Swans waste chance of going top

Saturday 22 September 2012.                                           Ryman League, Division One South.

Herne Bay 2    Walton & Hersham 1.

Two soft goals conceded in the space of three second-half minutes cost Swans three points that looked theirs for the taking after a first-half that they dominated. A 2-0 lead on the hour still did not look as if it would be enough to give the league newcomers, who were a distinct second-best throughout, a win, as Swans continued to create chances. But Swans only managed to convert one of several gilt-edged opportunities, and they were left ruing those errors that cost them their unbeaten away record.

With Jerome Maledon unavailable, one change had to be made from the side that had won in midweek, Ashley Quashie returning in a holding midfield role.

Swans settled down to boss things from the start, but the first opening did not come until the 18th minute. Chris Wales crossed from the right for Victor Kiri to knock the ball down into the box to Graeme Purdy, whose goal-bound half-volley was blocked by a defender. With half an hour played a fine long ball from Adriano Moraes picked out Dave Lawrence for a run into the box, but home goalkeeper Dan Eason was quickly out to collect.

The home side’s first hint of an opening came when some good play got Danny Williams into space in the left of the box, but his cross went over the goal.

With five minutes left to the break Moraes lobbed a free-kick forward into the box, but it was just too long for Lawrence, Purdy and Harold Odametey, who all tried to home in on the ball. Herne Bay’s left-back Tom Bryant was shown a yellow card for cynically bringing down Odametey, a booking that was somewhat overdue, as the home side had consistently shown a tendency for some pretty crude tackles. In the final minute of the half Lawrence and Aryan Tajbakhsh played a short corner on the left for Moraes to cross a fine ball into the box, but the referee blew up for an offence.

The home side had an early opportunity in the second-half when Dean Grant got free on the left to get in a cross that Dan Wisker headed over from close-in.

Swans had an excellent opportunity to take the lead after 52 minutes when Odametey made a terrific run down the middle that took him from well inside his own half to the edge of the home box, but with just the keeper to beat, and with Purdy up in support, he put his shot wide.

Instead of being deservedly in front, five minutes later Swans went behind to a soft goal. Gary Sayer sent in a high free-kick from close to the right touchline, and keeper Sheikh Ceesay allowed James Turner, one of the smallest players on the pitch, to get in front and flick a back header over him and into the vacant goal. Three minutes later Herne Bay won a fortunate free-kick just outside the box on the left, and when Bryant drilled the ball across it went inside the near-post off Purdy.

Swans pushed forward to try to get back into the match, and midway through the half Phil Williams made a good run into the box, and when the ball came out to Tajbakhsh, he drove a shot over from 22 yards. Martin Grant then went close to pulling a goal back when he was played into the right of the six-yard box to get in a half-volley that keeper Eason pushed round his near-post.

Swans were back in the match with a real chance after 72 minutes. Dan Dean was played into the box on the right, and when he cut inside his shot was blocked. Williams followed in to have a shot superbly saved on the line by Eason, but as the ball looped up Williams headed into the top of the net.

With just under a quarter of an hour left Grant was played through with just Eason to beat, but in trying to take the ball wide of the keeper he allowed him to scramble it away at his feet.

The Kent side were somehow hanging on to their lead, and they again had an escape when they conceded a free-kick just outside the box. Moraes drove his effort into the wall, and when the ball looped up it was nodded forward, and when Purdy’s shot was blocked on the goal-line the ball deflected onto the inside of the right-post. With two minutes of normal-time remaining Moraes surged down the left to get in a fine cross, but the ball was just plucked off Williams’ head by Eason.

With the home side blatantly time-wasting, and with several of their players going down for lengthy periods of treatment, it was surprising only four minutes of stoppage-time were played, and in the final of those Grant got into the left of the box to drive in a low shot that Eason just kept out with a full-length dive to his left.

Swans’ Team: Sheikh Ceesay, Chris Wales, Adriano Moraes, Ashley Quashie (Martin Grant 59’), Dan Dean, Dan Sintim, Aryan Tajbakhsh, Victor Kiri (Phil Williams 45’), Graeme Purdy, Dave Lawrence (Josh Bonnett 69’), Harold Odametey. Subs. not used: Tom Hayden, Kevin Wheller. Scorer: Williams (72’). Cautions: Tajbakhsh, foul (89’), Bonnett, dissent (90+1’).

Herne Bay Team: Eason, Sayer, Bryant (Nelder 85’), Lloyd, McGeehan, Sargeant, Eastwood, Wisker, J. Turner (Irvine 62’), Williams (Storrie 74’), Grant. Subs. not used: Ragget, Landais. Scorers: J. Turner (57’), Purdy, own goal (60’). Cautions: Bryant, foul (43’), Eastwood, foul (90+3’).    

  • Club NewsFirst Team Match Reports
    Swans 3 Hendon 3