Saturday 24th September 2022. FA Trophy, 2nd Qualifying Round.
Walton & Hersham 4 Southall 0.
Swans’ excellent run of form continued, with Southall the latest side to feel their impact in this Isuzu FA Trophy tie at The Hub. A ten match unbeaten run continues on from one of eighteen at the end of last season, making it just one defeat in the last thirty one games. As in the last round against Leatherhead, Swans took a 3-0 lead into the break, realistically securing their passage to the next round. Southall had chances of their own, particularly late on with Swans relaxing somewhat, but they found home goalkeeper Liam Allen in fine form. But it was the visitors’ Michael Edegbe who was by far the busier of the two keepers, as he pulled off a series of fine saves to deny Swans.
With fixtures coming thick and fast, Swans took the opportunity to make changes, resting a number of regular starters. Max Blackmore, Taurean Roberts, Jordan Adeyemi and Arsen Ujkaj all dropped to the bench, while Devan Tanton and Joe Pratley-Jones were both unavailable, and Charlie Nicholas ineligible. Alex Kelly was however free to return from suspension, while two teenagers were given their first starts, 17 year-old Flynn Bolton and 18 year-old Josh Millo. Both had excellent games, with Bolton scoring the first goal, and Millo instrumental in the second.
Millo soon forced a corner on the right, but Dominic Ogun glanced a header wide from John Gilbert’s kick.
It was Southall however who went close to taking the lead after eight minutes. Eddie Simon looked to have been fouled by Louis Stead, but play was allowed to continue, and Stead played Lenny Farhall into the left of the box. Farhall’s shot went through the legs of Allen, but hit the near-post, and the ball rebounded across the goal-face.
Swans however took the lead two minutes later. They had already threatened when Harry Mills and Millo combined well on the right, and Mills’ cross from the byline was headed clear from the 6 yard-box. Kelly was soon playing a terrific through ball down the left that split the Southall defence open, finding Bolton by the corner of the box. Bolton struck a fine, low shot just inside the far-post to score his first senior goal.
Swans went desperately close to doubling their lead after a quarter of an hour. Some fine interplay between Gilbert and Mills on the right resulted in Mills slipping Millo in on the right byline. Millo’s shot struck Southall’s Carl Pearce on the goal-line, and when Simon followed in Pearce was again on the line, and he somehow deflected the ball over the bar.
The visitors had a free-kick 40 yards out, and Luke Heneghan found Chinua Cole on the left to force a corner, but Heneghan’s kick was headed away at the far-post by Joe Hicks.
Bolton made a good run on the left for Swans before laying the ball back to Ollie Twum, who drove a low shot wide of the near-post. It was 2-0 after twenty minutes however, when Gilbert got forward before finding Millo to his right on the edge of the box. Millo got just inside the area before being tripped by Frankie Taylor, the referee immediately pointing to the spot. As he was in the Premier Cup Final against Southall last season, Mills was unerring with the penalty, finding the bottom, right corner.
Five minutes later it was close to being 3-0 with what would have been a goal of the season contender. Jude Molloy found Twum on the left, who then got into the box before laying the ball back to Molloy. The Swans’ left-back then beat three defenders on his run into the box to open up the goal and get in a shot, but keeper Edegbe just managed to stick out his left arm and block the ball away. A fine press by Millo on Stead won him the ball, and he laid it off to Twum on the left, who cut inside and drove in a shot that brought a good save from Edegbe at his near-post.
With half an hour played some slack play by Swans allowed Stead to win the ball and play Farhall clear into the box, but Hicks came across to deny him with a superbly timed tackle. Southall soon had another chance when a pass down the left got Anthony O’Connor clear into the box, but he shot wide of the far-post under pressure from Ogun and Hicks.
Swans soon went close again however when Molloy played a good long ball down the left to find Gilbert on the corner of the box, and he cut inside to drive a shot just over the far, top corner. Hicks headed the ball through to Simon, who was just closed out after getting into the box, but he won a corner on the left. From Gilbert’s kick Hicks was at the far-post to leap and get in a header that just evaded the lunge of Simon in front of goal, and the ball passed inches wide of the goal. A superb one-two between Bolton and Millo on the right got Millo in on the byline to drive the ball low across. The ball was cleared to Kelly on the edge of the box, and he made room to get in a shot that Edegbe was well placed to take on his line.
