Monday 27th August 2018. Cherry Red Combined Counties League, Premier Division.
Walton & Hersham 2 Spelthorne Sports 4.
Swans’ disappointing start to the season continued on Bank Holiday Monday as they crashed to their fourth defeat in a row, with three of those in the league. All the goals were shoehorned into a crazy 19 minute spell in the first-half, during which the visitors also had a penalty saved. After going behind after twenty minutes Swans took only six minutes to bounce back and take the lead, but that advantage proved short-lived, as their defence opened up in alarming fashion to concede three more goals in double-quick time. In contrast, the second-half proved goalless, with neither side seldom looking like adding to their score.
Swans were without the services of both the unavailable Mark Waters and Marlon Pinder, who had picked up an injury in the midweek friendly. The experienced Craig Lewington came into midfield, making his debut along with his colleague at Molesey, Ryan David.
The danger signs were there for Swans straight from the kick-off, as they carelessly gave the ball away and Spelthorne’s Jack Buckle was given a chance on the edge of the box, but he put a low shot wide. Jake Flatman was then given space by the left corner of the box, and he struck a shot against the near-post.
Swans’ first chance fell to Frank Ngonyama on the right edge of the penalty area, but his low shot went just wide of the far-post.
But at the other end a scramble led to the ball only being cleared to Spelthorne’s Billy Frost, and he struck a good shot that flew just over. Jake Flatman was next to go close for the visitors, driving the ball wide of the far-post after being played through to edge of the box on the left.
Visiting goalkeeper Jake Tayler was brought into action for the first-time just past the quarter of an hour, but he comfortably took a header from Dan Band, when David sent in a free-kick from deep. Band was soon putting another header wide of the left-post when Lewington sent a free-kick into the box.
But the visitors looked threatening every time they got forward, and Callum MacKay burst free on the right to drive the ball low across the goal-face. It was no surprise when Spelthorne took the lead after twenty minutes. Sam Rees got down the right to drive the ball in low, and Jake Flatman was at the near-post to deflect it into the far-corner.
Swans had the boost of equalising after just two minutes. Lewington sent another free-kick into the box, and the ball was nodded-on. It would possibly have looped into the left, top corner, but Harry Wise was on the line to head in and make sure.
Four minutes later it was 2-1 to the home side when Dennis Gorman crossed the ball into the box from wide on the right, and Ross Chalke stooped to head past Tayler.
Unfortunately for Swans their lead was only to last three minutes as they conceded a really soft goal. Their defence was completely split open by a simple long ball down the middle that picked out Lewis Flatman, and he had the relatively simple task of beating keeper Craig Bradshaw.
Two minutes later the visitors had regained the lead, and it came from another ball down the middle not being cut out. It was Jack Buckle who was found this time, and he lobbed the ball over Bradshaw and into the net from the edge of the box as the Swans’ keeper came out.
It could have been worse for the home side five minutes later when Spelthorne got into the box on the left and a player was pulled back, seemingly by David. A penalty was awarded, but Bradshaw kept Swans in the game by making a good save from Jake Flatman’s spot-kick.
Unfortunately the reprieve was short-lived, as Frost was allowed to cut into the left of the box to drive in a shot that Bradshaw got his hands to, but could not keep out.
Swans made a double change for the second-half to try to turn things round, Michael Holliday replacing Gorman, and 17 year-old striker Monty Everett coming on for Ngonyama.
The changes seemed to tighten things up, the first opening to either side not coming until midway through the second-half, Rees getting in on the right for Spelthorne to force a good save at his near-post by Bradshaw with a low shot.
At the other end Tayler had to make a smart save, pushing away a header from David following a left-side corner.
Spelthorne should have increased their lead when Jamie Ross broke on the left to get in a low cross, but the ball was put wide at the near-post.
With just over a quarter of an hour remaining Swans had a free-kick outside the left of the box, and Tayler had to dive to his right to keep out Lewington’s driven kick. Swans continued to try to reduce the deficit, David driving a shot over after being played into the right of the box, and Band getting in on the left byline to play the ball across the goal-face. In the final minute of normal-time Band had a far-post header deflected behind for a corner when David crossed from the right, and with stoppage-time being played Harrison Deacon got in a shot from the edge of the box, but Tayler got well behind the ball.
Swans’ Team: Craig Bradshaw, Dennis Gorman (Michael Holliday 45’), Andrew Jones (Dre Grobler 55’), Craig Lewington, Ryan David, Harry Wise, Dan Band, Ross Chalke, Harrison Deacon, Frank Ngonyama (Monty Everett 45’), Mo Kamara. Subs. not used: Dariush Heravi, Dave Hill. Scorers: Wise (22’), Chalke (26’).
Spelthorne Team: Tayler, Rees (Simbana 82’), MacKay, Boye, Edwards, Remedios, Buckle, J. Flatman (Drinkwater 77’), L. Flatman, Frost, Ross. Subs. not used: Wadmore, Staples. Scorers: J. Flatman (20’), L. Flatman (29’), Buckle (31’), Frost (39’). Cautions: J. Flatman, Boye.