Saturday 10th November 2018. Cherry Red Combined Counties League, Premier Division.
Cobham 1 Walton & Hersham 1.
A goal scored seven minutes from the end of normal-time prevented Swans from recording a second successive away win and clean sheet. They then had to withstand pressure from the home side that threatened to deny them a share of the points. They were also under pressure at the start of the match, but the first-half then became a pretty even affair with few chances to either side. Swans settled down to show more composure in the second-half, and were soon awarded two penalty-kicks in the space of three minutes. Both were taken by Sean White, but although missing the first he did not shirk the responsibility of the second, and showed admiral composure in giving his team the lead.
Swans were again hit by injury, with Frank Ngonyama, Pat Kirby, Mo Kamara and Jack Higgins all unfit, and Ali Fofanah was unavailable. Shamal Edwards, signed on a month’s loan from Tooting & Mitcham United, came into the side, and first starts were also given to recent signings Frankie Driver and James Robertson against the club they had just left.
The thunder and lightning that preceded the kick-off abated, but the heavy rain did not, and continued throughout.
Cobham’s Chris Davis was soon being played clear into the right of the box, and he was only denied by a fine tackle from Luke Randall Randall then had to clear behind for a corner after Jordan Marley had sent Mo Diakite through on the right, and a header was put just wide at the far-post from Nathan West’s kick. Swans continued to struggle with the difficult conditions in the early stages, with the ball moving quickly off the slick pitch. They conceded a free-kick just outside the right edge of the box, and when West laid the ball across to Gary Abisogun, his shot was blocked.
Swans withstood the early pressure and gradually began to settle down, but found it difficult to create openings of their own. They won a free-kick 30 yards out, but White drove the ball through to home goalkeeper Andrew Westphal.
With half an hour gone the ball was played back to Abisogun 35 yards out, and Swans’ keeper Kavanagh Keadell made a smart save from his low strike.
Swans soon had their first effort on goal as Edwards made a run forward to get in a low shot from 25 yards that Westphal went down to save.
In the final minute of the half Swans had to concede a corner when Marley got in on the right byline, and from the kick Keadell did well to leap and tip the ball away to prevent a header at the far-post.
Swans started the second-half well, and were rewarded just three minutes in with a penalty. Marlon Wallen was played down the right, and his low cross led to a scramble in the six-yard box, the referee spotting a handball that prevented the ball crossing the line. Unfortunately for Swans White drove the ball over the crossbar from the spot-kick.
Just three minutes later however Wallen was brought down just inside the right side of the box by keeper Westphal, resulting in another penalty being awarded, and this time White made no mistake.
With the ball now holding-up more on the pitch Swans continued to look composed, and with just over twenty minutes remaining they had a free-kick on the right, and following Ajani Domingo-Carrington’s kick Wallen drove a shot wide as the ball came out to him.
The home side began to look dangerous again in the latter stages, and with just over a quarter of an hour remaining they put a header over at the far-post from a right-side corner. They then shot over after the ball had been played in low from the left. But with seven minutes remaining a free-kick from the right touchline led to James King scoring the equaliser with a free header from in front of goal.
Straight from the restart White drove in a good shot from 25 yards for Swans that Westphal had to beat down.
Cobham had a chance to repeat their equaliser with a free-kick from a similar position, but this time the header went over. With two minutes remaining Davis had a great chance to win it for Cobham when he was left with just Keadell to beat after being played into the box, but he shot straight at the Swans’ keeper. Swans continued to hang on, and Keadell made a terrific save from a shot inside the box.
But in the final Swans had a chance when White put Monty Everett away on the right, and he was there for the lay-back, but his shot was blocked behind at the near-post. From the corner the ball was cleared away from the goal-line. Then in stoppage-time Conor Symon headed back at the far-post when a free-kick was sent in from the left, but the ball was stabbed wide.
Swans’ Team: Kavanagh Keadell, Billy Kinona, Ajani Domingo-Carrington, Frankie Driver (Sid Dack 72’), Conor Symon, Luke Randall, Shamal Edwards, Chester Clothier, Marlon Wallen, Sean White, James Robertson (Monty Everett 54’). Subs. not used: Frank Ngonyama, Jack Higgins. Scorer: White, penalty (52’). Caution: Kinona (83’).
Cobham Team: Westphal, Marley, Murray, Dowling, Weighill, King, Dart, West, Abisogun, Davis, Diakite (Thurgood 69’). Subs. not used: Taylor, Kugathas, Walker, Sey. Scorer: King (83’). Cautions: Westphal (51’), Diakite (65’).