Cove 1 Swans 1 (Abandoned)

Saturday 17th August 2019. Cherry Red Combined Counties League, Division One.

Cove 1 Walton & Hersham 1 (abandoned after 49 minutes, serious player injury).

A serious injury to Cove left-back Alex Jupp four minutes into the second-half resulted in the match being abandoned with the score tied up at 1-1. With the player unable to be moved because of a suspected dislocated knee, and no arrival of an ambulance after a delay of 25 minutes, the match referee made the decision to call a halt to proceedings. Swans had just started the second-half on the attack, having seen their early lead cancelled out just before the break, when the injury occurred. They had certainly been looking to improve on a first-half display that had fallen away after a good start that should have seen them further ahead than that single goal. The home side’s Christian Cox was first to get in a shot, but his effort from outside the right of the box was wide of the near-post. Tyreke Leslie was first to threaten for Swans when he burst into the left of the box, but Cove goalkeeper Sean O’Brien was quickly out to claim the ball. But with ten minutes played a ball down the left again sent Leslie clear, and this time he took the ball away from O’Brien before rolling it into the far corner of the goal. Two minutes after the restart Leslie had a chance to get his, and Swans’, second goal. Alvin Sarmiento took a free-kick from out on the left touchline, and when Jordan Simmons nodded the ball back at the far-post, Leslie volleyed over from close to the penalty-spot. Roy Gayle then crossed a fine diagonal ball from the left that James Robertson just failed to get to in the right of the box. With a quarter of an hour played a long, high ball dropped to Cove’s Ross Cook in space on the left, but his attempted cross flew yards both high and wide. Gayle struck another good diagonal pass to find Leslie on the left for Swans, but his low shot from outside the box lacked the power to beat O’Brien. New signing Danny Williams then got in a fine low strike from out on the left that was just inches wide of the far-post. Some really poor defending by Swans in the left of their box almost cost them, and they were fortunate when the ball passed across their goal-face. A fine pass from deep on the right by Sam Marfo almost picked out Leslie unmarked in the box, but he couldn’t latch onto the ball. With half an hour played Leslie was found on the right by a good ball from the left by Arif Hattabi, and he got forward before hitting a fine cross that keeper O’Brien just got a touch on to prevent it finding the head of Robertson in front of goal. The home side had looked pretty ineffective, but when they broke on the right Swans’ keeper Kevin Manuel dashed right across to the touchline in an attempt to clear. He failed to get to the ball, and when it was played into the box Cove got in a shot, but a terrific last ditch clearance by Sarmiento just prevented the ball from crossing the line. With the half entering the final five minutes Cove were somewhat fortunate to be awarded a free-kick in a dangerous position just outside the left corner of the box. Cook struck the kick well, but Manuel managed to beat the ball away on his line. After a good opening half hour, when they should have built on their early lead, errors had crept into Swans’ game, and it was one of these that led to Cove equalising in the final minute of the half. Rishi Nankani tried to overplay close to hallway on Swans’ right, but he lost possession, and with Sarmiento caught out of position Cook was free to break down the left. The Cove striker still had a lot to do, but he was able to cut inside across the edge of the box before sending a shot past Manuel. Just four minutes of the second-half had been played when Jupp tried to prevent Leslie getting past him on the right, only for the Cove left-back to go down injured. With the injury serious enough to prevent the player being moved onto a stretcher, the game was eventually called off.

Swans’ Team: Kevin Manuel, Alvin Sarmiento, Felix Lucas (Michael Winnister 45+1’), Danny Williams, Jordan Simmons, Sam Marfo, Tyreke Leslie, Roy Gayle, James Robertson, Arif Hattabi, Rishi Nankani. Subs. not used: Parish Muirhead, Ryan Smith, James Young, Gus Lukuni. Scorer: Leslie (10’).

Cove Team: O’Brien, J. Jupp, A. Jupp, Elward, Brown, Sumbler, Cox, Pickett, Cook, Jones, Gurney. Subs. not used: Denyer, Moody, Clarke, Exton. Scorer: Cook (45’). .

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