Saturday 24th August 2019. Cherry Red Combined Counties League, Division One.
Walton & Hersham 0 Kensington & Ealing Borough 5.
If Swans hope to return to the Premier Division at the first attempt they would be looking to pick up wins against opposition such as their visitors on a baking hot Bank Holiday weekend. Instead they put on a dismal performance that eclipsed even some of the worst of last season. There certainly should not have been a five goal gap between the sides, but their opponents accepted most of the gifts that were on offer by Swans with clinical finishing. In contrast, despite an improved second-half performance, Swans never really looked like getting the goals that would get them back in the game. Although they played some neat football, Swans’ first-half play looked laboured, with no real injection of pace, but there was little sign of the collapse that was to come in the final minutes, when they conceded three goals in quick succession. Swans started with a line-up showing several changes, including Jordan Johnson replacing Kevin Manuel in goal, and new signing Anderson Pinto-Nogueira making his debut. They could have taken the lead after just five minutes when Jaydan Willis’s long throw from the left was met by the head of Louis Blake at the near-post, but the ball went across goal and drifted just wide. The visitors soon had an opportunity when Ayoub Amellal won the ball by the centre-circle and broke forward before being fouled five yards outside the box, but Amellal could not beat the wall with the free-kick. Ricardo Taylor was forced to head the ball behind to give Swans a corner on the right, and from Alvin Sarmiento’s kick Sam Marfo powered a header over. With a quarter of an hour played Johnson was forced to save at his near-post when Walid Hirsi got into the right of Swans’ box to drive in a shot, and from the corner on the right a chance was put over from close-in. Hirsi was again found on the right by a long ball, but Johnson was able to take his shot by coming out to the corner of the box. Swans immediately broke and Sarmiento was found in space on the right, but his shot was wild and flew high and wide. Sarmiento was again found on the right by Pinto-Nogueira, but his cross dipped just over. With twenty minutes left of the half Willis crossed from the left, and Blake’s header at the far-post went across goal. Yahya El Khabouche sent a free-kick into Swans’ box, and Johnson had to push the ball behind for a corner. With ten minutes left of the half James Young was played through on the left for Swans to get into the box, but his shot was just deflected wide of the near-post for a corner. The visitors broke, and it took a good tackle by Pinto-Nogueira to snuff out a chance when the ball was played in from the left. But with seven minutes of normal-time left of the half a through pass sent Jabir Laraba clear of Swans’ defence, and he slotted the ball past Johnson from the edge of the box. Three minutes later it was 2-0. Shadrach Williams was free inside the left corner of the box, and he set up a shot that took a deflection, only for Laraba to get a touch and divert the ball past Johnson. Sarmiento got down the right for Swans to hook over a fine cross from the byline, but visiting keeper Hossam Hassan took the ball well. There had been several breaks for players to take on water, leading to substantial added-on time, and three minutes into this the visitors made it 3-0. Hirsi got in on the right, and although Johnson got hands to the shot, he could not keep it out. There was still time left for Swans to get in a low cross from the left, and keeper Hassan just denied Blake, lurking at the far-post. Swans made a treble substitution for the second-half, with James Robertson, Gus Lukuni and Parish Muirhead coming on for Young, Willis and Rishi Nankani. Robertson was soon doing well in the left of the box, resulting in Arif Hattabi having a shot blocked. Hassan then got behind a low shot from 30 yards from Muirhead, Swans’ first on target of the match. Blake was just denied when Hattabi crossed from the right, and the ball was cleared away when Lukuni had the beating of right-back Aiham Al Aswadi on the left to get in a low cross. The substitutions looked to have had the desired effect as Swans had started the second-half well, and ten minutes in Hassan just managed to keep the ball away from Robertson when Sarmiento crossed from the right. They soon had their best chance of the match when Robertson was played clear into the box, but Hassan blocked his shot. Robertson was able to regain the ball in the right of the box, but the angle was tight, and he could only shoot across the goal-face. Lukuni cut inside from the left to drive a shot over, and Blake turned well in the right of the box to strike the ball low just wide of the far-post. Swans had needed to score during their good spell to give themselves a chance, but the visitors gradually began to regroup. With just over a quarter of an hour remaining Justin Hemmings was guilty of a slack pass, and a shot was driven over Swans’ goal from the left. But the visitors soon made it 4-0 as the ball was played in from the left to Craige Tomkins, unmarked by the left corner of the box, and he scored with a fine shot. Williams shot over after finding space in the right of the box, and was then replaced by Hicham Bouchareb, who soon scored the visitors fifth goal. With stoppage-time being played the substitute got free into the left of the box and slotted the ball into the far-corner. Swans had one last opportunity deep into another lengthy period of added-on time, but Muirhead’s free-kick from the edge of the ‘D’ took a deflection to go wide.
Swans’ Team: Jotdan Johnson, Alvin Sarmiento, Jaydan Willis (Parish Muirhead 45’), Justin Hemmings, Jordan Simmons, Sam Marfo, Arif Hattabi, Anderson Pinto-Nogueira, Louis Blake, James Young (James Robertson 45’), Rishi Nankani (Gus Lukuni 45’). Subs. not used: Rio Ferguson, Frank Ngonyama. Cautions: Young, foul (34’), Simmons, foul (90+7’).
K & EB Team: Hassan, Al Aswadi, Turay, El Khabouche, Chiedozie, Taylor (Whitman), Hirsi, Amellal (Valerie), Tomkins, Laraba, Williams (Bouchareb). Subs. not used: Bull, Bakali. Scorers: Laraba (38’ & 41’), Hirsi (45+3’), Tomkins (74’), Bouchareb (90+2’). Cautions: El Khabouche, foul (31’), Al Aswadi, foul (90+8’). .