Hanwell Town 6 FC Romania 2
This result was just the tonic the Hanwell team and supporters needed after the recent mauling by Hayes and Yeading and the two late goals conceded against Hertford. However, after forty-five minutes such a resounding victory could not have been expected by anybody. Town had gone ahead as early as the third minute when Tom Collins’ corner hit the back of the net via the heads of, initially Harry Tamplin, and finally Olly Duffy. The visitors then went close to equalizing after ten minutes, but Keiron Cathline headed of the line following a Sudayisi Sendege corner. The majority of the game was now being played in mid-field but every now and again both teams threatened only to be thwarted by resolute defending at both ends. The Hanwell rear guard was doing particularly well to keep Chiduben Onokwai from creating shooting opportunities as he looked to be a real handful.
Hanwell had a couple of half chances during this period, both falling to Calum Duffy. After twelve minutes he side-stepped the ‘keeper but had been forced wide and his effort was blocked. Four minutes later a Tom Collins free kick landed at Calum’s feet but he did not make a good connection and his shot went tamely wide. Town then went close to extending their lead when Keiron’s cross took a deflection which required a full stretch leap by Adrian Darabant to push away. The ball fell to Tom and his overhead kick went close from a difficult angle. Up the other end Lawrence Neruruba impressed with a couple of mazy dribbles into the box, both lacking an end result. However, in the twenty-fifth minute, the visitors were on level terms when the aforementioned Sendege was given too much time to turn in the area and pick his spot.
The game then somewhat drifted towards half-time with Town just having the edge. As Town were playing with a central back three and a holding midfield player in the person of Daniel Julienne, Calum had more licence to be up-field, and he twice went close with headers, the second, from a Jack Waldren free kick, being turned for a corner. The forty-five minutes were up but there was added-on time for what looked like a serious shoulder or collar bone injury to Romania defender Aurelian Turca earlier in the proceedings. This enabled Jack to trek right across the field to whip in an in-swinging ball that was turned into the goal by Calum at the far post. Almost immediately the referee blew for the break with Hanwell feeling a whole lot better than they had when the score-board had signalled that the forty-five minutes were up.
The visitors came out of the blocks quickly at the resumption and Onokwai executed a deceptive step-over to give himself space to shoot. However he fired over and a minute later Town increased their lead when Tom sent in a low free kick from wide left. Somehow the ball evaded everyone and went in at the far post. Ten minutes later, as the hour mark approached Town went further ahead. FC Romania cleared away a corner with most eyes following the ball save the linesman’s assistant. He had spotted a stamping on the prone Harvey Killeen for which Bogdan Ungureanu was shown a red card. A penalty was awarded which Gareth Chendlik duly converted. Harvey played on for a short while, going close from long range, but was replaced by Harry Rush in the sixty-fifth minute.
To their credit the ten men did no throw in the towel and once again Onokwai got through but was off target again. With less than twenty minutes to play the game was made completely safe in a bizarre way. Tom stepped up to take a free kick from exactly the same spot as earlier. To the jocular cries of ‘Shoot’ he connected with the ball less than perfectly. Once more the ball went low, but straight at the ‘keeper this time, somehow slipping underneath him as the Hanwell players raced in. Five-one and the goal difference back to positive!
FC Romania pulled a goal back in the seventy-seventh minute when Onokwai got the goal his performance deserved, tapping in after Balsanu’s low free kick had bounced off the post. That was not the end of the scoring though, with substitutes Brian Testolin and Harry Rush combining well for the latter player to thump home his first goal for the ‘Toon’. It was a good way to finish the game and must have been appreciated by former Hanwell ‘favourite sons’ Bill Healey and Kyle Watson watching on from the stand.
TEAM: 1.Aaron Bufton 2.Keiron Cathline 3.Jack Waldren 4.Olly Duffy © 5.Harry Tamplin 6.Dwayne Duncan 7.Daniel Julienne 8.Calum Duffy 9.Gareth Chendlik (16.Brian Testolin 73) 10.Tom Collins (17.Femi Azeez 78) 11.Harvey Killeen (14.Harry Rush 65). Unused substitutes: 12.Louis Bircham 15.Will Wambeek.