Hanwell Town 4 Petersfield Town 1
Hanwell hit 4
On an afternoon with temperatures more suited to the cricket season than to competitive football Hanwell recorded a semi-comfortable victory against bottom-of-the-league Petersfield. The ‘semi’ aspect was down to a closely fought first period, with the ‘Toon’ not fully dominating proceedings until after the break.
The initial kick-off saw Hanwell going the ‘wrong way’ towards the Car Park End for one of the first times this season, seeming to throw the ‘massive’ support into confusion as they were not heard throughout the period. Another early surprise was the Hanwell line-up. With Mark Jamison on the bench and Joe Chandiram on the veranda, Hanwell looked to be lining up with just three at the back, two of whom were full/wing backs, a very attacking selection by the management team!
Despite their long trek north Petersfield started the game the livelier side, with visiting skipper Ryan Woodford going very close in the fourth minute. His curling free kick went around the two-man wall hitting the top of the angle with Melvin Minter stranded. Five minutes later Matt Andrews volleyed narrowly over the bar from the edge of the area.
With ten minutes played Hanwell had their first real chance. Karim Assaoui, who was to go on to have a good game in midfield, made himself some room on the edge of the area. Although he only scuffed his shot, ‘keeper Matthew Collins was slow to go down to knock the ball to safety. Hanwell next threatened when Jesse Kewley-Graham clipped the ball to Dean Allen. His cushioned header down found Tom Hunt but he dragged his shot wide. Twenty-five minutes into the half Lamar Simpson dribbled down the left and played the ball to Karim. Once again the Hanwell mid-fielder did not make a perfect connection with the ball but Collins was forced to turn the ball for a corner.
With the half hour mark fast approaching Hanwell went in front. Jesse found Zak, who made himself enough room for a shot. His low drive was reached by a sprawling Collins but it had sufficient power to carry it over the line. Karim then forced Collins to make another low save, this time with his boot. Well into added-on time Kyle went on his first trademark dribble down the left but his cross was diverted for a corner.
Hanwell began the second half as they had ended the first, in the ascendancy. This led to a second goal, in the fifty-first minute. Kyle burst down the left again and found Dean. The number nine laid the ball into the path of fellow striker Tom Hunt who made no mistake from close range. Five minutes later Hanwell almost conceded a bizarre goal. Melvin Minter’s kick from his hands kept low and cannoned into the back of Calum Duffy and rebounded over the custodian’s head. Thankfully it looped up and Melvin was able to retrieve the situation.
As the game progressed Hanwell were well on top and could have extended their lead when, first Tom, and then Dean raced clear. However the former fired wide and the latter’s shot was saved. The lead was finally increased on the hour when a move that saw the ball travel the length of the pitch via Mark Goodman and Zak was finished off by Tom via Dean’s cushioned header. This sparked the visitors into life and twice Calum needed to leap high to head away threatening balls into the box. Five minutes later Hanwell substitute Robin Nicholls forced a save from Collins but the ball was cleared down-field by Sean Barnes to Matt Andrews. Melvin saved the shot but it rebounded off Andrews into the net.
Despite the setback Hanwell continued to dominate. Both Karim and Dean had shots blocked, while, in contrast, Calum’s long-range effort caused some concern to drivers on the Argyle Road! Harvey Killeen replaced Karim with twenty minutes to play and immediately found Dean whose shot was blocked. Harvey then went on a run before forcing Collins to parry the ball out to Dean who scored a well-merited goal. (Finally a response from a lone ‘massive’ voice could be heard.) There was still time for Tom to be denied a hat-trick by the assistant referee’s flag and for Harvey and Dean to go close.
It had been a good win, well refereed by Gregory Read, who had made sensible allowances for one or two mistimed challenges, by both sides, caused by the erratic bobbles of the ball on a very firm surface. After the bad run through the first three weeks of March this much-depleted Hanwell side has done well of late, achieving an away draw at Bedford and a quick double over Petersfield to restore the team to the top half of the league. The next two games are against teams with something to play for, with the grand finale being away to the champions! Quite a finish!
TEAM: 1.Melvin Minter 2.Mark Goodman 3.Kyle Watson 4.Chris Mills (14.Robin Nicholls 61) 5.Calum Duffy 6.Jesse Kewley-Graham 7.Zak Joseph (17.Tom O’Regan 79) 8.Karim Assaoui (12.Harvey Killeen 70) 9.Dean Allen 10.Tom Hunt 11.Lamar Simpson. Unused substitutes: 15.George Ehui 16.Mark Jamison.