Saturday 18 November 2017. Cherry Red Combined Counties League, Premier Division.
Redhill 0 Walton & Hersham 3.
After being frustrated in the first-half on a cold, dank, drizzly afternoon at Kiln Brow, Swans scored three goals in the second to pick up another three valuable points. For the first time this season, nine of their last eleven matches having been played on 3G artificial pitches, they encountered a sticky pitchy, although the wet surface held up well. Swans had to defend well against some lively attacks from the home side in the first-half, but it was they who had the best chances, and they should have gone in at the break ahead. But an early goal in the second-half gave them something to defend and they finally ran out comfortable winners.
Redhill started in determined fashion, having the better of the early attacks, and with eight minutes played Eno Idiong got in on the right, forcing Swans’ goalkeeper Brendan Norris to block a shot to his near-post, and the ball was finally cleared.
Swans attacked with Elliott Simpson putting Athan Smith-Joseph on a run down the left to force a corner-kick. With just over a quarter of an hour played Swans had a chance to take the lead when Billy Jeffreys’ fine pass sent Simpson clear into the left of the box, but he failed to beat home keeper Rhys Hughes, who blocked the ball round his near-post. From Simpson’s corner on the left the ball fell to Flo Bojaj in the right of the box, and he was unfortunate to see his terrific left-foot shot strike the far corner of the goal-frame. Bojaj was immediately going close again with a right-foot shot from outside the left of the box that went just over the far, top corner. Swans then made two good inroads into the home box, but could not break through.
Kery Kedze had looked the home side’s liveliest player, with some quick runs down the right, and when he got past Jim Fenlon to the goal-line, his cross was taken high up at his near-post by Norris. Norris then had to get behind a shot after Redhill had made space on the edge of the box.
With just over half an hour played Smith-Joseph was sent away down the middle for Swans, but his shot from 25 yards out was straight at the keeper. Malachi Thomas then put over a fine cross from the left, but the ball failed to find a team-mate and it went just wide of the far-post.
With the final five minutes of the half being played Norris got well behind the ball after Redhill broke to get in a shot from the left, Hughes then taking Thomas’s driven cross from the left at the other end.
The home side had two final attempts to get a lead before the break, Gary Abisogun sending a low shot wide of the left post from 25 yards, and Kedze having a shot from the edge of the box that took a deflection and sent the ball looping into the hands of Norris.
Swans brought on Jamil Okai for Simpson for the second-half, the striker having missed five matches through injury.
Redhill started the second-half by getting down the right and sending the ball across the six-yard box, Swans responding with Thomas cutting in from the left to set up a chance but driving his shot over. Thomas then did well on the left before crossing to the far-post, where Howard Newton struck the ball on the volley, but Hughes made a good block on his line.
Swans’ finally made the breakthrough six minutes into the half, and the goal was very much route one. Norris sent a clearance down the middle, and as the ball bounced Bojaj shrugged off the challenge of Ashley Snadden to break clear into the box and tuck the ball past Hughes.
Okai had a chance to make it 2-0 when the ball came to him on the left after keeper Hughes had left his goal to repel an attack, but he rolled it wide of the near-post.
But Swans immediately doubled their lead after 56 minutes. Julian Hornby played a superb pass to put Bojaj clear into the right of the box, and he slotted the ball just inside the far-post.
Bojaj unfortunately picked up an injury while scoring and was replaced by TJ Nkoma.
With just over an hour played Swans broke in numbers following a Redhill free-kick and Okai played Nkoma in on the left, but his shot was cleared off the goal-line. Swans were now well on top and Thomas sent Nkoma down the right, and when he crossed to the far-post Smith-Joseph had a header blocked. Nkoma sent a low shot wide from 25 yards, and Okai got clear into the right of the box to have a shot blocked.
As the match entered the last quarter of an hour Redhill made determined efforts to get back into it, and when they forced a corner on the right they got in a downward header that went straight to Norris. A ball into the box from deep on the left was then just cut out by the Swans’ keeper to deny a home forward. The ball was then put wide at the far-post when a free-kick was sent in from out by the right corner-flag.
But Redhill were always likely to get caught on the break, and in the final minute of normal-time they were as Smith-Joseph, Nkoma and Thomas all broke clear together. Smith-Joseph had possession and chose to shoot, but although Hughes half-stopped the ball it ran to Thomas, who simply walked it into the net.
The home side had one last chance in stoppage-time when they got in on the right, but Norris was again able to block.
Swans’ Team: Brendan Norris, Julian Hornby, Jim Fenlon, Jake Newton, Billy Jeffreys, Jamie Thoroughgood, Malachi Thomas, Howard Newton, Flo Bojaj (TJ Nkoma 58’), Elliott Simpson (Jamil Okai 45’), Athan Smith-Joseph. Subs. not used: Bilal Benali, Lea Van Sullivan, Shaun Smart. Scorers: Bojaj (51’ & 56’), Thomas (90’). Caution: Thomas, foul (15’).
Redhill Team: Hughes, Stow, Hill, Bolagi, Snadden, Trotter, Mendy-Mendy, Idiong, Simpson, Abisogun, Kedze. Subs: Webster, Long, Oliver, Burford. Caution: Snadden, foul (14’).