Tuesday 29th September 2020. Cherry Red Combined Counties League, Division One.
British Airways 0 Walton & Hersham 0.
Last season Swans put a total of 13 goals past British Airways in their two matches, but the side they came up against on this occasion was a much different proposition. They have had a good start to the season, and looked like they could cause problems to many sides. Even so, Swans will probably feel disappointed they failed to come away with all three points as they had the chances to do so, but they failed to find the net for the second game running, following their initial goal spree. Both of their away games have now proved goal-less, but the return of key players could well help solve that situation.
One player they were happy to see return was Harry Mills, who came on for the whole of the second-half, and came through OK after sustaining a hamstring injury pre-season. One change to the starting line-up from the previous match against Farnham Town was 16 year-old midfielder Max Lohmeier coming in for Michael Cayford.
There was an early scare when the home side got in on the left to set up a chance for Ed Simon, but he scuffed his shot wide from inside the 6 yard-box.
Swans’ first opportunity came when Joe Pratley-Jones’ good ball got Jamie Byatt through on the left to cross to the far-post, and Youcef Azzouz to have a half-volley blocked. It should have been 1-0 to Swans after six minutes when Sean McCormack seized on a loose pass by the home side and got through to the byline on the left. He did well to get the ball over to the far-post and pick out Byatt, but he planted a free header wide. A fine move down the right then got Azzouz away to play Byatt into the box, but his low shot was well-blocked by goalkeeper Ben Clargo. Azzouz was able to follow up 25 yards out, but his strong shot was beaten away by the keeper. A long ball by Azzouz almost got Byatt through on goal, but Clargo was quickly out to deny him. Byatt was then clattered into by the keeper and needed treatment before continuing.
The home side had looked dangerous on the break, and Tyler Hayles got into the right of the box, but shot wide of the near-post. Shaun Arum then had a shot blocked after getting in on the left.
Swans again went close to taking the lead just past the half-hour. Alex Kelly got into the box before setting up Byatt to his left, but Clargo just managed to turn his shot wide of the left-post. Kelly’s through ball then put Byatt into the left of the box, but his low shot lacked power and was straight at the home keeper.
BA again threatened when Spencer Mew got to the left edge of the 6 yard-box and forced Swans’ keeper Liam Allen into a block at his near-post.
With just under ten minutes left of the half Dan Taylor did well on the right, before driving a dangerous ball low across the 6 yard-box, that Byatt just failed to get to at the far-post. McCormack then sent in a free-kick from out on the left touchline for Max Hustwick to get in a looping header, and Clargo just managed to clutch the ball under his crossbar at his right-post.
With five minutes of normal-time remaining Swans were guilty of giving the ball away and Simon was able to get free in the right of the box to drive in a low shot that Allen did superbly to deflect wide of his far-post.
Stuart Baldwin got the ball to Taylor on the right, and when he played it across Byatt was just denied at the far-post by Clargo. McCormack followed up with a powerful shot from 25 yards that the home keeper just managed to beat away.
As the first-half entered stoppage-time Swans seemed to be denied a clear penalty. McCormack was clear and appeared to be inside the left edge of the box when he was tripped, but the referee awarded a free-kick just outside. The offender, Lewis Nobes, had already been shown an earlier yellow card, and was fortunate not to pick up a second. McCormack struck the kick from the left corner of the box well, but Clargo made a fine save to tip the ball over his crossbar.
Mills was brought on for Taylor for the second-half, and straight from the resumption he was bursting down the right to drive the ball in low to the near-post, where it was turned behind for a corner.
The home side were soon getting in a shot from the left that Allen went down at his near-post to take.
Darren Simpson and McCormack worked the ball to the edge of the box for Swans to create an opening for Lohmeier, but his low shot went wide of the right-post. With an hour played Pratley-Jones sent in a long throw from the left for Byatt to have a shot blocked on the line, and Baldwin to follow up and put the ball just wide.
There was a scare for Swans when Lohmeier headed back to Allen, and the keeper just managed to keep the ball out on his line. Hayles then put a clear chance over for the home side when the ball was played in low from the left. Hustwick was booked for a foul 30 yards out giving BA an opportunity with a free-kick, but Nobes drove it wide of the left-post. The home side continued to have a good spell, and when they took a corner from the right there was a scramble in the box, with Allen just getting to the ball on his line.The ball was then put just wide of the near-post for a corner when BA got in on the left. Simon put another chance over when the ball was laid across from the left.
Swans came back well and pressed for a winner in the final five minutes. A fine run by Lohmeier on the left won a corner, and following the kick taken by substitute, and new-signing Adam Toubal, Pratley-Jones found space in the box to get in a strong shot that Clargo again did well to tip over his crossbar. In the final minute of normal-time McCormack and Kelly combined to set up a chance for Baldwin in the box, but he shot over.
Swans’ Team: Liam Allen, Dan Taylor (Harry Mills 45’), Joe Pratley-Jones, Alex Kelly, Max Hustwick, Stuart Baldwin, Youcef Azzouz (Adam Toubal 64’), Max Lohmeier, Jamie Byatt, Darren Simpson, Sean McCormack. Subs. not used: Joe Hicks, Joe Sewell, Sonny Stiller. Cautions: Taylor, foul (12’), Hustwick, foul (73’).
BA Team: Clargo, S. Kellar, Okusaga, L. Nobes, L. Richards, Joseph, Aram (Hern 90’), Edmunds, Hayles, Simon, Mew. Subs. not used: Fraser, Rose. Cautions Nobes, Mew.