Saturday 25th January 2020. Cherry Red Combined Counties League, Division One.
Walton & Hersham 7 British Airways 3.
There is certainly no shortage of goals in Swans’ home matches of late, as this made it 10 scored in each of their previous two league matches, and 26 in total in the last three, including the Division One Cup tie. They followed on from their 8-2 hammering of Cove by putting another seven goals in the net of their latest opponents, a total that again could well have been higher on chances created. Having already lost their previous home match 6-0 to Swans the visitors would certainly not have fancied their chances, and those fears proved not unfounded. They did however find the net three times themselves, taking advantage of the home side’s tendency to switch-off defensively, something that Swans cannot afford against stronger opposition. With Parish Muirhead and Mo Ghailan reportedly moving to Walton Casuals and East Grinstead Town respectively, Sam Marfo injured and Jordan Simmons unavailable, there were four enforced changes to the Swans’ side that had started the previous two matches. Justin Hemmings returned from an injury lay-off, with Alvin Sarmiento, Munashe Mwatsiya and Seb Osei-Obengo also coming back in. Swans were slow out of the blocks, with the visitors having two early openings. Goalkeeper Bert White had to be quickly out to clear on the edge of his box when Josh Zend got free on the left, and when the ball was given away Edward Simons was played clear and got round Hamzah Williams, only to shoot wide of the left post. Swans’ first opportunity came when Gibson Pasma fouled Anderson Pinto-Nogueira just outside the left edge of the box, but Simeon Dennis sent the free-kick dipping over the goal after Sarmiento had laid the ball off to him. Pinto-Nogueira then played a clever pass to send Leon Lalor-Dell through to the byline on the left, but he cut the ball back too far to find a teammate. Lalor-Dell was soon getting into a similar position, but was just closed out. Swans continued to put the pressure on their opponents’ goal, and when Lalor-Dell sent Osei-Obengo bursting down the right with nineteen minutes played, Tyreke Leslie was just prevented from getting on the end of his low cross into the box. But the lead soon came when Lalor-Dell struck a shot from the right corner of the box that took a slight deflection before beating keeper Evangelos Anastaskis inside his near-post. It only took the home side four minutes to double that lead. White had come out to punch the ball away when the visitors had sent in a high cross from the left, sending Swans breaking to the other end, where Pinto-Nogueira was fouled two yards outside the box. Osei-Obengo opted to take the free-kick, and drilled the ball into the bottom, right corner. Dennis laid the ball off to Leslie on the left, whose low shot was taken by Anastaskis on his line, but the visiting keeper was beaten for the third time just six minutes after the first when Williams picked out Leslie with an excellent long ball down the middle from his own-half. Leslie pulled the ball down before taking it round the keeper and rolling it into the net. Dennis sent a shot dipping over from 35 yards following a fine build-up, and the same player drove a chance over after Leslie had laid the ball into him following a good run on the left. But, just past the half hour, Swans stretched their lead still further with their fourth goal in the space of eleven minutes. An excellent, patient build-up involving several players resulted in Pinto-Nogueira finally playing a clever pass to Sarmiento on the right, and his low cross was turned-in at the far-post by Leslie to complete a superb move. It should have been 5-0 when the visitors gave the ball away to give Osei-Obengo a clear chance in the box, but in opting for power he left the crossbar shuddering with a thunderous shot. Anastaskis then just managed to save a low shot from Mwatsiya, who had broken clear on the left. Lalor-Dell got down the right to get in a fine cross that was just inches too high to find the head of Osei-Obengo in front of goal, with Leslie behind him also failing to get a touch. With just over five minutes remaining of the half the visitors relieved some of the pressure by winning successive corners, and following the second kick from the right Simons sent a shot dipping over from the left corner of the box. But in the final minute of normal-time the British Airways’ No. 9 got clear on the right to drive in a low shot that White could only push away, and Simons followed up to find the far, bottom corner with his second attempt. But Swans wasted little time in restoring their four goal lead as Osei-Obengo burst