Hanwell Town 0 AFC Dunstable 2
After noting the respective league positions of the combatants the fixed odds football bookmakers would have made an away win a heavy odds-on proposition. As it happened Hanwell players gave a good account of themselves and, but for a linesman’s flag, could have earned an unexpected point. The fact that Hanwell held Dunstable goalless at half-time and to a single goal until the last minute was due to a battling display in mid-field and some sterling defensive work by the back four with Tom Duffy having a particularly good game.
The match took a while to warm up, as the external temperature went in the opposite direction. Then, as the ten minute mark approached, the ODs threatened twice. Last year’s league Golden Boot winner Jermaine Hall hit the top of the crossbar with an over-the-shoulder kick followed, almost immediately, by Sam Bunting holding on to the ball after diving at Terry Griffiths’ feet.
It was not until the twentieth minute that Hanwell threatened at the other end. A good interception and lay-off by Nick Turner set Glen Yala away but his strong run was let down by the finishing shot that was easily saved by Jamie Head. Four minutes later Town had an even better chance to go ahead but Charlie Mitchell’s shot appeared to hit Glen when goal-bound. This was a good passage of play for the home team and Peter looked set up to score from a through ball from Jesse Kewley-Graham but was adjudged to be off-side. Then, a neat move involving Olly Duffy, Charlie and Glen was brought to a halt when the latter was whistled up for an infraction. Charlie and Alfie Cain then linked up well, but the former’s cross shot went wide. Just as the half was coming to a close Olly bravely threw himself at a cross from Charlie but was only able to glance it wide. Meanwhile Sam had done well to reach and push away a dangerous cross from BJ Christie.
The visitors grabbed an early goal in the second half, a setback from which Hanwell never recovered. There did not seem to be too much danger when the ball bounced out to Louis Bircham in the corner of the area. However, he controlled the ball and hit it across Sam’s diving body into the far corner. Town tried to respond and Alfie went close from outside the area. For the rest of the game Dunstable played with far more confidence and went close to increasing their lead on several occasions. Three such chances fell to the aforementioned Hall, who missed the target twice when well- placed and was foiled by Sam on the third occasion. Sam also did well to race off his line to thwart substitute Joe Hawkins. To their credit Hanwell battled on gamely with Olly performing a captain’s role in mid-field, his heading ability preventing even more balls reaching the dangerous Dunstable front men.
With three minutes to go Hanwell thought they had grabbed an equalizer. A free kick into the box was flicked on to Tom, who found the back of the net. The whoops of the ‘Massive’ and the roars from the ‘Bob Fisher’ stand were stifled by the sight of the raised linesman’s flag. To add insult to injury BJ Christie made the game safe for the visitors two later theeighty-ninth minute. The visitors went on to see t. he game out and secure three valuable point in their quest for promotion.
TEAM: 1.Sam Bunting 2.Georges Ehui 3.Joe Chandiram 4.Tom Duffy 5.Nick Turner 6.Oliver Duffy © 7.Jesse Kewley-Graham 8.Peter Dean 9.Glen Yala 10.Charlie Mitchell 11.Alfie Cain (15. Mergin Qarri 75). Unused substitutes: 12.Ricky Pither 14. Daniel Pritchard.