Swans 4 Hythe Town 1

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

Walton & Hersham 4   Hythe Town 1.

Swans bounced back from their 5-0 defeat at Faversham in convincing style to record their biggest win of the season, putting on a fine performance as they beat the Kent side for the first time in four meetings at Stompond Lane.

With Matt Reece unavailable Andrew Mensah returned to the side, and he had arguably his best game since his debut last season, the visitors struggling to combat his clever, darting runs all afternoon as he put down a clear marker as Swans’ man of the match

Hythe started brightly, but Swans had the first effort on goal with their opening attack after five minutes, Mensah sending a lob over the bar from just inside the box.

The visitors had a clear opening when John Walker crossed from the right to pick out Josh Burchill at the near-post, who planted his header wide.

But it was Swans who took the lead after eleven minutes with a superb goal. Harry Mills got forward before striking a terrific shot from 25 yards that arrowed into the top, right corner.

Mensah had a chance when he broke clear on the left, but his low shot was straight at Hythe goalkeeper Roddy Hayward. Tarome Hemmings was then brought down just inches outside the left corner of the box, but he drove the free-kick into the defensive wall.

Swans were almost punished for some hesitancy in the box after 25 minutes, Michael Yianni getting possession, but driving a shot just over from the right of goal.

At the other end Mensah made a clever run in on the left, before putting a shot just over. With half an hour gone, more fine play by Mensah just inside the Hythe half allowed him to send Gareth Chendlik away on the left, and when he crossed into the box Mensah had got forward, but he just failed to get his head to the ball.

The visitors were awarded two free-kicks in dangerous positions just outside the box on the right, both being taken by Ashley Miller. From the first he sent the ball over the bar, and the second he played short to James Morrish inside the right of the box, and he forced a corner-kick.

Swans’ Vernon Francis played a good ball down the right to Mensah, and he bamboozled his marker before driving the ball in low to the near-post, where it was cleared away.

With five minutes left to the break Burchill got to the line on the left for Hythe, and his low cross just failed to pick out Jordan Wells at the near-post. The visitors had been awarded numerous free-kicks, and in the 45th minute another was taken by Miller from close to the right corner flag, but home keeper Gary Ross was able to gather the ball safely.

There was still time for Swans to have a chance to double their lead before half-time when Chendlik did well before playing Mensah in on the right, but he drove a low shot just wide of the far-post.

Heavy rain started during the half-time break, and this was to continue unabated throughout the rest of the match.

Another opportunity for Swans to increase their lead came straight after the resumption when André Scarlett played Chendlik into the left of the box, his shot forcing Hayward to block the ball behind at the near-post.

Hythe soon went close when Wells put a header just over from a right-side cross, but Swans made it 2-0 four minutes into the second-half. Anthony Oaks swung the ball over from close to the left corner-flag to the far-post, where Chendlik neatly tucked home a cushioned volley.

Swans seemed somewhat unfortunate when Hythe got back into the match four minutes later. Miller was close to the line on the right when he drove the ball in low and it struck the prostrate Jahmahl King from no more than two yards. The referee awarded a penalty for handball and Phil Stevenson beat Ross from the spot.

But just before the hour Swans regained their two goal cushion as Hemmings sent in a free-kick from the left and the ball went in off Hythe’s Morrish at the far-post.

It was almost 4-1 two minutes later when some terrific play by Mensah on the left enabled him to get the ball across. Hayward could not hold the ball and a scramble in the box led to two close-in shots being blocked on the line.

With just over a quarter of an hour remaining several players were booked from both sides following a fracas resulting from Dominic Ogun putting in a strong challenge as Swans were incensed by Hythe’s play from a bounce-up after the match had been halted due to two balls being on the pitch.

With two minutes of normal-time remaining Mensah got the goal his performance had deserved. More clever play on the left led to him beating several players before cutting inside and planting a low shot between Hayward and his near-post.

Josh Bonnett replaced Oaks, and in the 90th minute he was played into the left of the six-yard box to drive in a shot that Hayward blocked round his near-post.

Swans’ Team: Gary Ross, Nathan Daly, Dominic Ogun, André Scarlett (Kwabena Osei 80’), Jahmahl King, Harry Mills, Tarome Hemmings, Vernon Francis, Gareth Chendlik, Andrew Mensah (Dylan Cascoe 90+3’), Anthony Oaks (Josh Bonnett 88’). Subs. not used: Siao Blackwood, Martin Beard. Scorers: Mills (11’), Chendlik (49’), Morrish, own goal (59’), Mensah (88’). Cautions: King, Ross , Ogun , Oaks.

Hythe Team: Hayward, Walker, Mingle, Cook, Pleau, Stevenson, Yianni (Sullivan 74’), Morrish, Miller, Wells (Phillpott 86’), Burchill. Subs. not used: Pilcher, Eason. Scorer: Stevenson, penalty (53’). Cautions: Yianni, Miller, Pleau, Burchill.