Swans 2 Southall 4

Saturday 10 August 2019. FA Cup, Extra-Preliminary Round.

Walton & Hersham 2 Southall 4.

Swans’ recent poor record in the FA Cup continued as they were beaten by a strong, well-organised Southall side that look like being among the contenders in the Premier Division of the Combined Counties League. With a powerful wind, accompanied by severe gusts, blowing down the ground throughout, conditions were difficult, and it was always going to be a vital factor in the course the match took, which side utilised those conditions best when favouring them. Swans started with the wind blowing towards their goal, and the visitors took advantage of that, going into the break with a 3-1 lead. The lead was reduced to a single goal for a second time, giving Swans a chance of forcing at least a replay, but a fourth Southall goal killed off their hopes. Changes had to be made to a Swans’ side that had started the season with a win, Jaydan Willis having picked up an ankle injury, and Sam Marfo being unavailable. New signing Justin Hemmings came into defence, with Roy Gayle and Gus Lukuni also making their first starts. Swans got off to a poor start, going behind after just four minutes. Indecisive defending allowed Aaron McLeish to get free into the right of the 6 yard box, and although home goalkeeper Kevin Manuel blocked his first shot the Southall striker followed up to net. A free-kick awarded 35 yards out spelt further danger for Swans, but Dan Fleming drove the wind-assisted kick wide of the left-post. Swans struggled to build up play in the opposition half, but when they did an attack broke down and Southall’s Darreon Mark was allowed to get clear on the left, but Manuel got well-behind his shot from the corner of the box. Mark sent a shot dipping over from outside the box, and then almost got through, but Manuel was quickly out to claim the ball. Slack play by Swans led to them going further behind after 17 minutes. They gave the ball away in the centre of the pitch, allowing Southall to send McLeish on a run through an exposed back-line, and after shrugging past the advancing Manuel the visitors’ striker rolled the ball into an empty net for his, and his side’s, second goal. Swans had a chance to halve the lead almost immediately when Alvin Sarmiento sent over a free-kick from the left touchline, but Jordan Simmons put a header wide at the far-post. Mark and Sandro Fernandes worked a short corner on the left for Southall, and when Mark sent over the cross Gavin Austin glanced a header wide. Swans’ attacks against the wind had been few and far between, but Lukuni made a good run into the right of the box to have a shot blocked. Midway through the half Fernandes again played a corner-kick short for Southall, this time on the right, and when he crossed the ball Manuel did well to tip it wide at his far-post. Manuel then made a fine block when Mark got into the right of the box. Swans’ chances had been rare, but they got themselves back into the tie after 27 minutes. Tyreke Leslie got in a shot from inside the box, and Southall keeper Rourke Pickford could only deflect the ball towards his own goal. Leslie was first to get to the loose ball and scrambled it over the line by the left-post. Fernandes was just denied as he threatened to again get through for Southall, before Swans’ James Robertson got his head to Sarmiento’s free-kick from the left touchline and the ball bounced into the gloves of keeper Pickford. Pickford then got well behind a shot from Leslie, who had battled well in the box to create an opening. Southall’s Jack Mills put a shot over from the edge of the box, before Swans had another opportunity. Simeon Dennis played the ball to Lukuni in space on the right, and he got in a shot that Pickford had to beat down. Manuel took the ball well when Adam Louth sent a free-kick swirling in on the wind from deep on the right, but the Swans’ keeper was beaten again as the half entered stoppage-time, blunting his side’s chances of a second-half comeback. Mark got in a shot from the left edge of the box that seemed to deceive Manuel in the wind as the ball flew past him. Swans brought on James Young for the second-half to replace Dennis, and he almost had an affect just five minutes in. Leslie made a run on the right to drive the ball in low to the near-post, where Young clipped a first-time shot just over. Southall drove the ball low across the goal-face after finding space on the right, before Pickford did well at the other end to take the ball under his crossbar when Sarmiento sent a free-kick from deep on the right swirling in on the wind. Despite the wind being against them the visitors continued to look the side most likely to score again, and Fleming shot over from the edge of the box when the ball was laid across to him from the left. Mark shot just wide of the far-post after doing well on the left, and a chance in the box was stabbed straight to Manuel. The dangerous Mark popped up in the right of the box to send a low shot wide of the near-post, but it was Swans who were to score next to again put them back in the tie. There was just over a quarter of an hour left when a ball down the middle was nodded on by Young to take him clear past the advancing keeper and leaving him with an empty goal to score into. The game could have been tied up at 3-3 just two minutes later when Leslie made a good run on the right before driving the ball in low to the near-post, but Louis Blake, who had just replaced Robertson, could not turn the ball in. But any thoughts of a comeback were virtually ended with ten minutes remaining when the visitors restored their two goal lead. Manuel was drawn to his near-post when Southall got into the right of the 6 yard box, but he failed to prevent the ball being laid across to the far-post, where substitute Peter Dean was left with a simple tap-in. Swans tried to hit back, and Pickford had to take the ball at his near-post when Lukuni did well on the left before driving the ball in low. But it was left to Manuel to twice prevent Southall from extending their lead. The Swans’ keeper made a fine save, diving to his right to push the ball round the post when a shot was driven in low from just outside the box. Then in the final minute of normal-time he did well to keep out a close-in shot at the near-post when the ball was played in low from the left.

Swans’ Team: Kevin Manuel, Alvin Sarmiento, Felix Lucas, Parish Muirhead, Jordan Simmons, Justin Hemmings, Tyreke Leslie, Roy Gayle (Rishi Nankani 88’), James Robertson (Louis Blake 73’), Simeon Dennis (James Young 45’), Gus Lukuni. Subs. not used: Michael Winnister, Arif Hattabi, Samuel Osei, Jordan Johnson. Scorers: Leslie (27’), Young (74’). Caution: Nankani, dissent (90+2’).

Southall Team: Pickford, Dosho, Louth, Berry, Austin, Dailey, Fernandes, Mills, Flemimg (Dean 74’), McLeish (Olajubu 77’), Mark. Subs. not used: Gurteen, Roper, Hamid, Campbell, Mulhall. Scorers: McLeish (4’ & 17’), Mark (45+1’), Dean (80’). Caution: Fleming (50’). .