Hanwell Town 1-0 Lowestoft Town
By Clive Cooke
Hanwell progress in the FA Cup
SATURDAY 22ND. SEPTEMBER 2018.
THE EMIRATES FA CUP SECOND QUALIFYING ROUND.
HANWELL TOWN (0) 1 V. 0 (0) LOWESTOFT TOWN.
The jubilant scenes on and off the pitch at the final whistle were a testament to the prestige, magic and nowadays financial reward surrounding this ancient competition. For only the second time in its history Hanwell Town had reached the 3rd. Qualifying Round!
After an early scare when Aaron Bufton had needed to be on his toes to keep out an angled shot from Kieron Higgs, Town went on the front foot against their opponents from one step higher in the football pyramid. As the quarter hour mark approached their positive approach was almost rewarded. Firstly Louis Bircham was denied by the sprawling Elvijs Putnins as he raced clear of the trailing Lowestoft defence. Then, from the rebound, the ball eventually made its way to Harvey Killeen on the other side of the area. His shot beat everyone but hit the post and the scores remained level. Hanwell were enjoying plenty of possession and ten minutes later Louis went close again. After that a flowing move involving Tom Collins and Harvey set up Olly Duffy on the edge of the area but he fired narrowly wide.
The visitors began to look like a team from a higher level as the match entered the last twenty minutes of the half. The industrious Conor McKendry had home supporters concerned as he went on a mazy dribble culminating in a shot that Aaron did well to keep out. Ten minutes later the same player won the ball and cracked in a shot from thirty yards out but Aaron managed to tip it away. The ensuing corner eluded everyone as it passed across the area where it reached Josh Curry. A goal seemed certain but Harry Tamplin executed a brave block to save the day.
As the half was nearing its conclusion Hanwell started coming back into the game. An eye-catching move down the left flank involving Harvey and Jack Waldren won the first of three corners in quick succession. However, the solid Lowestoft defence dealt with them comfortably. Louis then had a free kick and the follow-up well blocked by the Trawlerboys’ wall. Right at the end of the half there was another scary moment for ‘Toon’ supporters. A scramble in the home box led to a point blank save by Aaron and a vital block of the follow-up shot by Calum Duffy. The half-time whistle was blown and there was still everything to play for!
The second period began with Aaron going full length to save from Adam Smith followed by the ball being cleared for Tom to put Harvey away but his pull-back was cleared to away to safety. This end-to-end pattern was to be repeated throughout the entertaining second half. The next three goal scoring opportunities fell to the visitors. Firstly Andy O’Brien got in the way of a shot from Higgs followed by Ben Fowkes blasting wide when through on goal. Then Aaron did well to beat Higgs to the ball on the edge of the area. Up the other end Louis put in Harvey but his shot was easily saved. Then Louis beat his marker and shot from an angle. The ball cannoned off the post and a scramble developed, but the flag went up for offside.
By putting on two attacking substitutes as the half progressed the ‘Toon’ management team were going all out to avoid the spectre of a midweek trek to Suffolk. An Olly Duffy long-range free kick was easily saved, as was a Gareth Chendlik header from Imedd’s free kick. Then a clever move involving Ismael and Harry saw the latter’s shot bravely blocked by Connor Deeks. A spot of head tennis in the Lowestoft box ensued, leading to a bout of supportive, yet somehow plaintive, singing from the rain sodden ‘Massive’, (recently pictured on Twitter), beside the Argyle Road end goal. Their wishes for a goal were fulfilled five minutes before the end of normal time. Ismael found Jack on the left and he sent over a deep, extremely high cross. From the distant vantage point of the ‘Bob Fisher’ stand Gareth and ‘keeper Putnins seemed to compete for the ball causing it to run to Harvey who scored from close range. There is never a bad time to score but this was a particularly good one, so close to full time.
The final ‘ten minutes plus’ that were played were agony for the home support. To be honest there were not many causes for alarm as Tom Duffy and Harry consistently kept the Trawlerboys’ attacking threat at bay. The only real scare was when left back Matt Brown lined up a shot from just outside the area in the ninety-third minute. Fortuitously for Hanwell the shot went wide. The final whistle brought scenes of ‘high fives’, hugs and ‘back slapping’ both on and off the pitch. Hanwell were in the Third Qualifying g Round of the F.A. Cup and would listen with self-interest to Monday’s draw.
TEAM: 1.Aaron Bufton 2.Andy O’Brien 3.Jack Waldren 4.Olly Duffy © 5.Tom Duffy 6.Harry Tamplin 7.Louis Bircham (16.Ismael Ehui 79) 8.Calum Duffy 9.Gareth Chendlik 10.Tom Collins (14.Imedd Kartita 64) 11.Harry Killeen. Unused substitutes: 12.Devante McKain 15.Charlie Barton 17.Dean McConnell 18.Rhys Paul 19.Wayne Carter.