Hanwell Town 0 Egham Town 1
For those amongst the Hanwell faithful who played their football at levels well below the Evo-Stik Southern League, especially at clubs with a cricket section, league football did not start until late September. It, therefore, seemed strange to be attending the newly anointed Powerday Stadium for the second league match of the season before August is half over. The balmy evening attracted a decent crowd who were to be disappointed by the result but not the all-round Hanwell performance.
In a game that had ’first one to score wins’ written all over it Hanwell created the better chances but failed to register anything in the season’s ‘goals for’ column for the second game in a row. The match began as it was to go on, end to end, but without many clear-cut goal-scoring opportunities being created by either side. On several occasions, Kyle Watson went past his man and played balls into the box but without anyone being on the receiving end. On the opposite flank, Callum Wright also sent over a couple of crosses that eluded everyone. For Egham a run and low cross by the lively Brendan Matthew set up a great chance for Alex Nolan but a timely and brave block by Oliver Duffy saved the day for Hanwell.
Although Egham enjoyed the greater amount of possession in the first half it was Hanwell that should have gone in ahead at the interval. Firstly a flick-on from Calum Duffy set up Michael Malcolm close to the goal. His goal-bound shot was impressively saved by the legs of a spread-eagled Patrick Ohman. Two minutes later ‘keeper Ohman was at it again, making a sprawling save after Malcolm had set up Peter Dean for a close-range effort.
Hanwell began the second half promisingly and Callum Wright went close following a sweeping move involving Ruddock Yala and Kyle Watson. As in the first half, the game continued to be end to end but the next serious goal chance did not come until after the hour mark. This time it was the Sarnies who felt unlucky not to go in front when a sweeping move finished with Brendan Matthew hitting the bar before the ball bounced down into the hands of Hanwell’s new custodian, Xavi Comas.
This close call seemed to inspire Hanwell and less than two minutes later ‘the Toon’ went just as close to scoring but Ohman somehow managed to fingertip Callum Wright’s drive over the bar after good work by Michael Malcolm. Callum was then involved in a sweeping right wing move with Georges Ehui but the latter’s cross went astray. A reverse pass from Michael Buckley then set up Michael but his shot ricocheted off the post to Callum but he miscued. A deep cross then reached Olly outside the far post from whence he headed the ball across the area to Ruddock whose header beat the ‘keeper but was headed off the line.
In the final twenty minutes plus added-on time, there were numerous substitutions, several lengthy visits to the pitch by the ‘physios’ and an altercation or two but little else of note except for ‘the one goal that won it’! It came in the eighty-fifth minute when a disputed corner was headed goal-wards by Mitchell Wiseman. Xavi seemed to have it covered but somehow substitute Aaron Berry intervened and the ball ended up in the back of the Hanwell net. It was a cruel blow. Hanwell had deserved at least a point but finished with nothing!