HAMBLEDEN were held to their first draw of the season against fellow Wycombe and District League Senior Division title contenders
HAMBLEDEN were held to their first draw of the season against fellow Wycombe and District League Senior Division title contenders Prestwood on Saturday.
The match was played at Bisham Abbey due to the continued building of the new pavilion at The Dene.
Prestwood started brightly and dominated the early exchanges. Hambleden’s Duane Brian and Chris Brunning struggled to cope with the early onslaught and were caught out more than once deep in their own half, the resulting Prestwood deliveries just failing, by inches, to get the final touch.
With Prestwood having much of the play Hambleden were again fortunate when a cross shot bounced to safety off the Hambleden bar and then a free kick rebounded off the angle and against Ross Hathaway in the Hambleden goal. With all Prestwood’s dominance Hambleden’s De Silva still found time to bring the ball down and start some effective play setting Dean Kemp down the right for a cross that flashed across the face of the Prestwood goal.
Hambleden captain Matt Cook continually broke up Prestwood’s play as the hosts began to fight their way back into the game.
After 34 minutes North passed to Dawson who set up Lewis Brown inside the Prestwood area where the striker calmly placed the ball under the keeper and into the back of the Prestwood goal.
From the restart, Prestwood pressed forward and a shot unleashed from 30 yards heading for the top corner was turned round by Hambleden’s keeper Ross Hathaway. Hambleden went close to extending their lead within seconds of the second half as the ball was played back directly from the kick-off. A Prestwood defender failed to gather the ball when put under pressure from Hambleden striker Simon Hathaway. Hathaway seemingly clear in on goal failed to catch the running ball and saw the keeper gather simply from the edge of his area.
Hambleden were rocked when eight minutes into the half Prestwood equalised. Hambleden’s Lakovic intercepted a through ball but was caught dwelling, allowing the pass to be completed to the Prestwood forward Macllenan, who dispatched the ball from an angle past Ross Hathaway and into the Hambleden net.
After 58 minutes Lewis Brown made way for Paul Reading. Reading immediately collected a long ball, turned and unleashed a shot that concerned the Prestwood keeper. Good work from De Silva and then Dean Kemp found Reading 25 yards from goal where he turned and unleashed a shot that was turned around the post by the keeper. Shortly after De Silva was then substituted for for Dean Powell while Andy Shed replaced Simon Hathaway.
Shed combined with North after Powell had won another aerial duel but his shot was pushed away.
Hambleden searched for a winner. Adam North continued to work hard down the Hambleden left and flashed a shot wide from distance.
Reading tricked his way through assisted by Kemp but blazed over with Shed waiting and with time running low Hambleden’s best opportunity to take all of the points fell to Dean Powell who couldn’t quite guide the ball home from close range.