Saturday 1st September 2018. Cherry Red Combined Counties League, Premier Division.
Banstead Athletic 1 Walton & Hersham 1.
Swans put an end to a four match losing run with a hard fought draw against a Banstead Athletic side who remain unbeaten in the league.They had a bit of good fortune at times, but deserved their share of the points.
Six changes were made to the starting line-up that had lost badly a week earlier, with a change to a 3-5-2 formation. Two of those changes were enforced, with Dennis Gorman and Ross Chalke joining Marlon Pinder on the injured list. Mark Waters was available to return, debuts were given to Conor Symon and Bailey Tanner, while Bruno Tingle and Ali Fofanah made their first starts of the season.
The home side had a chance after five minutes when Anthony Morrison got in on the left, but his shot did not have the power to seriously trouble Swans’ goalkeeper Craig Bradshaw.
Swans soon forced a corner on the left, and following Craig Lewington’s kick the ball came to Tingle on the edge of the box, and his shot was deflected wide of the left post for a second corner. Another corner came when Dre Grobler got the ball in from the left to Waters, who made room for himself before having a shot deflected behind.
Symon was shown a yellow card for a foul, giving Banstead a free-kick on the right, but Danny Penfold sent the ball drifting wide of the far-post.
Grobler sent a header looping wide for Swans when Tanner crossed from deep on the right, and on the half-hour Fofanah hit a good diagonal ball from wide on the left to pick out Grobler in the right of the box, but home keeper Jack Minchin took his first-time, half-volley at the near-post.
Swans almost gifted Banstead the lead when Tanner’s back-pass on the left fell well short of Bradshaw and the home side nipped in, but fortunately a low shot hit the far-post and the ball rolled along the goal-line before being cleared behind for a corner.
With five minutes left to the break Waters made a run on the right before driving the ball low into the box, and when it was deflected through to Grobler five yards out he brought a good save from Minchin with a first-time touch.
In the final minute of the half Banstead’s Tommy Hutchings made room 20 yards out to get in a shot that Bradshaw beat down.
Swans took the lead just three minutes after the resumption when they won a corner on the right, and from Lewington’s kick Dan Band rose at the far-post to send a fine header into the far-corner.
Unfortunately the lead was short-lived, lasting just three minutes. Swans failed to clear the ball on the edge of their box, and Joey Jones drove a low shot into the bottom, left corner.
Lewington had another corner for Swans, this time on the left, but although Band again had a heading chance at the far-post, he put this one wide. Just before the hour Swans had a great chance to restore their lead when Grobler was sent clear to the edge of the box, but he failed to set himself and hooked a left-foot shot over the bar.
Swans made a double change, with Mo Kamara and Monty Everett coming on for Grobler and Harrison Deacon.
With twenty minutes remaining it took a great tackle by Tingle in the right of the box to deny the home side a scoring chance.
A long ball sent Band away down the right for Swans, but his low cross into the box failed to pick out a teammate.
With a quarter of an hour remaining Banstead had a free-kick in a dangerous position close to the byline on the left, but the ball was driven low across the goal-face and wide. Bradshaw had to be alert to just fall on the ball when Joe Blendell sent a free-kick into the box from deep. The Swans’ keeper then had to make a fine save when Banstead broke after the ball had been carelessly given away on halfway.
As the match entered the final five minutes Swans’ substitute Krzysztof Zlocki did well to hook the ball over after getting to the byline on the right, but it was cleared away.
It was the home side that had the final opportunity with a free-kick on the left edge of the box, but Blendell drove the ball into the defensive wall.
Swans’ Team: Craig Bradshaw, Ryan David, Bailey Tanner, Craig Lewington, Conor Symon, Bruno Tingle (Krzysztof Zlocki 73’), Mark Waters, Dan Band, Dre Grobler (Mo Kamara 63’), Harrison Deacon (Monty Everett 63’), Ali Fofanah. Subs. not used: Dariush Heravi, Dave Hill. Scorer: Band (48’). Caution: Symon, foul (16’).
Banstead Team: Minchin, Newman, Morrison (Gunner 25’), Burt, Teuten, Blendell, Penfold (Holden 63’), Jones, Hutchings, Ogbuogo-Phillip, Geraghty. Subs. not used: Staniforth, Williams, O’Brien. Scorer: Jones (51’).