The Annual preseason encounter between Hanwell Town and their long serving tenants Southall FC had a touch of local politics about it this year with local MP’s Steve Pound (Ealing North) and Virendra Sharma (Ealing, Southall) present, along with local GLA Member Dr Onkar Sahota and Council Leader Julian Bell. It was also touching to see Mrs Harrison and her son at the game, a fine reminder of Geoff’s love of the game.
The fourth running of the fixture was a keenly fought affair, with Southall making their intentions clear from the start, with just 1 minute on the clock a thunderous but fair challenge from Southall’s Roger Smith left the hosts in no doubt that they would not have this all their own way.
Hanwell arguably created the better chances in the first half, hitting the post and having a couple of efforts whilst narrowly wide of target. Southall came very close themselves when striker Phil Osuhor bravely ran onto a bouncing through ball, he just beat the Hanwell keeper to it but could not accurately guide the ball into the net.
In the second half it was Southall who seemed to be inspired by their half time talk, as they appeared to have some real fire in the belly. They forced the majority of the early second half play into Hanwell’s half of the pitch.
Indeed it was after some superb pressing from Phil and Ivan Ruiz that led to the Hanwell left back coughing up possession 35 yards from goal. No one could have forecasted what happened next as Phil Osuhor hit a first time shot that beat the Hanwell keeper all ends up and put the visitor 1-0 up. It was a cracking goal and a very early contender for goal of the season.
Southall were firmly on top of the tie and now they had something to hold onto it was always going to be hard for the hosts to wrestle the initiative back. Then when Ivan Ruiz forced another mistake from the under pressure Hanwell left back and squared the ball to Jack ward, Jack swivelled and finished with great aplomb. 0-2. That’s how the game finished and Southall ran out deserved winners. The Southall Squad comprised of: Arvydas, Jones, Lopes, EzeWuzie, Acotto, Smith, Trowers, Ward, Todd, Mark, Osuhor. Subs: Cassells, Griffths, Tunc, Rogers-Oben, Jadeja
Manager Asare stated after the game – “This is reward for all the hours of preparation, coaching and development of our players. We have assembled a squad that we are very proud of and to score two goals and keep a clean sheet against a side that performs two divisions above us is very satisfying. Our Man of the match was our young full back Oliver Jones – he didn’t put a foot wrong all night…”
“This team performance was most certainly was for Geoff…”