Tuesday 10th April 2018. Cherry Red Combined Counties League, Premier Division.
Walton & Hersham 3 Horley Town 0.
A Swans’ side showing more enforced changes put on a good performance to keep their second clean sheet in a row and record their biggest home win since November. Abdeen Abdul’s goal just past the half-hour was added to on the hour mark by Sam Shaban, before young substitute Joe Wotton, who only passed his sixteenth birthday in February, made it 3-0 in stoppage-time.
With Brendan Norris serving the final match of his suspension, and James Russell unavailable, Jordan Stansbury made his debut in goal, while Bruno Tingle came into midfield after playing 90 minutes for the reserve side 24 hours earlier. Two more reserve players, Rory Dacosta and Cameroon born Normand Mbebi Kebi, came on to make their debuts as substitutes.
The visitors had the first opening, the ball being laid in from the left to find Russell Harvey in space 25 yards out, but he drove his shot over.
Swans’ first threat came after a quarter of an hour when TJ Nkoma got Shaban to the byline on the left to drive the ball low across, but it was finally put wide by Tingle.
Horley soon won a corner on the left, and when the ball was swung in it was headed over from close-in at the far-post by Jack Poplett.
Horley goalkeeper George Hyde went down on his line to save a low shot from 22 yards by Abdul as Swans began to settle, and a clever, patient build-up culminated in Nkoma beating Ben Herdman on the left to get in a low cross that failed to find a teammate in the middle.
The visitors continued to look a threat however, and Herdman played Raithe Standen into the right of the box to send a low shot just wide of the far-post.
Swans replied with Abdul being played down the left to cross the ball low across goal, where Jamel Johnson just failed to force it in. And it was fine play by Johnson that set up Swans’ opening goal after 32 minutes when he won the ball on halfway and his through pass found Abdul, who neatly turned his marker before instantly sending a left-foot shot past Hyde from the edge of the box and into the bottom, left corner.
Swans were fortunate with ten minutes left of the half when Stansbury failed to gather a high ball into the box, and Standen was left with a free shot from the edge of the box, but Jim Fenlon was quick to spot the danger and got back on the goal-line to clear. Stansbury was soon going down on his line to save Kerran Boylan’s low shot from the left edge of the box.
As the half entered the final five minutes Jake Newton’s clearance sent Abdul clear, but this time he could not beat Hyde, his low shot from the edge of the box being straight at the Horley keeper.
Swans were then unfortunate to lose Fenlon, who after going down injured had to be replaced in first-half stoppage-time by Mbebi Kebi.
There was still time left for the visitors to go close to equalising, Scott Robson striking a shot from the left edge of the box that brought a fine tip-over save from Stansbury.
Swans made a bright start to the second-half, Nkoma cutting inside from the left before striking a strong shot from 25 yards just wide of the right-post.
The lead was doubled after an hour, and it was again Johnson who was instrumental in setting up the goal. He started the move before Nkoma got the ball to him on the right, and he cleverly lost his marker to cut in on the byline and play the ball across to Shaban in the 6-yard box, and he made no mistake in beating keeper Hyde.
The visitors put the ball into the side-netting after getting in on the right, but Nkoma again made a run inside from the right for Swans to send a low shot wide of the right-post.
With 33 minutes played of the second-half Swans should have made it 3-0. Shaban got the ball to Nkoma on the right, and he was then in the middle to block a clearance and get in a shot was superbly pushed away by Hyde. Mbebi Kebi was left with an open goal at the far-post, but he blasted the ball over the bar.
Swans could have been made to pay for the miss, as Horley got the ball in from the right and Boylan sent a close-in header against the bar. Stansbury was immediately making a fine save, blocking the ball round his near-post when Horley got in on the right.
But with a minute of normal-time remaining Swans brought on the 16 year-old Wotton, and he was soon making the points safe. Shaban made a fine run on the left to surge past his marker and get to the byline, and when he laid the ball across Wotton was in front of goal to make it 3-0.
Swans’ Team: Jordan Stansbury, Julian Hornby, Jim Fenlon (Normand Mbebi Kebi 45+1’ [Joe Wotton 89’]), Louis Taylor, Jake Newton, Jamie Thoroughgood, Jamel Johnson, Bruno Tingle, Abdeen Abdul (Rory Dacosta 73’), Sam Shaban, TJ Nkoma. Sub. not used. Zach Basey. Scorers: Abdul (32’), Shaban (60’), Wotton (90+4’).
Horley Team: Hyde, Herdman, Robson, Poplett, Brackpool, R. Smith, Standen, Harvey, Boylan, Hardwick, Barbary. Subs: Hall, Atafewe Mebezeh, M. Smith.