Waltham Abbey 3-2 Hanwell Town
By Chris Moore
5 goal thriller ends in disappointment
TOWN (1) 2
THE BOSTIK SOUTH CENTRAL LEAGUE
TUESDAY 25TH SEPTEMBER 2018
We travelled on a Tuesday night in high spirits after our FA Cup win seventy two hours previously to meet a Waltham Abbey side who came into the game on the back of five successive league wins. The Waltham Abbey squad are a lot stronger that in recent seasons, having benefited enormously from the sad demise of Thurrock FC which resulted in them obtaining the services of the very experienced manager Mark Stimpson who was able to bring to the club with him, a number of former Thurrock players.
Our side showed one change from the starting line up in the FA Cup with Ibrahim Olutade returning from this three game suspension to replace Gareth Chendlik who dropped to the substitute's bench. On the bench also was Tre Mitford, a new signing from Beaconsfield Town.
Waltham Abbey enjoyed the better of things in the opening ten minutes and we were fortunate when Ron Clark sliding in just failed to get his foot to a fierce cross from Ellis Brown popping up on the left flank. However, we gradually came more and more into the game and the home team's keeper Arthur Janata had to be alert to save from Calum Duffy after Ibrahim had chested the ball back into his path. Twice in quick succession, Louis Bircham cut in from the right, firstly to send a left foot shot just wide of the far post and he was then crowded out as he wormed his way through into a shooting position. We were now well on top and after a good move involving Harvey Killeen and Tom Collins, 'Ibbs' shot was scrambled behind for a corner from which 'Ibbs', had another shot but this went wide. Jack Waldren was a constant threat with his in swinging corners from the right side and we thought we had taken the lead when the ball found its way into the home side's net but the referee deemed that there had been a push. However, minutes later in the twenty eighth minutes we were ahead when from another Jack corner, Calum on the near post headed home firmly, the ball striking the underside of the bar before finding the back of the net.
However, our lead was short lived. We lost the ball in midfield and it was played out to Daniel Aristides out on the left flank. He raced down the line before driving a beautiful pass across our goalmouth into the path of Brown who stroked it home. Before the interval, a fierce drive by Brown was turned over the bar by the excellent Aaron Burton.
We made one substitution at the interval with Ismail Ehui replacing Harvey Killeen, a change that immediately had an impact when Tom Collins burst clear on the right but his long cross went clean across goal to the far touchline where it was retrieved by Ismail who sent it back into the goalmouth where Tom poked it home on the far post to put us back in the lead. Aaron then made another tremendous save to turn a Rob Clark effort over the bar whilst at the other end, after good work by Tom, Ismail blasted the ball wide from a good shooting position.
Just short of the hour mark, Waltham Abbey equalised. A cross field ball by Winn found Aristidou unmarked with only Aaron to beat and he made no mistake sending the ball back across Aaron into the far corner of our net.
Worse was to follow as six minutes later we were behind when from a free kick out on the right of our penalty area we were caught ball watching and from the low cross into our area, Ronnie Winn managed to find the bottom corner of our net through a throng of players. We then made our second substitution, with Immed Kartita replacing Louis Bircham. With Waltham Abbey seemingly content to sit on their lead we pressed forward in numbers and Tom volleyed just over after a free kick by Jack had been headed out to his feet.. With fifteen minutes remaining Tom made way fror Tre Montford but he had little opprtunity to maker his mark on the game. Waltham Abbey were using all manner of time wasting tactics as the minutes ticked away and were rarely out of their half in the final minutes but when they were, they almost made it four when Aaron made a wonderful save from point range of a shot by Billy Holland. A goal for them at this time would have given an unfair reflection of the game overall. There is little doubt that Waltham Abbey are going to be serious contenders for league honours this season.
Side; Aaron Bufton, Andy O'Brien, Oliver Duffy (capt), Tom Duffy, Harry Tamplin, Louis Bircham, Calum Duffy, Ibrahim Olutade, Tom Collins and Harvey Killeen. Substitutes used Ismail Ehui for Killeen (46), Imedd Kartita for Bircham (61) and Tre Mitford for Collins (75). Unused substitutes : Gareth Chendlik and Rhys Paul.