18/11/23 - Salisbury (Home)
Hanwell Town 2 - Salisbury 3
This was an outstanding example of the proverbial game of two halves!
Hanwell surprised their visitors by taking a two goal lead into the interval but the league leaders came out on top at the final whistle. The visitors had actually begun the brighter with Daniel Fitchett testing Sam Beasant early on after a mistake by Fabio Sole. Charlie Gunson then came within inches of reaching Noah Coppin’s header across the face of the goal before he appeared to give Salisbury an early lead, but the ‘goal’ was ruled out for offside.
Hanwell won more and more of the ball in midfield, a number of ‘seventies vintage’ slide tackles catching the eye of those who warmly remembered the days when such challenges were ‘de rigour’, and as the half progressed looked the better side. Just after the twentieth minute a neat move involving Jack Hutchinson and Jenson Wright almost set up Sam Evans but visiting keeper Joshua Gould read the situation well and just got to the ball first.
A minute later Sam turned well and had his shot pushed away. From the resultant corner the Geordies went in front with central defender Dwayne Duncan heading in Fabio Sole’s deep corner kick at the far post. Two minutes later top scorer Sam Evans was put through by Jenson Wright and made no mistake. This score wasn’t in the script!
The visitors did not take the setbacks lightly and the Hanwell rear guard did well to deny the Whites any clear-cut chances, the closest they came being when Sam had to react quickly to grab the ball after a corner had hit the cross-bar via Dwayne’s head.
The second half saw the Whites pressing hard to reduce the arrears and they pulled a goal back just after the hour mark through substitute Harry Williams. A couple of minutes later Sam was off his line quickly, going full length at the feet of Fitchett. Almost immediately Dwayne was adjudged to have brought down Noah Coppin on the bye-line and a penalty was awarded. Sido Jombati calmly converted the spot kick.
Alas for Hanwell, their rear-guard action to salvage a point against the rampant league leaders was sabotaged in the seventy-second minute when Fabio was given a second yellow card, on this occasion for kicking the ball away. Nonetheless, the home side appeared to be hanging on to a hard-earned point, and even looked threatening down the right flank from whence substitute Dan Carr sent over some good but unconverted crosses.
Hanwell looked to be hanging on when Wayne Robinson fired home from close range with just two minutes of normal time left. The visitors were jubilant and the home side justly felt rather hard-done-by.
1.Sam Beasant 2.Isaac Olorunfemi 3.Bernie Tanner 4.Fabio Sole 5.Calum Duffy © 6.Dwayne Duncan 7.Samuel Oguntayo (14.Dan Carr 59) 8.Mat Mackenzie 9.Sam Evans 10.Jack Hutchinson (17.Elliot Benyon 90) 11.Jenson Wright.
Unused substitutes: 12.William Dupray 15.Daniel Fosu 16.Jacob Bancroft.
11/11/23 - Hungerford Town (Away)
Hungerford Town 2 - Hanwell Town 2
Making our first ever visit to Hungerford Town we came away with a deserved point after a hard working display which saw us fall behind twice but fight back to equalise.
Our side showed several changes from that which had played in midweek against Harrow Borough and our line up included new signing Jenson Wright.
The game was proceeded by an immaculate two minutes silence to remember all those who had lost their lives in the two Great Wars and other conflicts.
Hungerford were swiftly out of their blocks and took the lead in just the third minute when they were awarded a controversial free kick some twenty five yards from our goal. Ellis Watts stepped up to drive it past our defensive wall and find the corner of our net via the goal post. Hungerford continued to press but gradually we rode the storm and there was not much between the sides in the opening thirty minutes.
Hungerford continued to look dangerous when going forward and we were grateful to see Jack Alexander’s strike from distance fly just over our crossbar. Shortly afterwards, Dwayne Duncan who had a storming game for us got in a brilliant last ditch tackle when it looked as if Hungerford’s Conor McDonagh was clear through on goal. A terrific strike by Bernie Tanner sent the ball thudding against the underside of the Hungerford crossbar with the home team’s keeper Ryan Clarke beaten and Calum Duffy headed the rebound home but the linesman’s flag was up.
On the stroke of half time, the linesman’s flag should also have been up, when Sam Oguntayo bursting into the Hungerford penalty area was blatantly pushed to the ground from behind. However, the flag stayed down and play continued much to our dismay so we went in at one nil down. At the other end in the fifty sixth minute, Sam was again brought down and this time the referee had no hesitation in pointing to the penalty spot and another he made no mistake with the resultant penalty kick.
At the other end, another effort by Hungerford’s Watts saw the ball just skim our crossbar. At this stage of the game we looked the more likely side to win but we lost the ball in midfield with fifteen minutes remaining and McDonagh from distance curled a speculative effort over Sam Beasant into the far corner of the net. Minutes later, Elliott Benyon who had replaced William Dupray earlier in the half missed a great opportunity to score but he miscued from close range after another Duncan header into the goalmouth.
Both sides made substitutions as the game ticked over into added on time at the end of the ninety minutes. In the 93rd minute we got a deserved equaliser when Sam got his second of the afternoon, scrambling the ball home at the near post after a Herson Alves corner kick. Shortly after Herson shot over the bar from a free kick and then in the final minute, Hungerford’s Slavi Spasov got through on the right but to our great relief his shot across the face of goal was just wide of the far post and seconds later the final whistle was blown.
1.Sam Beasant 2.Isaac Olorunfemie 3.Bernard Tanner 4.Calum Duffy © 5.Dwayne Duncan 6.William Dupray (16.Elliott Benyon 74) 7.Samuel Oguntayo (17.Daniel Fosu 79) 8.Matthew MacKenzie 9.Sam Evans 10.Jack Hutchinson (12. Herson Rodrigues Alves 79) 11.Jenson Wright.
14.Fabio Sole 15.Jacob Bancroft.