Tuesday 7th August 2018. Cherry Red Combined Counties League, Premier Division.
CB Hounslow United 4 Walton & Hersham 1.
After their fine opening day win, Swans were given a quick reality check as they were well beaten in their first away fixture. Although they were first to find the net after 19 minutes, the lead always looked a fragile one, and they were pulled level just before the break. Then three more goals from the home side in the second-half gave them a deserved three points.
Two changes were made to Swan’s starting line-up from the previous match, with Jimmy Comer and Oli Hollingshead coming in at full-backs for Dennis Gorman and Michael Holliday. The two new debutants, along with their fellow defenders, were given a fairly torrid time by the quick breaks of the home side.
The danger signs were there from the start, with CB Hounslow having three attempts on goal from the edge of the box inside a first five minutes that they dominated. Two were fortunately well off-target, and goalkeeper Craig Bradshaw got well behind the third.
Swans’ first attack came with Marlon Pinder getting the ball to Dariush Heravi on the left, and his cross forced the home side to head behind for a corner. Mark Waters then drove the ball in from the left for Pinder to put a header wide.
Comer was shown a yellow card for pulling-back a home player, and the resultant free-kick driven in from deep on the left sent the ball across Swans’ box and wide.
A CB Hounslow corner from the left was well taken high-up at his far-post by Bradshaw, before Swans took the lead, somewhat against the run of play. Heravi broke clear on the right, and he was able to lay the ball across for Pinder to slot home.
The home side continued to look threatening however, and the ball was just cleared away when they got in on the right.
Swans’ attacks had been sporadic, but with ten minutes remaining of the half they won a corner on the left, and Ross Chalke headed over from Heravi’s kick. A clever through ball from Waters then put Heravi down the left, but his low ball across the box just failed to find Pinder in the middle.
Swans’ hopes of going in at the break with a lead were dashed with four minutes of normal-time remaining of the half. They conceded a free-kick close to the left corner-flag, and when the ball was driven across Andrew Mills scored from close-in.
Swans tried to tighten things up for the second-half, with Dan Callan and Bruno Tingle replacing Comer and Charlie Hester-Cook, and the move seemed to improve matters as they looked more in control.
The home side did put together a fine move that got them into the right of the box, but Bradshaw was able to claim the ball. But another free-kick was to prove Swans’ undoing just past the hour. The kick was sent in from the right by Mark Bitmead, and Jack Watts was one of several home players at the far-post, and he volleyed past Bradshaw.
Six minutes later Bitmead was played into the left of the box by Jordan Ireland, and he drove a low shot into the far-corner to make it 3-1.
Bradshaw was soon preventing another goal, pushing the ball behind when CB Hounslow broke to get in on the right and send in a shot.
Swans had a fine chance to reduce the deficit with just over ten minutes remaining when they won a corner on the left.. The ball was nodded-on from Frank Ngonyama’s kick to find Waters at the far-post, but he drove it just inches over the bar.
The home side sent a free-kick dipping just over from the edge of the box, but Swans had another opportunity to pull a goal back. A neat build-up finally set-up the chance for Chalke in front of goal, but keeper Rhys Forster was able to make a fine block.
Instead it was CB Hounslow who were to score again. Gavin Bamford’s through pass completely split Swans open, and Harrison Livingstone was able to drive a low shot into the far-corner from the right of the box.
There was an element of drama when the floodlights failed with just two minutes of normal-time remaining, but any chance of an unlikely Swans’ reprieve disappeared when power was restored after a delay of ten minutes.
Swans had an opportunity with a free-kick, but Forster was able to prevent a header dipping under his crossbar, and it was his opposite number Bradshaw who had to deny the home side another goal, pushing a shot from the right of the box round his near-post with a fine save.
Swans’ Team: Craig Bradshaw, Jimmy Comer (Dan Callan 45’), Oli Hollingshead, Uche Aluo, Dan Choules, Charlie Hester-Cook (Bruno Tingle 45’), Mark Waters, Ross Chalke, Marlon Pinder, Dariush Heravi (Dre Grobler 65’), Frank Ngonyama. Subs. not used: Mo Kamara, Dave Hill. Scorer: Pinder (19’). Cautions: Comer, foul (9’), Hester-Cook, foul (33’).
CB Hounslow Team: Forster, Kanek, Nor, Ireland, Mills, Bamford, Bitmead, Watts, Livingstone, Lambe, Hamilton. Subs: Roberts, Saraiva, Edwards, Munroe. Scorers: Mills (41’), Watts (61’), Bitmead (67’), Livingstone (84’). Caution: Watts, foul (31’).