Swans 1 Carshalton Athletic 3

Saturday 26 December 2015.                           Ryman League, Division One South.

Walton & Hersham 1   Carshalton Athletic 3.

Another defeat sees Swans drawn into a serious relegation battle. After going two goals down after 34 minutes, a superb goal from Aaron Watson with five minutes left to the break gave them hope, but a third Carshalton goal in the second-half put paid to their chances.

André Scarlett was unfortunately ruled out due to a calf injury picked up in training, but Harry Mills was available to return, while two new young signings were introduced. These were Stevie Panayi, a 19 year-old from Tonbridge Angels, and Eden Dewar-Douglas, the 18 year-old having been at Bromley.

Not for the first time recently the match was played in a strong wind, which made control difficult.

The first opening for either side was almost twenty minutes coming when Charlie Slocombe’s attempted clearance struck a Robins’ player and set up a chance for Kingsley Aikhionbare, but he shot wide of the left-post from the edge of the box. But the visitors soon took the lead, and again it resulted from poor Swans’ defending from a set-piece. Jordan Higgs took a corner from the right, and when the ball was headed across from the far-post by former Swan Adam Thompson, Tommy Bradford scored with an overhead kick.

Gianfranco Mici soon won a corner on the left for Swans, and following his kick the ball came to Gareth Chendlik outside the box, but his shot went straight through to Robins’ goalkeeper Luke Colquhoun. Mici then took two free-kicks from the left, but neither caused difficulty for the visitors’ defence.

Carshalton doubled their lead after 34 minutes, and again the goal came indirectly from a set-piece. Higgs took another corner from the right, and following a short passage of play he had the opportunity to cross to the far-post. The ball was not cleared and Mickel Miller was set up with a simple chance to make it 2-0.

Watson made a fine break down the right for Swans before finding Chendlik in the left of the box, but he could not find a finish. But Watson soon put Swans back into the game with a terrific goal. The ball was knocked forward to find him on the edge of the box, and he flicked it over Thompson before striking a half-volley that dipped over Colquhoun and just under the bar.

The visitors soon went close to restoring their two goal advantage when Miller beat Lea Van Sullivan on the left to get the ball into the box, but Bobby Price failed to get a touch in front of goal.

As the half entered stoppage-time Watson got past Jake Downs on the left to create an opening, and his low shot brought a fumbling save from Colquhoun.

Watson continued to be Swans’ main hope in the second-half, and he crossed from the left for Chendlik to get in a close-in shot that was blocked by Colquhoun, but the flag went up for offside.

Carshalton soon got in a cross from the left, and keeper Borja Loeches Teixeira had to punch clear from under his crossbar.

Then with just over twenty minutes remaining the Robins effectively made the game safe. Substitute Matt Males took a free-kick and Paris Hamilton-Downes was allowed to get free to the byline on the left, and his low cross was turned in by Miller.

Carshalton won another corner on the right, and Tony Sinclair got in a far-post header that was clawed away by Loeches Teixeira, a follow up header from Aikhionbare going over.

With just under ten minutes remaining Swans had a chance to reduce the deficit when Colquhoun failed to gather under pressure, but Mici’s close-in shot was blocked by Males.

Swans’ Team: Borja Loeches Teixeira, Lea Van Sullivan, Stevie Panayi, Shannon Wallace (Charlie Gillard 67’), James Richmond, Charlie Slocombe, Gianfranco Mici, Harry Mills (C-J. Williams-Agunabor 83’), Gareth Chendlik, Eden Dewar-Douglas (Dominic Ogun 60’), Aaron Watson. Sub. not used: Jason Cardona Cruz. Scorer: Watson (40’). Cautions: Gillard, Mici.    

Carshalton Team: Colquhoun, Downs (Males 45’), Hamilton-Downes, Hall, Thompson (Gray 79’), Sinclair, Price, Bradford, Aikhionbare (Pigden 79’), Higgs, Miller. Subs. not used: Korboa, Phillips. Scorers: Bradford (21’), Miller (34’ & 69’). Cautions: Aikhionbare, Sinclair.