Hanwell Town 1 Hayes & Yeading Utd 9
It was unfortunate for Hanwell that they crossed paths with Hayes & Yeading on a day when the visitors demonstrated why they are top of the league with games in hand. From the off the visitors zipped the ball around the Powerday’s excellent playing surface, and went ahead after just two and a half minutes. To be honest it was an extremely scrappy goal following a free kick, that Town seemed twice to have cleared, but it ended with Elliot Benyon scoring from close range. For the ensuing half hour the visitors, inspired by former youth international Scott Bridges, dominated the ball but failed to find the back of the net, thanks to some stout defending and their own profligacy in front of goal. With just five minutes played Town ‘keeper Aaron Bufton saved well from Toby Little, with Jack Waldren doing well to block Tom Jelley’s follow-up shot. Aaron was then, almost immediately, called upon to grab Lee Barney’s header at the second attempt. Liam McDevitt then headed wide from a free kick when well-placed to score. Within seconds the ball was being played back into the box, with both Will Wambeek and Olly Duffy getting up to make vital headed clearances.
It was not until twelve minutes had passed that Town threatened the Hayes goal when a well-flighted Louis Bircham free kick was firmly met by Olly’s head, but unfortunately with too much altitude. This only stirred the visitors into greater activity. A Toby Little free kick went narrowly wide, Harry Tamplin just managed to beat Bridges to a long, diagonal ball, heading it back to Aaron, and then Lee Barney’s angled header was touched wide by the afore-mentioned Aaron. From the ensuing corner Jack cleared a goal-bound shot off the line. Then, just before the half hour mark Little went close after running half the length of the pitch with the ball. Finally, in the thirty-fifth minute, the visitors added to their lead. Once again Little was involved, crossing low for Benyon to slide the ball just under the sprawling Aaron and over the line.
Hayes did not let up as the half entered its last five minutes and Will Wambeek was twice called upon to make vital clearances, after which Aaron did well to parry a free kick that had glanced off Rhys Paul’s head. As the half came to a close Hanwell twice threatened the Hayes goal. Both were goal-bound efforts from Tom Collins after he had made himself space. Unfortunately for Town ‘keeper Andrew McCorkell got to both.
At the interval Town made an attack minded substitution, replacing defensive midfielder Rhys Paul with striker Gareth Chendlik. However, before Town had a chance to reduce the arrears, Hayes went three up via a pinpoint free kick from twenty yards by Bridges. The early score was the fore-runner of a goal avalanche! By the fifty-fifth minute the score was six-one! After Femi Azeez’s effort on goal had been turned behind, Hanwell had reduced the arrears, as, from the resultant Louis Bircham corner, Harry Tamplin had got up well in a crowded box and directed the ball into the net. The brief setback seemed to inspire the visitors. Josh Chamberlain headed in a pinpoint chip, Lee Barney made no mistake after racing clear, and then scored again, after Aaron had saved a shot from Benyon.
After the torrent of goals the game calmed down for almost half an hour, leaving spectators to reflect on what they had just witnessed and ascertain who had actually scored! During this period of relative calm before the final goal storm Hanwell made their final two substitutions. The visitors rattled the wood-work a couple of times and also forced Aaron to make several diving stops. Up the other end Harvey Killeen was denied by McCorkell as he raced clear and a long-range Calum Duffy shot was also dealt with well by the Hayes custodian.
The last seven minutes saw substitute Duncan Culley net twice for Hayes, sandwiching a Barney hat-trick goal. At the other end Louis had a good effort saved at the second attempt by McCorkell. During this final period of the game Hanwell kept persevering , to their credit, but one or two of the Hanwell players got upset with one another for the first time, which seemed a bit unnecessary at that stage of the proceedings. The visitors’ competitiveness was demonstrated when, in added-on time, skipper Scott Donnelly earned a yellow card for launching a thunderous volley of verbal abuse at the referee for giving a free kick against him on the half-way line!
Was the result a true reflection of the difference between the sides? There was no doubt that the visitors played extremely well and were able to cut through Town’s defence too easily for comfort, and could have scored more. On the other hand, Town could have been awarded a couple of penalties when Gareth was wrestled to the ground at corners, in the style of Colombia in the World Cup. It may best to write this off as ‘a bad day at the office’ and look forward to better performances against Hertford and FC Romania in the weeks to come.
TEAM: 1.Aaron Bufton 2.Calum Duffy 3.Jack Waldren 4.Olly Duffy © 5.Harry Tamplin 6.Will Wambeek 7.Louis Bircham 8.Harry Rush (16.Brian Testolin 67) 9.Femi Azeez 10.Tom Collins (15.Harvey Killeen 67) 11.Rhys Paul (14.Gareth Chendlik 46). Unused substitutes: 17.Anis Nuur 18.Wayne Carter.