Merstham Match Report

Tuesday 19 October 2010. Surrey Senior Cup, 1st Round.

Walton & Hersham 1 Merstham 2.

Chuck Martini took his former Godalming Town side through to win the Surrey Senior Cup last season, but his new charges crashed out of this season’s competition at the very first hurdle with a disappointing performance, denying them a tilt at his old club in the next round. The display showed there is still much work to do with the more important task of moving the Swans up the Ryman League Division One South table. Swans were almost caught out inside the first two minutes when Merstham took a right side corner and goalkeeper David Wilkinson had to block the ball behind from a far-post header. But it was the home side that had the best chance to take the lead five minutes later when the ball came to Martin Grant inside the box, only for him to place his shot wide of the right-post.

With ten minutes played Richard Taylor took a long throw from the right, and when the ball came out to Dwane Lee, he struck a fine shot that Merstham keeper Ian Chatfield just deflected over the top, left corner. From Josh Webb’s left-side corner Grant again put an acceptable chance wide at the far-post. Swans were made to pay for their misses after 17 minutes when Merstham’s Anthony Myers got down the left and sent over a fine cross to pick out Harry Ottaway, and he headed in off Wilkinson. Swans had a chance to hit back quickly when Liam Collins crossed from the right to find Javonne Molloy at the far-post, but he placed his shot straight at Chatfield. Merstham were almost gifted another goal when Swans gave the ball away, but Tony Reid shot just over from the left of the box. On another night Grant could have had a hat-trick, but he again put a good chance wide at the far-post when the ball came over from the right. Swans were not looking secure in defence, and Ottaway almost got through again when David Smith played a long ball through to him.

Scott Todd replaced Grant for the final five minutes of the half, and he was soon doing well on the left to get the ball over to the far-post, where Taylor had a close-in header deflected wide. But in the final minute Swans failed to get the ball clear, and Ottaway beat Wilkinson with a left-foot shot from the edge of the box for his and his team’s second goal. It could have been worse, as in stoppage-time Smith drove a low shot into the side-netting from the right of the box.

The half-time team talk seemed to have had an effect on Swans as three minutes after the resumption they got themselves back into the tie. Lee took a free-kick from the right for Taylor to get a header back at the far-post, and when the ball came to Kenny Ojukwu on the edge of the box, he carefully placed a shot past Chatfield. Reid drove a shot over for Merstham when Smith crossed from the right, while Swans had a chance when Molloy was brought down five yards outside the box, but Lee’s free-kick deflected wide off the defensive wall. Midway through the half Swans spurned two more good chances to equalise. Ojukwu drove a low shot wide from the edge of the box, and when Todd laid on a chance for Molloy, he put the ball straight at Chatfield with just the Merstham keeper to beat.

With twenty minutes remaining Swans made their third and final substitution, Adam El-Haddad replacing Molloy, but straight away Victor Kiri suffered double vision following a clash of heads and could not continue, leaving his side with ten men. Merstham’s Reid drove another effort over from the left as Swans reshuffled, pushing Taylor up front. As the match entered the final five minutes Todd cut inside from the left, but shot straight at Chatfield, and it was the visitors who had the last chance when Smith got the ball over from the right for Ottaway to head over at the far-post.

Swans’ Team: David Wilkinson, Josh Webb, Antonio Simeone (Daniel Sintim 45’), Victor Kiri, Adam Howarth, Richard Taylor, Dwane Lee, Liam Collins, Javonne Molloy (Adam El-Haddad 70’), Martin Grant (Scott Todd 40’), Kenny Ojukwu. Subs. not used: Charlie Turnbull, Dean Thomas. Scorer: Ojukwu (48’). Cautions: Lee, foul (36’), Ojukwu, foul (53’).

Merstham Team: Chatfield, Murphy, Myers, Goggin, Vernon, Cheadle, Smith, Moriarty, Reid, Ottaway, Marvell. Subs. not used: Harding, Corbett, Duke, King, Tidy. Scorer: Ottaway (17’ & 45’). Cautions: Moriarty, foul (43’), Myers, time wasting (90+3’).