Arlesley Town 2 Hanwell Town 3
Last minute winner
Just forty eight hours after our defeat by Beaconsfield Town, we travelled to meet relegation certainties Arlesley Town who had only recorded two wins all season and both of these had been away from home.
Our side showed several changes from that which we had fielded against Beaconsfield. Both Charlie Mitchell and Imedd Kartita were suspended, Luke Alfano was needed by Wingate & Finchley, Nick Turner was unavailable and Wayne Carter had dropped down to the bench. Joe Chandiram, Chris Mills, Goldy Capela and Mason Welch-Turner came into the starting eleven along with Tom Duffy who was making his first appearance for the club since way back in November 2017.
The changes meant that skipper Ollie Duffy moved into a central mid field position allowing brother Tom to slot back into his central defensive position.
The opening ten or so minutes on a difficult playing surface were best forgotten with neither side seemingly able to bring the bouncing ball under control but of the two sides, Arlesley looked the more dangerous going forward with their more direct style of play but it was an intricate passing movement that set up the first real chance for either side but Arlesley's Keanu Williams wasted the chance blazing the ball over the bar.
However, a few minutes later Arlesley were in the lead. Chris Mills gave the ball away in our half and the ball was immediately played into the path of Arti Krasnigi through on goal. Sam did very well to block the winger's shot as he homed in on goal but the ball rolled through to Williams who scrambled the ball home from point blank range. At the other end, both Dan Fleming and Megim Qarri ignored better placed colleagues to blaze ambitious shots high and wide of the Arlesley goal.
In virtually our only decent passing movement up to this stage of the game, the ball found its way to Goldy Capela on the far post but he took an extra touch when a first time effort was needed and finished up by shooting into the side netting. Another good movement again set up Goldy but on this occasion a brave block by an Arlesley defender averted the danger.
In the thirty second minute, Arlesley increased their lead. From a free kick position out on the left flank, wing half Taz Andrews sent the ball into that dangerous position between our keeper and our back line of defenders and Ash Farooqui coming in at the far post slotted the ball home. On the stroke of half time, we might well have pulled a goal back after a Chris Mills free kick had been charged down, Ollie chipped the loose ball back to the far post but brother Calum, completely unmarked headed the ball wide.
Not sure what was said in our dressing room during the half time break but it had an immediate response as we dominated the opening minutes of the second half with an energy, committment and passion that was totally missing in the first half. Goldy headed just wide after an excellent cross by Ollie as we camped in the Arlesley half. We thought we had pulled one back when Goldy turned home a low cross from close range but the assistant referee's flag was up for offside.
In hindsight almost the defining moments of the game then took place at the other end when Sam made an excellent point range save from Williams and then Williams himself shot over the bar with only Sam to beat after busting through our defence. Three down at that stage might have been too high a mountain to climb !. We made two changes into quick succession, Wayne Carter coming on to replace Chris Mills and Chris Moore replacing Peter Dean. This saw us now with three players up front. Another great cross from Ollie saw Goldy head wide and then Ollie himself saw his header from Calum's cross hit the post before the ball was scrambled behind from a corner. However, Wayne's pin point corner kick was met by a terrific header by Calum and at last the ball nestled in the back of the Arlesley net. We were now in total control and despite Arlesley making three substitutions in quick succession, our constant threat to the Arlesley goal continued. With seven minutes left on the clock we equalised. Tom Duffy chipped the ball forward into the Arlesley box where Calum up in support flicked it on with his head and Dan Fleming got a deserved reward for his hard work all afternoon as he drove the ball past Lewis Elsom in the home team's goal from close range. The home keeper then turned away Wayne's free kick for another corner which Joe Chandiram curled in to the far post . The ball was cleared for another corner this time taken by Wayne which saw Tom Duffy headed it back across goal where Goldy with a tremendous overhead kick found the net from close range much to the delight of us all but to the bitter disappointment of the Arlesley squad and their supporters as their search for their first home league win of the season goes on.
Team: Sam Bunting, Calum Duffy, Joe Chandiram, Oliver Duffy (c), Tom Duffy, Chris Mills, Mergim Qarri, Peter Dean, Dan Fleming, Goldy Capela and Mason Welch-Turner. Substitutes used: Wayne Carter for Mills (63) and Chris Moore for Dean (65). Unused substitutes Ricky Pither and Jarmal Joseph