Tuesday 8th November 2022.                                                   Surrey Senior Cup, 1st Round.

Badshot Lea 0    Walton & Hersham 3.

Swans eased through to the next round of the County Cup with a highly efficient performance against their former Combined Counties League opponents. The home side have made a terrific start to their league campaign, and their only defeats this season have been one in the FA Cup, and two by virtue of penalty shoot-outs in other competitions. They had also come out undefeated against Swans last season, scoring six goals against them in the two league matches, so there was the opportunity to gain some recompense. Two goals up inside the first quarter of an hour, Swans never looked like being on the end of an upset, and they were able to play out the second-half in less than top gear.

There were minimal changes to the starting line-up, an indication that the competition is being taken seriously and every result is important. The opportunity was taken to make changes during the second-half, and after comfortably holding onto their two goal lead, a late third goal clinched a place for Swans in the next round.

The Badshot Lea pitch had withstood the heavy rain showers well, and on a cold, damp evening Swans soon threatened, with John Gilbert making a good run forward to drive in a low, left-foot shot from the left corner of the box that home goalkeeper Craig Bradshaw saved at his near-post.

Gilbert was not to be denied however when he gave Swans the lead in the seventh minute. Josh Millo played Jordan Adeyemi down the left, and he squared the ball across to Gilbert on the right, who drove it home.

The home side had an opportunity when Jake Hawker got into the right of the box, but Swans’ keeper Liam Allen went down to save his low shot.

The lead was doubled however with a quarter of an hour played. Mitchal Gough’s pass down the right sent Devan Tanton clear, and he drove the ball low into the 6 yard-box for Adeyemi to slide in and score.

Badshot Lea thought they had halved the deficit when Hawker drove the ball in from the right and it was put in at the near-post, but the flag went up for offside.

Gilbert’s through ball almost got Adeyemi in, but Bradshaw was quickly out to deny him.

Some slack play by Swans led to them giving the ball away, allowing Tane Caubo to get through, but his shot brought a fine save from Allen.

Swans looked to have increased their lead after 33 minutes when Tanton got clear on the right, and his low ball into the 6 yard-box was put in by Adeyemi, but the ‘goal’ was ruled out    by a dubious offside decision. More fine play on the right saw Tanton play the ball through to Adeyemi, but his low cross just failed to find Gilbert in the box.

Dean Rule got in on the left for the home side, but drove the ball low across the goal-face.

As the half entered the final five minutes Charlie Nicholas sent a fine diagonal ball from the left to find Tanton on the right, and he laid inside to Gilbert, who struck a terrific shot from the corner of the box that brought an excellent save from Bradshaw, who put the ball round his near-post. Gilbert’s corner from the right was met by Gough, who thumped a header against the bar and the ball looked to have bounced down over the line, but play continued and a follow-up shot was blocked.

The home side had the last chance of the half when George Frise had an opening in front of goal, but he put wide of the right-post.

For the second-half Swans brought on Joe Pratley-Jones for his first appearance following his concussion protocol, with Tanton going off. Gilbert was soon making another fine run forward into the right of the box, and his shot was blocked for a corner on the right.

Badshot Lea’s James Whiting shot over the bar from the right, but Swans looked comfortable with their lead as they dropped further back. The home side made a quartet of changes in a five minute spell to try to change things, and Swans brought on Jude Molloy for Dominic Ogun, followed by Eddie Simon replacing Adeyemi.The Baggies had a free- kick on the left edge of the box, but former Swan Malachi Thomas drove well over.Swans then brought on Finlay Lovett in place of Millo.

Badshot Lea got in on the right byline, but could only find the side-netting as Swans continued to look well in control. As the tie entered the final ten minutes a fine move in and around the home box led to Taurean Roberts driving in a shot that Bradshaw just kept out on his line.

Swans then made the tie safe when Pratley-Jones knocked the ball forward for Lovatt to run through and roll in his first goal for the club.

The Baggies went their closest so far, as following a corner from the right, the ball was blocked on the line. In stoppage-time however Swans had a chance to make it 4-0 as Simon made a fine run into the right of the box before playing the ball in to Lovatt at the near-post, but Bradshaw just managed to get the ball behind for a corner.

Swans’ Team: Liam Allen, Mitchal Gough, Dominic Ogun (Jude Molloy 61’), Arsen Ujkaj, Charlie Nicholas, Joe Hicks, Devan Tanton (Joe Pratley-Jones 46’), Taurean Roberts, Jordan Adeyemi (Eddie Simon 63’), John Gilbert, Josh Millo (Finlay Lovatt 71’). Sub. not used: Maliq Morris. Scorers: Gilbert (7’), Adeyemi (16’), Lovatt (83’). Cautions: Gilbert, foul (41’), Lovatt, foul (87’).

Badshot Lea Team: Bradshaw, Griffiths, George, Pound (Ocansey 56’), Hedley, Frise, Hawker (Gyeabour 61’), Whiting, Caubo (Thomas 61’), Stepney (Sankoh 61’), Rule. Sub. also  used: Medcraft. Caution: Medcraft (89’).