Hanwell Town 2 Ashford Town (Middx) 1
For point starved Hanwell this result made it seem that Santa Claus had arrived early and was in attendance at the Powerday Stadium. So many times this season Hanwell have lost by the odd goal and come away with less than their performance deserved. This evening Ashford must have gone home feeling that the same had happened to them. However, a battling performance by the whole Hanwell team, particularly the back four, a series of fine saves by Sam Bunting in the home goal and their own profligacy in front of goal saw the visitors leave empty-handed.
Hanwell were fielding three players making their home debuts following a run of four consecutive away fixtures. One of them, Luke Aifano, won the ball and thence a corner early in the proceedings. Town then went ahead from the corner. Charlie Mitchell curled the ball over and with the Duffy brothers attacking it, it seemed to go directly in, making it four such goals for Charlie this season. The reverse stirred up the visitors and they had two goal-bound efforts in a minute. The first was blocked by Calum Duffy and the second by Alfie Cain. Up the other end visiting ‘keeper Marcin Brzozowski dived full-length to save Olly Duffy’s header from Alfie’s free kick.
The half continued end to end and Sam was called upon to make a brave save at the feet of James Cottee, while Alfie went close from distance for Hanwell. Mason Welch-Turner then cleared off the Town line after the ball had escaped from Sam’s clutches. Town doubled their goal tally in the thirty-fourth minute. Sam passed the ball out to Olly who advanced forward before clipping the ball over the top for Glen Yala to run on to. Glen was forced wide but crashed a tremendous shot across the ‘keeper and high into the net.
Once again the setback saw Ashford on the attack and a perfectly flighted free kick from Jack Beadle saw Cottee head well wide when he seemed certain to score. Sam was then called upon to get his fingers to a goal-bound shot from Tommy Brunton. As time ran out Calum headed a Joe Chandiram free kick goal-wards but Brzozowski saved well.
Half-time produced a drama of its own. One of the referee’s assistants had injured himself and a replacement was needed. Jimmy Hill obviously couldn’t step in on this occasion but fortunately, a visiting neutral supporter stepped up to the plate. Panic over and the gratitude of the Club and all present to the volunteer!
Early in the second period Luke was injured and replaced by Jesse Kewley-Graham and, on the hour mark, Peter Dean replaced the hard-working Simon Corchoran. Meanwhile Kameron English raced half the length of the field before appearing to fire low across Sam into the bottom corner. However there was no net ripple as the ball slipped agonizingly or thankfully wide according to one’s affiliation. Alex Fisher then beat Hanwell’s off-side trap and dribbled deep into Town’s area before passing to no-one! Another let-off for Hanwell. The visitors then struck the post from distance. Time and again Hanwell’s rear guard was called upon to defend their lines with Olly and Calum being particularly steadfast. Sam then saved well from English who looked set to score.
Although the visitors were laying siege to Hanwell’s area Town broke well on occasions. Mason set Charlie clear but his run into the box and low cross found no takers. Then Peter set up Alfie but his drive from the edge of the area went narrowly wide. Up the other end, Sam saved well from Beadle and then leapt to grab the ensuing corner in fine style. With four minutes to go Calum made a tremendous headed clearance but two minutes later Cottee headed in from close range to reduce the arrears. The following eight and a half minutes, including extensive stoppage time, were agony for the home supporters but Hanwell hung on and Chairman Bob Fisher could set off for Australia with a happy heart!
TEAM: 1.Sam Bunting 2.Calum Duffy 3.Mason Welch-Turner 4.Oliver Duffy © 5.Joe Chandiram 6.Luke Aifano (12.Jesse Kewley-Graham 50) 7.Elijah Seymour (15.Harvey Killeen 78) 8.Alfie Cain 9.Glen Yala 10.Simon Corchoran (14.Peter Dean 60) 11.Charlie Mitchell. Unused substitutes: 16.Sam Pekun 17.Ricky Pither.