Hanwell Town 2 Bracknell Town 1
By Clive Cooke
Meeting second in the table Bracknell Town who came into the game on the back of five straight wins, we produced one of our best displays of the season with a thoroughly deserved 2-1 win to dent Bracknell's chase after league leaders Hayes & Yeading.
For virtually the first time this season, our management team opted for an unchanged line up from the side beaten at Cheshunt 4-2 on the previous Saturday. It was clear from the outset that the game was not likely to be a classic such was the very strong wind that blew end to end down the ground. Bracknell almost took an early lead when a fierce shot from Bracknell full back Joel Jacobs was turned over the bar by Aaron Bufton, an excellent save. In the tenth minute at the other end, a free kick by Louis Bircham from the right was headed wide at the far post by Dwayne Duncan.
Bracknell were enjoying much more of the play in these early stages and it was not surprising when they took the lead in the seventeenth minute. Aaron coming off his line from a corner on the left was beaten to the ball by Bracknell central defender Matthew Day who headed it goalwards and in the resulting scramble the ball fell to Bracknell's leading goalscorer Liam Ferdinand who thumped the ball home from close range. We gradually got more of a foothold in the game but play became rather scrappy with neither side seemingly able to master the windy conditions. We almost scored a lucky equaliser when an intended cross by Jack Walden from out on the left flank saw the ball drift just wide of the far post with the Bracknell keeper Mark Scott stranded. Five minutes before the interval, Zane Gangadeen sent a shot from distance just wide of the far post.
Bracknell made their first substitution at the interval with Joseph Grant replacing the injured Ryan Parsons and Grant almost made an immediate impact when he raced through the centre of our defence but shot wide as Aaron advanced to narrow the angle. Shortly after, Aaron made two crucial saves to keep us in the game. Firstly blocking Grant's shot and then blocking the follow up effort by James McClurg.
At the other end, a fierce shot from distance by Calum Duffy flew just the wrong side of Scott's goal post.
In the fifty third minute we equalised with a fine goal. Calum played a good ball into the path of Keiron Cathline who raced past Jacobs before delivering a low cross into the goalmouth where Jeremiah Maja who had an excellent game got to the ball at the near post to turn it into the net.
Bracknell fought back strongly and almost retook the lead when from a free kick by Jacobs, Gater headed the ball goalwards. Aaron failed to hold onto it and Gater headed it back past him but Town skipper Ollie Duffy headed clear from the goal line.
With twenty minutes remaining we made our first substitution with Gareth Chendlik replacing Zane to join Jeremiah up front. The move made enormous dividends with Gareth with his hold up play causing constant problems in the Bracknell defence and he was responsible for setting up our second goal as his cross field pass found Louis in acres of space bearing down on the Bracknell goal. Louis took the ball past a Bracknell defender before poking the ball under Scott's body into the net much to our delight but to the chagrin of the Bracknell supporters who made made the journey to The Powerday Stadium.
Bracknell had made a double substitution with Sean Moore and Ashleigh Artwell coming on to replace Jordon Brown and Adam Cornell and Artwell might well have earned Bracknell a point but he shot over the bar after Grant had headed down Moore's cross into his path. Two minutes into injury time we had the opportunity to increase our lead and calm the nerves when Gareth set Jeremiah clear on goal. As he rounded Scott, the keeper pulled him down to earn a yellow card but also conceded a penalty with referee Stephen Bates having no hesitation in pointing to the spot.. Regular penalty kick taker Chendlik with a 100% record to date from the spot then sent the ball high over the Bracknell net . We made our second substitution with Wayne Carter replacing Jeremiah but we still had to endure a few more very nervous minutes before the final whistle was blown and the three points were ours.
TEAM: Aaron Bufton, Keiron Cathline, William Wambeek, Oliver Duffy, Dwayne Duncan, Danny Julienne, Louis Bircham, Zane Gangadeen,Calum Duffy, Jeremiah Maja and Jack Waldren.
Substitutes used: Gareth Chendlik for Gangadeen (70) and Wayne Carter for Maja (90+2). Unused substitutes : Alexander Cathline and Brian Testolin.