Tuesday 4th December 2018. Cherry Red Combined Counties League, Premier Division.
Walton & Hersham 2 Colliers Wood United 1.
A terrific strike from Pat Kirby in the final minute gave Swans a much-needed win over a Colliers Wood United side fielding four former players. A fine goal from Ali Fofanah had given them an early lead, but they had to settle for 1-1 at the break, and the result could then have gone either way until that late, late winner.
Swans had the unusual luxury of fielding an unchanged side on a chilly, drizzly evening.
They will feel they were denied two nailed-on penalties inside the first seven minutes. Just six minutes in Fofanah was played clear into the right of the box before being clattered by goalkeeper Sean Fallon, the referee surprisingly waving play-on. Only a further minute had elapsed when Shamal Edwards got through into the left of the box, and he was also brought down by the former Swans’ keeper, who had dashed out of his goal. Again the referee saw no offence.
But Swans got the reward their good start deserved after nine minutes. James Robertson neatly played Fofanah into the left of the box, and he struck a fine low shot into the far corner.
The visitors won a free-kick 25 yards out, and when former Swan Malachi Thomas’s shot was blocked, home keeper Kavanagh Keadell saved a follow-up from the right of the box.
Midway through the half Robertson had a good chance for Swans when he got into the right of the box, but his low shot went wide of the far-post.
The visitors equalised after 27 minutes when a close-in header from Mario Embalo struck the bar, and the ball went just over the line before being cleared.
It could have got worse for Swans, but a chance was headed wide at the near-post from a right-side corner.
With ten minutes left of the half Swans’ Luke Randall sent over a fine cross from the right, but the ball glanced off the head of Robertson in front of goal.
The visitors had another chance to go ahead when Embalo broke clear down the middle, but after getting to just outside the box he drove his shot wide of the left post.
As the half entered the final five minutes a fine ball from Fofanah got Edwards free on the left, but after cutting inside he could not beat Fallon with his shot.
A neat move by Swans eight minutes after the resumption again got Edwards into the box from the left, but his cross was weak and was easily cut out.
The visitors soon had two more chances, a shot being driven over the goal from the left of the box, and Keadell making a fine block after Swans had been guilty of a poor backward header.
With just under a quarter of an hour remaining Louis Paterson played Edwards into the left of the box for Swans, but he sent the ball over the bar. Fallon then had to be quickly out to deny Edwards, who had been put through by Paterson.
Colliers Wood replied by getting to the byline on the right, and the ball was driven low across the goal-face.
With the final five minutes of normal-time being played Swans went close to regaining the lead when Edwards made a fine run on the left to get into the box, but his low cross was just inches away from finding Robertson, sliding in at the far-post. Robertson then had a fine chance after being played into the right of the box, but his shot was blocked, and when the ball came back to him he drove over the bar.
But in the 89th minute the ball came to Kirby in space 35 yards out, and he drove a terrific shot low inside the left-post for a spectacular winner.
Swans’ Team: Kavanagh Keadell, Luke Randall, Louis Paterson, Conor Symon, Callum Robinson, Pat Kirby, Sid Dack, Frankie Driver (Sean White 61’), James Robertson (Monty Everett 90+3’), Ali Fofanah, Shamal Edwards. Subs. not used: Billy Kinona, Chester Clothier, Zuko Akwuba. Scorers: Fofanah (9’), Kirby (89’).
Colliers Wood Team: Fallon, Stephens, Talbot, Morally, Sullivan, McCabe, Eccleston-Cover, Newton, Thomas, Tan, Embalo. Scorer: Embalo (27’). Subs: Campion, Quarshie, Davies, McNamee, Spence. Cautions: McCabe, Newton, Campion. . .