WOODWORK DENIES BOTH SIDES IN WEST LONDON STALEMATE
AFC Totton and Hanwell Town were both denied by the woodwork during their hard-fought 0-0 draw at the Powerday Stadium in West London, on the last Saturday before Christmas.
Despite coming into the game occupying one of the Southern League Premier Division South's relegation spots, the home side started the brighter of the two sides with midfielder Mathew MacKenzie demonstrating what a threat he could be with his long throw deliveries.
Both sides struggled to create chances in the first half, though. Hanwell came closest when MacKenzie received a pass that Adam Tomasso stretched to intercept but couldn't reach at the edge of the Totton penalty area. MacKenzie's left-footed shot dipped over Lewis Noice in the Totton goal and smacked the crossbar.
Totton survived another scare at their right-hand post shortly after, with Hallett clearing after Noice appeared to have been beaten by a low shot.
Joe Turner pulled a smart save out of Hanwell goalkeeper Sam Beasant with a low drive from distance, after being afforded the time and space to bring down a high ball in the centre-circle and advance on the home team's goal. Then, Scott Rendell got across his marker to steer a near post header on target from Leon Maloney's cross but Beasant made a solid catch under his crossbar.
Totton twice had goals ruled out in the second half - the first for hand-ball and the second for a push in the build-up. Reece Grant forced a good save and was inches away from connecting with a Turner cross, denying him the chance to break the deadlock.
MacKenzie passed up the best chance of the game when he met a corner at the far post and headed into the ground from just a few yards out, only to see the ball inexplicably bounce over the crossbar.
Substitute Alfie Stanley added purpose and direction to The Stags attack. He had one shot diverted across goal and agonisingly wide. Then, four minutes into stoppage time, he got on the end of a move involving Charlie Kennedy, Benny Read and Alfie Egan to strike a shot from the edge of the box that beat Beasant and rebounded off the inside of the left-hand post - a fraction more to the right, it would have been the winning goal.
Full-Time: Hanwell Town 0-0 AFC Totton
Venue: Powerday Stadium, Hanwell, West London
Man of the Match: Mathew MacKenzie (Hanwell Town)
Entertainment Value: 3/5
Author: Ben Rochey-Adams