Saturday 16th February 2019. Cherry Red Combined Counties League, Premier Division.
Guildford City 3 Walton & Hersham 4.
Another determined display by Swans gave them back to back wins for the first time this season as they defeated a highly-placed City side at Godalming Town’s Wey Meadow. As at Badshot Lea a week earlier they had to come back from a goal down before taking a 2-1 lead, but again were pulled level by a penalty. They wasted little time in regaining the lead, and then pulled two goals clear, but a second, somewhat contentious penalty awarded to the home side led to a tight finish. If there was one downside to an otherwise excellent performance by Swans, it was that all three goals conceded were very much of their own making, but this was counteracted by four fine goals of their own.
They had the luxury of fielding an unchanged line-up, faith being shown in the side that had started a week earlier.
A slack start had bedevilled Swans in their last few matches, resulting in them conceding early, but they looked more composed from the off, with the defence looking solid, and they had the first attempt on goal inside the first five minutes. Sean White laid the ball off to his right to Darnell Austin, 25 yards out, and he struck a fine effort just wide of the left post.
City’s first threat came just before the quarter of an hour when they had a free-kick deep on the right touchline, and Conor Symon had to head behind for a corner at the far-post as the ball was played in.
Austin did well on the right for Swans to get to the byline, and his driven cross was well cut out by home goalkeeper Stuart Norman to prevent it reaching Seb Osei-Obengo.
Swans had looked relatively untroubled, but with 24 minutes played they gave away a free-kick in a dangerous position just outside the box. City’s Bobby Webbe struck the kick well, and keeper Luke Daley did superbly to get a hand to the ball and deflect it onto his crossbar, from where it bounced down and clear.
But three minutes later Swans conceded a really soft goal. A ball down the middle tried to find Eli Ogunseye, but Daley was clear favourite to win the ball as he came out, but he failed to make contact as he attempted to kick clear. It may have been a vagary of the bobbly, uneven pitch that deceived the Swans’ keeper, but Ogunseye was able to gain possession of the loose ball, go round him, and roll it into an open goal.
Swans continued to be well in the game, but they did not test home keeper Norman until two minutes before the break when they had a free-kick outside the left corner of the box. Pat Kirby struck the kick well, and Norman had to dive to push the ball round his near-post.
But in the final minute of normal-time in the half Swans equalised. A good ball was played through to Osei-Obengo, and he turned to make room 22 yards out before driving a fine shot inside the left post.
At Badshot Lea a week earlier Swans had scored two goals to take the lead just before half-time, but this time they found the net immediately before and after the break. Only a minute had been played of the second-half when Simon Offei hit a good diagonal pass from the right to find Tyreke Leslie in the left of the box, and he cut the ball back onto his right-foot before striking a fine shot low across Norman and just inside the far-post.
Swans had started the second-half really well, and they forced two corners in quick succession on the right. Both kicks were taken by Kirby, and Regan Mendes got his head to both, the first attempt at the far-post going wide, and the second by the big, central defender clearing the bar.
Swans could well have been 4-1 up just before the hour as two fine chances fell to White in the space of a minute. It was a good pass by White that got Osei-Obengo to the byline on the left, and he cut the ball back to set up White in front of goal, but an awful bounce resulted in the Swans’ player slicing well-wide. Just a minute later White was played clear into the box to leave him with just Norman to beat from ten yards, but the City keeper blocked the shot.
But instead of being further ahead Swans soon found themselves pegged back to 2-2, and the equalising goal was another poor one from their perspective. Nathan Williams broke into the left of the box, only for Daley to dash across in an attempt to clear, but to only succeed in bringing down the City player with a wild lunge. A penalty was the inevitable outcome, and one that Benga Ogunseye struck past Daley and in-off the left post.
Swans wasted no time in regaining the lead, as straight from the restart Osei-Obengo was found in the right of the box, and he lashed a terrific, right-foot shot past Norman and into the top of the net.
The home side had a chance to hit back again when they won a free-kick close to the byline on the right, but Daley did well to fall on the ball as it was driven low across.
Swans won a free-kick of their own on the right, and Kirby’s delivery took a deflection to go behind for a corner. From Kirby’s kick the ball was headed over their own bar by City to concede another corner on the left. This time Mendes got his head to Kirby’s kick, and the ball was cleared off the goal-line at the near-post.
With just over a quarter of an hour remaining the home side won two successive corners on the left, but Swans soon won one of their own, and this led to them extending their lead. Jean-Luc Kinsaba forced the kick on the left, and City had to head behind from Kirby’s delivery. From Kirby’s second kick from the right the ball was knocked down, and Leslie hooked it right-footed past Norman from close to the penalty-spot.
Swans should now have had the points tied up, but with four minutes of normal-time remaining they made it harder for themselves. Jordan Simmons’ wayward pass back led to City getting into the left of the box, and although Symon seemed to make a legitimate tackle the referee awarded another penalty. Benga Ogunseye was again unerring from the spot to set up a tight finish, but Swans were able to hold on for a valuable win.
Swans’ Team: Luke Daley, Conor Symon, Jean-Luc Kinsaba, Pat Kirby, Regan Mendes, Jordan Simmons, Tyreke Leslie, Sean White, Seb Osei-Obengo (James Robertson 84’), Darnell Austin (Didi Castanho 71’), Simon Offei (Ahmed Elsahib 71’). Subs. not used: Nathan Mampono, Sam Marfo. Scorers: Osei-Obengo (45’ & 62’), Leslie (46’ & 77’). Cautions: Leslie (40’), Daley (61’), Simmons (64’), Robertson (89’), Kirby (90+2’).
Guildford Team: Norman, Mason, Beale, Cotton (Burton 79’), Carton (Phillips 84’), Irving, E. Ogunseye, Webbe, Nicholas, B. Ogunseye, Williams (Gallagher 71’), Sub. not used: Griffin. Scorers: E. Ogunseye (27’), B. Ogunseye, 2 penalties (61’ & 86’). Caution: Carton (42’).