Tuesday 3rd April 2018. Cherry Red Combined Counties League, Premier Division.
Walton & Hersham 2 Spelthorne Sports 0.
Swans ended a run of four straight defeats by finally beating their near neighbours at the fourth time of asking in a league match. A very open first-half could have gone either way, but it was the home side that made the breakthrough with just under ten minutes left to the break, and after doubling their lead early in the second-half they always looked like the favourites to come away with the win.
Inside the first minute Spelly’s Jake Flatman drove a shot over from outside the box, but Swans immediately created a chance to take an early lead. TJ Nkoma drove the ball low across from the left, and Sam Shaban was left with the opening inside the left of the 6-yard box, but visiting goalkeeper Keval Patel blocked his shot round the near-post.
Julian Hornby made a run on the right to get in a fine cross to the far-post that forced the visitors’ left-back Josh Remedios to concede a corner. James Simmonds was soon crossing from the left for Abdeen Abdul to glance a header just wide.
Spelthorne also looked dangerous coming forward, and with just over a quarter of an hour played Matt Weston got in on the right to drive the ball in low and win a corner. Jack Wadmore then drove over from outside the left of the box. Joe Tuck got in on the right to drive low across the goal-face, and a follow-up shot from the left took a deflection to go behind for a corner.
With twenty minutes played Hornby crossed high from the right for Swans, and Nkoma was at the far-post to volley the ball back across to Shaban, who was just closed out. Nkoma followed up to have a shot blocked.
The visitors replied by driving the ball in low from 30 yards out on the left, and Swans’ keeper James Russell went down at his near-post to save.
The match continued to be very open, and Swans’ Jim Fenlon cut across the edge of the box from the left to put a low shot just wide of the left-post.
The lead came when Jamel Johnson played the ball through to Shaban, who got forward before finding Abdul in the left of the box, and he drove a left-foot shot into the far-corner.
Patel went down to take a 30 yard shot from Simmonds, and some good play by Shaban got Abdul to the goal-line on the left to win a corner. From Simmonds’ kick Abdul put a far-post header over.
Swans doubled their lead just two minutes after the resumption. Nkoma sent over a fine cross from the left, and Shaban got to the near-post to glance a header into the far, top corner.
Another chance soon came when Nkoma’s fine, diagonal ball from the right picked out Hornby in the left of the box, but he put his shot well over. Swans had begun to dominate, and Nkoma made a good run forward before driving a low shot just wide of the left-post from 35 yards. Abdul then put a header wide when Simmonds took a free-kick from outside the right corner of the box.
With just over a quarter of an hour remaining Shaban drove over from 25 yards after the ball had been laid in from the left, the visitors quickly replying with a break into the right of the box that forced a good save from Russell. As the match entered the final five minutes Russell got well behind a 25 yard shot from Lewis Flatman, who had cut in from the left.
Swans broke from a Spelthorne corner and Nkoma made a run down the left to get in a shot that took a deflection to go wide. With stoppage-time being played Nkoma beat Alexander Ross on the right to get in a cross that was just inches too high for Abdul at the far-post.
Swans’ Team: James Russell, Howard Newton, Jim Fenlon, Jamel Johnson, Louis Taylor, Jake Newton, Julian Hornby, James Simmonds, Abdeen Abdul, Sam Shaban, TJ Nkoma. Sub. not used: Jamie Thoroughgood. Scorers: Abdul (36’), Shaban (47’).
Spelthorne Team: Patel, L. Flatman, Remedios, Dyett, Edwards, Wadmore, Tuck, J. Flatman, Smith, Weston, Thorne (Ross 74’). Subs. not used: Lockhart-Adams, Mooney. Caution: Edwards, foul (63’).