Saturday 8 April 2017. Cherry Red Combined Counties League, Premier Division
Walton & Hersham 2 Camberley Town 0.
With the Middlesex club having lost two games in succession Swans leapfrogged Hanworth Villa into third spot in the table as they put on an excellent performance against a Camberley Town side who themselves had won their last four matches. After scoring early they created, but spurned, several more gilt-edged chances that should have put them in a commanding lead, and they had to wait until just past the hour to get a second goal and give themselves a buffer. In truth they seldom looked like conceding as they restricted the visitors, whose main weapon was the long throw-ins of Chris Ellis, to one shot on target all match.
There was concern before the match with the unavailability of four midfield players. With Billy Marshall already having left for Australia, Elliott Simpson, Louis Taylor and Stivan Rivic were all serving suspensions. The losses were somewhat offset by the welcome return of Jake Newton, who had last played for Swans in October, and he showed what they had been missing by putting on a man of the match performance.
Swans were quick out of the blocks and Howard Newton was soon finding TJ Nkoma on the left, who had a strong shot blocked. Malachi Thomas then got down the right to drive in a low cross that was put behind for a corner. Thomas’s kick from the right was met at the far-post by Jamie Thoroughgood, but his header was off-target.
But the lead came after just six minutes when Jake Newton’s determined play won him the ball deep on the right, and he sent it into the box. Nkoma brought the ball under instant control before neatly slipping it past Camberley goalkeeper Stuart Norman.
Nkoma was soon breaking on the left to drive the ball low into the six-yard box, where Francois Gabbidon just failed to get a touch and Norman gathered. There was still little over ten minutes played when Howard Newton sent a free-kick into the box from deep on the right, and when the ball came to Thomas on the right he struck a fine shot that brought a good save from Norman at his near-post.
The visitors’ first effort on goal came after twenty minutes when Marcus Cousins got free on the left before striking a good shot that home keeper Liam Beach did well to push away, diving to his left.
Nkoma again got down the left for Swans, and when he crossed to the far-post the ball was met on the volley by Thomas, but it was cleared away from in front of goal.
With half an hour played Freddie Kelsey got forward for Camberley, but his shot from 25 yards was well over.
With just under ten minutes left to the break Swans should have doubled their lead. Jamil Okai’s neat pass put Gabbidon clear into the box on the left, but with just Norman to beat he drove the ball wide of the far-post.
Another great chance came inside the last five minutes of the half when Jake Newton sent Thomas clear on the right. He drove the ball low across goal, where both Gabbidon and Okai somehow failed to get a touch.
Seven minutes after the resumption Swans were again left wondering whether they would come to regret wasted opportunities as they failed to take another good chance. A clever touch by Nkoma sent Okai away on a fine run from the hallway line, but after getting to the left edge of the box, and with just keeper Norman to beat, he put his shot wide of the near-post.
When Swans did double their lead after 63 minutes it was with an excellent goal. More fine play by Jake Newton ended with him lobbing the ball forward to Thomas, and from the left edge of the box he took one touch to lift it superbly over the advancing Norman and into the net.
With twenty minutes remaining Thomas went close to getting a second goal and putting Swans 3-0 up as he drove in a free-kick from wide on the left and the ball clipped the crossbar. It was now a question of whether Swans could add to their lead, and Okai sent a terrific shot just over from 30 yards out. Thomas then took a free-kick from the left and Jake Newton put a header just wide at the far-post.
Swans’ Team: Liam Beach, Corey Haywood-Roye, Nathan Gordon, Jake Newton, Lea Van Sullivan, Jamie Thoroughgood, Malachi Thomas, Howard Newton, Francois Gabbidon (Matt Rose-Hazel 65’), Jamil Okai, TJ Nkoma. Subs. not used: Seb Castello, Sean White, George Peterkin, Alex Filipe. Scorers: Nkoma (6’), Thomas (63’). Cautions: Thomas, threw ball away (15’), H. Newton, foul (33’).
Camberley Team: Norman, Kempton (Kanant 48’), Jordan, Kelsey, Ellis, Moore, Cousins, Wareham, Amadieu (Hughes 74’), Greenwood, Hoppitt. Sub. not used: Jewell. Cautions: Hoppitt, simulation (44’), Wareham, foul (45+1’), Greenwood, foul (60’).