On the 22nd February 2020 Hanwell Town hosted Waltham Abbey in what was meant to be a massive clash in the Bet Victor Isthmian South Central Division. Before the game the two teams sat in the playoff spots with Hanwell in second with a game in hand and Waltham Abbey in 5th. The game didn’t quite showcase this and ended up with Hanwell annihilating Waltham in a gutless performance away from home.
After the bad weather postponing the majority of the leagues games last week football was back on, on a cold windy day at The Powerday Stadium. Hanwell took Waltham to the sword and were completely merciless, scoring most of the time they went forward whilst playing some great football along the way. The star of the game was Ogo Obi who bagged himself a hattrick in an untouchable performance and Waltham were quite frankly lucky to not have conceded more.
The visitors surprisingly started the game off well and knocked the ball around nicely giving Hanwell a few early scares. Hanwell also came back at them with a few early chances and they had a goal from a clever free kick routine ruled out for offside. It was end-to-end exciting stuff for the first 15 minutes and it looked to be a real even affair but Hanwell started to ramp up the tempo, stringing good passes together and deservedly took the lead in the 21st minute through Obi.
Obi slotted home a composed finesses shot against a stranded Charlie Crowley after receiving a perfect through ball from Daniel Julienne which completely caught the Waltham defence sleeping. Really poor defending from Waltham…
The cogs started turning for Hanwell and 2 minutes later Crowley was called into action once more as Obi got in behind the defence way too easily with a ball from Jack Hutchinson but Crowley rose to the occasion and pulled off a good stop which almost weirdly bounced into the goal from the back spin but luckily went wide.
Waltham failed to wake up from this scare and more lacklustre defending continued as Obi added another to the teams and his tally one minute later from a well worked combination between Toch Singh and Hutchinson to set up an unmarked Obi from a cross which was easily tapped in.
This seemed to kick Waltham into gear as they started to get more of the ball and threaten more and on the half hour mark Hutchinson made an awful late challenge out of frustration on Rob Clark and was lucky to get away with not getting a yellow card.
The pressure from Waltham continued and a minute later a shot by Rimmell Daniel from the edge of the box stung the palms of Hugo Sobte when it then lofted onto the post and rebounded but the quick reaction from Sobte stopped any further danger as he put the loose ball out for a corner.
5 minutes later Waltham’s hard work almost paid off as they could’ve easily pulled one back from a corner when the ball fell to Leon McKenzie who was six yards out but he blasted it over the bar with the goal at his mercy.
The rest of the half saw Hanwell hold onto what they had whilst Waltham struggled to create a real goal-scoring opportunity. The last few minutes of the half contained a lot of niggly fouls and it got heated during the end as the usual non-league ‘handbags’ came out when it appeared Billy Holland had thrown a punch causing everyone to come together pushing, which resulted in him getting a drawn-out yellow card as the referee didn’t see (controversial!).
Hanwell were already playing very well but when the play resumed after halftime they looked like a team possessed and upped the tempo through the roof. Waltham couldn’t get near them and Hanwell were virtually untouchable.
The third goal almost came in the 53rd minute when Gianni Crichlow broke free from a through ball from Obi, only to be well tackled by a lightning fast Junior Appiah. 2 minutes later Waltham couldn’t withstand the pressure anymore and a lofted clearance from Town skipper Andy O’Brien was controlled by Obi who then back-heeled it to Crichlow, who made no mistake and tucked in a great finish.
The assault continued just after the hour mark when Waltham gave away a silly freekick in a good shooting position and Hanwell made no mistake as the fourth came when Joel Jacobs rifled in a super free kick from twenty-five yards out.
The next ten minutes were a lot quieter and there was only really a penalty shout for Waltham when substitute Prince Domafriyie appeared to get barged over in the box but the referee waved it away straight away and another ‘handbags’ moment.
In the 72nd minute Obi secured his hattrick when Rob Laney slipped substitute Harry Rush through on the right flank where he dribbled to the bye-line and pulled the ball back for Obi to calmly tap in at the front post. It was poor marking once again from Waltham and Crowley could’ve done much better at his near post.
Substitute Domafriyie was the only player for Waltham who could walk away with any sort of dignity as he made a real impact from the bench with his directness and pace. They only looked like scoring when he came on and in the 81st minute he came close to scoring but Sobte came up big again for Hanwell who then cleared the ball down-field where Rob Laney latched on to it for Town’s sixth.
In added time Waltham scored a deserved consolation after Domafriyie beat his marker down the line and crossed it in finding Holland who’s shot took a deflection but rolled in, spoiling Hanwell’s clean sheet.
In what was meant to be a tight, hard fought out match looked like a relegation candidate vs top of the table. Waltham only started really playing in the last five minutes and got what they deserved from an on-fire Hanwell Town.
Highlights of game can be found here
Hanwell Town: Hugo Sobte, Callum Woodcock, Joel Jacobs, Toch Singh, Adam Pepera, Andy O’Brien ©, Daniel Julienne (Harry Rush, 62 Mins), Jack Hutchinson (David Taylor, 66 Mins), Ogo Obi (Gareth Chendlik, 74 Mins), Gianni Crichlow, Rob Laney.
Subs not used: Harvey Killeen, Dwayne Duncan.
Waltham Abbey: Charlie Crowley, Junior Appiah (Prince Domafriyie, 57 mins), Dominique Njoya, Mark Twumasi, Louis Bowen, Rob Clark (Jack Daveney, 46 mins), Nathan Koranteg, Charlie Edwards ©, Billy Holland, LeonMcKenzie, Rimmel Daniel.
Subs not used: Ryan Dear, Shiloh Remy, Aron Gordon.