Tooting & Mitcham United 3 Swans 2

Saturday 3 October 2015.                                                      FA Trophy, Preliminary Round.

Tooting & Mitcham United 3   Walton & Hersham 2.

Three times in the last three minutes of normal-time Swans went desperately close to getting the goal that would put them through to the next round, but with it then looking like a replay at Stompond Lane the home side scored the winner three minutes into stoppage-time. Swans had picked up from a poor first-half performance to much improve in the second and look the better side, but they will be disappointed in the manner in which they conceded the goals that put them out.

A team unchanged from that which had started the previous match again started slowly, conceding a corner inside the first minute. The home side then won a free-kick just outside the right corner of the box, and when Ollie Treacher drove the ball in low Swans’ goalkeeper Luke Badiali could only push it away, and another corner was conceded. From Ashley Robinson’s kick on the left a header went over.

Swans first opening came after seven minutes when Andrew Mensah, on the right, played the ball through to get Shaquille McIntosh into the box, but Tooting keeper Sam Somerville was quickly out to deny him.

Badiali had to go down to save on his line when a kick-out by Somerville put Jamie Byatt away down the middle to drive in a low shot from 25 yards. Jake Baxter then made room several yards outside the box to send a shot over.

Swans broke with Mensah getting down the right, and his low ball across found McIntosh in the box, but he was just closed out.

The home side threatened again when Baxter cut in from the left, but he sent his shot wide of the far-post. Swans continued to live dangerously, and after a quarter of an hour Badiali could only punch the ball away as a cross came in from the left, and when Robinson followed up with a first-time shot from the edge of the box he beat the ball down. The former Tooting keeper then had to receive several minutes of treatment as he went down injured.

Midway through the half Mensah played McIntosh into the right of the box to force a corner, and Swans then won a free-kick close to the right corner flag. Dominic Ogun sent over a fine kick, but Mensah and James Richmond got in each other’s way as they went up for a header at the far-post and the ball went behind.

The home side continued to look the more threatening and they forced two successive corners. Badiali then had to tip the ball over when Antonio Simeone sent in a half-volley from outside the box.

With just over five minutes left to the break Swans won a free-kick on the left, and when Jack Battie drove the ball in Somerville could not get to it, and it had to be cleared away at the near-post.

But it was the home side that immediately made the breakthrough with a poor goal from Swans’ point of view. Robinson drove in a free-kick from the right and Badiali was crowded out and could not get to the ball at the near-post, and when it bounced up Michael Salako headed into the top of the net.

A corner taken by Robinson from the left was just cleared away, but Swans had a couple of opportunities in first-half stoppage-time. A free-kick was won 35 yards out on the left, but Kadeem Ajeon drove wide of the left-post, and when the same player’s fine pass from the right found Aaron Watson on the left, he played the ball forward to André Scarlett, whose low shot was taken by Somerville.

Swans started the second-half positively and Ogun soon forced a corner on the left that Battie took, and they then had their best chance so far. Ogun threw the ball in on the left to Battie, and he swung over a fine ball to the far-post, where Watson was unmarked, but headed over.

But just before the hour they were back in the tie as they were awarded a free-kick wide on the right. Ogun drove the ball in and it was missed by everyone and went in at the near-post.

Mensah was soon making good run into the right of the box, but his low cross was cut out by Somerville.

Swans had done well to get back into the game and were looking the better side, so it was disappointing that they quickly fell behind again after 63 minutes. A long ball down the middle was not dealt with, and when it fell to Byatt he struck a left-foot shot past Badiali from the edge of the box.

The lead only lasted a minute however as Swans equalised for the second time with a terrific goal. Battie played a free-kick down the left to put Ogun away, and when he sent over a fine cross McIntosh was close to the penalty-spot to send a superb, glancing header into the far, top corner.

Watson had been fairly ineffective on the left in the first-half, but after moving to the right in the second he began to cause problems for the home defence, and after getting into the box to get in a cross McIntosh forced a corner on the left. With a quarter of an hour remaining Swans made two changes to their front line, with Myles Powponne and Shawn Lyle coming on for Mensah and McIntosh, and they continued to look the more likely of the sides to get a winner. A free-kick was won outside the left of the box, but Ajeon drove the ball wide of the near-post. Lyle then made a run into the right of the box to force a save from Somerville with a low shot.

With five minutes of normal-time remaining Tooting’s Robinson took a long throw from the right for Simeone to shoot wide from the edge of the box.

Swans then just managed to scramble the ball clear as the ball was driven in low from the left, but they immediately broke to go desperately close to winning the tie. Watson made a clever run into the right of the box, and when the ball came to Powponne on the left he struck a terrific shot that rattled the inside of the far-post, and the ball then ran across the goal-face.

Another chance to win the tie immediately came when Powponne slipped the ball through to set up Lyle with just Somerville to beat, but he dwelt took long and the keeper saved at his feet.

Then in the 90th minute Watson made another fine run in on the left before laying the ball across to Scarlett, and he struck a shot that looked destined for the net until Somerville made a tremendous save, diving to his left to push the ball round the post.

But from looking likely winners Swans lost the tie three minutes into stoppage-time with another soft goal. Tooting substitute Sol Pinnock found space wide on the right, and when he drove the ball across it was allowed to pass unchallenged across the six-yard box and just inside the far-post.

Swans’ Team: Luke Badiali, John Oyenuga, Dominic Ogun, André Scarlett, James Richmond, Harry Mills, Jack Battie, Kadeem Ajeon, Andrew Mensah (Myles Powponne 74’), Shaquille McIntosh (Shawn Lyle 77’), Aaron Watson. Subs. not used: C.J. Williams-Agunabor, Sean Fallon, Ryan Marklew. Scorers: Ogun (58’), McIntosh (64’).

Tooting Team: Somerville, Patterson-Bohner, Treacher, Siaw, Simeone, Neto, Simpson, Robinson, Byatt, Baxter (Lallor-Dell 67’), Salako (Pinnock 67’). Subs. not used: Knock, Nkoma, Pykes. Scorers: Salako (40’), Byatt (63’), Pinnock (90+3’).