Bedfont Sports 3 Hanwell Town 3
By Clive Cooke
Match report by Bob Fisher
Travelling the short distance to meet Bedfont Sports on their artificial playing surface, we maintained our recent unbeaten run of away games but only after we had come back from being 3-0 down on the stroke of half time. Our side showed a couple of changes from that which had beaten Egham Town the previous week. Will Wambeek replaced Andy O'Brien in the centre of our defence whilst Jeremiah Maja made his first full start replacing Harvey Killeen.
The game began at a furious pace with play switching from end to end with the best chance falling to Bedfont's Charlie Postance who headed a cross from Sean McCormack over the bar from close range. However, Postance was not to be denied as in the ninth minute, Bedfont's Simo Mbonkwi cut in from the right and Postance had a simple task to turn his low cross into our net, the match officials content that the ball had not gone out of play before it was played through to Bedfont's centre forward. We almost equalised in the fifteenth minute when from Louis Bircham's corner, Will Wambeek saw his header cleared from the Bedfont goal line with the Bedfont keeper Matte Pierson beaten. Minutes later we were two down and again there was some concern that the goal was allowed to stand as Postance seemed to be in an offside position when he headed McCormack's cross home from close range. Despite the two goal deficit we remained very much in the game enjoying as much possession as our opponents and twice in quick succession we came close to scoring, firstly when a clever backheel into the path of Louis by Jeremiah set up a shooting chance but Louis's shot saw the ball hit the outside of the post and then go behind and then a cross by Jack Waldren saw Jeremiah's looping header hit the top of the crossbar before going behind. At the other end, Aaron made a good save from a header by McCormack after he had been set up by former Town player James Simmonds. Five minutes before the interval we were three down almost entirely due to a mazy run by Bedfont's David Pitt who from way out on the right touchline wriggled his way through a clutch of Town defenders and he was virtually on our goal line before Postance completed his hat trick, poking the ball home. On the stroke of half time we made it 3-1 when Brian Testolin found Harry Rush in space and Harry's superb chipped cross to the far post was met by Jeremiah who headed it firmly past the stranded Bedfont keeper, Pierson.
This goal on the stroke of half time was just the fillip that we needed and we might have pulled back the deficit as the second half started as a long clearance found Louis with colleagues racing up in support but Louis ignoring his better-placed colleagues decided to shoot aimlessly wide and the chance had gone. We were now applying almost constant pressure with Bedfont rarely seen as an attacking force with Ollie Duffy , our captain, leading by example such was his energy around the pitch. Bedfont's only real effort in the opening fifteen minutes of this half was an ambitious shot by Pitt from within his own half seeing Aaron off his line. With twenty minutes remaining we made a double substitution, Gareth Chendlik and Annis Nuur replacing Calum Duffy and Louise Bircham. With twelve minutes remaining, Simmonds put McCormack through on goal for Bedfont but Aaron made a great block save to keep us in the game. A minute later we had pulled another goal back. Annis Nuur playing his final game before his move to Westfield, sent a great effort from distance goal wards to which Pierson made an excellent save but the ball rebounded off him into the path of Maja who made no mistake from close range for his second goal of the game. In the next minute it was 3-3. Gareth Chendlik turning James Taylor in Bedfont's box was tripped and referee Tom Fell had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Gareth picked himself up to drill the ball past Pierson and it was now anybody's game. In similar fashion to the opening stages of the game, play now swung from end to end and we were fortunate when Mbonkwi through on goal elected to try to find a colleague rather that shooting with only Aaron to beat whilst at the other end, Pierson saved well from Harry. In the very final minute, a rocket shot by Bedfont's Perry Luckins flew just over our crossbar much to our relief, before Mr Fell's whistle brought an entertaining game to an end.
Side: Aaron Bufton, Keiron Cathline, Jack Waldren, Oliver Duffy (capt), Dwayne Duncan, Will Wambeek, Louis Bircham, Harry Rush, Calum Duffy, Jeremiah Maja and Brian Testolin. Sunstitutes used: Annis Nuur and Gareh Chendlik for Calum Duffy and Louis Bircham (70). Unused substitutes Wayne Carter and Andy O'Brien.