Copyright and courtesy of Clive Cooke at Hanwell Town FC
'How things change so quickly in football' is an often heard phrase and there has surely been no better example that our win at Westfield on Tuesday night. The despair felt by us all following our FA Cup defeat seventy two hours previously was replaced by the sound of 'Sweet Caroline' ringing out from our dressing room as we snatched victory from defeat with two goals in the minutes added on at the end of the ninety minutes. How much better it made that long run home from Woking !!
This was all after our evening had started on the wrong foot when in error we travelled with the dirty kit that we had worn on the Saturday resulting in us having to have the correct kit couriered to Woking, which delayed the kick off time of the game and almost certainly earnt us a fine from the league.
Our side showed three changs from that beaten in our FA Cup tie, Will Wambeek replaced Dan Carr at full back, Andy O'Brien played alongside Dwayne Duncan in the centre of defence instead of Komal Llewellyn-Reed and Andrew Herring rook over from Terlochlan Singh, placing a dependance on George Nicholas in the centre of our midfield.
Westfield's side had altered completely from that we had seen the previous season with only one player remaining from last season's squad.
We began the game in excellent fashion and had we taken our chances, we would have been at least three up inside the opening ten minutes. In just the second minute, a good interchange of passed between Rob Laney and Ogo Obi close to the right corner flag culminated in Ogo drilling the ball across the face of the Westfield goal but with nobody on hand to apply the finishing touch. Just two minutes later, Ogo on the opposite flank fed the ball to Gianni Crichlow who chpped the ball into the goalmouth and it seemed that Rob must score but somehow he volleyed the ball wide from point blank range. Eventually we gained the reward for our excellent start to the game when Harvey Killeen who worked tirelessly all night, fired in a driven free kick from the left and Rob rose to back head the ball into the far corner of the Westfield net with their keeper Renell McKenzie-Lyle stranded. Westfield then began to come more and more into the game and Jamie Splatt should have done better than shoot straight at Hugo when well placed and shortly after, Ik Hill in similar fashion to Ogo earlier in the game drilled the ball across the face of our goal with nobody up in support. From the side line we began to be concerned at the ease in which Westfield were now playing the ball through to their front players and our concern was justified when the ball was played on the ground through to the unmarked
Hill who showing good control took the ball in his stride and made room for himself before driving the ball low across Hugo into the far corner of our net. At the other end, a good run by Gio culminated in Ogo sending a weak header straight at the Westfield keeper and then when he did find the net it was ruled out for offside. In the forty first minute we fell behind as a long clearance from defence found Aderi Decle clear on the left. Avoiding Dwayne Duncan's slide tackle, he went on to steer the ball across Hugo to enable his side to go in at interval in the lead.
We dominated much of the game in the second half winning corner after corner, but the Westfield defence stood firm and the closest that we came to drawing level was from a short corner on the left when Harvey cut inside but his shot was blocked on the goal line. We made our first substitution on the hour mark with Danny Julienne replacing Andrew Hering. Westfield also made a substitution with Troy Timothy coming on and he almost made an immediate impact with an individual run that gave him a good shooting chance but he shot straight at Hugo. We then should have equalised when the Westfield full back slipped as he tried to clear and Gio found himself right through on goal but his shot bounced back of the far post and the chance had gone. With ten minutes remaining Ashley Nzala replaced Rob as we went all out for the equaliser which Ogo might well have scored but from one of Joel Jacobs's endless free kicks into the goalmouth, he headed wide. As the game reached its 90th minute, the referee signalled six extra minutes, some of which having been due to the time wasting by the Westfield bench which earlier in the game had warrented a booking for one of their staff. In the 92nd minute, Gio cutting in from the left was brought down as he entered the penalty area by a poor tackle by the Westfield captain, Mo Sabo, and the match referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot . Ogo stepped up to send the keeper the wrong way and immediately retrieved the ball from the net as we searched for the winner. Two minutes later the points were ours. From yet another corner, the ball was headed goalwards, Westfield failed to get it away and there was Ogo to poke it home to set off Town's celebrations and gain the three points.
Referee - Jamaal Horne
Assistant Referee 1 - Nigel Owen
Assistant Referee 2 - Neil Keirs