Hanwell Town 2 Chalfont St Peter 3
By Clive Cooke
At kick off Hanwell officials and supporters were delighted that the game was going ahead after a series of postponements in January. At half time the same group were even more delighted that the game was being played. At full time, however, it was the Chalfont committee and fans who were rejoicing because the match had been played despite the heavy ground. In actuality it was the visitors who began the game better on the slippery surface. In the first ten minutes they won a series of corners, most of which were met and cleared by Wayne Carter who had located himself adjacent to the near post. All the pressure was finally turned into a good goal chance, in the tenth minute, but Sam Bunting saved well from the lively Max Holland.
It was not until the fifteenth minute that Hanwell went forward with any conviction. Joe Chandiram sent Anthony O’Connor away down the left. He, in turn, found Luke Alfano whose shot was diverted for a corner. The ball into the box seemed to have been dealt with but central defender Nick Turner, with his back to the goal, executed a spectacular bicycle kick that flew into the net. What a goal! The setback only served to inspire the visitors even more and most of the game was being played in Hanwell’s half. However, Town were defending from the front and restricted Chalfont to just one clear-cut chance which Sam did well to keep out.
It was, therefore, against the run of play when Hanwell increased their lead in the thirty-sixth minute. A free kick from way out on the left touch-line was attacked by both Olly and Calum Duffy, the latter getting his head to the ball and it squeezed between the ‘keeper and the post and into the net. As the half neared its end the Chalfont pressure was relieved when the ball was swept from one end of the pitch to the other, in a move involving Alfie Cain, Luke and Glen, but the latter’s shot was blocked.
The visitors continued to dominate the possession in the second half and with ten minutes played seemed certain to score. Martin Mahlondo found himself in acres of space on the edge of the area, directly in front of goal. Somehow Sam managed to spread himself to keep out a certain goal. Three minutes later a ball into the area appeared to be heading for a Chalfont head when Calum stretched his neck to divert it for a corner. However, on the hour mark, the visitors got the goal they deserved. With everyone expecting a cross from his ‘widish’ position Jake Cass hit the ball towards the far post and into the net.
The ensuing thirty minutes saw the visitors mounting attack after attack but Town were defending stoutly, with the back four very much deserving praise for preventing the possession being turned into chances. Then, in the seventy-sixth minute, a disputed free kick was met at the far post by George Fenton’s head and the scores were level. Chalfont continued to press and, with just three minutes to go, a clearance from the Hanwell area reached Ryan Haugh who hammered it low and hard into the net from distance. With substitutes Ned Clarke and Harvey Killeen looking lively Town did their best to respond. They even had the ball in the net, deep into added-on time, but the flag was up for off-side. Chalfont had probably deserved to win but Town’s resolute defending deserved some reward.
TEAM: 1.Sam Bunting 2.Calum Duffy 3.Joe Chandiram 4.Oliver Duffy © 5.Nick Turner 6.Wayne Carter (14.Georges Ehui 83)7.Alfie Cain (15.Harvey Killeen 81) 8.Luke Alfano 9.Peter Dean 9 (16.Ned Clarke 63) 10.Glen Yala 11.Anthony O’Connor. Unused substitutes: 12.Mason Welch-Turner 17.Chris Moore.