Hanwell Town 4 Royston Town 1
By Clive Cooke
Hanwell inflict first defeat on Royston
SATURDAY 10TH. SEPTEMBER 2016.
THE EVO-STIK SOUTHERN LEAGUE DIVISION ONE CENTRAL.
HANWELL TOWN (3) 4 V. 1 (0) ROYSTON TOWN.
If last Saturday’s F.A. Cup win over Enfield was the ‘cake’ then this performance was very much the ‘icing’ thereupon. At ten minutes to kick-off things did not look so good. No Michael Buckley, no Kyle Watson no Bradley Simmonds and no Jesse Kewley-Graham, each of whom has performed particularly well this season. However the management team’s extensive contacts had led to two new names appearing on the team sheet , both of whom were to feature strongly in the ninety minutes ahead!
The first ten minutes mainly belonged to the visitors. However, as has been the case all season, Hanwell’s defence, with Tom and Ollie Duffy to the fore, and with Mark Jamison doing an excellent job in front of them as the holding midfielder, restricted Royston to shooting from distance. In this context both Scott Bridges and Sypros Mentis hit worthwhile but unsuccessful long-range efforts. However, Hanwell then came to life. New signing William Turl had a goal-bound effort tipped over the bar by Joe Welch and Dean Allen forced Welch to block with his legs at the near post. The rebound came out to Tyler Christian-Law but his shot was off target.
Less than a minute later, just after the quarter hour mark Hanwell went in front. Debutant Khale Da Costa received the all from Calum Duffy and beat his man through sheer pace. He then cut inside from the right and unleashed an unstoppable shot into the far top corner. What a goal! A couple of minutes later Khale put Tyler in but the ’keeper just beat the Hanwell man to the ball. Then, as Khale was in the process of taking the ball past his marker once again, he was unceremoniously taken out. From the resultant free kick, which was unbelievably the only punishment doled out by the referee, William had a shot on goal that was diverted wide by a defender’s heel.
Hanwell were not to be denied and from Khale’s corner Calum Duffy headed in. Two-nil in less than a quarter of the game against a team that had only let in two in their first seven games of the season! As the half-hour mark approached a nice move involving Mark and Tyler resulted in Joe Chandiram hitting a long-range ‘Exocet’ narrowly over.
Although Hanwell were in front the visitors retained a lot of the ball in mid-field with skipper Bridges directing operations. On no less than three occasions around the half-hour mark Kaan Fehmi went close to pulling a goal back. In the first instance he stretched to reach a ball into the box and fired over, then dribbled along the bye-line and hit the ball against the post and then had a shot well saved by Melvin Minter.
It was not to be Royston’s day however, and in the thirty-sixth minute Hanwell extended their lead. Dean slotted the ball through to William who out-paced his marker and curled the ball over and around the advancing ‘keeper. Another goal to bring the Hanwell supporters to their feet, and it did just that. Two minutes later Dean went close to making it four but his header from Tyler’s cross was headed off the line.
Despite being three down the visitors continued to have a lot of possession and itwas that man Fehmi again who went close to reducing the arrears when shooting narrowly over from twenty yards.
Hanwell began the second period in lively style and William had a shot blocked after being set up by Dean. The decision to play two up front was paying off. However the next segment of the match belonged to the never-say-die visitors. Tom and Ollie were both called upon to make numerous aerial and ground-level interceptions while both full backs, Joe and Calum made vital strong tackles. This period of pressure saw Merlin do well to tip over Joe Castiglione’s shot after a mazy run before Fehmi notched from close rage after the ball had been headed down to him. Three –one.
As the half progressed James Simmonds began to exert increasing influence in mid-field and he combined well with Khale to set up Dean but the resulting shot was easily saved. Substitute Courtney Austin was put through but closed down as he shot. Khale was beginning to enjoy himself after switching to the left and went on a tricky run but ran out of space. He then created some room for himself but fired just over. Within the space of ninety seconds Dean went close when he flicked on a corner, James had a shot blocked and Dean rapped the crossbar. This was good to watch!
To their credit the Crows kept striving to reduce the arrears and almost did when Joe cleared off the line in the eighty-third minute. The Hanwell supporters’ nerves were finally calmed a minute later when a ball from Courtney ran to Khale who was tripped as he dribbled across the box. The referee pointed to the spot and Dean comfortably converted. The Hanwell faithful, both in the ‘Bob Fisher Stand’ and behind the goal could now enjoy the rest of the game without the fear of points being dropped late in the day.
The result was Royston’s first defeat of the season but their committee members were magnanimous in their post-match comments about a match that had been Town’s most entertaining game of the season in the eyes of many. Hanwell had thoroughly deserved their win but it could have been a lot closer if the visitors had taken their first half chances!
TEAM: 1.Melvin Minter 2.Calum Duffy 3.Joe Chandiram 4.Tom Duffy © 5.Oliver Duffy 6.Mark Jamison 7.Khale Da Costa 8.James Simmonds 9.Dean Allen 10.William Turl (Courtney Austin 63) 11.Tyler Christian-Law (Rory Jennings 71). Substitutes not used: 15.Tavis Royer 16.Jordon Keeley.