Swans’ pressure finally paid off as the half entered the final five minutes when they scored another terrific goal. Mills started the move with a run forward from inside his own half. Simon laid back to Kelly, who knocked a great ball forward to pick out the run of Mills. Mills was shadowed by Taylor and Pearce, but he nodded the ball through before lifting it over Edegbe and into the top, left corner with a superb piece of skill.
Swans were totally dominant, and a fine knock forward by Millo almost got Simon in, but the keeper was out to kick clear. Hicks’ long ball down the middle found Bolton, who played a neat one-two with Simon five yards outside the box, and Bolton got in a shot that cleared the bar.
Straight after the resumption Twum got clear into the left of the box and to the byline, but his low cross went unchallenged across the goal-face.
Southall’s O’Connor got in a good strike from the left, but it was wide of the far-post.
Mills set up a chance for Simon when he sent him clear on the right, but his shot failed to beat Edegbe at his near-post. Mills then played the ball through to Simon on the edge of the box, and Southall’s Louis Dailey just got in a tackle as the Swans’ striker sidestepped him. Mills followed in to get in a left-foot shot that brought a fine save from Edegbe on his line, diving down to his left. Just before the hour Swans had a free-kick just outside the corner of the box on the right, but Mills struck the ball just wide of the far-post.
Swans were then grateful to their keeper Allen for preserving their three goal lead. The ball was lost in midfield and Sandro Fernandes played O’Connor clear into the left of the box, but Allen made a fine save from his shot.
But it was Allen’s opposite number Edegbe who again denied Swans at the other end. Ujkaj had replaced Bolton, and he hit a fine diagonal ball from deep on the left to pick out Millo on the right touchline. Millo found Simon by the penalty-spot, and he turned to get in a left-foot shot that the keeper pushed away with a fine save. Twum followed in on the left, but Edegbe was there to make another great save down at his near-post.
Swans again went desperately close to extending their lead when Mills played a neat one-two with Ujkaj, and Mills played a terrific ball with the outside of his right foot to Twum on the left. Twum cut inside Alex Nolan just inside the corner of the box to curl a great shot against the far-post with Edegbe at last well beaten.
Southall had another chance when the ball was lost and O’Connor got through, but Kelly made a fine tackle.
Adeyemi replaced Millo, and he was soon involved in Swans making it 4-0 with just under a quarter of an hour remaining. After being played through to the edge of the box he cut inside Pearce and got in a left-foot shot that Edegbe just kept out by sticking out his leg. Adeyemi followed in, and this time Pearce got in a block, but the ball spun to Simon, who knocked it in from the edge of the 6 yard-box.
With just under five minutes of normal-time remaining Allen again preserved Swans’ clean sheet when O’Connor was played down the right by Jake Frailing, and he found Arell Amu in the box. He turned past Hicks, but could not beat the Swans’ keeper, who made a fine save. Heneghan’s good ball in from the right then found O’Connor in the box, but Allen was again there to beat the shot down. Southall had more chances in the dying minutes than in all the previous, and in stoppage-time Nolan knocked the ball in from the right to Amu in the box, but Allen made another great save, diving full length to his right to push the shot away. That proved to be the final action of the tie as the referee immediately whistled for full-time.
Swans’ Team: Liam Allen, Harry Mills, Jude Molloy, Alex Kelly (Will Kouadio 79’), Dominic Ogun, Joe Hicks, Josh Millo (Jordan Adeyemi 72’), Flynn Bolton (Arsen Ujkaj 63’), Eddie Simon, John Gilbert, Ollie Twum. Subs. not used: Max Blackmore, Taurean Roberts, Maliq Morris, Harvey Sellers. Scorers: Bolton (10’), Mills (20’ [pen.] & 41’), Simon (76’). Caution: Molloy, foul (72’).
Southall Team: Edegbe, Dailey, Cole (Amu 68’), Stead, Pearce, Taylor, Nolan, McCluskey (Frailing 46’), O’Connor, Heneghan, Farhall (Fernandes 46’). Subs. not used: Tricker, Isaac, Roper, Abayomi.