Controversial goal downs the first team
The first team went down to a disappointing defeat against Walton & Hersham on Saturday.
Walton started brightly, and were helped by our inability to keep possession in the opening minutes, however despite that there was little to trouble Craig Bradshaw, with the closest Walton coming in the opening five minutes was a long range strike by Elliott Simpson which went well wide.
Stiven Rivic and Howard Newton then linked up well to create a chance for Malachi Thomas but Owen Davies was on hand to block the effort. From the corner Tinishe Nkoma put a free header over the crossbar.
Our first effort saw neat play reach Matt Auletta, his threaded ball found Josh Greenleaf, but his shot was blocked. Jamil Okai fizzed an effort goalwards on ten minutes, forcing Bradshaw into a tip over. From the corner Rivic headed to Jamie Thoroughgood, who saw his effort gathered by Bradshaw.
Bradshaw then saved well on 12 minutes from a Francois Gabbidon header, as Walton continued to dominate the game.
Greenleaf and teenage debutant Jean-Luc Kinsaba linked up well on 16 minutes, with Kinsaba eventually hauled back by Rivic, who went into the book. Fernandez pinged a decent ball into the area on 21 minutes, but Greenleaf and Auletta were just unable to get on the end of it.
We went close to taking the lead on 33 minutes, when an Anson Cousins free kick was only half cleared, with Keano Robinson firing an effort against the upright. Fernandez, Kinsaba and Greenleaf almost combined to set us in on goal, but the attack was cleared and at the other end Nathan Gordon fired an effort well wide for Walton.
Nkoma fired wide from distance on 40 minutes and two minutes later and a long run and one two by Newton and Gabbidon ended with Newton having a shot saved by Bradshaw and half time came scoreless.
Early in the second half and Nkoma fired well wide of the left hand post. Fernandez and Greenleaf again showed some promise on the left, with Fernandez winning a free kick, but again the delivery was poor. Back at the other end, and it was Walton's chance to show some ineptitude at a set play, harmlessly lofting one into Bradshaw.
Just shy of the hour and Auletta, Adam Allen and Robinson linked up well but Gordon defended well for Walton. Fernandez fizzed an effort from 30 yards goalwards, bringing an excellent save out of Liam Beach. Darren Salmon made his first change on 63 minutes, replacing Greenleaf and Allen with Sam Blowers and Liam Holden.
Gabbidon latched onto the ball over the top, shrugged off the challenge of Davies and Cousins and crashed an effort goalwards, bringing a good save out of Bradshaw. Thomas then bought a great save out of Bradshaw away to his right, with Davies just intercepting the follow up ball as it headed to Okai.
Gabbidon fired one goalwards for Walton on 71 minutes, but his effort was comfortable for Bradshaw. Robinson found his way into the book on 75 minutes for a foul on Gordon.
Bradshaw pulled out a terrific save on 80 minutes, turning a wickedly deflected shot by Nkoma wide, and you thought maybe we would hold on for a point. However with five minutes to go our hopes were dashed. A ball into the area found Okai, who appeared to control the ball with his right hand before firing home. The official thought otherwise, and that was that.
Whilst it was a disappointing way to lose, it has to be said Walton had had the upper hand for the majority of the game, and that is reflected in the fact the Craig Bradshaw was our man of the match