Swans 1 Faversham Town 0

Tuesday 5 February 2013.                                                Ryman League, Division One South.


Walton & Hersham 1   Faversham Town 0.

Swans became the first side this season to complete the double over the play-off contenders, by putting on an excellent performance at a chilly Stompond Lane. This was also their second consecutive clean sheet, and their second completion of a double in a row. The Kent side also lost their proud record of not having been beaten on their travels since August.

New signing Kyle Merson made his Swans’ debut in goal and looked confident, but the 19 year-old keeper had few opportunities to show his talents as he was rarely seriously tested, particularly in the second-half, as he began a month’s loan from his parent club Staines Town. Swans’ new defensive line-up is beginning to settle into a cohesive unit, and the new keeper was well protected. A further change saw Michael Gordon coming into the side in place of Tom Hayden, who has returned to university.

Merson was given an early touch as he was forced into a save at his near-post when Darren Marsden turned inside the left of the box to drive in a shot.

Swans put the away side under early pressure, their first opening coming after a quarter of an hour. Adriano Moraes’ high free-kick, curled in from the right, caused problems to the Faversham defence and Chris Grayland got in a shot that away keeper Simon Overland got well behind.

Swans had settled really well, but they were almost caught out when Dan Lawrence got in on the right and forced the ball past Merson, but fortunately Steve Betancourt was on the goal-line to clear. Renford Tenyue looked the liveliest of the away team, making some clever left-side runs, and when he tried to get past Betancourt, the young Swans’ defender was judged to have fouled him. The offence looked as though it may have been just inside the left-corner of the penalty area, but fortunately for Swans the referee awarded a free-kick just outside. Wayne Wilson curled the kick just wide of the near-post.

Connor French made a good run on the left for Swans to force a corner, but with 25 minutes played a fine build-up on the left ended with ball coming to Chris Wales inside the box on the right, where he was clumsily brought down. The referee awarded a penalty and Graeme Purdy drove the spot-kick past Overland  to put Swans into the lead.

Wales was making some clever runs on the right, and when he laid the ball inside to Victor Kiri, he drove in a low shot from 25 yards that Overland got the slightest of touches to and the ball passed just wide of the right-post. With ten minutes left to the break more good play by Wales on the right should have culminated in Swans doubling their lead. Wales drove the ball low across to find French in front of goal, but he struck the ball over the crossbar.

Swans will feel they should have had a second-penalty when Gordon made a run on the left and his cross looked to have been handled by a Faversham defender, but concerted appeals were waved away by the referee.

The visitors had an opportunity when they were awarded a free-kick centrally placed forty yards out, but Wilson’s attempt to drive the ball in ended with it deflecting high over the bar off a Swans’ defender’s head.

With a minute of first-half stoppage-time played Swans again went close to making it 2-0 when Purdy got in on the left and a Faversham defender almost put into his own net at the near-post, but the ball just went behind for a corner.

Another chance came eight minutes after the resumption when the excellent Liam Collins made a surging run forward before getting the ball to French inside the box, but his powerful shot brought a fine block from keeper Overland. The ball came to Kiri on the left, and his shot took the slightest of deflections to pass just outside the near-post. Collins then sent in a terrific half-volley from 30 yards that dipped over.

Following their exertions with ten men three days earlier Swans were entitled to fade somewhat, but although not creating much in the way of openings they continued to withstand the visitors’ attempts to salvage something from the game, with Merson rarely troubled. Faversham’s frustrations showed when James Peacock was fortunate to pick up no more than a yellow card as he crudely chopped down Collins, who was bursting forward. With twenty minutes remaining the visitors’ brought on Aaron Lacy to utilise his long throw-ins, but although he launched several into the home box, they were dealt with competently and Swans suffered few scares as they deservedly carried on to another win.

Swans’ Team: Kyle Merson, Steve Betancourt, Liam Flanighan, Adriano Moraes, Chris Grayland, Chris Wales, Michael Gordon (John Clark 88’), Connor French (Matt Holliday 67’), Graeme Purdy, Liam Collins, Victor Kiri. Subs. not used: Audie Matheson-Light, Jaymo Ellis, Kyei Banton. Scorer: Purdy, penalty (25’).

Faversham Team: Overland, Sherlock (Lacy 71’), Maxted, Botterill, Bourne, Peacock, Lawrence (Brown 78’), Wilson (Oliver 61’), Marsden, Harvey, Tenyue. Subs. not used: Ashmore, Miller. Caution: Peacock, foul (70’).