Hanwell Town 0 Fleet Town 0
By Clive Cooke
Match report by Bob Fisher
We brought our recent losing run to an end by earning a point in a hard fought game with Fleet Town, that was described by both parties in the boardroom afterwards as 'hardly a classic'.
Our side showed three changes from that which had been beaten by Petersfield Town in midweek. Ryan Kinnane coming in at right back to replace the unavailable Tom Kennedy, David Manu came in instead of Tom Hunt who dropped to the bench whilst there was a very welcome return to the team by Michael Buckley who replaced Danilson Vicente.
We might well have taken the lead in the opening minute when Manu made a strong run down the right that was halted by a strong challenge which resulted in us being awarded a free kick. Bradley Simmonds's free kick eluded everybody in the penalty area but when the ball was chipped back across goal by Michael Buckley, Tom Duffy headed wide. We continued to have the better of the play in the opening minutes and Fleet suffered a blow when their player manager Craig Davis limped off after just eleven minutes to be replaced by Jack Howard, who we subsequently learnt was the only fit outfield player on the Fleet bench, their other two substitutes being their second string goalkeeper and a player who had failed a fitness test before the game.
Tom headed wide from another free kick by Michael and then the hard working Connor Duffy latching onto a long through ball by Ryan Kinnane saw his effort turned wide from an acute angle by the Fleet keeper Ryan Pryce. Little did we know at this point that this was to prove to be Pryce's only significant save that he was called upon to make for the remainder of the game.
At this stage of the game, play was becoming very scrappy with the ball constantly being given away by both sides. Five minutes before the interval, a free kick by Liam Gilbert into our goalmouth caused concern and there was some relief when we managed to scramble the ball to safety.
During the opening stages of the second half, the game swung from end to end but with no end product from either side . We had the best scoring opportunity of the half and probably the game when a cross to the far post was headed down by Oliver Duffy, now playing much further forward than in the first half into the past of David but he fluffed his shot completely. David had another chance on the hour mark when he turned smartly in the penalty area but sent the ball wide of the post.
At the other end, Fleet's Rob Carr from the edge of the penalty area fired a good opportunity wide. With fifteen minutes remaining, Martin Herdman who had hardly been troubled all afternoon was called upon to make an excellent save to turn Gilbert's fierce free kick over the bar. In the eighty second minute we replaced the limping Manu with Tom Hunt before a good move down the right involving Connor and Sam Hurrell culminated in Sam sending the ball just wide of Pryce's far post. Tom Inch became our second substitute replacing Joe Chandiram but had only been on the field for a few minutes before the referee's whistle brought to an end a game that will not last long in the memory of many.