Swans 2 Hastings United 0

Saturday 8 March 2014.                               Ryman League, Division One South.


Walton & Hersham 2    Hastings United 0.

After their long run without a win Swans have now made it three on the trot, with two clean sheets in a row. That makes it a 100% record under Tony Reid, although the new manager was away and not present at the match. This latest win was thoroughly deserved against a Hastings United side still looking to claim one of the play-off spots, and was indicative of their new found determination and confidence.

With Nemo Adams not recovered from a groin injury, new signing Andrew Mensah was introduced, and he had a fine debut, scoring both goals, the first a superb solo effort.

The visitors posed an early threat when Danny Ellis did well to get into the right of the box and his cross was converted, but the ball had run just out of play.

Swans’ Peter Wedgeworth then beat Ben Judge by the left corner flag to get the ball across, but André Scarlett shot well wide.

With twenty minutes played a long ball almost got Hastings’ Frankie Sawyer through, but Louis Clark did superbly well to get across to make the tackle and get the ball behind for a corner. The visitors continued to build up attacks, but they were kept at distance, and when Sam Adams got in a low shot from 22 yards it lacked the power to trouble home goalkeeper Dan Coles. Matt Darby then tried from outside the box and Coles dived to his left to push the ball away.

With ten minutes remaining of the half Swans’ Sean Bradley and Vernon Francis combined on the right, and Francis made a fine run to the line before playing the ball low across, and Wedgeworth was just denied at the near-post. Matt Reece then drove in a low shot from the left to the near-post and the ball was cleared off the line.

Hastings replied with Adams’ fine strike from 25 yards that flew wide.

Mensah was getting away for Swans before being cynically brought down by Cruttwell, who was duly booked.

Sawyer then shot wide from the right of the box for Hastings after Tom Vickers had crossed the ball in from the left.

The visitors’ right back Andy Henson then saw yellow two minutes after the resumption for another crude tackle, and when Andy Lomas sent the free-kick in from the left keeper Josh Pelling missed the ball and it fell to Bradley, but the referee harshly gave a foul against the Swans’ player.

But ten minutes into the second-half Swans took the lead with a super goal. Mensah won the ball by the right corner flag before cutting back inside, beating a couple of defenders and driving a great shot into the far corner.

Scarlett tried a low left-footer from 25 yards that went straight through to Pelling, while at the other end Lomas had to get back to clear when Hastings got in a low shot from the left.

With just over a quarter of an hour remaining Wedgeworth beat Darby on the left to play a low ball in that won a corner for Swans. From the kick on the left Mensah struck the ball against the far-post, and with Hastings not able to clear Mensah followed up to drive in his and Swans’ second goal.

Hastings tried to get back into the game, and following good play on the left the ball was driven across the six-yard box, and it went out of play over the far touchline. But the nearest the visitors came to getting a goal back was in the fifth and final minute of stoppage-time when Adams’ free-kick from the left struck the far-post.

Swans’ Team: Dan Coles, Louis Clark, Andy Lomas, André Scarlett, Tom Mudge (Jon Boswell 86’), Sacha Mbaye, Sean Bradley, Vernon Francis, Matt Reece (Jack Battie 75’), Andrew Mensah (Louis Glace-Palmer 86’), Peter Wedgeworth. Subs. not used: Yinka Salami, Martin Beard. Scorer: Mensah (55’ & 74’).

Hastings Team: Pelling, Henson (Pogue 55’), Cruttwell, Darby, Judge, Jirbandey, Hassan, Adams, Sawyer, Ellis (O’Connor 64’), Vickers (McCreadie 75’). Subs. not used: Camara, Burton. Cautions: Cruttwell, foul (39’), Henson, foul (47’), Pogue, foul (84’).