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Premier Division


Friday 24th November

Tower Hamlets secured all the points in Friday evening’s local derby with Hackney Wick but the Wickers can feel aggravated as they certainly did enough to have gained something from the game. However despite a valiant attempt it was the hosts who were able to claim all the spoils thanks to being able to put away their chances.

Thomas Rebeschini centred to Sergio Sidibe as early as the 7th minute with the resulting shot being blocked and then knocked away for a corner. The hosts then had an effort themselves in the 14th minute after a corner worked its way around the Wickers box before finding Frankie Sinclair who drilled his effort wide.

Sidibe then had a bullet shot that Jerome Anthony pushed around the post and then another Wickers corner soon afterwards was claimed by Anthony whilst under pressure from a clutch of Hackney Wick players. The visitors continued their forward march with Hassan Nalbani delivering a cross shot that Anthony scooped clear. The Wickers were having much more possession but were not able to make it count and they spent the rest of the half buzzing around the Hamlets box which kept their defence busy but they were at least able to stop the Wickers having a real sniff of goal.

It was very much against the run of play when Tower Hamlets took the lead in the 42nd minute when a ball through the middle reached Curtin Pond who nudged the ball past Sam Haywood to give the hosts an undeserved lead. However Hackney Wick almost had an instant equaliser with two shots being blocked before Sidibe turned and fired a powerful shot that forced Anthony to pull off a point-blank save on the goal line to keep the ball out.

The visitors drew level two minutes into the second half when Nalbani was played in and he stroked the ball past Anthony to give Hackney Wick the goal that their possession so richly deserved. However Tower Hamlets almost re-took the lead in their next attack when Igor Furtado headed an effort against the crossbar.

Hackney Wick thereafter continued having more possession but the hosts were perhaps more decisive and when Furtado placed the ball into the path of Pond the Hamlets forward made no mistake from close range, side-footing the ball into the net to give Hamlets the lead once more.

However Hackney Wick levelled up for a second time in the 65th minute when a fine passing move ended up with Jeff Idemudia slamming the ball past Anthony.

Idemudia nearly scored again when a powerful shot was tipped away by Anthony and then Haywood was called upon to save a Pond header. However it was the Wickers that looked the most dangerous going forward, with some delightful pass and move football and with Idemudia now on the pitch they had someone to lead their attack as he was involved in all the Hackney Wick forward moves. However Tower Hamlets had some cutting edge themselves in the shape of Pond and in the 75th minute he connected with a high ball, headed it past the on-rushing Wickers keeper but his resulting shot at the open goal lacked substantial power and was cleared.

The hosts re-took the lead for the third time in the 79th minute when a blistering shot from the right of the box by Daniel McCarthy caught Haywood out and despite a frantic back peddle he couldn’t get back in time to stop the ball crossing over the line. It was a superb goal but Hackney Wick rallied almost straight away with Idemudia again involved, latching onto Blessing Adomah’s pass and having a shot blocked for a corner.

With time running out the Wickers then came close to equalising and claiming a share of the points, which would have been fair on them as they had worked hard to get something from the game. However Mark Colins missed by inches and then Jordy Njeka delivered an in-swinging free kick that crashed into the side-netting.

The result meant that Tower Hamlets quickly returned to winning ways after losing handily last time out at home to Redbridge. Hackney Wick meanwhile find themselves involved at the bottom end of the table despite playing a brand of football that suggests that they may be in a force position.

Tower Hamlets: Jerome Anthony, Lamar Earle (Daniel McCarthy 31’), Jon Watson, AJ Ashinke (James Kenward 58’), Curtis Pond, Frankie Sinclair (Capt), O’Neil Rowe, Luke With, Igor Furtado, Danny Childs (Kayode Tobun 80’).

Scorers – Curtis Pond (42’, 56’), Danny McCarthy (79’)

Hackney Wick: Sam Haywood, Prince Yeboah, Emmanuel Olie, Jermaine Nicholson, Simpson Mpalampa (Capt) (Jeff Idemudia 46’), Thomas Rebeschini, Mark Colins, Jordy Njeka, Hassan Nalbani (Junior Decker 82’), Sergio Sidibe, Blessing Adoman.

Report by Scott Lanza