Walton & Hersham away match report
Walton & Hersham away match report
Report from Tuesday's game, courtesy of and thanks to Walton & Hersham official website.
Swans were left still looking for their first league points at their new home as they lost to a Westfield side that showed on the night their credentials as table-toppers. They needed to be at their best if they were to beat Tony Reid’s side, but while the visitors looked sharp and incisive on the night with slick passing and movement, Swans never really got their game going. They had the benefit of an early lead, but that was rubbed out by a penalty, leaving the sides level at the break.
Swans needed to regroup for the second-half, but instead they conceded two goals inside the first ten minutes, leaving them a mountain to climb against a well-organised Westfield side. There was no lack of determination to do so, but they couldn’t carve out the openings to get them back into the game.
Abdeen Abdul returned after serving his suspension, while Flo Bojaj passed a pre-match fitness test after picking up a late injury at Horley Town, but Swans’ new signing was replaced by Jamil Okai for the second-half after not looking fully mobile.
A Westfield side showing six former Swans in their squad soon looked a threat, and joint league top-scorer Max Blackmore got into the left of the box to force home goalkeeper Brendan Norris to save a low shot to his near-post.
Swans responded with a break on the right, and their former keeper Gary Ross had to take the ball under his crossbar when Elliott Simpson got in a looping header from the cross.
The lead came after eleven minutes when Abdul hit a superb diagonal ball from the right to pick out TJ Nkoma in space in the left of the box, and he drilled a low, left-foot shot past Ross.
The visitors continued to look threatening, having a lot of possession, and they equalised just ten minutes after going behind. Aaron Watson made a run into the left of the box and went down under a tackle from Jamie Thoroughgood. A penalty was awarded, and Karle Carder-Andrews made no mistake from the spot.
Swans went close to restoring their lead just before the half-hour when Abdul and Bojaj combined on the right, and when the ball was laid back to Sanchez Benali, he drove in a low shot that Ross pushed round the far-post, diving to his right. Ross failed to get to the ball when Simpson took the corner from the left, and Jake Newton’s low drive was cleared off the goal-line.
Blackmore was allowed to get forward at the other end when Chris Onoufriou just failed to win the ball in midfield, and his low shot from the edge of the box was well saved by Norris, at full-stretch to push the ball round his left-post. Watson then got into the left of the box to send a ball low across Swans’ goal-face, and Norris took the ball down at his near-post when Shaun Elliott struck a fine, low shot from the left. Westfield continued to look threatening, and Norris again had to get behind a shot from the edge of the box by Blackmore with five minutes left to the break. The Swans’ keeper then had to get the ball behind for a corner, and received lengthy treatment before the kick could be taken, having injured himself.
With a lengthy period of stoppage-time being played Swans built up a good move and Nkoma sent over a fine cross from the left, but no-one was in the box to capitalise.
Westfield soon had a chance after the resumption, Watson finding room in the right of the box, but he looped a shot over the far, top corner. But, just five minutes into the half, they took the lead with a really soft goal from Swans’ perspective. A free-kick was sent into the box from the left touchline and close to halfway, but with Swans’ defenders all seeming to leave the ball to each other Carder-Andrews had all the time he needed to make space and score inside the left-post.
Four minutes later Swans were 3-1 down, an excellent through ball putting Carder-Andrews clear into the box to complete his hat-trick with a shot past an exposed Norris.
Just before the hour Swans went close to pulling a goal back when Abdul got in a header from Benali’s left-side corner. Ross just kept the ball out from under his crossbar, and then pushed a follow-up onto the inside of the top of the right-post amidst appeals the ball had crossed the line.
Swans continued to press to get a foothold back into the game, but Adam Bellmaine drove a shot just wide of the right-post for Westfield after the ball had been driven across from the left.
With five minutes of normal-time remaining Okai was just denied for Swans when Nkoma crossed into the box from the left, and when the ball came out to Jim Fenlon, Ross went down to save his shot. After Norris had to again save a low shot from Blackmore at the other end, as the game went into another extended period of stoppage-time Benali crossed from the right for Swans to pick out Howard Newton at the far-post, but his header was blocked. Benali then made another run on the right, but Onoufriou just failed to get on the end of his cross to the far-post.
Swans’ Team: Brendan Norris, Julian Hornby, Jim Fenlon, Chris Onoufriou, Jake Newton, Jamie Thoroughgood, Sanchez Benali, Elliott Simpson (Dave Musendo 45’ [Howard Newton 67’]), Abdeen Abdul, Flo Bojaj (Jamil Okai 45’), TJ Nkoma. Sub. not used: Shaun Smart. Scorer: Nkoma (11’). Caution: Onoufriou.
Westfield Team: Ross, Bailey, Elliott, Oaks, Steer, Purdy, Abdullah, Bellmaine, Blackmore (Gallimore 90’), Carder-Andrews (Marklew 81’), Watson. Subs. not used: Kirby, Crossley, Burnham. Scorer: Carder-Andrews (21’ [pen.], 50’ & 55’). Cautions: Steer, Carder-Andrews.