Kidlington FC 0 Hanwell Town 3
By Clive Cooke
Solid away win against League newcomers
Alarming stories about potential delays on the Oxford Ring Road proved to be exaggerated and the Hanwell team and supporters all arrived at Yarnton Road in plenty of time to get themselves in good order before the kick- off. This seemed to be beneficial. The spectators were in good spirits after being well fed and watered while the team began where they left off on Saturday, dominating the play.
Town went close to taking a lead as early as the second minute when good work by Tom Collins and Sam Hurrell led to Bradley Simmonds forcing a good save out of home ‘keeper Sam Warrell. Two minutes later Tyler Christian-Law put the ball in the back of the net but he was rightly adjudged to have been off-side. It was all Hanwell but time and again good build-up play was finished by the final ball into the box by Sam, Bradley or Jesse Kewley-Graham being easily dealt with by defenders who easily outnumbered a single Town man in the box.
After ten minutes Christian was put through by Michael Buckley but was thwarted by Warrell diving bravely at his feet. Warrell was in action again two minutes later when he saved from Tom Collins after good work by Sam and Bradley. Immediately a long, cross-field ball by Oliver Duffy found Kyle Watson who set up Sam but his shot was blocked. With fifteen minutes played Tom Collins raced clear and shot low from an angle, beating the ‘keeper but the ball rolling agonisingly wide of the far post.
It was all beginning to resemble last Saturday with lots of possession, plenty of good football but no goals! When Kidlington did manage to go forward they found the Hanwell defence to be in fine form. Goalkeeper Sam Butcher made one particularly impressive leap and catch while Calum Duffy importantly got his head to a cross destined for the home number nine. However it was Olly who especially caught the eye with a series of interceptions, tackles and strong headed clearances.
As the game entered its second quarter Hanwell continued to press for the goal they so richly deserved. Sam shot inches over from thirty yards, Bradley dribbled into the box but fired over and Tyler had a shot palmed away before shooting just over from outside the area. As the half was coming to a close Kidlington almost snatched an undeserved lead when a free kick went just past the post. The half-time whistle was blown and, as on Saturday, the game was goalless.
Unlike Saturday the game did not carry on in the same vein after the interval. The Greens seemed to be a different team. They tore into Hanwell from the off and the Hanwell rear-guard, with skipper Tom Duffy to the fore, was called upon to block, intercept and get their heads to a series of balls into the danger zone. Sam Butcher made one particularly impressive catch and Michael was being forced to play deep, making a couple of vital tackles.
Hanwell managed to weather the storm by the hour mark and a good run and cross by Calum found Bradley in a good position but the ball ricocheted away as he was closed down. Tom O’Regan replaced an injured Jesse in the sixty-third minute and sixty seconds later Town went ahead. Bradley latched on to a ball from Tom Collins and bent it into the top corner from distance. Five minutes later Hanwell doubled their advantage when Olly headed a Tom O’Regan free kick into the bottom of the goal.
The London Bus syndrome at work!
The game was now end to end and Tom Duffy needed to make a vital headed clearance from a threatening free kick. The more open nature of the game suited Hanwell and Kyle made one of his renowned forays down the left but his cross was cleared. Olly forced Warrell into a finger-tip save with a back-header from a free kick and he then headed a corner just wide. With less than ten minutes to play Tom O’Regan chased after a long free kick and cut the ball back for Tom Collins to make it three nil and ‘game over’.
Manager Ray Duffy sent on attacking players Travis Royce and Anton Robinson for the closing stages but there was no further scoring. Hanwell had achieved the result they deserved, making the long drive home from this hospitable and friendly club far less onerous than it might have been.