Folkestone Invicta 2 Swans 1

Tuesday 9 September 2014.                               Ryman League, Division One South.

Folkestone Invicta 2   Walton & Hersham 1.

Having suffered the disappointment of a stoppage-time winner by Guernsey the previous Saturday, Swans again had to swallow defeat in a match they deserved at least to draw, and had the chances to win. Once again it was the story of conceding an early goal and creating, but not converting chances, although again there was little luck going their way in front of goal.

Tony Reid’s selection plans were thrown awry before the match, with Louis Clark not having returned from abroad early enough to make the trip, and Yinka Salami, John Oyenuga and Josh Bonnett all arriving just before-kick-off due to traffic problems and not available for the starting line-up. Dominic Ogun had to fill in at left-back, while Daniel Ranger came in for his debut, partnering Sacha Mbaye in another new central defensive partnership, with Ashley Thompson not recovered from his injury sustained in Guernsey.

Swans were again forced to chase the game after going behind early. In the third minute Folkestone broke down the left, and when the cross came in Ian Draycott got to the near-post to send a strong, glancing header into the far-corner.

Swans responded well to going behind, and in the first ten minutes they built up a couple of good attacks that could well have led to an equaliser.

The home side looked dangerous coming forward, but midway through the half Swans won a corner on the right, and Andrew Juett headed wide from Jack Battie’s kick. Ogun then took a free-kick from the left, and when the ball was nodded on it was scrambled behind for a corner, and Battie’s kick from the left was just cleared away. Another free-kick was soon won, this time on the right, and from Battie’s kick Mbaye put a header over.

As the half entered the final ten minutes Folkestone got in a snap-shot from the left that Swans’ goalkeeper Gary Ross took well down by his near-post.

Swans should have equalised minutes later as Battie was played down the right, and when he played the ball in to the near-post it was fumbled by home keeper Tim Roberts under pressure from Reid, but when it came to André Scarlett in space just inside the box, he drove it over the bar.

Swans started the second-half well, and inside the first-minute Juett got in a fine cross from the right and Roberts just plucked the ball off Reid’s head under his crossbar. Another great chance came and went five minutes into the second-half. Andrew Mensah did well on the left before sending over a fine ball into the six-yard box, but Reid stabbed it wide of the near-post.

Folkestone soon had keeper Roberts to thank for keeping them in the lead when Swans played a long ball forward, and Juett pulled it down superbly before striking a first-time shot. Roberts dived full-length to his right to just get a hand to the ball and turn it round the post. Vernon Francis then had a shot blocked behind for a corner when Battie played a free-kick into the box from the left.

Folkestone made a rare break when Dane Luchford got free down the left, and when he played a low ball in Ross just denied Draycott at the near-post.

Mensah made a good run forward from deep on the left for Swans, but after cutting inside he drove a powerful shot just over the goal.

At the other end Frankie Chappell headed wide at the far-post when Luchford took a corner from the left. But it was against the run of play when Folkestone doubled their lead after 69 minutes with a goal that had more than an element of good fortune about it. Jordan Wright was played in on the right before driving the ball in to the near-post, but although Ross made a fine block the ball struck Mbaye and rebounded back into the goal.

Just two minutes later Swans were back in the game when Juett was fouled inside the right of the box by Nat Blanks, and Mensah scored from the penalty-spot. Mensah was soon getting in a fine strike from 25 yards that Roberts got well behind.

Swans continued to pile the pressure on the home goal and Mensah was played in on the right to drive in a low shot. But it seemed their luck was out on the night, as when the ball struck Roberts on the line it then bounced up to hit him on the head when it looked like it must go in. Then with three minutes of normal-time left Salami played a long-ball into the box and it seemed Juett must score, but the ball was just plucked off his feet at the vital moment.

Swans’ Team: Gary Ross, Nathan Daly, Dominic Ogun, André Scarlett, Daniel Ranger (Yinka Salami 45’), Sacha Mbaye, Jack Battie (Tarome Hemmings 80’), Vernon Francis, Tony Reid (Louis Glace-Palmer 75’), Andrew Mensah, Andrew Juett. Subs. not used: John Oyenuga, Kwabena Osei. Scorer: Mensah, penalty (71’). Cautions: Scarlett (63’), Battie (80’), Juett (89’).

Folkestone Team: Roberts, Vincent, Blanks, Friend, Chappell, Robertson (Wright 51’), Luchford (Coyne 78’), Smith, Draycott, Pilbeam, Everitt. Subs. not used: Palmer, Fender. Scorers: Draycott (3’), Mbaye, own goal (69’). Caution: Everitt (45+1’).