Ebbsfleet United - 01/10/22

Hanwell Town 1 - Ebbsfleet United 2

Hanwell knew that they were in for a tough game when the draw pitted them against the highest placed team in their half of the draw. So it proved, but Town can hold their heads high after this battling performance.

Throughout the game honours were even in midfield but the visitors were able to display a more cutting edge up front.  Before five minutes were up Calum Duffy had needed to divert a dangerous low cross wide of the goal, with Mat Mackenzie heading a goal bound effort off the line from the ensuing corner. Hanwell keeper Hugo Sobte was then twice called upon to dive full length to deny the visitors, but he was eventually beaten in the 20th minute by Toby Edser from the edge of the area following another corner.

Strive as they might Hanwell found it difficult to create any clear cut chances against a resolute defence, well marshalled by the commanding Haydn Hollis. The most exciting moment for Town fans was a spot of head tennis in the Ebbsfleet area after Harry Rush’s header was blocked. With Omari Sterling-James looking a constant threat Ebbsfleet almost doubled their advantage just before the interval, but Calum managed to block Shaquile Coulthirst’s point blank shot from the wide man’s low cross, with Hugo saving the follow-up.

The second half started in the same vein as the first with neither side in complete control but Hanwell’s hopes were dealt a blow in the 50th minute. The visitors increased their lead with a Rakish Bingham penalty after Edser had been brought down by Mat Mackenzie.

To their credit Hanwell’s heads did not go down and they went close to reducing the arrears five minutes later when Sam Saunders’ free kick was well met by Dan Rowe’s head, only for Mark Cousins to make a spectacular save. Isaac Olorunfemi, who had an outstanding game, got the home fans excited when he won the ball in his own half and dribbled sixty yards, but Cousins easily saved the resultant shot.

Up the other end Mat Mackenzie did well to block a goal bound effort from Coulthirst. Soon afterwards Isaac was in an advanced position again, but his shot was blocked. Substitute Adam Laaref got the home supporters excited when he beat his man and delivered a tempting cross but there were no takers.

In added-on time Adam had his shot blocked away for a corner. Shomari Barnwell headed in the resultant Sam Saunders dead ball kick but it seemed that it was too late to hope for a comeback. However, there was still time for Hugo to make one last save, preventing Elliot Romaine from notching a third for ‘the Fleet’.

All in all the visitors deserved their victory and we wish them well in the next round. Nevertheless, the closeness of the score against a team that were in the National League not so long ago demonstrates just how far Hanwell have come in recent years.


1.Hugo Sobte 2.Mat Mackenzie 3.Isaac Olorunfemi 4.Calum Duffy 5.Dwayne Duncan 6.Harry Rush (Capt) 7.Sam Saunders 8.George Nicholas (16.Chid Onokwai - 83) 9.Kweku Lucan (17.Shomari Barnwell - 68) 10.Daniel Rowe 11.Mark Waters (12. Adam Laaref - 68).

Unused substitutes: 14.Connagh Wilks 15.Callum Woodcock 18.Kain Adom 19.Matt Miskin.

Malcolm Paice