clear into the box before being sent flying by Anastaskis. There was no doubt about the penalty award, but some regarding only a yellow card being shown to the British Airways’ keeper, who seemed to escape dismissal by virtue of the double jeopardy rule, although a genuine attempt to get to the ball was not immediately apparent. Pinto-Nogueira was assigned to take the kick, and made no mistake in finding the top, left corner. Swans were soon looking to add to their lead in the second-half, and Osei-Obengo did well on the left before laying the ball across to Lalor-Dell, who made room to get in a low shot that Anastaskis had to push round the post. Dennis was then just denied in the box after Lalor-Dell had found Sarmiento on the right to cross the ball low in. The visitors drove the ball over after cutting in from the right, and this was a precursor to a spell of slack defending by Swans that led to their lead again being cut. With seven minutes played of the half the ball was not cleared and Jake Morten was played through to beat White. Things could have got worse as Simons got into the right of the box to drive a low shot against the far-post, the same player then bringing a save from White, who then had to react to keep out a follow-up. The Swans’ keeper then had to claw away a far-post header following the corner on the right. But, as in the first-half, Swans wasted little time in restoring their four goal lead, and it was a stunning goal that did so. Dennis and Pinto-Nogueira played a short corner on the left, and when Dennis laid the ball across to Osei-Obengo, he struck a tremendous shot from 35 yards, and Anastaskis would hardly have seen the ball as it flew past him like a missile and into the top, right corner. British Airways’ Pasma got in a shot from inside the box that White made two attempts to keep out on his line, but Swans still looked hungry for more goals. Pinto-Nogueira and Dennis played a short corner on the left, and when the cross came in to the far-post Mwatsiya had a shot deflected wide. Leslie then made a terrific run on the left, leaving his marker stranded in his wake, to get into the box, but Anastaskis was able to keep out his low shot. Midway through the half Simons almost got through again for the visitors, but Miguel Lopes de Matos just got back to clear behind for a corner. Leslie again went close for Swans when Mwatsiya’s long ball got him through, but after beating a defender to get into the box his low shot was just pushed round the right post by Anastaskis. Osei-Obengo drove a first-time shot over after Pinto-Nogueira’s quickly taken throw-in had got him into the right of the box, but the Swans’ striker went even closer a minute later. New signing Chad Morris, who had come on for Hemmings, played Osei-Obengo in on the right, and he smashed a shot against the near-post. Morris then made a good run forward before being fouled just outside the box. Morris drove in the free-kick himself, but Anastaskis saved on his line. Pinto-Nogueira was next to get forward, and he was also brought down on the edge of the box, Charlie Rose picking up another yellow card for the visitors for the offence. Again the victim of the foul took the free-kick, Pinto-Nogueira driving the ball just wide of the left-post. With five minutes of normal-time remaining Osei-Obengo was played to the byline on the right, and he almost scored from the tightest of angles, but his shot went across the goal-face and inches wide of the far-post. But in the 90th minute more casual defending by Swans allowed Dan Shelbourne to get clear into the box and beat White to make it 6-3. For the third time in the match however Swans hit back quickly to restore their lead, and it was another fine goal that did so. Substitute Thomas Lim did well to win possession on the right, and he struck a superb cross into the middle of the box, where Leslie met the ball with a terrific volley that gave the keeper no chance and sealed his hat-trick.
Swans’ Team: Bert White, Simeon Dennis, Miguel Lopes de Matos, Justin Hemmings (Chad Morris 56’), Alvin Sarmiento (Michael Winnister 77’), Hamzah Williams, Leon Lalor-Dell (Thomas Lim 69’), Munashe Mwatsiya, Seb Osei-Obengo, Anderson Pinto-Nogueira, Tyreke Leslie. Sub. not used: Stanley Channell. Scorers: Lalor-Dell (19’), Osei-Obengo (23’ & 55’), Leslie (25’, 31’ & 90+2’), Pinto-Nogueira, penalty (45+1’). Caution: Pinto-Nogueira, foul (11’).
BA Team: Anastaskis, Green, Quadry, Bennett, Khatoun, Rose, Nozka (R. Nobes 71’), Morten, Simons, Zend (Shelbourne 71’), G. Pasma. Subs. not used: Fraser, Richards. Scorers: Simons (44’), Morten (52’), Shelbourne (90’). Cautions: Anastaskis, foul (45’), Nozka, foul (59’), Rose, foul (80’).