Match Data 2003/2004
Dorchester Town 1
Havant & Waterlooville 2
Southern League Premier Division - Sat Oct 18, 2003
Somewhat surprisingly, the Hawks haven’t played away at Dorchester’s Avenue Stadium in almost three years. Back then on New Year’s Day 2001 it was an inexperienced Magpies defence who bore the brunt of the opening Hawks attack, conceding a 5th minute goal to Paul Wood that stood unequalled for the rest of the game. Winding the clock forward, only two members of that Hawks side were present for the game last Saturday, Neil Champion still commanding in midfield, and James Taylor, albeit restricted to the bench after suffering an injury against Tiverton.
It was Dorchester this time though who grasped the game early on. Matt Groves took a sighting shot that forced a save from Gareth Howells in the fifth minute, and Justin Keeler followed with a run on the wing that Alec Masson cut short. It took the Hawks fifteen minutes to compose themselves, eventually gaining a chance when Chukki Eribenne ran onto a through ball to go one on one with Mark Ormerod. Instead of hammering the ball Chukki attempted a cheeky chip over the rushing keeper, but he caught it and dispatched it forward into another attack. Jamie Brown collected the ball and sent it out to Matt Hann, but Howells again stopped the shot.
The Hawks defended three corners in as many minutes half way through the half, the last from Matt Holmes reaching Carl Poore who drove a hard shot wide of the post. Hann put Brown through for a further shot, and for a while it looked as though the Magpies were getting the better of their guests. A collision between Ormerod and David Town however turned the game on its head. Racing out of his area to clear a long ball, Ormerod got a fist to Town’s face before going down in a heap. Treatment saw him back on his feet, although limping, but he eventually retired from the game at half time.
Not that his injury would have prevented him stopping the Hawks’ first goal, which arrived minutes later on the end of a corner from Dean Blake. A shot from Luke Byles was arguably hand balled out of play by a defender, before Blake’s ball swung through the air high over the goal to Aaron Skelton, unmarked on the far side of the back post. He angled a low header into the net and wheeled away to celebrate his third goal of the season.
Four minutes later the Hawks bagged a second when Shaun Wilkinson’s right wing run ended with a drag back into the six yard box that Blake and Eribenne both charged onto. Dean tried, but Chukki upended himself swiping the ball up into the roof of the net. The half ended with another acrobatic attempt from Eribenne, and Dorchester crestfallen after taking the lion’s share of the play.
Without a substitute on the bench Dorchester’s goal keeping duties fell to number nine Jamie Brown, unfortunately for the hosts the most potent looking of the front line in the first half. The change did give Danny O’Hagan his second debut for Dorchester though, the Magpies hero having returned from a season at Weston-Super-Mare last week.
Town curled a shot wide at the start of the second forty-five, and Eribenne saw another attempt deflected out by Radcliffe. Jamie Ford was found guilty of a handball, but O’Hagan failed to latch onto Holmes’s free kick. Hann followed with a good cross, but both O’Hagan and Groves couldn’t find space to shoot and as Dorchester stepped up the pressure Alex Browne rattled the crossbar with a header. Skelton blocked a drive from Simon Radcliffe before the Hawks defence finally yielded to Groves, racing through with a long goal kick in the 65th minute.
The striker could have added a second seven minutes later, but pushed the ball within reach of Howells instead of releasing a shot. Browne sent another header in, this time narrowly going over, and for a while the Hawks were pinned well back by attack after attack from the hosts. The clinical finish though wasn’t there.
Blake restored order with the first Hawks attempt in some time late in the game, and Brown spilled his shot but recovered quickly to drop on it as it rolled toward the line. The Hawks defence were caught out again as injury time approached, Mark Rawlinson dispossessing Ford as he tried to make a clearance, but Howells got behind the ensuing scorcher of a shot.
Neil Davis put Eribenne through as the Magpies defence started to stretch, but his soft attempt came back off Brown to substitute Lewis Fennemore, whose golden opportunity to score with his first touch flew over the bar. On the whistle, Town characteristically dragged the ball round Brown to race toward an open net, but he couldn’t turn it back goalward before running out of pitch.
Dorchester will claim that for the second time this season they were denied points against the Hawks despite putting in a superior performance, but it was their finishing that again let them down in a contest that will no doubt be remembered for ten minutes at the end of the first half. Whether Ormerod’s injury was instrumental in the goals will remain a bone of contention, but at the final whistle it was the missed chances at the other end that stopped the Magpies taking anything from the match.
Shaun Wilkinson races in on the wing
Aaron Skelton wheels away to celebrate his goal (Dave Haines)
...for Chukki Eribenne's finish (Dave Haines)
David Town gets a fistful in the collision that injured Ormerod (Dave Haines)
Neil Champion on the receiving end of a tackle (Dave Haines)
Alec Masson tries to reach Dean Blake's corner
Click thumbnails for larger pictures