Swans 1 Hythe Town 3

Saturday 27 February 2016.                           Ryman League, Division One South.

Walton & Hersham 1   Hythe Town 3.

Despite five more new signings and an improved performance Swans still failed to put an end to their poor run that keeps their relegation fears alive.

Experienced former Woking and Kingstonian defender Gary MacDonald was drafted in, along with former Swan Adam Fennell. The other debutants were young players Connor Channon and Prince M’Bengui, who has signed from Staines Town, and striker Mark Corbett from Combined Counties League Farnham Town. Borja Loeches Teixeira returned in goal after missing seven matches, replacing Liam Beach.

Play-off candidates Hythe had the first chance after just three minutes when Alfie May was played in on the right, but drove his shot over.

Dave Cook soon picked up the Kent side’s first booking, an early indication of the physical side of their game that was to be evident throughout. Troy Williams took the free-kick from the right for Corbett to head back across goal, but the ball was just too high for Orlando Smith at the far-post. Another free-kick was soon won in a similar position. Dylan Casey took this one, sending the ball into the box and forcing Hythe’s James Morrish to head behind for a corner. Williams took the kick from the right, and the ball was again headed behind for a corner on the left, but this was cleared.

But with just over a quarter of an hour played the visitors were somewhat fortunate to be awarded a free-kick on the left edge of the box. Franke Sawyer sent the kick to the far-post, where May was one of several Hythe players queuing up, and he flicked a header home to give his side the lead.

Jack Harris soon had a chance to make it 2-0 when he was played into the box, but Loeches Teixeira was out to make a good block. The Swans’ keeper then got well behind the ball when May got in a shot from the edge of the box.

With 25 minutes played MacDonald turned 22 yards out to strike a fine shot that Hythe keeper Joe Mant was well positioned to take.

Loeches Teixeira then had to save at his near-post when Sawyer got in a low shot from the left corner of the box.

Swans got themselves back into the game when they equalised after 38 minutes. Mant had pushed the ball behind at the far-post when it had gone into the air off a defender’s head after Smith crossed from the right. Richard Pacquette was at the far-post to guide a header in when the corner was taken from the left.

As the first-half went into added-on time Pacquette turned 25 yards out on the left to send a volley dipping over.

Three minutes after the resumption Swans went close to taking the lead. Gareth Chendlik had just replaced Williams, and when Corbett laid the ball back to him on the edge of the box he sent in a low shot that was blocked on the line.

But once again Swans failed to hang on to a hard-won equaliser. Just three minutes after nearly taking the lead May was allowed to cut in from the left, and Loeches Teixeira will be disappointed to be beaten by a low shot at his near-post.

Soon after the restart Morrish cut inside from the right to put a shot wide of the near-post.

Twenty minutes into the second-half Casey’s free-kick played Pacquette in on the left to win a corner for Swans. From Corbett’s kick Lea Van Sullivan got in a header that was taken on his line by keeper Mant.

But with twenty minutes remaining May crossed low from the right for Sawyer to score at the far-post and make it 3-1 to Hythe.

Sawyer cut in from the left to drive a shot over for the visitors, while M’Bengui replied for Swans with a low shot from the edge of the box that was wide of the left post. With seven minutes of normal-time left, Pacquette’s volley from the edge of the box that went over was Swans’ last effort to try to salvage something from the game.

Swans’ Team: Borja Loeches Teixeira, Connor Channon, Adam Fennell, Gary MacDonald, Lea Van Sullivan, Dylan Casey, Troy Williams (Gareth Chendlik 48’), Prince M’Bengui, Richard Pacquette, Orlando Smith (Gianfranco Mici 90+1’), Mark Corbett. Subs. not used: Cristiano Goncalves-Neto, Jamil Okai, Stevie Panayi. Scorer: Pacquette (38’). Cautions: MacDonald, foul (56’), Fennell, foul (88’).    

Hythe Team: Mant, Walker, Burchell, Sprosen (Marsden 62’), Cloke, Harvey, Cook (Thomas 52’), Morrish, Sawyer, May (Mahoney 76’), Harris. Subs. not used: Wilson, Hood. Scorers: May (16’ & 51’), Sawyer (70’). Cautions: Cook, foul (7’), Morrish, foul (66’), May, foul (74’), Cloke, foul (90’).