HAMBLEDEN left it late to secure a draw away to Walters Leisure at their Hughenden Park ground in the Wycombe
HAMBLEDEN left it late to secure a draw away to Walters Leisure at their Hughenden Park ground in the Wycombe and District Senior Division last Saturday.
The visitors started brightly kicking towards the pavilion end with the wind at their backs. The conditions made it hard for either team to play neat football but Hambleden forced forward and were unlucky when Dean Kemp ran down the right and centred with Paul Reading just failing to connect with the cross cleanly.
Adam North was persistent down the left and combined with Andy Shed to craft an opening for Dean Powell on the edge of the area but his shot from 25 yards whilst on target didn’t cause the home keeper too much aggravation.
Hambleden dominated and were only threatened on occasion with Walters finding Lakovic, Brian, Dawson and Brunning in the Hambleden defence tough to break down.
At the start of the second period Walters Leisure pressed forward with the wind and forced Hambleden deeper. Ross Hathaway in the Hambleden goal usherd the ball wide as Walters’ Cox was bearing in on goal and then from the resulting corner gathered well under pressure.
On 65 minutes after a Walters attack had seemingly broken down Hambleden’s Duane Brian conceded possession just inside his own half. Mike Gilkes capitalised and fed in Peter Newcombe who held off a challenge from Brunning as he slotted the ball past the advancing Hambleden keeper to give the hosts the lead.
Hambleden struggled to find momentum and could have been 2-0 down but for Ross Hathaway’s intervention. Dean Powell headed clear from a dangerous Walters delivery.
With time running out Hambleden’s Kemp collected from deep and after tricking his way past two opponents and interchanging passes progressed deep into the Walters half. Kemp fed Paul Reading who just failed to get his shot away after twisting and turning inside the Walters box.
Lewis Brown came on for Reading but struggled to find space behind the deep-sitting Walters defence.
Brian was replaced by Tim Othy as the rearguard was shuffled and Simon Hathaway replaced Brunning as manager Rodrigues replaced defender for attacker for Hambleden’s final assault.
The final change seemed to have the desired effect as Walters seemed content to hold on to their one-goal lead. Hambleden were given the opportunity to push further forward but couldn’t find a clear opening until four minutes from time. Dawson won the ball for Hambleden on the halfway line and flighted a stretched delivery over the Walters defence and into the path of Shed who, from 12 yards out, rolled an angled ball past the keeper and into the net.
Hambleden pressed for the win but as time ran out, had to be satisfied with a draw.