Hanwell Town 1 Aylesbury Utd 3
By Clive Cooke
This was Town’s seventh game in fifteen days and there are two more matches still to be completed in the next five days to finish off the season. It is just as well that neither Hanwell nor Kempston are in play-off contention or that final match would have had to be played prior to Saturday April 28th as well! Nevertheless, despite the heavy schedule, Town played well for much of this game but the final ball persistently prevented them from capitalizing on some excellent build-up play.
The game did not begin too promisingly for either side and it was not until approaching the ten minute mark that anything of note happened. Aylesbury threatened first when Jeanmal Prosper beat the offside trap but saw his cross put wide by Sonny French. Alfie Cain and Imedd Kartita then combined well for Town but Alfie ignored Tom Hunt’s darting run across the box and tested the height of the rear fence with his shot. Tom then found Ricky on the edge of the area. The player/coach controlled the ball well but did not quite get his shot right, and Jack Hopwood made an easy save. A busy Alfie was involved in the next promising move, this time with Mergim, but the latter’s cross was deflected for a corner.
At the other end new ‘keeper Lewis Everett, almost playing as a sweeper, did well to race twenty-five yards off his goal-line to confidently head away a threatening through ball. He then managed to retreat in time to grab a follow-up ball before it could be reached by a United striker. A minute later Aaron Berry beat the offside trap and bent the ball around Lewis. To Town’s relief it struck the underside of the bar and was cleared to safety.
Hanwell responded immediately and a pitch-length move begun by Olly Duffy, involving Charlie and Imedd, saw Mergim’s shot turned for a corner. A minute later Imedd found Alfie who sent over a promising deep cross but United managed to clear it. As the half hour mark approached Hanwell continued to put the Ducks under pressure and Hopwood saved well from Tom and then both Tom and Ricky were frustrated not to make the right connection on the ball as it bobbled around close to goal.
Tom then just failed to reach a cross from Mergim and Charlie had a shot blocked following a good ball from Olly. Most of the play was in the Aylesbury half with the visitors restricted to through balls on the break that were dealt with well by the Hanwell rear-guard.
For over forty minutes Hanwell had been on top when the game swung completely the other way with Aylesbury scoring twice in the final three minutes of the half. Firstly a couple of errors allowed Ollie Hogg to score a strongly disputed opener. Then Ben Seaton made it two after Lewis had saved well and Mason Welch-Turner had cleared off the line. A level half-time score would have been disappointing but a two goal deficit was depressing!
Hanwell began the second half in the same positive style as they had played much of the first, eliciting a rousing chorus from the ‘Massive’ behind the goal. Tom and Alfie combined to find Mergim but, as so often, his low cross was blocked out for a corner. After a spell of neither side producing anything noteworthy the visitors started to threaten to increase their lead. Aaron Berry set up French in the six yard box but he managed to miss, to Town’s relief. With sixty-five minutes played Lewis saved well, with his feet, from Greg Williams. He then saved a point-blank shot from Berry but Prosper was on hand to slot home the rebound.
After seventy-five minutes Maciej Tajs hit the side netting when he should have increased Aylesbury’s lead. Hanwell were not daunted however and the three substitutes from the ‘Junior Section’ of the club all performed promisingly, particularly the ‘tigerish’ Gabriel Piorkowski.
The Ducks were prevented from notching a fourth goal when Mergim cleared off the line following a corner. Olly and Mason also made vital clearances to keep the score at three. Then, in the eighty-eighth minute, Town got the goal they thoroughly deserved when Mergim hit one of his specials from twenty yards out. There was still time for Nick Turner to recover well to head a certain goal off the line and for Harry Jones to crash the ball against Lewis’ cross-bar. In added-on time Mergim forced a save from Hopwood and the final whistle saw all the points heading back to Buckinghamshire. Hanwell’s first half play had deserved at least a point but the visitors had created the much better chances and it is goals that win games!
TEAM: 1.Lewis Everett 2.Oliver Duffy © 3.Mason Welch-Turner 4.Peter Dean (16.Gabriel Piorkowski 68) 5.Nick Turner 6.Alfie Cain 7.Mergim Qarri 8.Imedd Kartita 9.Tom Hunt 10.Ricky Pither (14.Freddy Scarborough 60) 11.Charlie Mitchell (17.Stan Cargill 46). Unused substitutes: 12.Wayne Carter 15.Marco Afonso.