Saturday 22nd February 2020. Cherry Red Combined Counties League, Division One.
Dorking Wanderers Reserves 3 Walton & Hersham 6.
Swans put an emphatic end to their three match losing streak on their first visit to the new and excellently appointed Meadowbank Stadium. They felt at home on the more familiar artificial surface, and were able to display their attacking talents. Things did not look so promising for twenty minutes, as they twice went behind, but three goals in the space of five minutes from Tyreke Leslie, making it four in the opening 35 by Swans’ leading scorer put them in control. Their lead was extended to 5-2 by the break, but having thrown away a three goal cushion to lose 4-3 in the corresponding home game, nothing could be taken for granted. But although the home side pulled a goal back early in the second-half, the balance was redressed, and the three goal lead held to the final whistle. With both Hamzah Williams and Leon-Lalor-Dell belatedly starting their two-match bans, Michael Winnister came into the starting line-up, and Ola Williams played his second match, impressing with his confident defending. It only took a minute for the home side to take the lead when a through ball split the Swans’ defence, allowing Dennis Asante to break clear on the left. He laid the ball low across to former Swan Andrew Demby in space just outside the box, and he drove a fine shot into the top, right corner. Swans soon went close to hitting back when Winnister tricked his way past home left-back Kyle Carton on the right to lay inside to Seb Osei-Obengo in the right of the box, but his low, first-time shot was just wide of the near-post. Wanderers quickly had a chance to double their lead when Asante was played clear with just Bert White to beat, but the Swans’ goalkeeper did well to come out and block. And it was Swans who scored after seven minutes to equalise. The home side won a corner on the right, but when Williams got possession he played a long ball down the middle to find Leslie. Leslie got into the left of the box, and his shot was deflected for a corner on the right. Following the kick Leslie was again played into the left of the box, and although under pressure and stumbling he managed to cleverly work the ball into the far corner. Swans’ defence was looking far from secure however, and Max Leitch got to the byline on the left to send the ball high across their goal-face. Trae Cook-Appiah then had a chance in the right of the box, but drove low wide of the far-post. With thirteen minutes played one of the referee’s assistants sustained a hamstring injury, and there was a holdup of over four minutes before a replacement took over and the game was restarted with Swans taking a delayed free-kick from the left. Simeon Dennis’s kick found Osei-Obengo in the left of the box, but after turning he drove low into the side-netting. The home side had a free-kick deep on the left, and when Carton drove the ball into the box Leitch dived to send a header glancing wide. But, with twenty minutes played, Wanderers broke down the right to get into the box and drive in a low shot that White could only parry. The ball ballooned into the air, and Asante followed up to head in from close-range and make it 2-1. Swans had a free-kick on the left, and from Dennis’s delivery Williams was close-in at the far-post, but could not direct his header on target. Leslie then burst past defenders on the left to get into the box and lay the ball back, but it was cleared away. Dennis played Winnister down the right, and when he sent in a high cross the ball came back off the top of the crossbar before being put behind for a corner. Swans soon equalised for the second time after half an hour’s play with a fine goal. Excellent approach play around the edge of the box resulted in Leslie being played in on the left, and his low shot found the far corner. Dennis was soon turning just outside the box to drive a shot just over. It only took Leslie two minutes after his second goal to complete his hat-trick and put Swans ahead for the first time. Another fine move ended with Anderson Pinto-Nogueira playing the ball low through to put Leslie into the box, and he slotted it past home keeper Cameron Row. After 35 minutes Swans had the buffer of a two goal lead. Williams played the ball to Leslie on the right, and although confronted by three defenders he made light of bursting past them and getting in a low shot that Row blocked at his near-post for a corner on the right. From Pinto-Nogueira’s kick Leslie powered a header into the net for his and Swans’ fourth goal. With five minutes of normal-time left of the half Cook-Appiah got down the right for the home side, and White had to save on his line as the ball was driven in low. But Swans soon made it 5-2 when Miguel Lopes de Matos played the ball through to Pinto-Nogueira on the left. He got in on the byline to drive the ball in low, and Rory Cunningham-Flood could only deflect it past his own keeper at the near-post for an own goal. Pinto-Nogueira was fouled close to the right corner-flag, and Williams was just denied at the near-post from Lopes de Matos’s free-kick. Swans looked hungry for more goals before the break, and in added-on time Leslie made a terrific run down the left that took him from halfway and into the box, but he could only finish with a shot into the side-netting. Pinto-Nogueira’s free-kick from deep on the left looked like finding Winnister in space in the right of the box, but the ball just ran away from him and went behind. Early in the second-half Demby’s free-kick for the home side dipped over from 30 yards, and six minutes in his side scored a third goal to reduce Swans’ lead. Asante looked offside as he was played clear down the left, but he was allowed to run on and beat White with a low shot into the far corner. Swans responded with Lopes de Matos putting Leslie through into the left of the box, but his shot was just wide of the far-post. Leslie was then just denied when Pinto-Nogueira found Osei-Obengo on the right to drive the ball in. The home side were fortunate not to be reduced to ten men when Leslie was played clear before being pulled back by Joseph Elbishlawi just outside the right of the box. It looked a clear case of denying a goal-scoring opportunity, but the home defender was only shown yellow. Lopes de Matos sent the free-kick wide of the near-post. Midway through the half Swans restored their three goal lead. Dennis took a free-kick from outside the corner of the box on the left, and Pinto-Nogueira got to the near-post to send a backward header looping just inside the far, top corner. Minutes later it should have been a four goal lead when Pinto-Nogueira sent substitute Thomas Lim away on the right with two players supporting in the box. Dennis was the one picked out, but in trying to make sure he was closed out and keeper Row was able to gather. With just under a quarter of an hour remaining substitute Alvin Sarmiento did really well to work himself an opening in the left of the box, but his shot took a deflection to go wide of the far-post for a corner. Pinto-Nogueira was then brought down ten yards outside the box, but Sarmiento’s free-kick was put well over the goal. With the match entering the final five minutes Dennis powered into the right of the box to have a shot blocked at the near-post. But in the final minute of normal-time it was the home side that almost had the final say. Lopes de Matos was clearly fouled in the home half, but Ben Dyson was allowed to break clear on the right and into the box. White could only half-stop his low shot, and Jordan Simmons got back to clear off the goal-line at the far-post.
Swans’ Team: Bert White, Michael Winnister, Miguel Lopes de Matos, Ola Williams, Jordan Simmons, Sam Marfo (Emmanuel Yeboah 68’), Simeon Dennis, Munashe Mwatsiya (Alvin Sarmiento 68’), Seb Osei-Obengo (Thomas Lim 60’), Anderson Pinto-Nogueira, Tyreke Leslie. Subs. not used: James Young, Mamadaliu Balde. Scorers: Leslie (7’, 30’, 32’ & 35’), Cunningham-Flood, own goal (43’), Pinto-Nogueira (68’).
DWR Team: Row, Dyson, Carton, Asante, Elbishlawi, Sapsford, Cook-Appiah (Dougan 45’), Cunningham-Flood, Membrillera, Demby. Leitch (E. Downs 74’). Sub. not used: Hulford. Scorers: Demby (1’), Asante (20’ & 51’). Cautions: Elbishlawi, foul (55’), Asante, foul (73’).