Friendly: Carshalton Athletic

Saturday 13 August 2011. Pre-Season Friendly.

Carshalton Athletic 2 Walton & Hersham 2.

Swans finished off their pre-season friendlies with a highly creditable draw at the highly-fancied Premier Division club. They seemed to have settled well, but after 12 minutes the Robins’ Billy Crook was played into the box on the right, and only Gareth Williams coming out quickly to make a good block prevented a home goal. Just a minute later however Crooks got into an identical position, but this time he was brought down by the Swans’ goalkeeper and a penalty was awarded. Fortunately for the visitors Dean McDonald drove the kick against the crossbar. The relief was short-lived however, as with a quarter of an hour played Ricardo Joseph got to the edge of the box on the left and squeezed a low shot past Williams and into the far-corner. Steve Betancourt and Sean Bradley had switched positions on the right with Betancourt dropping to right-back, and Richard Taylor soon had to leave the pitch with a cut above the eyebrow, to be replaced by James Nicholls. Phil Williams was soon making a typically clever run into the left of the box at the other end before laying the ball back to Tommy Williams, but after making space the former Robin drove a left foot shot over.

A minute later Phil Williams made a run on the right before playing the ball in to Reis Stanislaus, but he shot straight at home keeper Liam Stone. Swans had come back well from their early setbacks, and when Tommy Williams played a short corner on the right to Bradley, he swung in a cross to the far-post that was just too high for Jon Munday. Carshalton’s Joel Ledgister found a lot of space on the left before driving the ball low to the far-post, but just in front of the incoming Crooks. Swans hit back with Phil Williams being found 22 yards out to drive a low shot wide of the left-post, but they were fortunate when they gave the ball away and McDonald broke clear to have an attempted lob deflected over. Swans deservedly equalised with nine minutes left to the break. Tommy Williams took a free-kick from the left, and when Stanislaus nodded the ball down, Nicholls slid the ball in.

As the half entered the final five minutes Swans forced two successive corners, and the second from the left taken by Tommy Williams was nodded back at the far-post by Munday and Nicholls almost headed in. More good play by Phil Williams in the left of the box ended with a cross to the far-post that was just too high for Bradley. Early in the second-half Nicholls was very close to scoring with a far-post header from Tommy Williams’ left-side corner. An even better chance fell to Stanislaus when Tommy Williams took a free-kick from the left, but his header went over. With twenty minutes played off the half Carshalton’s Dean Lodge was sent away down the right before getting the ball low across to set up a clear chance for Joe Dipre, but Nicholls made a tremendous block from the shot.

Nicholls then had to head onto the top of his own net when McDonald sent in a dangerous free-kick from deep. With twenty minutes remaining the home side regained the lead. Lodge was played clear and Williams dashed out of his area to spread his body and block the ball. Players seemed to hesitate as Carshalton appealed incorrectly for handball against the Swans’ keeper, and Lodge was left to cleverly lob the ball into the net. Chamal Fenelon drove a left-foot shot well over after Russell Pym had got the ball forward to him, and when Betancourt got in a high cross from the left, there was an almighty scramble in the home six-yard box, with several players trying to force the ball in before it was cleared.

But with twelve minutes remaining Swans deservedly equalised for the second time when Josh Webb sent in a terrific cross from the right, and Munday was at the far-post to power home a superb header. With five minutes remaining Pym got in a glancing header that sent the ball off the right-post and into the hands of Robins’ substitute keeper Scott Chalmers-Stevens when Webb crossed from the left. Graeme Purdy was then played to the line inside the right of the box to cross low to the near-post, where Kenny Ojukwu got in a first-time, close-range effort that was blocked by the keeper’s legs.

Swans’ Team: Gareth Williams, Sean Bradley, Shaun Elliott (Kenny Ojukwu 74’), Victor Kiri (Russell Pym 68’), Jon Munday, Richard Taylor (James Nicholls 17’), Tommy Williams (Josh Webb 68’), Steve Betancourt, Chamal Fenelon, Phil Williams, Reis Stanislaus (Graeme Purdy 74’). Scorers: Nicholls (36’), Munday (78’).

Carshalton Team: Stone (Chalmers-Stevens 45’), Kamara (Nolan 59’), R. Joseph, Tanner, Ray, Roberts, Crook (Pigden 62’), Quarm (Janneh 69’), Ledgister (Dipre 62’), McDonald, A. Joseph (Lodge 45’). Scorers: R. Joseph (15’), Lodge (70’).