Knaphill 2 Swans 1

Saturday 5 November 2016.     Cherry Red Combined Counties League, Premier Division.

Knaphill 2   Walton & Hersham 1.

Swans paid the penalty for not capitalising on an early lead and a first-half dominance as they allowed the home side to regroup in the second-half and eventually win the game with a poorly defended free-kick. Knaphill soon wiped out that early lead, but were on the back-foot for most of the first 45 minutes.

Swans were unfortunately lacking the services of unavailable top scorer Jami Okai, but they were able to bring in new signing Billy Marshall, the former Tooting & Mitcham United and Walton Casuals’ midfielder.

Straight from the kick-off Elliott Simpson got forward to drive a shot over from 25 yards, and just four minutes in TJ Nkoma sent Simpson away on the left to get in a low cross that forced Knaphill’s Josh Watkins to put the ball behind at the near-post. From Simpson’s corner on the left Jamie Thoroughgood got to the near corner of the six-yard box to stoop and score with a glancing header.

Simpson again made a run forward before striking a shot from outside the box that home goalkeeper Alex Harris parried with a dive to his left.

But with eleven minutes played Swans failed to shut down Knaphill’s Chris Patterson 22 yards out, and he drove a shot just outside the reach of keeper Liam Beach and inside the left-post.

With a quarter of an hour played Nkoma made a run into the left of the box and claims for handball by a home defender were waved away. Marshall immediately sent in a low shot from 35 yards that Harris got well behind. Swans then had a free-kick 30 yards out, but Howard Newton’s kick went straight through to keeper Harris. Midway through the half Harris came out but failed to clear and the ball ran past him, but Jordan Wisdom-Muir was just prevented from turning the ball in.

Knaphill had a free-kick outside the right-corner of the box, but Rob Kersley sent the ball wide of the far-post. The home side then got in on the left, but drove a shot over, and Beach made his first save, going down on his line to take Brad Thomas’s shot from 25 yards out on the right.

With just under ten minutes of the half remaining Nkoma swung over a corner from the left for Swans. Harris failed to cut the ball out, but it was put just wide at the far-post. Knaphill right-back Ross Cheek then gave the ball away to Nkoma on the left, and he struck a strong, left-foot shot that Harris beat away. Simpson followed in on the right but shot wide of the far-post.

In the final minute of the half Knaphill’s Thomas tried a shot from 30 yards, but Beach got well behind the ball.

The home side won two successive corners early in the second-half, but Marshall was soon breaking on the right to drive the ball across the six-yard box. Nkoma collected on the left to cut inside, but he put his shot wide.

At the other end Beach had to dive to his left to push away Thomas’s low shot from 22 yards. But ten minutes into the second-half Swans went behind to a sucker punch. Not for the first time this season they failed to defend a free-kick, and Kersley drove the ball just inside the left-post from 25 yards.

Swans quickly responded, and Marshall got the ball to Wisdom-Muir on the right edge of the box, but Harris went down on his line to save his shot. A better chance came when Wisdom-Muir was again set up by Marshall in the right of the box, but Harris again kept out a low shot. Nkoma was then just denied at the far-post by Cheek when Simpson crossed from the right.

Swans were in danger of getting caught on the break as they pushed forward, and Danny Taylor was played into the right of the box by Jack Collins, but Beach made a fine save from his shot. Thomas followed in, but blasted the ball over the bar.

Swans were frustrated by Knaphill’s blatant time-wasting, but they won a free-kick deep on the right that Marshall sent into the box, but Simpson drove his shot over as the ball came out to him.

With eight minutes of normal-time remaining the home side were reduced to ten men when Patterson picked up a second caution for a trip and was sent-off, having been shown a yellow card in the first-half for kicking the ball away.

Swans failed to capitalise however, the nearest they came to equalising being in the 89th minute when Nkoma got to the edge of the box, but Harris got behind his deflected shot.

Swans’ Team: Liam Beach, Sam Bates (Corey Haywood-Roye 82’), Howard Newton, Billy Marshall (Scott Todd 82’), Lea Van Sullivan, Jamie Thoroughgood, Jordan Wisdom-Muir, Louis Taylor, Victor Asombang (Matt Rose-Hazel 68’), Elliott Simpson, TJ Nkoma. Subs. not used: Seb Castello, Cameron Gyeabour. Scorer: Thoroughgood (4’). Cautions: Bates (58’), Taylor (67’), Simpson (90+5’).

Knaphill Team: Harris, Cheek, Watkins, Costello, Patterson, Close, Thomas, Kersley, Taylor, Collins, Kabuye (Losey 89’). Subs. not used: Norman, Shelley, Hills. Scorers: Patterson (11’), Kersley (55’). Caution: Collins (44’). Dismissal: Patterson, 2 cautions (36’ & 82’).