Carshalton Athletic 2 Swans 3

Monday 14 September 2015.                           Ryman League, Division One South.

Carshalton Athletic 2   Walton & Hersham 3.

Andrew Mensah’s winning goal in the fifth and final minute of stoppage-time put an end to Swans’ three match losing streak on the new 3G pitch at Colston Avenue, at the same time giving them their first win away in the league..

It did not look like a win was on the cards as they went behind with less than a minute played and trailed 2-1 at the break, but a good second-half performance saw them through.

Swans were still without the services of the suspended Dominic Ogun and Myles Powponne, and the injured Aaron Watson. A change of formation saw Shannon Wallace and Kadeem Ajeon come in for James King and David Koduah.

Straight from the kick-off a lack of concentration led to a corner being conceded on the right, and from Greg Andrews’ kick Alex Penfold was unmarked to head in at the near-post. Only in the opening game of the season had Swans scored first, so for the ninth match in succession they had to come back from a goal down.

They began to move the ball around well on the slick surface, and a good build-up led to André Scarlett getting forward, but his shot from 25 yards went well over. Swans had to survive a few shaky moments in defence, but they continued to look good coming forward, and midway through the half Jack Battie got Shaquille McIntosh away down the right, but after getting into the box he was closed out.

The equaliser came after 27 minutes when Mensah challenged for the ball in the air just outside the box. Indecision between home goalkeeper Matt Willard and his defenders allowed McIntosh to nip in as the ball was knocked down, and he lobbed it over the keeper and into the net.

Soon after the restart Swans won a free-kick out by the right touchline and Battie curled in a fine kick to the far-post, where John Oyenuga just failed to get his head on the ball. Swans went close to taking the lead when Battie played Harry Mills down the right, and when he played the ball in low to the near-post Mensah turned quickly to strike a shot that was blocked on the line. A follow-up was also blocked, and Willard was able to fall on the ball.

Swans were good value for being at least level, but ten minutes before the break their hard work was undone. The ball was lost deep on the left and a long diagonal ball picked out Ricky Korboa in space on the right. The Robins’ player stepped inside Regan Mendes and curled a superb left-foot shot over Swans’ keeper Sean Fallon and into the top of the net.

Swans were fortunate just two minutes into the second-half as they again failed to settle early. Andrews sent in a free-kick from the right, and when the ball was only cleared to just outside the box the former Swans’ striker followed up to drive a fine shot against the right-post. Carshalton then won a corner on the right and Penfold was again allowed a free-header, but this time the ball cleared the bar.

Swans settled again and Battie’s clever through ball got Mensah clear into the box, but Willard was quickly down to block as the striker tried to flick the ball past him.

Swans deservedly levelled again just past the hour as a good build-up enabled them to get the ball to Mensah on the right. He drove the ball low across the six-yard box, and although Ajeon failed to get a touch Oyenuga was at the far-post to score.

With twenty minutes remaining Oyenuga was doing well at the other end, preventing Korboa getting through with a fine tackle.

Swans forced a corner on the right, but when the ball came out to Scarlett following Ajeon’s kick he struck the ball well over. Mendes then got the ball to Ajeon on the right, and when he laid the ball across McIntosh was unfortunate to have his shot blocked. Swans continued to press for the winner, and with three minutes of normal-time left Mills crossed from the right to Mensah in the box, and he turned to strike a low shot that Willard just managed to keep out with an outstretched leg. Mensah was soon turning just outside the box to drive a low shot just wide of the left post.

The Swans’ striker was not to be denied however, and in the fifth minute of stoppage-time he spun 30 yards out to get in a low shot, and the ball took a slight deflection that sent it out of Willard’s reach and into the bottom, left corner.

 Swans’ Team: Sean Fallon, John Oyenuga (David Koduah 90’), Regan Mendes, Harry Mills, Shannon Wallace, C-J. Williams-Agunabor, Jack Battie (Ryan Marklew 70’), André Scarlett, Andrew Mensah, Shaquille McIntosh, Kadeem Ajeon. Subs. not used: Shawnikki Clement-Peter, Luke Badiali. Scorers: McIntosh (27’), Oyenuga (61’), Mensah (90+5’). Caution: Mensah, took shirt off (90+5’).

Carshalton Team: Willard, Downs, Hamilton-Downes, Hall, Penfold, Moraes, Bradford (Placid 59’), Graham (Higgs 59’), Summers, Andrews (Aikhionbare 69’), Korboa. Subs. not used: Miller, Pigden. Scorers: Penfold (1’), Korboa (35’).