Tuesday 31 January 2017. Cherry Red Records Premier Challenge Cup, 4th Round.
Walton & Hersham 1 Epsom & Ewell 3.
Swans crashed out of their final cup competition as they suffered their third 3-1 defeat in four days. They failed to capitalise on an early lead and never recovered from a second visitors’ goal scored in first-half stoppage-time.
Sean White and Malachi Thomas were both cup-tied, but Olade Yusuf returned.
On a rainy evening and soft pitch the visitors had the first attempt after four minutes when Jordan Gallagher got forward before shooting wide from 25 yards.
Two minutes later Swans went ahead rather fortuitously when TJ Nkoma was fouled outside the box on the left. Billy Marshall sent in the free-kick and Alex McKay put the ball into his own net at the far-post.
The ball was deflected over Swans’ bar from close-in when Epsom & Ewell took a corner from the left, and Matt Ferdinando then put a free-kick well over from 30 yards out. The visitors had come well into the game, and midway through the half Robert Hendry put a good strike from the left just over. Gallagher then volleyed just wide when James Taylor’s cross from the right had found him on the left. Swans’ goalkeeper Liam Beach then got well behind the ball when McKay got in a low strike from outside the box.
Swans went close to doubling their lead just before the half-hour when Dan Summers struck the post, but instead it was the visitors who broke to score the equaliser. Beach could only parry a shot and Ferdinando followed up to score.
With 33 minutes played Savva Panayiotou took a free-kick from the right and Beach dropped the ball, but recovered to fall on it on his goal-line.
Swans had a chance when the ball was cleared straight to Nkoma, but his shot was blocked.
Epsom & Ewell replied with Hendry having a shot from the edge of the box deflected wide.
But with a minute of stoppage-time played the visitors broke and Gallagher cut in from the left before driving a fine shot into the far corner.
Three minutes into the second-half it was 3-1 to Epsom & Ewell when they got in on the right and Ferdinando drove the ball into the far corner.
It could have been worse for Swans just before the hour when Jason Nwachukwu burst clear, only to shoot wide.
Swans went close when Louis Taylor got the ball to Nkoma on the left, but he put a low shot just wide of the far post. Jamil Okai then played the ball to Nathan Gordon on the left, and his cross had to be headed behind for a corner.
With just over ten minutes remaining Gallagher played Ferdinando clear for the visitors, but he shot wide.
As the match entered the final five minutes Swans’ Marshall put a free-kick into the box, but Jamie Thoroughgood’s header was wide.
In the final minute Epsom & Ewell had the chance to make it 4-1 and Ferdinando to complete his hat-trick when Yusuf fouled Gallagher inside the box on the left. Ferdinando however drove the penalty well over the bar.
Swans’ Team: Liam Beach, Olade Yusuf, Nathan Gordon, Louis Taylor, Lea Van Sullivan, Jamie Thoroughgood, Saidou Khan (Alex Filipe 71’), Billy Marshall Dan Summers, TJ Nkoma. Jamil Okai (Cameron Gyeabour 79’). Subs. not used: Seb Castello, Scott Todd. Scorer: McKay, own goal (6’). Caution: Sullivan (32’).
Epsom & Ewell Team: Eacott, Taylor, Griffin, Hastings, Dean, Panayiotou, Gallagher, McKay, Hendry, Ferdinando (Heagney 90+4’), Nwachukwu. Subs. not used: Cooper-Smith, Dewar, Turpie. Scorers: Ferdinando (29’ & 48’), Gallagher (45+1’). Cauion: Hastings (14’).