Saturday 11 February 2017. Cherry Red Combined Counties League, Premier Division.
Badshot Lea 4 Walton & Hersham 3.
Swans’ recent poor run continued with arguably their most disappointing result of the season, as they were beaten by a second from bottom side that had won only five times in the league all season. After taking an early lead they went behind to two soft goals to trail at the break, and a late push for a result left them susceptible to the break, and they ended up conceding four goals in the league for the first time this season.
With Nathan Gordon not recovered from the injury picked up at Chertsey, Howard Newton switched to left-back, while Corey Haywood-Roye replaced Olade Yusuf on the other side, playing his first game since early November. Seb Castello also came in for Louis Taylor.
On a sticky pitch at Ash United, and on a bitterly cold, dull afternoon, with the threat of snow in the air, Swans made an early chance. Billy Marshall’s fine diagonal ball from the right found Malachi Thomas on the left, and when he crossed to the far-post TJ Nkoma had a first-time shot blocked behind for a corner. From Marshall’s kick Lea Van Sullivan put a volley over.
The home side soon had a chance when they made inroads on the left, but when Benga Ogunseye was found at the near-post he shot wide.
Swans had an opportunity when they were awarded a free-kick outside the left of the box, but Marshall’s kick was taken high up on his line by home goalkeeper Brendan Norris.
Ogunseye had another chance for Badshot Lea when he made space in the left of the box, but his shot took a deflection to go over.
Swans took the lead after 12 minutes when Nkoma played a fine through ball to send Jamil Okai into the right of the box, and he made room before driving in a right-foot shot that Norris got a hand to but could not keep out.
The lead only lasted for five minutes however. James Pilgrim sent a free-kick into the box, and Swans’ keeper Liam Beach could only push the ball into the path of Cameron Blackie, who was left with the simplest of chances.
Things got worse for the visitors three minutes after the restart when Jamie Thoroughgood uncharacteristically tripped Ainsley Everett just inside the box on the left, and Ogunseye beat Beach from the penalty-spot.
Elliott Simpson made a good run forward for Swans to hit a shot from 25 yards that was deflected over, and when Newton got the ball over from the left Castello hooked in a shot that Norris got well behind. Swans continued to press to restore parity before the break, and Marshall turned on the edge of the box to drive a low, left-foot shot just wide of the right post.
Nkoma then knocked the ball into the box for Thomas to hook the ball just wide.
Ogunseye continued to be a threat for the home side, and in the final minute of the half he got past Thoroughgood on the left to get into the box, and only a timely tackle by Suillivan got the ball behind.
Swans made a change for the second-half, with Sean White coming on for Thomas.
The home side soon went close to adding to their lead when a free-kick from the right touchline led to a far-post header that was cleared off the line by Thoroughgood.
Swans responded with Marshall turning just outside the box to put a lob just over.
At the other end Beach got well behind the ball when Leke Somule cut in from the left to get in a shot. Then, just past the hour, Ogunseye got clear on the left before laying the ball across to Everett, whose shot was superbly kept out by Beach.
Swans responded with Marshall putting a free-kick into the box, and when the ball came to Nkoma 25 yards out he struck a strong shot wide.
But with just over twenty minutes remaining a simple ball through the middle sent Ogunseye clear, and he easily beat Beach to put Badshot Lea 3-1 ahead.
Nkoma cut in from the left to shoot over, and when he played the ball in from deep on the right, Thoroughgood flicked it on for White to be just denied by keeper Norris.
With ten minutes remaining Swans got themselves back in with a chance when Marshall struck a terrific shot from 35 yards that Norris got a hand to but could not prevent going inside his left post.
But with both Sullivan and Thoroughgood lending themselves on occasion to attack, there was always the chance Swans would be caught short at the back, and Somule got clear on the left before shooting well wide of the far-post.
But, with four minutes of normal-time remaining, Ogunseye came unchallenged into the box on the right, and completed his hat-trick with a shot into the far-corner.
Swans were not finished however, and they soon made it 4-3 when the ball fell to Okai just inside the box, and he struck a fine volley into the top of the net.
Two minutes into stoppage-time the chance came to salvage a point as Thoroughgood knocked the ball down to Okai just inside the box, but his low shot was just kept out of the bottom, right corner as Norris got across to save.
Swans’ Team: Liam Beach, Corey Haywood-Roye, Howard Newton, Seb Castello (Cameron Gyeabour 68’), Lea Van Sullivan, Jamie Thoroughgood, Malachi Thomas (Sean White 45’), Elliott Simpson (Louis Taylor 51’), Jamil Okai, Billy Marshall, TJ Nkoma. Sub. not used: Alex Filipe. Scorers: Okai (12’ & 88’), Marshall (80’). Cautions: Simpson, foul (16’), Taylor, foul (81’).
Badshot Lea Team: Norris, Borishade, Wright, Pilgrim, Blake, Goulter, Somule, Blackie, Ogunseye, Frisby (Patterson 66’), Everett. Subs. not used: Stepney, Charles. Scorers: Blackie (17’), Ogunseye (21’ [pen.], 69’ & 86’). Cautions: Blackie, foul (24’), Everett, simulation (86’).