Swans 1 Leatherhead 3.

Saturday 30 March 2013.                                                 Ryman League, Division One South.


Walton & Hersham 1    Leatherhead 3.

Swans’ poor run of results continued as they were well beaten by their Surrey neighbours, and they are now sucked deep into relegation trouble. Despite several team changes, including the injection of four new signings, the recurring problems were still evident, including the concession of an early goal and the lack of firepower. The first-half belonged almost totally to the visitors, and it was only after Swans scored what was an all too rare goal that they began to look any sort of threat. One of the new signings was veteran striker Tony Reid, who had a previous, short spell with Swans a full fifteen years ago, and he took their goal well, but it always looked likely to be no more than a consolation.

The Tanners quickly forced two corner-kicks before they took the lead after just five minutes. No-one picked up Tommy Hutchings as he was found inside the left-of the box with a flicked pass, and he was unerring as he drilled a low shot past recalled goalkeeper Chris Manderson, and just inside the far-post. Kev Terry soon almost got through to have a chance to make it 2-0, but Matt Holliday just got back to force him to shoot wide.

Swans lost Chris Wales with injury after 27 minutes, Steve Betancourt coming on, and just a minute later they conceded a second goal. The ball was drilled over from the right, and Hutchings stole in unmarked at the far-post to volley home.

It was two minutes into the second-half before Swans’ first hint of a threat to the visitors’ goal came. Reid nodded the ball on to find Aaron Watson on the left, and the former Ringmer player hit a fine, first-time cross that just failed to find a teammate in the six-yard box.

But just three minutes later it was 3-0 to Leatherhead and the game out of reach. Swans looked to have a good case for a foul close to halfway, but play went on and the ball was played through a static defence to send Elliott Thompson racing clear, and he sent a low shot just inside the left-post from the edge of the box.

Manderson was soon just getting his fingertips to the ball to deflect it wide of the far-post when Matt Smart drove in a free-kick from the left.

There was finally something for the home supporters to cheer when Swans pulled a goal back after 66 minutes. New signing Peter Martin, a Brunel University student who has been at North Greenford United, was played through on the right, and he got the ball inside to Reid, who set himself up before sending a measured shot low past Tanners’ keeper Matt Reed. Swans proceeded to have their best spell of the match, at last having a fair share of the ball, but without seriously threatening the visitors’ goal.

Leatherhead should have restored their three goal lead in stoppage-time when Tom Bradbrook got in on the left, but he put his shot straight at Manderson.

Swans quickly broke up the other end and substitute Will Turl had a chance inside the left of the six-yard box, but he shot over the bar.

The Tanners went close again with five minutes of stoppage-time played when Neil Jenkins lofted in a free-kick from the right and the ball dropped just wide of the far-post.

Swans’ Team: Chris Manderson, Matt Holliday (Will Turl 82’), Harry Wise, Chris Wales (Steve Betancourt 27’), Chris Grayland, Mark McLeod, Junior Appiah (Tom Hayden 70’), Victor Kiri, Tony Reid, Peter Martin, Aaron Watson. Subs. not used: Audie Matheson-Light, Anthony Lapersonne. Scorer: Reid (66’). Cautions: Holliday, Kiri, McLeod.  

Leatherhead Team: Reed, Coyle, Jenkins, Nnamani, Boulter, Smart, Thompson, Blackman, Bradbrook (Clark 90+1’), Hutchings (Russell 90’), Terry (Flack 77’). Subs. not used: Gradley, Brady. Scorers: Hutchings (5’ & 28’), Thompson (50’). Cautions: Coyle, Blackman.