South Park 1 Swans 0

Tuesday 17 February 2015.                           Ryman League, Division One South.

South Park 1   Walton & Hersham 0.

Swans failed to build on two good results as they disappointingly went down to a last minute goal on a quagmire of a pitch at South Park. After a confident start they gradually allowed the home side to dominate the first-half, and they were somewhat fortunate to go in at the break on level terms. But they were well on top in the last quarter of the match and will be disappointed they did not see the game out to secure at least a point.

An unchanged team started well and went close after eight minutes when Tarome Hemmings took a corner from the left and Harry Mills sent a glancing header just over at the near-post. Home goalkeeper James Wastell then just got to the ball before James Cottee when Nathan Daly sent it into the box from deep on the right.

South Park’s first opening came when the ball was knocked forward to almost get Chris Smith in, and a first-time low shot went wide from outside the box.

With a quarter of an hour played Josh Cover played Cottee in on the right, and his low, left-foot shot was just touched wide of the near-post by Wastell.

But Swans began to lose control of the possession, and midway through the half a poor clearance by Gary Ross allowed Kieran Lavery to be played through, but the keeper redeemed himself with a great block on the edge of the box. South Park won a free-kick outside the left corner of the box, and Jack Stafford’s ball in was cleared away, and when a corner was won on the right a header was well tipped over by Ross. The Swans’ keeper was soon punching away another header from another right-side corner.

The visitors’ first attack for some time came ten minutes before the break and won them a free-kick just outside the box on the right, and Hemmings’ ball in was cleared behind for a corner on the right. From Hemmings’ kick Martin Beard had a shot blocked. Cottee then put a header just wide at the far-post when Hemmings took another right-side corner.

But Ross had to pull off another good save when he tipped over a far-post header when South Park crossed from the left.

A minute into first-half stoppage-time the home side’s Lavery picked up the first yellow card of the match for bringing down Daly with a late tackle.

Straight after the resumption Swans got Cottee clear on the left and his low ball across the six-yard box just failed to pick out Shawn Lyle. A cross immediately came in from the right for Cottee to put a header over.

But South Park were soon threatening again, and when David Smith was played down the right his low cross went across goal and wide. Joe Jackson then looked to be getting clear, but Beard just got a foot in and the ball was collected by Ross. Ross then got well behind Jackson’s strong shot from the left.

But with just under ten minutes of the second-half played Swans went desperately close to taking the lead when Lyle struck a powerful low shot from the right and the ball rattled the far-post.

Ross was soon making a fine save at the other end, pushing a shot away when Jackson got in on the right after Mills had lost the ball.

Mills then got forward for Swans to find Hemmings inside the box on the right, but his cross was blocked.

Ross had to come to Swans’ rescue again when David Smith was played in on the right, the keeper pulling off another excellent save from a low shot.

But Swans gradually began to dominate the play, and when Hemmings set up Cottee on the right he drove a low shot wide. Wastell then had to come out and block the ball for a corner when Cottee played Lyle in on the right. With a quarter of an hour remaining a fine run forward by Vernon Francis resulted in a corner being forced on the right. Anthony Oaks then got forward before attempting to lob Wastell from outside the box, but a fine effort went just over the bar. Lyle was twice just denied, when firstly Daly’s long ball and then Hemmings almost got him in.

But in the final minute of normal time Swans were caught out by a break on the left, and when a low ball across was not cut out David Smith was left with a simple chance at the far-post to win the match for South Park.

Swans’ Team: Gary Ross, Nathan Daly, Martin Beard, Anthony Oaks, Jahmahl King, Harry Mills, Tarome Hemmings, Vernon Francis, Shawn Lyle, James Cottee (Gareth Chendlik 89’), Joshua Cover (Jordan Johnson 79’). Subs. not used: André Scarlett, Jack Battie, Louis Clark. Caution: Oaks, foul (72’).

South Park Team: Wastell, David, Hatfield, Stafford, Guscott, Ayling (Higgins 79’), D. Smith, Burgess, Lavery, Chris Smith, Jackson (Charles Smith 79’). Sub. not used: Miles. Scorer: D. Smith (89’). Caution: Lavery, foul (45+1’).