Tuesday 14th January 2020. Esoteric Division One Challenge Cup, 3rd Round.
Walton & Hersham 4 Bedfont & Feltham 2.
Swans reached the semi-final in a match played in awful weather conditions of wind and rain that certainly had a large bearing on the flow of the match. With the visitors starting the tie with the powerful, gusty wind in their favour, Swans would probably have gone it at the break not too dissatisfied to be only trailing by one goal. Having equalised early in the second-half, and now with the advantage of the wind, they would already have become the fancied side to go through, but with Bedfont & Feltham having their goalkeeper, former Swan Kavanagh Keadell, sent-off after 51 minutes that favouritism became even firmer. From the point of Keadell’s dismissal the match was played out almost wholly in the visitors’ half, with their goal subjected to constant pressure, and peppered with shots. But with stand-in keeper James Wilson performing admirably in goal, and Swans generally wayward in their finishing, it took until the 65th minute for the tie to be effectively settled in the home side’s favour. Apart from Jordan Johnson returning in goal in place of the cup-tied Bert White, Swans fielded the side that had had beaten Cove 8-2 three days previously, while the visitors showed several changes to their sides that had completed a recent league double over them. Swans got off to a great start, taking the lead after just two minutes. Straight from the kick-off Bedfont & Feltham won two successive corners, but from the second one Swans broke, and with the visitors’ back-line pushed up to the halfway line, Tyreke Leslie was played through to run unchallenged to the edge of the box, from where he coolly slotted past Keadell. The lead only lasted a minute however, as Bedfont & Feltham quickly won another corner on the right. Fortune Msamala’s kick was almost non-defendable, as the ball swung wickedly in the wind towards the far, top corner. It may well have crossed the goal-line before it came out to Wilson, who poked it past Johnson to make sure. Swans soon went close to regaining their lead when a good passing move ended with Mo Ghailan finding Leon Lalor-Dell in space on the left, but Keadell did well to turn his strong shot round the near-post. With ten minutes played the visitors had a great chance to go ahead when Michael Capon had a clear opening by the penalty-spot, but Johnson got well behind his shot. Bedfont & Feltham won another corner on the right, but this time Johnson did well to clear the ball from under his crossbar from Msamala’s in-swinging kick. Miguel Lopes de Matos played Lalor-Dell down the left for Swans, and the ball was put behind for a corner when he drove it low across. Midway through the half Keadell was well-placed to collect a header from Jordan Simmons when Swans took a corner from the left, but Bedfont & Feltham’s Peter Davis was soon getting forward at the other end to drive a low shot wide of the far-post from the right edge of the box. Just past the half hour Swans should have made it 2-1 when Leslie was sent clear into the box, but he tried to take the ball round Keadell, and the keeper was able to block it away. Instead it was the visitors who took the lead, when Davis drove a low shot inside the left post from just outside the box with Johnson wrong-footed on his line. Swans responded with Simeon Dennis making a good run on the right, but no-one was in the box to get on the end of his low cross. Anderson Pinto-Nogueira then played Lopes de Matos clear down the left, but his low shot from the corner of the box passed wide of the far-post. Swans equalised three minutes after the resumption with a super goal from Leslie. Ghailan laid the ball in from the left to find Leslie on the edge of the box, and he gave Keadell no chance as he rifled it into the top, right corner. Simmons was soon striking a fine left-foot shot from 30 yards out that flew just wide of the right post. Then, six minutes into the second-half, Keadell came across to try to close down Dennis on the right, but picked the ball up just outside the edge of the box, and was sent-off for deliberate handball. Wilson took over between the posts, and the visitors tactically substituted Charles Collins by bringing on Bradley Silva. Swans then proceeded to lay siege to their opponent’s goal. All in the space of three minutes, Dennis shot just wide of the far-post from the right corner of the box, Leslie was just denied for a corner after being played in by Ghailan, who then drove a shot just wide of the right post, Wilson got well-behind a 30 yard strike from Parish Muirhead, and Ghailan turned five yards outside the box to shoot just over the goal. Bedfont & Feltham then made a double substitution, but Wilson was soon beating the ball down on his line when Ghailan made room 25 yards out to drive in a shot. But with 25 minutes remaining the stand-in keeper could only parry Leslie’s powerful shot from ten yards outside the box, and Ghailan followed up to knock the ball in and give his side a 3-2 lead. Swans brought on Seb Osei-Obengo for Lalor-Dell, and he was soon flicking the ball just over at the near-post when Dennis took a corner from the left. Lopes de Matos then sent the ball over high from the left, and as it curled in on the wind, Wilson did well to get his hands to it and deflect it onto the crossbar and over. From the corner on the right the ball curled just wide of the far-post. Swans’ attacks were incessant as the visitors struggled to get out of their own half, and Pinto-Nogueira drove a shot over after Dennis had crossed from the right. Muirhead was wide from 35 yards, and Osei-Obengo headed wide at the far-post when Lopes de Matos crossed from the left. Wilson then did well to come out and block when Dennis surged into the box. All in the space of the 34th minute, Leslie cut into the left of the box to shoot just wide of the far-post, Wilson saved Dennis’s shot from the right at his near-post, and Simmons headed into the side-netting from a left-side cross. Leslie sent an overhead kick over from Dennis’s corner from the left, and with five minutes of normal-time remaining Wilson made a fine save at his near-post from Osei-Obengo’s shot from the right of the box. Wilson then did well to palm the ball away when Osei-Obengo drove in a shot from 30 yards. As the match entered stoppage-time Osei-Obengo had a shot from ten yards blocked on the line when Muirhead crossed into the box from the left. But the visitors’ remarkable series of escapes finally ended with four minutes of added-on time being played when Osei-Obengo drove the ball home after Dennis had been played down the right to lay it in to him.
Swans’ Team: Jordan Johnson, Simeon Dennis, Miguel Lopes de Matos, Hamzah Williams, Jordan Simmons, Sam Marfo (Alvin Sarmiento 75’), Leon Lalor-Dell (Seb Osei-Obengo 66’), Parish Muirhead, Mo Ghailan (Michael Winnister 89’), Anderson Pinto-Nogueira, Tyreke Leslie. Subs. not used: Thomas Lim, Munashe Mwatsiya. Scorers: Leslie (2’ & 48’), Ghailan (65’), Osei-Obengo (90+4’).
Bedfont & Feltham Team: Keadell, Lewis, Msamala, Wilson, Dunckley, Pearce, Collins (Silva 53’), Davis, Capon (Hardy 60’), R. Nunn (Thompson 60’), Gairy. Subs. not used: Nutbeam, Hitchinson. Scorers: Wilson (3’), Davis (33’). Dismissal: Keadell, handball (51’).