Tuesday 14th November 2023.                                                 Surrey Senior Cup, 2nd Round.

Walton & Hersham 1    Chertsey Town 1 (Chertsey win 6-5 on pens.).

Swans bowed out of their final cup competition by sudden death from the penalty-spot, a situation that should not have arisen, as they had numerous opportunities to kill off their neighbours in normal playing time. After taking an early lead through Eddie Simon they should have put the tie to bed before the visitors equalised with 25 minutes remaining, and then finished well on top, but could not beat inspired Curfews’ goalkeeper Nicky Jupp. Their cause was not helped by losing central defender Mitchal Gough through injury early in the second-half, and his replacement Joe Pratley-Jones then being stretchered off with ten minutes remaining.

Liam Allen returned in goal following his medical procedure, while Sam Tutt and Olly Allen came into the starting line-up, along with Anis Nuur, who had been unavailable for the previous match. Harry Mills, Alex Kelly and Trae Cook-Appiah all started on the bench.

Swans threatened immediately, with Tutt cutting into the left of the box before finding Stan Flaherty, but he could not open up the space for a shot.  

They took the lead after seven minutes however. Nuur found Flaherty on the right, and he cut inside before playing a fine ball through to send Simon into the right of the box, and he sent a low shot through the legs of Reuben Collins and past Jupp into the far corner.

Allen had to block at his near-post when Chertsey got in a shot from the right, but Swans continued to press. John Gilbert got in on the left byline to force a corner, and Ilic crossed high from the left for Joe Hicks to have a far-post header cleared. Swans thought they had doubled their lead when Gilbert won the ball in the centre-circle before finding Simon on the edge of the box, and when he laid back to Nuur, he drove a left foot shot against the left post. Simon followed up to net, but was flagged offside, presumably when Nuur shot. Simon drove forward before finding Gilbert in the left of the box, and his attempt to find the far corner beat Jupp, but the ball was hooked off the goal-line by Collins. Gilbert regained possession and set up Nuur to cross from the left and find Simon in the right of the box, but after sidestepping Liam Flanighan the angle became tight and he shot just over.

The visitors had an opportunity with a free-kick 15 yards outside the left edge of the box, but Conor Lee curled a left foot shot well wide of the near-post.

Swans continued to dominate however, forcing successive corners and Ilic twice being fouled to win free-kicks, the second foul earning a yellow card for Chertsey’s Scott Rees. With half an hour played Hicks played a fine ball to send Simon clear on the left, but his cross went straight to Jupp in his 6 yard-box. Gilbert then went down after driving into the left of the box, but claims for a penalty were optimistic. Flaherty crossed from the right to pick out Gilbert in the left of the box, but his header ran straight through to Jupp. Swans had another great chance to go 2-0 up when clever play by Flaherty got him into the right of the box to have a shot deflected through to Gilbert 10 yards out to the left of goal, but he placed his shot wide of the far-post.

Chertsey had a rare opportunity with a sight of goal 25 yards out, but a low shot was comfortably taken by Allen on his line. They got in another shot from outside the box that took a deflection to go wide, but the resultant corner from the right was hit too long.

In the final minute of the half Flaherty cut in from the right to set up Simon on the edge of the box, but after turning he shot over. Nuur was then almost played in, but a defender got across to deny him.

Five minutes after the resumption Allen had to push the ball away from his line when Chertsey drove it in low from the left.

Gough then had to go off, and was replaced by Pratley-Jones.

A long kick out by Allen almost got Simon in on goal, but Jupp was quickly out to gather.

After being a distinct second best in the first-half the visitors began to have more of the play, and Oliver McCoy cut across the edge of the box from the left to get in a good strike that brought a fine tip-over save from Allen.

With an hour played Simon sent Flaherty on a good run down the right to play the ball low across the box. Ilic let the ball run through to Gilbert to set up a clear chance, but his low shot lacked power and Jupp saved down at the far-post. Ilic was immediately fouled on the edge of the box to give Swans a free-kick in a great position. Nuur and Flaherty both lined up to take the kick, but it was left to Nuur, only for his attempt to find the top, right corner to lack power, and Jupp to make a comfortable save.

Swans should have had the tie settled, but with 20 minutes of the second-half played they were pulled level. Keeper Allen passed the ball out to his namesake Olly Allen just outside the box, and he was clearly pushed over by a hand in the back from Lee, who was then left with the simple task of finding the net.

Kelly immediately came on to replace Ilic.

With just over a quarter of an hour remaining Pratley-Jones fell heavily after going up to head away and lay on the pitch as play carried on, and Luke Robertson shot just over from the edge of the box. The Swans’ defender received lengthy treatment before being carried off on a stretcher and Mills coming on.

Chertsey were then awarded an indirect free-kick in the left of the box, and Allen made a tremendous double save down at his near-post, keeping out the first shot and then the follow-up from close range by Flanighan.

In the final minute of normal-time Tutt sent Gilbert driving into the left of the box, and he shot just inches over the far, top corner. Nuur then set up Gilbert to cut into the left corner of the box to drive in a shot that Jupp did well to block at his near-post. Tutt followed in, and Jupp again blocked with his legs.

Allen then kept Swans in the tie when a long ball was nodded through to get McCoy into the left of the box, the keeper making a terrific block with his legs at the near-post.

Swans then went desperately close to winning it when Cook-Appiah, who had come on for Olly Allen, was fouled just outside the right corner of the box. Flaherty, having twice hit the goal-frame with free-kicks against Hendon in the recent FA Trophy tie, was again unlucky as he sent the ball dipping against the crossbar. Gilbert played an excellent through ball to send Simon driving into the left of the box, but Jupp came out to block with his legs, and the ball deflected just inches over the bar. Kelly got down the left to play the ball low in and Cook-Appiah to be just denied at the near-post. Gilbert then shot from outside the left of the box and the ball deflected wide for a corner on the left.

Swans’ efforts to deservedly win the tie were in vain however, and it came down to spot-kicks. Both sides successfully converted their first five kicks, although Allen just failed to keep out Chertsey’s second taken by Lee. Nuur took Swans’ sixth, and Jupp went down to save. It was then left to Wilfred Ompreon to put Chertsey through to the next round.

Swans’ Team: Liam Allen, Arsen Ujkaj, Sam Tutt, Olly Allen (Trae Cook-Appiah 90’), Mitchal Gough (Joe Pratley-Jones 52’ [Harry Mills 80’]), Joe Hicks, Stefan Ilic (Alex Kelly 67’), Anis Nuur, Eddie Simon, John Gilbert, Stan Flaherty. Sub. not used: Tyla Dickinson. Scorer: Simon (7’). Cautions: Simon (84’), Nuur (88’).

Chertsey Town Team: Jupp, Welch-Turner (Degand 90+9’), Fisher, Robertson, Collins, Flahighan, Ridgeley, Rees (Ompreon 73’), Botti (Chendlik 85’), McCoy, Lee. Subs. not used: Mendoza, Mummery. Scorer: Lee (65’). Caution: Rees (28’).

Swans’ penalty-kicks: Gilbert, scored (1-0), Mills, scored (2-1), Simon, scored (3-2), Flaherty, scored (4-3), Kelly, scored (5-4), Nuur, saved (5-5).                          

Chertsey penalty-kicks: Chendlik, scored (1-1), Lee, scored (2-2), Degand, scored (3-3), McCoy, scored (4-4), Ridgeley, scored (5-5), Ompreon, scored (5-6).