By jamie bishop
Top of the Table Thriller
This was the biggest game for the season because it was 2nd v 3th – Hanwell Town v Ickenham and only two points separated the teams at the top of Div 2, plus it was only Hanwell’s second match at home and after performing well playing away and clocking up league points the players felt confident.
This confidence showed in the first 20 minutes with some lovely combination football and Ickenham looked shocked resulting in plenty attacks on the Ickenham goal, but Hanwell found the Ickenham keeper in fine form.
It took 23 minutes and just after a double striker substitution for Hanwell to finally beat the Ickenham keeper; with a bit of brilliant individual skill from Rene Barnes (just subbed on) who beat 3 players before slotting the into the net.
Hanwell continued to dominate but couldn’t extend their lead, then the control of the match was changed; with a minute left of the first half Jack Maiden made a tackle from behind bringing down the Ickenham player in the Hanwell box.
Ickenham converted the penalty to make it 1-1 at half time.
A serious talking too was given to the HTYFC players about game management and told to get back playing football with confidence.
The team talk seem to work and within 7 minutes of the restart Hanwell were in the lead again when Che Regis hit a great shot straight from an Ickenham goal-kick. The Hanwell celebration hit a nerve with the Ickenham coach who started to shout and gee up his players with passion walking up and down the line; sadly this got a reaction from his players.
But it was a piece of luck for them and bad luck for Town in particular Tom Sloley in the Hanwell goal; who with no-one around him dropped the ball and fell awkwardly thus giving the Ickenham striker time to collect the ball and score only 3 minutes after HTYFC took the lead.
The game was only level for 5 minutes thanks to Rene putting Hanwell in the lead again and again from another wonderful long range shot which pushes his season goal tally 16 in 11 appearances.
Ickenham made it 3-3 with another piece of luck on 20 minutes when Tom was unable to hold a weak shot to the top corner of his goal.
The game became tense and very tight with every HTYFC player playing well; especially Albi Balaj who was not only defending strongly but was getting up the pitch supporting the HTYFC attacks.
Hanwell had the best chances to win the game in the final minutes with Rene hitting the bar and then a 1v1; with the keeper winning the duel.
A thrilling top of the table clash with the points shared and Hanwell needing to learn to finish teams off when in control.
MOM = Albi Balaj – a solid all round performance, (closely followed by Rene)