A BRILLIANT first 30 minutes from much-changed Knaphill inspired them to victory at Walton & Hersham, despite The Swans mounting a gritty comeback.
Although The Knappers saw off Fleet Spurs last midweek in the Cherry Red Records Premier Challenge Cup, manager Richard Keown shuffled his pack.
He made five changes to his side for last Saturday’s clash with relegation candidates Walton at Elmbridge Sports Hub.
And it seemed an inspired decision as the villagers found themselves three goals to the good inside the opening 23 minutes on the 3G surface.
Knaphill moved ahead after only six minutes, Jack Leighton nipping in at the near post to bury Scott Costello’s cross.
One became two shortly afterwards, when Matt Kellet-Smith rose highest in the box to head home a free-kick. The goal was the defender’s ninth of the campaign.
And The Knappers were in dreamland midway through the first period, when Sheridan Campbell made it 3-0.
Campbell played a one-two and lashed the ball past the onrushing gloveman.
Walton slowly recovered their composure and gave the scoreline a flattering look by cutting the deficit on the stroke of half-time thanks to an 18-yard drive.
The Swans were fired up for the second half and gave Knaphill’s defence a tough time. However, it wasn’t until the 80th minute that Walton scored again – yet it was enough to produce the possibility of a grandstand finale.
There was another goal, although it didn’t go the hosts.
The Knappers raised their game and debutant Martin Smith nutmegged Walton’s keeper with time running out to ensure maximum points went to the Redding Way outfit.
Walton’s marksmen were Patrick Kirby and Tyreke.