Leatherhead Match Report

Saturday 12 February 2011. Ryman League, Division One South.

Walton & Hersham 0 Leatherhead 2.

Swans’ best chances of winning the Surrey derby and putting a dent in the visitors’ promotion hopes came at either end of the first-half. Unfortunately they could not capitalise on those brief periods of opportunity, albeit with a fair degree of ill-luck, and for the bulk of the match they never really looked like getting the goal they needed to get back into the running. The Tanners however took two of the few opportunities they created, both resulting from some poor defending by the home side. Swans’ poor home form that has seen their last three matches at Stompond Lane lost without a goal being scored is gradually killing off any hopes they have of a play-off spot. Unchanged apart from Gareth Williams returning in goal, Swans went close to going ahead with just a minute played when a fine move culminated in Gary Frewen curling a shot just over the bar from the left. Liam Collins then played a free-kick forward and Leatherhead keeper Chico Ramos in attempting to punch clear could only deflect the ball towards his own goal.

A defender just got back to clear off the line, with Graeme Purdy almost getting to the ball first. Frewen’s corner from the right looked certain to find the head of James Nicholls at the far-post, until Ramos just got there to tip the ball onto the bar and behind. All this had come inside the first five minutes with Leatherhead looking in total disarray, but they soon began to show more composure. A rash challenge by Damian Matthews that earned the Swans’ defender a yellow card gave them a free-kick close to the right touchline, and from Greg Andrews’ kick Chris Wales had to head over his own goal. Following the corner taken from the left Mu Mann had a close-in shot blocked at the near-post. Swans however almost had another opportunity as Albjon Blloku was played through to the edge of the box, but Ramos just managed to get out and deny him. Another chance went begging when Frewen took another corner from the right, and Matthews somehow failed to get his head to the ball. Wales had a half-chance, but hooked the ball wide, and just minutes later, with half an hour played, Leatherhead took the lead. Tommy Hutchings split Swans’ defence open far too easily as his through pass sent Mann clear to find the top, right corner from the edge of the box. The last five minutes of the half saw Swans lay siege to the visitors’ goal.

Shaun Elliott got the ball over from the left for both Purdy and Phil Williams to have shots cleared off the line at the far-post.
Frewen’s corner from the right again saw the ball scrambled off the line, and Leatherhead looked grateful to hear the half-time whistle. Josh Webb replaced Matthews for the second-half with Wales dropping into defence, but Swans failed to pick up where they left off at the break. Leatherhead’s Mark Simmons drove a free-kick over from the edge of the box, before his side doubled their lead after 64 minutes with a goal that was a disaster for the home defence. Rob Hill took a long throw from the left, and Swans had several attempts to head the ball clear before it fell to Andrews lurking on the edge of the box, and he volleyed past Williams. It was difficult to see Swans coming back from that position, and although they continued to take the game to the visitors they failed to create any real chances of pulling a goal back. Elliott saw his free-kick from 30 yards out take a deflection to go over, but the Tanners had a chance to go further ahead when Andrews played Mann into the left of the box, but he dragged his shot wide of the near-post. Swans’ efforts had an air of desperation about them and Webb drove a shot over from well outside the box. The final chance fell to the visitors when Sol Patterson-Bohner played Andrews into the box, where he went down as Nicholls made the tackle, but appeals for a penalty were turned down.

Swans’ Team: Gareth Williams, Ryan Adams, Shaun Elliott, Chris Wales, Damian Matthews (Josh Webb 45’), James Nicholls, Liam Collins, Gary Frewen, Graeme Purdy (Jean-Michel Sigere 67’), Albjon Blloku (Martin Grant 61’), Phil Williams. Subs. not used: Femi Ismail, Sheikh Ceesay. Cautions: Matthews, foul (6’), Purdy, foul (33’), Collins, dissent (60’).

Leatherhead Team: Ramos, Pestle, Hill, Boulter, Boswell, Thompson, MacLeod (Elston 83’), Simmons, Andrews, Hutchings (Patterson-Bohner 54’), Mann. Subs. not used: McKay, Rowe, Terry. Scorers: Mann (30’), Andrews (64’). Cautions: Boulter, kicked ball away (52’), Andrews, dissent (88’).