We returned home from our trip to Bedford having gained a hard earned point in a game that could have gone either way.
Our starting line up showed some significant changes, the most important of which being the reurn to the club of one of our stand out players in recent seasons Ollie Duffy. He was joined in the side by new signing Bradley Simmonds whilst on the bench was Lee Grace, a recent acquisition from Aylesbury United. The management team also opted to start with Ryan Egan up front as opposed to Danilson Vicente.
We made an excellent start and in the opening ten minutes produced the best football that we have produced all evening. With everybody involved we were knocking the ball around with aplomb and we had the home team on the back foot. During this opening spell we had two opportunities to take the lead, both of which involved Ryan playing with his back to goal. Firstly, Tyler Christian-Law cutting in from the left played the ball up to Ryan who laid it back into Tyler's path but Tyler's effort was wild and uncontrolled and the ball sailed harmlessly high and wide of the Bedford net. Minutes later, Bradley cut in from the right forcing his way through a couple of tackles and a similar exchange of passes with Ryan, colminated in Bradley firing the ball just wide of Bedford's far post with their keeper Maxime Fondop Siwe beaten.
It was particularly galling that Bedford then took the lead in the eleventh minute with virtually their first excursion into our half. Out on the right touchline, Taishan Griffith outstripped Tom Duffy before driving the ball across the face of our goal whereSerigne Mor Diop turned the ball home from close range. This gave Bedford a foot in the game and play switched from end to end with the closest either side scoring being when another strong run by Bradley culminated in him drilling a fierce shot just over the Bedford bar. We were then given a let off when Diop dropping back to pick the ball up in mid field had the time and space to play the ball through to Afolabi Obafemi who was clear of our back line but as Martin Herdman advanced to narrow the angle, Obafemi sent his shot narrowly wide of our far post. Bedford then enjoyed a period in the ascendency with Martin twice in quick succession being tested to turn aside cross shots from the right. However, we came close to equalising on the stroke of half time when Michael Buckley from the edge of the penalty area sent a free kick just wide of the post with the Bedford keeper stationery on the other side of his goal.Unfortunately this proved to be Michael's final involvement in the game as he was unable to resume after the interval with Lee Grace coming on to replace him with Simmonds switching into a more central position.
Play switched from end to end with Bedford looking the more dangerous and we lived dangerously at times at the back but our resolute back line of Calum, Tom D, Ryan K and Tom K stook firm and Martin was rarely troubled. On the hour mark. Tom Hunt came on to replace Ryan Egan.
It proved to be an inspired substitution as strength in the tackle by Bradley saw the ball roll into the path of Tom and his speculative shot from distance beat Maxine Fondop Siwe at his near post and we were level.
Bedford won a succession of corners as the minutes ticked by and Martin was called upon on more than one occasion to make saves at close range to ensure that Bedford did not regain the lead. In the final ten minutes both sides went flat out for a winner but both defences held on.
Overall, this was one of our better displays and we are now beginning to look like a side able to climb away from the lower reaches of the table.
We have critical games in February against both Aylesbury United and North Greenford United, both of whom currently occupy the final two places in the table.
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Tom Hunt scores for Hanwell Town
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Gavin Hinds-Cadette is substituted on for Hanwell Town
Bradley Simmonds is substituted off for Hanwell Town
65:00Goal0 - 1
Tom Hunt scores for Hanwell Town
Ryan Egan is substituted off for Hanwell Town
Tom Hunt is substituted on for Hanwell Town
Michael Buckely is substituted off for Hanwell Town
Lee Grace is substituted on for Hanwell Town
Start of the game
As it happened
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Sub On 80:00'
Team selection has not been published for this fixture yet.