Saturday 5th October 2019. Cherry Red Combined Counties League, Division One.
Walton & Hersham 0 Farnham Town 1.
The game against their highly placed opponents changed dramatically for Swans early in the second-half when they went behind to a penalty conceded by goalkeeper Logan Cullen, who was sent-off in the same incident. Up until that point the match was evenly poised, but although Swans played well for the remainder of the second-half they could not find an equaliser. The presence of top-scorer Tyreke Leslie, who was unavailable, had already been missed in the first-half, but his goal threat was badly needed in the second as Swans had to regroup with ten men, and an outfield player in goal. It is credit to them that they did not concede further in that second-half, and they went close on several occasions to pulling back the goal deficit. The visitors, who had beaten Swans 3-0 in the Premier Challenge Cup eleven days previously, started strongly, and a free-kick from deep on the right was met with a flick at the near-post that found the gloves of Cullen. That was just one of numerous such kicks that littered a disjointed first 45 minutes, with most of the early awards going to Farnham. Swans did get one awarded to them after nine minutes when Seb Osei-Obengo was fouled just outside the right edge of the box, but Anderson Pinto-Nogueira drove the ball well over when Alvin Sarmiento laid it off to him. Another opportunity came with a kick outside the left of the box, but when Sarmiento again played it short Simeon Dennis’s shot was blocked. Arif Hattabi then laid the ball across from the right to Hamzah Williams 20 yards out, but his low shot lacked the power to beat Farnham keeper Dease Kerrison. Midway through the half the visitors got into the right of the box, and were just denied. The free-kicks continued to come, and when Swans broke from a Farnham one, Dennis got forward to drive in a shot from 22 yards, but again there was not enough power to trouble Kerrison. Just past the half hour the visitors had another free-kick, but Joe Sowden’s delivery into the box from deep sent the ball straight through to Cullen. Rather surprisingly there had been no yellow cards, but the referee’s patience finally ran out when Farnham’s Charlie Oakley was shown one for a clumsy tackle on Williams. A good move by Swans led to Hattabi threading a fine ball through to get Osei-Obengo into the box, but a typical finish by the striker was ruled out by the tightest of offside decisions. Keeper Kerrison then dived to push away a low strike from 30 yards by Pinto-Nogueira. Swans had finished the first-half strongly, and another fine through ball by Hattabi found Dennis in the box, but Kerrison went down to save his low effort. Farnham started the second-half with Tom Smith getting clear on the left to drive the ball low across goal. But just four minutes in Charlie Oakley got in unmarked on the right, and when Cullen dashed out he was just inches inside the box when the Swans’ keeper clattered into him. Oakley still managed to guide the ball past Cullen, and Sam Marfo got back to prevent it entering the goal, but the referee had already blown for a penalty. The Swans’ keeper was shown a red card for denying a goal-scoring opportunity and Marfo took over the gloves, but there was a lengthy delay before the kick could be taken as Oakley received treatment before being taken off. Marfo’s first touch of the ball as stand-in keeper was to retrieve it from the net as Jack May beat him from the spot. Justin Hemmings replaced Dennis for Swans as they had to regroup, and Parish Muirhead soon came on for Munashe Mwatsiya, and he went close to pulling Swans level straight away. Pinto-Nogueira laid the ball into him from the left, and he struck a terrific shot from 30 yards that Kerrison did well to push over his left, top corner. Following the corner-kick Pinto-Nogueira got in a good strike from the right that was blocked behind at the near-post. Swans continued to make light of their player deficit, and Hattabi almost got Osei-Obengo through, but Kerrison was quickly out to claim the ball. Marfo had not been seriously tested since taking over in goal, but he was crudely clattered into by a Farnham player when he did well to claim a ball in from the left. With a quarter of an hour remaining May got in on the right for the visitors, but could only find the side-netting. As the match entered the final five minutes of normal-time Osei-Obengo got in a fine strike from the right that Kerrison did well to block at his near-post, and when the ball ran loose several attempts to force it home were denied. In stoppage-time May again got in on the right for Farnham, but stand-in keeper Marfo did well to block his shot.
Swans’ Team: Logan Cullen, Alvin Sarmiento (Mamadaliu Balde 71’), Miguel Lopes De Matos, Sam Marfo, Jordan Simmons, Hamzah Williams, Simeon Dennis (Justin Hemmings 53’), Munashe Mwatsiya (Parish Muirhead 58’), Seb Osei-Obengo, Arif Hattabi, Anderson Pinto-Nogueira. Subs. not used: Ryan Smith, Shea Echema. Cautions: Dennis, Muirhead. Dismissal: Cullen.
Farnham Team: Kerrison, Mitchell, Smith, Sowden, Forster, H. Oakley, Nash (Page 62’), McDonald, C. Oakley (Meaton 53’), Thomas (Peel 75’), May. Sub. not used: Harburn. Scorer: May, penalty (53’). Cautions: C. Oakley, May.