.
Swans’ Team: Brendan Norris, Julian Hornby, Jim Fenlon (Howard Newton 27’), Jake Newton, Billy Jeffreys, Jamie Thoroughgood (Lea Van Sullivan 63’), Malachi Thomas, Chris Onoufriou, Flo Bojaj, Elliott Simpson, Athan Smith-Joseph (TJ Nkoma 63’). Scorers: Bojaj (4’, 14’ & 35’ [pen.]), Thomas (30’, 48’ & 80’), Jeffreys (51’), H. Newton (62’), Simpson (75’).
Banstead Team: Ramos, Karembo, Morrison, Martin (Woodcraft 55’), Maddock, Higgins, Robinson (Kelly 55’), Wadmore, Smith, Penfold, Gjoni. Subs. not used: Treagus, Richards, Wickens. Scorer: Maddock (7’). Cautions: Higgins (34’), Martin (50’), Smith (58’).