Careless Staines conspire to throw away advantage
PREMIER Division Staines Town twice squandered leads in a disappointing week. The Swans let a 2-0 lead slip as basement side Worthing FC fought back to claim a point on Saturday. From the whistle the Swans pressed forward with Elliot Buchanan dragging a shot wide early on. On 18 minutes, Mo Bettamer cut inside and fired home for 1-0, and he almost helped double the lead immediately after but Bayley Brown couldn’t finish the move. Lewis Driver had a header saved before making it 2-0 after a neat swivel to send the Swans in comfortable leaders at half time. Town looked set fair for three points until the last 20 minutes when they were given a shock by the young Worthing squad as the visitors turned the game on its head, dominating possession and scoring on 74 minutes.
And with eight minutes remaining, Rian O’Sullivan netted to bring his side level.
Worthing survived a late scare when Bettamer fired a free-kick over as the Swans travelled home pondering how they’d let three points disappear.
And on Tuesday night, Staines welcomed Premier Division bedfellows Dulwich Hamlet to Wheatsheaf Park in the first round of the Velocity Trophy.
Again the Swans took the lead in the first half, through Jonathan Hippolyte, but Dulwich levelled after the break to force a penalty shootout. The Swans’ disappointing night was completed when the visitors won 4-2 from the spot.
Bostik South side Molesey returned to Kent for the second consecutive Saturday to face Greenwich Borough, and returned home back without any points. Three changes for the Moles saw James King, Dre Grobler and Ato Okai start and, opting to sit deep, the visitors allowed Greenwich to hog possession in the early stages though the chances the hosts did create were easily dealt with by visiting goalkeeper Liam Allen.
It was a defensive error that gifted Greenwich the opening goal when a poor clearance allowed an unmarked Borough player to slam home past Allen in the 14th minute.
When Molesey centreback Rhys Paul was injured on the half-hour mark, a second mix-up in the visitors’ defence allowed Travis Gregory to easily tap in for 2-0.
The Moles struggled with the slope but did force a good save out of the home keeper when Manny Quarshie tried to pull one back before half time.
Manager Pete Lelliott introduced Olu Akinsanya at the start of the second half in a bid to inject some creativity but a cross drilled into the box was scooped into his own net by the crocked Paul at the near post to give the Kent side a 3-0 lead.
Despite enjoying more possession in the later stages, the Moles’ final ball continued to let them down. Craig Lewington was trying to rally the team and must have felt rewarded when Ashley Lodge wriggled past two defenders and fired in hard and low in 79th minute to make it 3-1.
Molesey’s hopes of a comeback were dashed, however, when Greenwich latched onto yet another defensive error to nod home into an empty net for a fourth goal, in the 84th minute.
“As far as we are concerned, we must stop making stupid unforced errors as teams seem to always capitalise on them, and [we must] start putting away chances, which has been our failing in the last few games and is very frustrating to say the least,” said Moles boss Pete Lelliott.
“If we look at the goals conceded today, Greenwich didn’t have to work hard to score.
“The first goal was a worldy strike, the other three were all down to our defensive mistakes, which you cannot legislate for but which need to be quickly eradicated.”