Walton and Hersham Surrey Cup report
The main surprise in retrospect about this game was that there was only eleven goals as both teams spent ninety minutes battering each other's defence in this dramatic Surrey Under 18s Midweek Cup Second Round tie. If every major chance was documented in this report it would be ridiculously long.
Kingstonian got the fun going early as Beau Walters was left unattended in the penalty area in the fourth minute and was able to head home a short corner routine from the right wing. Walton and Hersham's young Swans weren't fazed by this early setback and proved to be very dangerous on the break as the first half become one where Swans' keeper Theo Rush and K's number one Jamie Wright were called into action on many and numerous occasions and proved to be on very good form.
After K's nearly doubled the lead in the 32nd minute when a mistimed defensive header ballooned over the Swans' keeper and hit the base of the far post, the home team deservedly got themselves back into the game and more with two goals shortly before the break. Firstly, route one is a beautiful thing when it works, and in the 38th minute it did just that when Theo Rush's long clearance was not dealt with at all by the Kingstonian defence, who allowed the ball to pass through to the onrushing Charlie Sell, with the Swans' forward finishing clinically. Five minutes later the home team were in the lead, comprehensively punishing an individual defensive error by Junior Mboglem when he tripped over the ball inside the area, allowing George Bond to steal in and blast the ball home from close range.
Kingstonian made two changes at half time, which bore fruit almost immediately after a crazy sequence in the 48th minute when firstly Jamie Wright's intervention stopped Walton and Hersham opening a two-goal lead with a fine save before K's zoomed straight down the other end, the final pass from the left wing by substitute Pacey Bean was pinpoint, the finish from Lewis Gould emphatic - a sequence that just as easily could have seen Walton and Hersham lead 3-1, instead the match was tied at 2-2.
The turning point came in the 62nd minute - with home supporters demanding the offside flag go up (obviously being biased, this writer disagreed...), Iker Noguera Leon was played in, he burst into the penalty area and was brought down. A penalty was awarded, Freddie Bailey smashed the ball straight down the middle, keeper Theo Rush got a strong hand to the ball but was beaten by the power of the shot and K's had a lead that they would not relinquish.
K's were now in full flow and were in a greedy mood to score more goals. In the 68th minute another fast break down the right wing, Noguera Leon's pass released Rocco Ilhan into the area, his cross was superb and well finished by Pacey Bean. Just four minutes later the lead was increased further when the Swans' defence was split by a through ball from Marco Haigh, with Pacey Bean once again bursting through into the penalty area and slamming the ball home.
Walton and Hersham were not finished, however, as in the 80th minute they reduced the margin back down to two with George Pond scoring his second goal of the contest with a cracking shot from an acute angle beating Jamie Wright at the near post. Potentially the Swans had a toehold back into the game, the way the game was being played, it wouldn't have been completely out of the question.
But K's finished the game like a train. In the 83rd minute, the Swans gave away possession on the edge of the area, Marco Haigh seized the ball, fed it through to Iker Noguera Leon, whose shot from about ten yards out flew into the back of the net. Three minutes later, goal number seven arrived, another fine run down the left from Pacey Bean, another good cross, this time towards Rocco Ilhan, but sadly for Swans' substitute Josh Pye, he diverted the ball into the net for an own goal - if he'd left the ball alone, the K's man would have had a tap-in, so he had to try something, luck didn't so much as run out as it did get into a car and drive off at full speed.
K's were in sadistic mode now, and kept pressing for goals. Five minutes into added time, goal number eight was scored when Noguera Leon passed the ball to Deniz Ozer, who sidestepped a defender and blasted the ball home past a Walton and Hersham goalkeeper who was outstanding throughout and thoroughly didn't deserve his fate. Finally the game came to an end and K's were through to the Third Round, whilst another K's goalscoring spree was immensely pleasing, it was far from being a perfect performance and a little less chaos would come in handy to aid the health of those watching!
Next up for the K's, weather permitting, is a home game in the Combined Counties League against reigning West Division champions and current leaders Colliers Wood United. Kick-off at Chertsey Town FC will be 7.45pm.