Swans 0 Whitehawk 1

Tuesday 22 November 2011.                                      Ryman League, Division One South.  

Walton & Hersham 0    Whitehawk 1.

Swans’ four match winning run in the league came to an end as they were beaten by the only goal of the game by a very good Whitehawk side. A moment’s lack of concentration just two minutes into the second-half was to prove both costly and decisive as the visitors’ Josh Jones was allowed to run through a hesitant defence to score a simple goal. A share of the spoils was the least Swans deserved from a fine game, in which they competed well with the much-vaunted championship contenders throughout.

Chuck Martini was forced into making one change from what has become his regular starting line-up, Dorian Smith coming in for the injured Dan Morris.

Swans started the match well, and with just three minutes played Whitehawk goalkeeper Chris Winterton dashed out of his area on the home right and Graeme Purdy hooked the ball over him into the box for Michael Gordon to be just denied a chance. Gordon was soon getting into the right of the box, but he drove his shot over, and Purdy was unfortunate to be caught just offside as he was found in space in the box by a fine diagonal ball from the right by Smith.

Whitehawk gradually came into the match, playing some of the good football they have built up a reputation for, and just before the quarter of an hour James Fraser was played through and home keeper Rodney Chiweshe had to make a superb, point-blank save one-handed down to his left. Joe Gatting followed in on the right to get in a shot that Josh Webb did well to clear off the line. Another neat build-up by Whitehawk culminated in Fraser driving a shot over from 25 yards.

Midway through the half Purdy made a superb run into the right of the visitors’ box to get in a low cross that was just cleared away. Smith then drove in a good shot from 30 yards that keeper Winterton took high up on his line. Whitehawk replied with Gatting curling a good effort just over from outside the box. Winterton then got well behind a 25 yard shot from Jerome Maledon after the Swans’ midfielder had broken forward.

Having worked so hard, and having reached the break still well in the game, Swans will be disappointed to concede so soon after the resumption, particularly as the goal was a soft one. Jones got through far too easily to shoot past Chiweshe. Swans could have been 2-0 down just five minutes into the second-half but for another terrific, point-blank save from Chiweshe that denied Gatting, who had burst clear. Just past the hour Swans’ Shaun Elliott cut inside from the left to drive in a low, right-foot shot that Winterton went down to save on his line.

As the half progressed the visitors, as in the corresponding match last season, seemed content to protect their lead, rather than add to it, getting men behind the ball and proving very difficult to break down, although they did get a dangerous ball over from the left that Gatting could not quite get a foot to at the far-post. They were also not averse to putting in some tough tackles to preserve their narrow lead, and four players picked up bookings for fouls in the final ten minutes.

Swans’ Team: Rodney Chiweshe, Josh Webb, Shaun Elliott (Adriano Moraes 80’), Victor Kiri, Dan Sintim, Stuart Derry, Matt Pattison, Jerome Maledon (Phil Williams 59’), Graeme Purdy, Dorian Smith, Michael Gordon (Harry Smart 69’). Subs. not used: Ashlee Quashie, Sheikh Ceesay. Cautions: Purdy, foul (39’), Gordon, kicked ball away (68’), Moraes, foul (90+3’).                     

Whitehawk Team: Winterton, Richards, Knee, Akehurst, El-Abd, Pullen, Fraser (Saunders 71’), Keehan, Gatting, Gargan (Godfrey 75’), Jones. Subs. not used: Bowes, Freeman, Tuck. Scorer: Jones (47’). Cautions: Pullen, foul (81’), Jones, foul (86’), Godfrey, foul (89’), Akehurst, foul (90+1’).