Aylesbury 0 Hanwell Town 3
The opening exchanges on a heavy and bobbly, but eminently playable, pitch were unmemorable apart from being punctuated by persistent blasts, directly behind the visiting supporters, on a horn even less pleasing on the ears than a normal vuvuzela, if that is possible! The first noteworthy incident did not come until after ten minutes, when a well-flighted free kick by Charlie Mitchell was flicked on by Peter Dean, only to find Aylesbury ‘keeper Ash Jenkins perfectly positioned to reach out and hold on to it. Five minutes later Calum Duffy played in recent signing Goldy Capeta but he hesitated and his shot was diverted for a corner. Another recent addition to the team, Imedd Kartita, then made a positive run with the ball before laying it to Goldy who, in turn, found Charlie but he was closed down by Jenkins and the scores remained level. Then it was Luke Alfano’s turn to be thwarted by Jenkins when he shot from a difficult angle after twenty minutes. Then Luke and Imedd combined to find Goldy in the box but he was closed down as he shaped to shoot. The next Hanwell half-chance came in the twenty-fifth minute when Charlie’s half-volley went just wide after he had been picked out by Luke.
As the game reached the half hour mark Town supporters began to voice their concern that, for all their possession and positive play, Hanwell had not scored, and it would only require one chance for the home side to grab an undeserved lead. Then, in the thirty-first minute, it almost happened. Mason Welch-Turner narrowly mis-timed his tackle and the Moles were awarded a free kick twenty-five yards out. It was a good shooting opportunity which appeared wasted when the ball was played wide. However, the cross into the area fell to Harry Scott, who, to Town’s collective relief, fired wide with the goal gaping.
The rest of the half saw Hanwell back on the front foot, winning yet more corners. Both Joe Chandiram, from the right, and Charlie from the left were flighting the ball well, but, with a mixture of anticipation, skill and bravery Jenkins was either catching the crosses or knocking them away. One punched clearance fell nicely for Imedd but Jenkins re-positioned himself in time to make the save. On the forty minute mark Aylesbury broke clear but the dangerous low ball into the box was skilfully dealt with by Oliver Duffy.
As the half was nearing its end Joe found the oft-fouled Harvey Killeen with a great through ball, but the latter’s cross was intercepted. Just as the Hanwell faithful thought they would be discussing a disappointing score line at half-time, despite the team being well in the ascendancy, the deserved goal came. A Hanwell free kick on the right was spectacularly kept in play by Luke before finding its way to Calum Duffy over twenty yards out. To Hanwell’s delight his low drive evaded everyone and found the back of the net. In time added-on Town then increased their advantage. A free kick from the left was ’bagatelled’ around the six-yard box until Calum back-heeled it into the net. The score finally reflected Hanwell’s performance.
Aylesbury came out determined to do better in the second period and the half was much more even than the fist. Hanwell were still looking good on the break and, ten minutes into the session, Harvey dribbled himself into a shooting position, but his shot was easily saved. A minute later Goldy looked certain to score when he raced away from the defence but Jenkins raced off his line to smother the shot. Much of the game was now being played in midfield with Luke and Peter Dean on the ball a great deal. Up the other end Town’s back four were restricting the home side’s penetration and ‘keeper Sam Bunting’s most notable contribution was to tip away a dangerous in-swinging corner. In addition Olly had to make a timely interception but Hanwell were looking to be the team to grab the all-important ‘third goal’. Imedd and Charlie combined well to almost set up the latter but an unkind bounce saw the ball into the ’keeper’s hands. With fifteen minutes to play substitute Chris Moore went clear but once again Jenkins was off his line to save the day. Five minutes later Imedd found Harvey who was bundled over in full view of the referee. After a lengthy delay for an injury on the half-way line Joe stepped up to drive the spot kick high into the net and make the game safe.
To their credit the home side did not let their heads drop and probably had the better of the final minutes. However there was no more scoring and Town ran out worthy winners. It was a pity that, for one reason or another, the Hanwell ‘Massive’ had no attendees to enjoy both the result and the well-appointed club house. With Manager Ray Duffy away, congratulations must go to assistant managers Ricky Pither and Chris Mills for standing in so ably, although the delighted Club President tried to assert that the re-appearance of the ‘unbeaten lucky jacket’ had played no small part in the success!
TEAM: 1.Sam Bunting 2.Calum Duffy 3.Mason Welch-Turner 4.Oliver Duffy © 5.Joe Chandiram 6.Luke Alfano 7.Harvey Killeen (15.Jarmal Joseph 83) 8.Peter Dean (14.Wayne Carter 89) 9.Goldy Capela (12.Chris Moore 75) 10.Imedd Kartita 11.Charlie Mitchell. Unused substitutes: 16.Nick Turner 17.Ricky Pither