Saturday 27th October 2018. Cherry Red Combined Counties League, Premier Division.
Horley Town 1 Walton & Hersham 0.
Any hopes their fine win over Chertsey Town a week earlier would kick-start Swans’ dreadful season were put on hold by another disappointing defeat. They would have hoped a game against a Horley Town side that is also struggling would keep the momentum going, but they rarely looked like getting anything from a poor, scrappy match that did little to enthuse a small crowd on a cold afternoon. They did have a few half-chances that could have salvaged at least a share of the points, but a home side that was little better just about deserved the win.
There were three enforced changes to the side that had beaten Chertsey, with Ajani Domingo-Carrington, Howard Newton and Dan Choules not available for selection. Jack Higgins returned, with two players from the development squad, teenagers Will Allardyce and Wayne Ridgeley also starting.
Swans won a corner inside the first minute when Frank Ngonyama was played down the right and his low, driven cross was put behind at the near-post.
The home side had a chance inside the left of the box with just over ten minutes played, but a shot was blocked behind for a corner-kick that Swans’ goalkeeper Kavanagh Keadell punched away.
Sean White had a sight of goal from the left edge of the box, but Horley keeper George Hyde comfortably saved his curling effort.
Swans’ defence opened up alarmingly to leave Martin Smith with a clear chance in the right of the box, but Keadell made a fine save from his shot. Following the corner on the right Smith drove a low shot just wide of the left-post from outside the box.
But Horley took the lead after 18 minutes when they were awarded a soft-looking free-kick 20 yards out. Former Swan Sanchez Benali drove the kick past the left of the wall and just inside Keadell’s right post.
Swans soon went close to equalising when Allardyce picked out Marlon Wallen on the right, and his low, driven cross was met first-time at the near-post by Ali Fofanah, but Hyde managed to block the ball.
Conor Symon met a cross from the right, but his header went well wide, while at the other end Horley’s Ayden Richards got round Allardyce on the right to drive the ball low across the goal-face.
In first-half stoppage-time Swans had an opportunity when Wallen was fouled just outside the right-side of the box, but Fofanah’s free-klick was cleared away.
Both sides won corners early in the second-half, but the only opportunity of note in a turgid opening came just before the hour when Horley got in on the right, but Keadell was able to save the shot.
With just over ten minutes remaining home keeper Hyde had to be quickly out to deny Fofanah, who was played into the box. Then some fine play by White on the left led to him crossing to the far-post, but the ball skewed off Fofanah’s head to go wide.
As the match entered the final five minutes Swans had Keadell to thank for keeping them still in with a chance. Richards was left with a clear chance in the right of the box after Higgins had given the ball away, but the keeper pulled off a superb save.
Numerous stoppages had resulted in seven minutes being added-on, and in the final of those Swans went close to snatching a draw. Billy Kinona got the ball over from the left for Fofanah to have a close-in shot blocked. The ball came back to Fofanah, and he set himself to get in another shot that Hyde just managed to get his body behind and deflect the ball behind. From the corner on the right Higgins had a far-post header deflected wide, and the referee blew for full-time.
Swans’ Team: Kavanagh Keadell, Luke Randall, Will Allardyce, Wayne Ridgeley (George Maxwell 58’), Jack Higgins, Conor Symon, Ali Fofanah, Sid Dack (Billy Kinona 85’), Marlon Wallen (Monty Everett 58’), Sean White, Frank Ngonyama. Cautions: Dack, foul (56’), Everett, foul (90’), White, foul (93’).
Horley Team: Hyde, Earley, Carton (Harris 76’), Robson, Jones, Powell, Richards, Harvey (Hardwick 32’), M. Smith, Benali, King (Carnell 29’). Subs. not used: E. Smith, Regan. Scorer: Benali (18’). Cautions: Richards, kicked ball away (65’), Earley, time wasting (89’).