Saturday 29th September 2018. Cherry Red Combined Counties League, Premier Division.
Walton & Hersham 1 Guildford City 3.
Swans’ winless run stretched to 11 matches with this latest defeat, their success on the opening day of the season still their only taste of victory. After a first-half that somehow ended goalless, considering the number of chances on offer to both sides, slack play cost them a goal soon after the resumption. A splendid strike from Marlon Pinder ensured they only trailed for ten minutes, but parity was short-lived, as two more goals to the visitors sent them crashing to yet another defeat.
With young Woking goalkeeper Sam Mason playing for Farnborough a change was made in goal, Kavanagh Keadell, signed from British Airways FC, coming in. Another new signing, Joe Pratley-Jones, who has been at Egham Town this season, came into central defence.
City soon made a clear break on the right, and a low cross to the far-post was put wide. Swans responded with Pinder driving a shot wide of the right post when the ball came to him 25 yards out. Keadell had to block the ball away for a corner when Evan Lopes put Kyen Nicholas in for the visitors.
Dan Band got Dariush Heravi away on the left for Swans, and his cross to the far-post set up a chance for Pinder, but his downward header bounced into the hands of keeper Liam Beach.
A better chance fell to City with just over ten minutes played when David Burton got the ball to Nicholas, who forced his way past Pratley-Jones to get clear in the box, but he placed his low shot wide of the left post.
It was a very open game with play end to end, and Heravi sent in a low shot from the left edge of the box that went straight through to former Swans’ keeper Beach.
City’s Eli Ogunseye challenged Ali Fofanah in the right corner of the box before getting the ball over, and Keadell was just able to come out and punch away.
With a quarter of an hour played Swans were unfortunate not to take the lead when Craig Lewington took a corner from the right. Pratley-Jones met the ball on the volley, but his powerful, close–range effort was superbly kept out by Beach, and a follow-up shot was blocked on the line by Kiye Martin. City immediately broke to the other end and Ogunseye got in on the right, but his low cross was blocked away.
Harrison Deacon soon had another chance for Swans when Band’s high ball picked him out in the right of the box, but he lobbed the ball wide. Beach made another fine save, turning Frank Ngonyama’s shot round his right-post, the City keeper then getting well behind Deacon’s shot from the right edge of the box.
The game remarkably remained goalless as the visitors had another great chance to take the lead. A low ball in from the left picked out Nicholas unmarked at the far-post, but his shot was well saved by Keadell, who stuck out a right leg to keep the ball out.
The play continued to swing, and Deacon twice had good chances in the right of the box for Swans. He firstly sent a shot wide of the far-post, and then did really well to get past his marker, but after opening up the chance his shot lacked conviction and Billy Irvine got back to block on the line. Deacon then couldn’t get the ball under control when Heravi got the ball into him after doing well in the right of the box, and had to settle for a corner. Lewington’s kick from the right went high across the goal-face with no-one getting their head to the ball. Swans continued to have the better of the chances as the first-half progressed, and with five minutes left to the break Pratley-Jones’ long ball picked out Pinder in the left of the box, but he couldn’t pick out Deacon in the middle, and the ball was put behind for a corner. Then, in stoppage-time, Pinder was well placed in the box, but Deacon just failed to set him up from the right.
The first-half had remarkably seen no goals, and the match was tightly balanced, but just two minutes after the resumption slack play by Swans was ruthlessly punished by City. The ball was given away by Swans inside their own half, and Lopes was able to find Nicholas by the left corner of the box, and he drilled a low shot in off the far-post.
Swans only took five minutes to equalise, but it took a fine goal to do so. Following a build-up on the left the ball came to Pinder centrally placed 30 yards out, and he struck a first-time shot that sent it flying low past Beach.
Unfortunately, as so often has been the case this season, Swans could not build on a goal, and they fell behind again almost immediately. They had already given a chance to City when Ogunseye was allowed to cut across the edge of the box to put a shot wide, when the same player was set free on the right by Bobby Webbe, and his low cross was converted from in front of goal by the unmarked Nicholas.
Swans made a couple of substitutions, with Ross Chalke coming on for Fofanah, and Monty Everett replacing the injured Band, but the visitors virtually clinched the win with a quarter of the match left. Nicholas was allowed to get forward into yards of space 22 yards out, and he lashed a shot low inside the right post to complete his hat-trick.
From then on Swans looked a beaten side, and it was City that looked the likely scorers, and inside the final five minutes their substitute Gilberto Abril got in on the right to have a shot deflected over.
Swans’ Team: Kavanagh Keadell, Ryan David, Ali Fofanah (Ross Chalke 61’), Craig Lewington, Joe Pratley-Jones, Conor Symon, Dan Band (Monty Everett 66’), Frank Ngonyama (Billy Kinona 75’), Marlon Pinder, Harrison Deacon, Dariush Heravi. Subs. not used: Troy Meehan, Zack Basey. Scorer: Pinder (52’). Caution: Lewington, dissent (67’).
Guildford Team: Beach, Mason, Burrowes, Burton (Higgins 88’), Beale, Irvine, Lopes, Webbe, Nicholas, Martin (Campbell 85’), Ogunseye (Abril 80’). Subs. not used: Griffin, Berry. Scorer: Nicholas (47’, 54’ & 67’).