Tuesday 14 March 2017. Cherry Red Combined Counties League, Premier Division.
Walton & Hersham 3 Colliers Wood United 1.
After their poor run of results following the turn of the year Swans made it seven games unbeaten as they completed the double over their first-time visitors. For the first quarter of the match however another win did not look likely as a sluggish start meant they were a distinct second-best and consistently second to the ball as their opponents took the game to them. But after going into the break with a somewhat flattering 2-1 lead their second-half performance was much improved, and they could eventually have run out winners by a larger margin.
Francois Gabbidon was unavailable and missed his first game since joining, with Malachi Thomas coming in.
The visitors looked sharp from the start and they had the first attempt after eight minutes. A neat build-up led to Moses Kaddu having a shot from outside the box that home goalkeeper Liam Beach had to get down to take.
Swans’ Elliott Simpson was soon sending a free-kick into the box that both Howard Newton and Jamie Thoroughgood almost got on the end of, but keeper Peris Dawkins just got to the ball first.
The visitors went close to taking the lead when Dan Harding drove the ball across from the right and Elijah Ogunseye was just denied at the far-post by an excellent challenge from Corey Haywood-Roye that left the Swans’ young right-back needing treatment.
It was midway through the first-half before Swans seriously tested the Colliers Wood’ defence, and this led to them taking the lead. TJ Nkoma’s run on the left forced a corner, and from Simpson’s kick Thoroughgood had a far-post header blocked on the line, and when the ball ran loose Lea Van Sullivan drove it in.
The lead only lasted two minutes however as Swans conceded a poor goal. The visitors were awarded a free-kick wide on the left, and when Darren Ceasar drove the ball in it surprisingly found the net through a static defence.
Swans immediately made a change, with Seb Castello coming on for Louis Taylor who was suffering from a side strain.
Swans almost regained the lead with a spectacular goal after 27 minutes. Thoroughgood nodded the ball down to Thomas in the right of the box, and he turned instantly to strike a terrific shot that clipped the crossbar and went over. Thoroughgood then had a far-post header cleared off the line when Simpson took a corner from the right.
Swans had seen off the visitors’ early challenge, and they took the lead again after 38 minutes. Nkoma battled well to keep possession in the box before hitting a low shot that went just inside the left-post.
With a minute left to the break Nathan Gordon’s knock forward almost got Newton in, with Jamil Okai just failing to get to the loose ball. Okai then made a good run on the right, and when he played the ball inside Newton stuck a low shot that was well saved by Dawkins, and the ball went behind for a corner.
Swans made another change for the second-half, Sean White replacing Haywood-Roye and coming on against his former club.
Thoroughgood continued to be a threat from dead-ball situations, and when he nodded the ball back at the far-post from Simpson’s left-side free-kick it was scrambled clear. A poor header clear then sent the ball to Nkoma in the right of the box, and he drove a half-volley just over the far, top corner.
Swans had started the second-half well, and their pressure led to another defensive mistake and them extending their lead just past the hour. Thomas stole the ball off a defender on the left, and he was able to break clear before driving low past the exposed Dawkins.
The visitors went close to reducing the deficit after winning a corner on the left. A far-post header was well saved by Beach, the Swans’ keeper reacting to keep out a follow-up header.
Castello made a good run down the left for Swans after winning the ball on the halfway line, leading to Simpson having a shot deflected over. From Simpson’s corner on the right Thoroughgood put another header just wide. With just under ten minutes remaining it was Thoroughgood who again got his head to the ball at the far-post when Simpson’s left-side corner was nodded on, and Dawkins took the ball high up on his line.
The visitors threw men forward to try to get back into the game, and with five minutes of normal-time left Ogunseye cut in from the left to hit a low shot that Beach got well behind.
Swans looked capable of extending their lead however, and when Thomas got past Jake Hill on the right he was brought down just outside the box, but Simpson’s free-kick was cleared.
Swans’ Team: Liam Beach, Corey Haywood-Roye (Sean White 45’), Nathan Gordon, Louis Taylor (Seb Castello 25’), Lea Van Sullivan, Jamie Thoroughgood, Malachi Thomas, Elliott Simpson, Jamil Okai, Howard Newton, TJ Nkoma. Subs. not used: Alex Filipe, Cameron Gyeabour, Matt Rose-Hazel. Scorers: Sullivan (23’), Nkoma (38’), Thomas (61’). Caution: Simpson, foul (70’).
Colliers Wood Team: Dawkins, Hughes, Hill, Harmsworth, Boye, Ceasar, Kaddu (Nuur 77’), Mohammed, Harding, Benali, Ogunseye. Sub. not used: Newton. Scorer: Ceasar (25’). Caution: Mohammed (18’).