Northwood 2 Hanwell Town 2
By Clive Cooke
Good away draw
What a brave and hardy performance this was by Hanwell, exposed as they were to a low temperature, a biting wind and incessant, freezing rain, and that was just the supporters sitting in the stand! As for the players of both sides, they gave their all in extremely adverse and testing conditions, with a draw probably being a fair result in the circumstances of Town playing with ten men from the seventieth minute.
The home side were the first to threaten a goal with Ben Pattie, who was later to be involved in both the Woods’ goals, going close in the second minute. Up the other end Tom Collins had a couple of half-chances, the first after the Woods had over-played in their own penalty area and the second from a Calum Duffy pass. It was not until after twenty-five minutes that there was another noteworthy piece of action in a penalty area. Northwood’s Sam Jenkins ran half the length of the pitch with the ball before playing it to Kyran Worrell. His goal-bound shot was well saved by Aaron Bufton but the ball bounced out to the aforementioned Pattie but he ballooned the ball into the stratosphere to Town’s relief. Three minutes later Aaron was in action again, tipping a shot from Andrew Ofosu over the bar.
The home side were beginning to take the upper hand at this stage but Town continued to break forward promisingly but without an end result. Such a move saw them manage a shot shortly after the half hour mark but Harvey Killeen’s effort, after a sparkling move involving Tom and Jack Waldren, was easily held by home ‘keeper Luke Sheldrick. A later breakaway saw Tom slide Kieron Cathline through on the right but his low ball across the six yard box found no takers.
Despite having a lot of the ball the Woods were not creating much owing to some stout Town defending with Harry Tamplin and Olly Duffy to the fore. However, as half-time beckoned, Hanwell were seeing more of the ball and Malakai Mars found Tom, who turned well and forced a save from Sheldrick.
The second half began with no improvement in the weather and with the playing conditions deteriorating, as increasing amounts of standing water were appearing on the playing surface. Such adversity did not deter the hardiest of players and supporters with Aaron continuing to keep goal in a short-sleeved shirt and the Hanwell Massive’s main man standing on the unprotected ‘terrace’ behind the home goal for the entire half. Each side had a half-chance early on and Town took the lead in the fiftieth minute when Will Wambeek headed in a Jack Waldren corner at the near post.
Conceding a goal seemed to inspire the home side and Aaron needed to race out of his area on the hour and perform an old-fashioned slide tackle reminiscent of the Club Chairman in his hey-day. Two minutes later Aaron was called upon again. This time he did well to block Ofosu who perhaps took too long to shoot. Three corners in succession ensued, Kieron doing well to get his head to the second of them. The third, however, was tantalisingly flighted by Pattie and well met by the head of the towering Imran Uche. One all and all to play for! Town then twice went close to re-taking the lead. Tom’s low free kick was diverted for a corner from which Harry Rush’s header was cleared off the line.
Town then deservedly went in front in the sixty-seventh minute. Jack drove a ball towards the box where it was controlled by Tom who fired it into the bottom corner from a considerable distance. Hanwell’s joy was short-lived and, five minutes later, Northwood were level. Kieron was adjudged to be the last man when he mistimed a tackle on the edge of the area. After a considerable delay he was shown a red card and a free kick awarded two yards outside the area. Pattie stepped up and drove a low shot to the side of the wall and into the bottom corner of the goal.
Hanwell were now on the back foot and substitute Kweke Lucan forced a save from Aaron and Pattie shot narrowly wide. Substitutes Gareth Chendlik and Rhys Paul gave Town gave Town some fresh legs and up the other end Olly went close. As the game was coming to its conclusion Aaron once more raced well out of his area and executed a slide tackle that comprehensively took out the ball and then the man. After another considerable delay he was shown a yellow card.
Thankfully the referee only played three minutes of additional time and his final whistle not only saw players scurrying to the changing rooms without a post- match inquest but supporters and club officials showing impressive bursts of speed as they headed for the well-appointed Northwood clubhouse. As everyone warmed up the general consensus was that a draw had been an equitable result.
TEAM: 1.Aaron Bufton 2.Kieron Cathline 3.Jack Waldren 4.Olly Duffy © 5.Harry Tamplin 6.Will Wambeek 7.Harry Rush 8.Calum Duffy 9.Malakai Mars (15.Gareth Chendlik 71) 10.Tom Collins 11.Harvey Killeen (16.Rhys Paul 80). Unused substitutes: 12.Wayne Carter 14.Louis Bircham 15. Dylan Randall.