Tuesday 27 March 2018. Cherry Red Combined Counties League, Premier Division.
Westfield 4 Walton & Hersham 0.
Conceding two early goals gave a Swans’ side decimated by unavailability of several players an almost impossible task against the runaway league leaders. They came back well after those early setbacks, only to concede two more goals in the second-half.
With Brendan Norris suspended James Russell took over in goal, while Louis Taylor started for only the third time this season and Jamel Johnson made his first start. Named amongst the substitutes was Joe Wotton, who has only recently passed his sixteenth birthday.
Swans had an early chance after just six minutes when Taylor drove the ball in low from the right and Karl Parker put it wide at the far-post.
But just a minute later Westfield took the lead. Former Swan Aaron Watson was allowed a free run in on the left before driving the ball past Russell.
Julian Hornby sent a free-kick into the box from deep for Swans, but the ball went wide of the goal with no-one getting a touch.
Westfield doubled their lead after sixteen minutes when they were awarded a free-kick on the right. Pat Kirby sent the ball to the far-post, where Karle Carder-Andrews was completely unmarked to head home.
Max Blackmore got in a far-post header when Watson crossed from the left, but Russell was well-placed to take the ball.
Kirby was yellow carded for the home side for a cynical foul, and Hornby’s deep free-kick forced a corner on the left for Swans.
With half an hour played Swans went close to halving the deficit. Jim Fenlon laid the ball in from the left to Abdeen Abdul, who hit a terrific dipping shot from 30 yards that home keeper Gary Ross did well to tip over his crossbar. Ross had to make another good save a minute later following a Swans’ corner on the right. TJ Nkoma hit a great left-foot shot from fully 40 yards that Ross dived to push wide of his left-post.
Westfield won another free-kick on the left, and the ball had to be scrambled clear when Russell failed to hold on. Before the end of the first-half Dale Burnham and Carder-Andrews became Westfield’s second and third players to be shown yellow cards for a couple more poor tackles.
Russell had already made a good block when Westfield played the ball in low from the right, before he was beaten again seven minutes after the resumption. A ball pumped forward was played to Blackmore unmarked on the left, and he slipped it low past Russell and into the far-corner.
Abdul did well on the left for Swans, but after getting into the box was closed out, and a ball down the middle sent Sam Shaban on a run into the box, and Abdul was again just denied.
Russell had to make a fine save from a header when Kirby took a free-kick from the left for Westfield.
Wotton had replaced Billy Jeffeys for Swans, and 21 minutes into the half the ball came to him in space outside the right of the box, but the young player drove his shot just wide of the near-post.
Russell had to make another good block from a shot from outside the box, and at the other end Nkoma cut in from the left to drive over from 35 yards.
But with eight minutes remaining Westfield scored their fourth goal. Andy Crossley lofted the ball over from the right, and Watson was at the far-post to slip it home.
Swans’ Team: James Russell, Julian Hornby, Jim Fenlon, Louis Taylor, Billy Jeffreys (Joe Wotton 56’), Jamie Thoroughgood, Jamel Johnson, Abdeen Abdul, Karl Parker (Jesse Kewley-Graham 45’), Sam Shaban, TJ Nkoma. Sub. not used: Howard Newton
Westfield Team: Ross, Bailey, Elliott, Kirby (Gallimore 73’), Steer, Burnham, Cover (Crossley 78’), Dormer, Blackmore (Okai 70’), Carder-Andrews, Watson. Subs. not used: Mariner, Sullivan. Scorers: Watson (7’ & 82’), Carder-Andrews (16’), Blackmore (52’). Cautions: Kirby, foul (28’), Burnham, foul (37’), Carder-Andrews, foul (44’).