Hanwell Town 3 Egham Town 1
By Clive Cooke
Anyone observing the first twenty minutes of this game who was not familiar with the South Central Division league table would have been most surprized to discover that the visitors were adrift at the bottom. They started the match strongly and, before some spectators had taken their seats, both Ibrahim Keminde and Brandon McCarthy had a chance to put Egham in front after racing clear of the Town defence. Thankfully for Hanwell they both failed to hit the target. The lively McCarthy created another chance for himself after twenty minutes. His goal-bound shot from the edge of the area was powerfully parried away towards Jonathan Miller-Annor by Aaron Bufton in the home goal. Once again the chance went begging as the wide man blasted over.
Town were getting little joy from playing long balls into the wind against a team full of Gargantuas and Pantagruels, but eventually learned their lesson and made better progress playing the ball on the ground. Harvey Killeen was denied after being put through by Louis, who then himself had a goal-bound flick cleared off the line. Skipper Olly Duffy had a free kick saved and then hit a shot from outside the area narrowly wide. Hanwell were looking better now and once again Louis combined well with Harvey only for the latter’s shot to be saved again, albeit, once more from an acute angle.
As the half hour mark approached a pleasing on the eye move involving Kieron Cathline and Brian Testolin saw the former laying the ball back to Calum Duffy but, alas, his shot was well off target. Five minutes later Calum rose well to set up Harvey, but once more the angle was not good and the shot was saved at the near post. Finally, five minutes before the break, Hanwell went in front. A Louis corner was knocked back to him and he beat his man on the bye-line and crossed deep for Brian to firmly head it into the back of the net. Two minutes later Brian got his head to Jack Waldren’s cross but placed the ball wide. That was not the end of the excitement however. Two minutes into added-on time Brian latched on to a glorious cross-field pass from Louis and crashed the ball into the net, sending Hanwell into the dressing room with a two goal advantage.
The visitors began the second half on the offensive, and within five minutes of the re-start McCarthy reduced the arrears with a crisp, low drive into the bottom corner. Town responded well and Calum had a header from a corner cleared off the line and Harvey could not quite reach a hard-driven ball across the box from Louis. Almost immediately Andy O’Brien rose well to head a corner into the net but was adjudged to have put his arm on the ‘keeper. There followed further Hanwell close calls, with both Brian and Louis being denied by ‘keeper Joshua Bramwell, followed by Harry Rush firing over. The ‘Hanwell Massive’ behind the goal was encouraging the team on, keen for them to extend the narrow advantage, but the cushion of a third goal did not come until the eighty-third minute. Then, Kieron and Brian combined well down the right to set up Harvey, who finished clinically into the bottom corner to great relief all round.
Manager Chris Moore sent on his co-Manager to ensure that Hanwell retained possession and to prevent any late heroics from the Sarnies, and the three points were made safe. Victory had been expected against an opposition that had not won away for thirteen games but it was hard won. Skipper Olly Duffy had had an outstanding game in mid-field and Brian’s brace augers well for the future.
TEAM: 1.Aaron Bufton 2.Kieron Cathline 3.Jack Waldren 4.Olly Duffy © 5.Dwayne Duncan 6.Andy O’Brien 7.Louis Bircham (15.Jeremiah Maja 71) 8.Harry Rush 9.Calum Duffy 10.Harvey Killeen (17.Anis Nuur 87) 11.Brian Testolin (14.Wayne Carter 85). Unused substitutes: 12.Gareth Chendlik 16.Joe Mills.