Hanwell Town 0 Egham Town 0
By Clive Cooke
Bad tempered bore draw
Town remain unbeaten and can be satisfied with this hard-earned point, as opposed to the previous three draws that each felt like two points lost. Also, again in contrast to Hanwell’s previous performances, this was not an example of the ‘beautiful game’, neither in the football played nor in the animosity displayed towards the end..
Egham started the better and remained on top for the first quarter of the game. However, the only flashes of excitement were when a goal-bound shot from distance by Jordan Ajanlekoko was diverted marginally wide of the Hanwell upright and when Merlin Minter was required to execute an athletic leap to clear a miscued back pass from Mark Jamison. It took over twenty minutes for anything of note to happen at the other end. Eventually Sam Hurrell made a dangerous run to within shooting distance but the shot did not match the dribble. Then, on the half hour Nicolai Tararov and Kyle Watson combined well down the left but there was no-one in the box to meet the latter’s driven cross.
In fact, the entertainment on the pitch was at such a disappointing level that the home supporters, ‘egged’ on by our Patron, were reduced to reeling off a series of puns and plays on the word ‘Egham’ to keep themselves amused.
In the final three minutes of the half Hanwell finally got their supporters excited. Firstly an Egham corner saw Kyle combine with Tyler Christian-Law and James Simmonds quickly move the ball the length of the field, finishing with visiting ‘keeper James Reading turning the shot for a corner. Then Nicolai demonstrated good close control and cutting in from the left to force another save from Reading.
The stalemate continued in the second half. Calum Duffy was put through but his low ball into the box came to nothing. Egham still had more of the ball with substitute Leon Smith making his presence felt. However the Hanwell back four, with Tom and Oliver Duffy in commanding form, were restricting the Sarnies to long-range shots which were very capably dealt with by Merlin, particularly an angled drive from Bajram Pashaj.
Manger Ray Duffy made a double substitution in the sixty-second minute in order to go for the win. As ever Tom O’Regan’s crosses spiced things up but they did not lead to goal chances. James created some space for himself with ten minutes to go but his cross did not find recent substitute Rory Jennings.
In the eighty-eighth minute came an incident that was to sour the rest of the day. Nicolai won the ball well and played it to Bradley Simmonds who was thundered into by a defender who appeared to have both feet off the ground. After a long delay and much recrimination the referee showed just a yellow card, having given a number of earlier yellows for minor infractions. The free kick by Olly hit the wall and the rest of the match, another seven minutes, was carried on in a bad atmosphere. This was compounded when the referee failed to see Bradley being tugged back on the half-way line. Bradley half-heartedly retaliated in a manner that rugby commentator Bill McClaren would have labelled ‘handbags’ and was shown a red card.
All in all Hanwell managed to keep their unbeaten run going despite not being at their best and now look forward to next week’s FA Cup match versus Enfield Town.