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Match Report

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Match report by Ian Pluck

After the narrow wins against Aylesbury FC and Tilbury last week in the FA Cup, manager Glyn Creaser made just one change to the starting line-up, with youngster Jamie Jellis returning in place of Dejon Noel-Williams, whose short loan spell has been ended at the request of his home club. With Harry Jones injured and Reece Cameron unavailable, there were only 3 named substitutes, although it did include Bruno Brito, returning to the squad after his recent wedding.

The visitors arrived having lost all of their league matches so far, having scored just one goal and conceded 10 in their first 4 league matches. However, they will have taken great confidence from an outstanding 4-1 win in the FA Cup last week against Bostik Premier league opponents, Brightlingsea Regent. Perhaps it isn’t surprising then that the visitors started strongly. A ball into Harvey Killeen saw the young striker turn Greg Williams on the edge of the penalty area and fire a powerful shot which Jack Sillitoe was happy to see clear his crossbar.

Four minutes later, a fantastic diagonal ball from Ryan Kinnane found Jamie Jellis on the right flank; he cut inside his defender and shot from 20 yards, but sadly his shot was dragged wide of the post. Shortly afterwards, a defence splitting ball by Jake Bewley found Ollie Hogg making a run through the middle of the park; unfortunately a heavy touch as he approached the penalty area allowed keeper Xavi Comas to block his attempt on goal.

On 12 minutes, Jellis was the first to find his way into the referee’s notebook, after what appeared to be a fair aerial challenge on Kyle Watson; however, after seeing the defender fall to the floor, a yellow card was issued by referee Sunny Gill.

On the quarter hour, a quick throw out by Sillitoe was intercepted by Charlie Mitchell on the left. He passed the ball forward to Tom Hunt, but like Killeen earlier, his shot from the edge of the box lacked precision and sailed over the bar.

After 21 minutes, a great move involving Bewley and Tyriq Hunte saw the ball played square to Lea Coulter on the edge of the area. A quick touch to open up his body was followed by a powerful shot from 18 yards, which beat Comas to open the scoring. 1-0 Aylesbury

Despite falling behind, the visitors continued to play some nice football, driven on by skipper Michael Buckley in the centre of the park. He was the next to challenge the Ducks goal, as a ball down the left channel allowed him to draw Sillitoe out of his goal; Buckley bypassed the keeper with a low cross to Mitchell in the centre of the penalty area, who could only miskick his first attempt, and then fire his second at Alex Collard to clear the danger.

Half-time: Aylesbury 1-0 Hanwell

The second half started with Hanwell forced to substitute Buckley who had sustained an injury as the first half drew to an end. After 55 minutes a header forward by Jack Wood found Sonny French, who in turn directed the ball in to Hunte, whose shot was deflected for a corner. From the resulting set piece, a scramble in the penalty area saw a Greg Williams shot cleared off the line.

Just before the hour, Hanwell were forced to make a second injury substitution, with the impressive left back Watson forced off. Shortly afterwards, a clearance from a corner rebounded to Sonny French who played a dangerous ball back in, which evaded the boots of both Coulter and Hunte, and straight into the arms of Comas.

A scare for the Ducks 2 minutes later as Sillitoe fumbled a deep cross; the ball ricocheted around before it the keeper managed to claim the ball on the ground.

With 20 minutes remaining, Hunte was replaced by Brito, making a welcome return to the team. On 80 minutes, Jellis won the ball from substitute Karl Stevenson and played the ball to Bewley attacking down the left. His ball found French on the edge of the area, but like so many attempts before him, his shot lacked precision and went wide of the goal. With 7 minutes left on the clock, Hogg found Coulter on the right, but his shot from 15 yards was across the face of goal with no one close enough to get the vital touch. The final chance of the game saw Sillitoe make his only real save of the match. A corner from the right by Mills was half cleared by Bewley, but the ball was fired back in with Sillitoe getting down smartly at the near post to preserve the lead.

Referee Gill blew his whistle shortly afterwards to confirm the Ducks 3rd successive 1-0 victory, a good turn round from the early season defensive frailties. Next up is the 2nd Qualifying round of the FA Cup against Spartan South Midlands side Baldock Town, who like the Ducks play away from their home town at Arlesey FC.