Swans 2 Walton Casuals 3

Tuesday 10th December 2019. Southern Combination Challenge Cup, 2nd Round.

Walton & Hersham 2 Walton Casuals 3.

For the second season running Swans were put out of the competition by their co-tenants, who edged a win on an evening of dreadful weather, that undoubtedly had a bearing on the attendance for the Walton derby. They will feel somewhat unfortunate to have lost a match that to any neutral observer present would not have indicated the three division separation between the clubs. With Seb Osei-Obengo still suspended and Tyreke Leslie unavailable, they went into the tie against the trophy holders lacking the services of their two main strikers and top scorers. Swans started the match with torrential rain being driven into their faces by the strong wind, but they soon put together a neat move that resulted in Miguel Lopes de Matos cutting in from the left to send a shot dipping wide. They continued to dominate the early stages, but almost gifted Casuals the lead after thirteen minutes. Michael Winnister attempted an ambitious, high back-pass from out on Swans’ right, but the ball caught in the wind and struck the far-post. Goalkeeper Jordan Johnson just denied James Ewington, who was following-in. Casuals gradually worked themselves into the game after Swans’ good start, and a far-post header was put wide from David Fitzpatrick’s right-side corner before they took the lead after twenty minutes. Rene Howe was played into the left of the box to hit a low shot that sent the ball in off the inside of the far-post. Swans quickly hit back, taking just a minute to equalise. Leon Lalor-Dell had looked impressive for them, with his tricky runs, and when Anderson Pinto-Nogueira’s fine through pass sent him clear into the box, he finished with a low shot past keeper Alex Tokarczyk. Neat play by Simeon Dennis won him the ball outside the box, and he found Lalor-Dell in space on the right to drive in a shot that Tokarczyk beat down at his near-post. Casuals immediately went close to restoring their lead when Ewington caught Johnson out of his goal and lobbed the ball in from out on the right, but Sam Marfo did superbly to get back and head away from under the crossbar. With just over ten minutes left of the half Casuals built up a move outside Swans’ box that ended with Michael Atkinson sending a shot dipping just over the far, top corner from out on the left. Mo Ghailan was soon making inroads on the left for Swans, but his shot was wild and well-over. Inside the final five minutes of the half Casuals drove the ball into the box from the right, and Hamzah Williams had to clear behind for a corner at the near-post. Casuals opened the second-half with Ewington getting in on the left to force Johnson to turn a shot round his near-post. Swans responded with Lalor-Dell and Munashe Mwatsiya combining well on the right, and when Mwatsiya drove the ball in low, Dennis was just denied inside the 6 yard box. Another fine build-up resulted in Lalor-Dell cutting in from the right to send a left-foot shot dipping just over the goal. Ghailan got the ball to Lalor-Dell after some clever play by him inside the centre-circle, and this led to Parish Muirhead getting forward to strike a shot that took a deflection to go behind for a corner. With an hour played, some fine play by Dennis on the left led to him clipping the ball in, and Tokarczyk just managed to keep it out of his near, top corner as he tipped it over. But it was Casuals who regained the lead against the run of play after 64 minutes. Howe was played in on the right to get to the byline and drive the ball low across to leave Ewington with a simple tap-in. Swans soon went close to equalising for the second time when Lopes de Matos swung over a free-kick from the right for Williams to nod back at the far-post, and the ball to be cleared off the line and behind for a corner. With Swans pushing forward they began to leave openings, and Howe was played clear to try to lob Johnson from 30 yards out, but the ball dropped wide. Williams then just got back to snuff out a break on the left and clear, and when Ewington clipped the ball in from the right Johnson made a terrific tip-over save after scrambling back to his goal. Swans still threatened the Casuals’ goal however, and with a quarter of an hour remaining Ghailan headed just wide at the far-post when Mwatsiya crossed from the right. Then, following some fine play by Lopes de Matos on the left, Dennis worked the space to get in a low shot from 22 yards, but it lacked power and Tokarczyk went down to save. But Casuals soon got the goal that put them 3-1 ahead, as the influential Howe again found space on the right, and Ewington was again the beneficiary at the far-post as the ball was driven low across the 6 yard box. Swans were soon back in the tie however, again taking just a minute to strike back. Pinto-Nogueira was fouled inside the left of the box, and Lalor-Dell drilled home the penalty for his second goal of the night. Soon after the restart Pinto-Nogueira was laying the ball off to Muirhead 35 yards out, and he got in a fine strike that Tokarczyk had to beat down under his crossbar. Swans continued to press for an equaliser to take the tie to penalty-kicks, but Casuals slowed the game down to frustrate them. The delaying tactics were not without cost however, as in stoppage-time Atkinson kicked the ball away when a free-kick was awarded to Swans, and having already been booked earlier in the half, the Casuals No. 6 was shown a second yellow card and sent-off.

Swans’ Team: Jordan Johnson, Michael Winnister (James Young 86’), Miguel Lopes de Matos, Munashe Mwatsiya, Sam Marfo, Hamzah Williams, Leon Lalor-Dell, Parish Muirhead, Mo Ghailan, Anderson Pinto-Nogueira, Simeon Dennis. Subs. not used: Thomas Lim, Sam Osei, Mamadaliu Balde, Kevin Manuel. Scorer: Lalor-Dell (21’ & 79’ [pen.]). Caution: Lopes de Matos, foul (62’).

Casuals Team: Tokarczyk, Pearce, Mason, Fox, Gasson, Atkinson, Brown, Gogonas, Howe, Fitzpatrick, Ewington. Subs. not used: Grant, Ofoso, Shepherd. Scorers: Howe (20’), Ewington (64’ & 78’). Cautions: Howe (54’), Brown (90’). Dismissal: Atkinson, 2 cautions (48’ & 90+3’).

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