Last gasp penalty ends Swans’ Senior Cup hopes.

Tuesday 21 February 2012.                                           Surrey Senior Cup, Quarter-Final.  

Walton & Hersham 1    Corinthian-Casuals 2.

Swans’ last hopes of honours this season were ended in controversial fashion when, with extra-time looming, Casuals were awarded a penalty for handball in the fifth minute of stoppage-time, which they converted to go through to the semi-finals. There was probably little doubt that a shot struck the arms of Dan Sintim, but Swans will feel particularly aggrieved that they had two strong claims for similar offences turned down earlier in the second-half.

With Greg Andrews cup-tied with Leatherhead Saul Otobo was given a start up-front.

The first half an hour contained little of note apart from the visitors having to make two early substitutions. Swans finally created a chance to go ahead after 32 minutes when Josh Webb played Phil Williams into the right of the box, and he squared the ball across to Otobo on the left, but his shot was a disappointing effort that went wide of the left-post. It took a superb goal from Williams to put Swans in the lead six minutes later. Liam Collins played the ball in from the right to Williams inside the right side of the box, and he struck a terrific first-time shot low inside the right-post.

Collins was just denied as he cut in on goal close to the byline on the right, and Williams made a fine run into the right of the box, but the ball was just cleared away. The visitors had an opportunity when they were awarded a free-kick just outside the right-corner of the box, but the ball was driven well over the goal. With the final minute of the first-half being played Victor Kiri was found just outside the box on the left, and he struck a low shot that was pushed round his near-post by Casuals’ goalkeeper Adam Peck.

Early in the second-half a long kick by Swans’ keeper Rodney Chiweshe found Williams on the left, and he was again just denied as he burst into the box. Chiweshe was soon being tested with a low shot to his near-post from Casuals’ Jemal Carr, who had found space on the left. Swans immediately broke forward and Williams made another fine run into the box, but his final shot cleared the crossbar.

With an hour played Casuals took advantage of some poor defending by Swans to equalise. Webb was caught in possession close to Swans’ right touchline, and although he appeared to be fouled play was allowed to carry on and the ball was played into the box. Chiweshe made a superb save as a shot came in, but the ball ran loose to Steve Barilli to the left of goal, and he drove the ball into the top of the net.

Twenty minutes into the second-half Kiri did well on the left before driving in a cross that appeared to strike the arm of a Casuals’ defender, but despite concerted appeals play was waved on. Ten minutes later another good claim for a penalty was rejected by the referee. Jaymo Ellis, top scorer for Swans’ reserve side, had replaced Otobo for the second-half, and some good play by him got Williams into the left of the box. Williams got in a cross that again looked to have been handled by a Casuals’ defender.

Graeme Purdy got into the left of the box following some good play by Josh Bonnett, and he linked up with Williams, who just failed to get a shot away. Swans had almost all the play in the final quarter of an hour as they pushed forward to try to avoid extra-time, and with a minute remaining of normal-time Williams almost did so, but his final shot from inside the box just took a deflection to fly wide of the right-post. This resulted in three successive corners for Swans, but did not yield a winning goal.

The final chance for either side to win the tie before an extra half an hour had appeared to come early in stoppage-time when Casuals’ Steve Goddard cut in from the right, but he drove a shot wide of the far-post. The last of the four minutes of stoppage-time indicated by the referee had been played when the visitors launched one final attack and won a corner on the right. Swans could only clear the ball to the edge of the box, and when a shot came in the ball was adjudged to have struck the arms of Sintim as he tried to block the shot. Paul Honey made no mistake with the spot-kick to put holders Casuals into the semi-finals.

Swans’ Team: Rodney Chiweshe, Josh Webb, Shaun Elliott (Chris Wales 67’), Josh Bonnett, Stuart Derry, Dan Sintim, Liam Collins, Victor Kiri, Graeme Purdy, Saul Otobo (Jaymo Ellis 45’), Phil Williams. Subs. not used: Ashlee Quashie, Jerome Maledon, Sheikh Ceesay. Scorer: P. Williams (38’). Caution: Purdy (63’).                     

Casuals’ Team: Peck, Williams, Hodges (Stevenson 24’), Hassell, Finnie, Honey, Goddard, Turley (Ellis 16’), Barilli, Green, Carr. Subs. not used: Boosey, Thompson, Quintyne. Scorers: Barilli (60’), Honey, penalty (90+5’). Cautions: Stevenson (53’), Honey (80’), Hassell (80’).