Saturday 28th September 2019. Cherry Red Combined Counties League, Division One.
FC Deportivo Galicia 0 Walton & Hersham 3.
Following a frustrating first 45 minutes, during which their domination of their first-time opponents failed to bear fruit, an early second-half breakthrough finally set Swans on their way to a deserved win. New signing Miguel Lopes de Matos, who has been at Northwood this season, came into the starting line-up, and he had a fine debut at left-back. Logan Cullen returned in goal, while Seb Osei-Obengo was able to resume up-front after serving a two-match ban. It was Osei-Obengo who was quick to get in a shot when the ball was laid back to him from the left inside the first-minute, but his strike from the edge of the box was well-over. A fine build-up then led to Anderson Pinto-Nogueira just being tackled on the edge of the box, and home keeper Dani Diaz then just got to the ball when Simeon Dennis got to the byline on the left to lay it back. Swans had made a positive start, looking comfortable and passing the ball around well with the familiarity of a 3G pitch, and Lopes de Matos was just closed out when Parish Muirhead made a fine run to the left byline to lay the ball back inside. The home side had defended deep as Swans continued to dominate, denying them clear openings, but midway through the half a patient build-up allowed Lopes de Matos to get the ball over from the left to set up a chance for Alvin Sarmiento on the edge of the box, but he drove over the goal. Just after the half hour the home side’s Helder Lopes was booked for a cynical tackle deep on the right, giving Swans an opportunity with a free-kick, and Sarmiento’s delivery into the box had to be cleared behind at the far-post for a corner-kick. Swans were caught on the break when the ball was cleared, and Leo Carvalho was able to get free to the left edge of the box, but he shot wide of the far-post. The ball was then put wide of the far-post when a free-kick was sent into Swans’ box from deep on the right. The home side had denied Tyreke Leslie any real space, but with ten minutes remaining of the half Jordan Simmons’ fine ball found him free on the right. Although his first touch was not good he persisted, and got round his marker, only to be finally closed out. In the final minute of the first-half Dennis was played into the right of the box, but his strong shot was beaten away by Diaz at his near-post. Cullen had been much of an onlooker in Swans’ goal, but he had to be smart to cut out a low ball in when the home side got clear to the byline on the left. Swans started the second-half with the stiff breeze in their favour, and they finally made the breakthrough six minutes in. Pinto-Nogueira’s fine through ball sent Leslie racing clear, and he coolly beat keeper Diaz from the edge of the box, slipping the ball into the bottom, right corner. It could have been 2-0 three minutes later when Leslie again found the net. A superb one-two between him and Dennis in the left of the box led to him calmly finding the bottom, right corner, but the offside flag went up. Leslie was then given another chance when the ball was passed out straight to him, but after getting into the right of the box to open up the goal, he shot wide of the far-post with Osei-Obengo unmarked to his left. The home side began to have their best spell of the game, getting forward more frequently, but with just over a quarter of an hour remaining Swans doubled their lead. Muirhead’s neat pass found Leslie in the left of the box, and he expertly guided a right-foot shot past keeper Diaz and into the far, bottom corner to reach double figures for the season. It was almost 3-0 minutes later when Osei-Obengo struck a terrific shot from 30 yards that Diaz just got his hands on to deflect the ball onto the crossbar, from where it dropped back into the keeper’s gloves. Another poor clearance by the home defence sent the ball straight to Sarmiento, who set up Osei-Obengo on the left, but he drove his shot over. Substitute Munashe Mwatsiya got Lopes de Matos to the byline on the left to get in a good cross, but the wind took the ball drifting wide of the far-post. But Osei-Obengo was soon benefiting from another poor clearance by the home side, rifling a right-foot shot past Diaz and into the far-corner from the right of the box to make it 3-0. It was now a question whether Swans could add to their score, and in the final minute Osei-Obengo powered a header just over from ten yards after Leslie had picked him out from the right.
Swans’ Team: Logan Cullen, Alvin Sarmiento, Miguel Lopes De Matos, Sam Marfo, Jordan Simmons, Hamzah Williams, Tyreke Leslie, Parish Muirhead (Munashe Mwatsiya 79’), Seb Osei-Obengo, Anderson Pinto-Nogueira (Justin Hemmings 88’), Simeon Dennis (Arif Hattabi 64’). Subs. not used: Ryan Smith, Mamadaliu Balde. Scorers: Leslie (51’ & 73’), Osei-Obengo (84’).
FCDG Team: Diaz, Kepsi, Ropars, Miras, Cisse, Nadeem, Lopes (Haxholli 79’), Nogaledo, Fernandez, Carvalho, Philogene (Soussi 72’). Subs. not used: Conde, El Gomri, Martinho. Caution: Lopes, foul (31’).