Match Data 2003/2004
Havant & Waterlooville 3
Salisbury City 4
Football Association Cup - Sat Oct 11, 2003
Havant and Waterlooville have something of a history in the FA Cup. Having appeared in the 4th Qualifying Round four times in their five years, and the first round proper twice, the autumn cup run has almost become a regular fixture of the Hawks season. But, as the morning after woe that none of us have really felt since April 13th kicks in good and proper, it’s worth remembering that that record is far above the average for Premier Division teams. Now and again the underdog is more than capable of throwing a Langney Sports shaped spanner in the works, and yesterday it was Eastern Division Salisbury City who were Norman Murphy’s after-match talk of the Solent.
The Hawks started with the same eleven who inflicted such devastation on Bognor two weeks ago, excepting Bobby Howe who is currently at a delicate stage trying to overcome a recurring problem with his thigh. Neil Davis replaced him in the midfield, and after his reserve team appearance in midweek, Chris Ferrett encouragingly made the subs bench.
Questions about the quality of refereeing equipment came to the fore once again when seconds into the match the far side linesman’s flag broke. Manager Liam Daish was quick to demonstrate that it was still perfectly waveable, but unlike three weeks ago when the same thing happened against Grantham, play stopped until a replacement was delivered.
It incident did little to quell the enthusiasm of either side though. The match opened at a breakneck speed, and four minutes in Adam Wallace wheeled away from the Hawks net to celebrate sending home a free kick, only to face the referee and a yellow card for putting it in with his hand.
Seconds later there was no doubt about James Taylor’s superb volleyed finish. The free kick awarded for Wallace’s hand ball craned up the field off the end of Gareth Howells’s boot and David Town took it forward into the Whites’ defence. Unable to find a chink to shoot through he lifted the ball over the red shirts to Taylor, sprinting into the box on the left, and Super Jim met it mid air and walloped it into the top corner.
Town followed himself with a shot deflected away by Wayne Turk, and Taylor came close to a second when Chukki Eribenne held the ball up on the edge of the box, setting Jim up for a near post effort that span wide. Eribenne and Brett Poate both went on long runs that were halted only inside the visiting box, and at the back Alec Masson and Luke Byles were making easy work of keeping away the few chances Wallace and Leigh Phillips were carving out.
Gary Funnell sent a vicious free kick around the wall and into Howells’s arms in the 18th minute before the Hawks gained a succession of free kicks and corners that they amazingly failed to capitalise on. Five set pieces in as many minutes couldn’t yield a shot on target, and the pressure concluded with a break away run from Wallace that ended with a hasty shot stopped by Neil Champion.
The Hawks fell foul of some textbook offensive play from Salisbury in the 34th minute, which resulted in a well taken equaliser for the Whites. Funnell dragged Masson, Champion and Ford all clear of the edge of the box before lofting a cross to the far post that left Poate exposed and surrounded. John Purches brought the ball down, and Turk fired it home.
The goal gave the visitors an obvious impetus to step up their play, and noticeably shrugging off early concerns about the occasion came into the game full force. Roger Emms chipped through to Wallace moments later with the Whites in attack again, but Phillips collided with Howells when he tried to head home the resulting cross. It took the Hawks five minutes to get back into Salisbury’s half, eventually coming from a darting run on the wing by Taylor. Poate followed with a long high ball that rolled off Masson’s head to Taylor at the far post, who cracked a close range pistol shot straight into Sawyer. Another long diagonal from Poate, this time from a free kick, met Taylor unmarked on the far side of the area, but his neat header back into the six yard box fell clear of any attackers.
Before half time Salisbury’s insistence on clearing the ball at any sign of danger lead to two further wasted corners for the Hawks, and Eribenne might have stood a chance of getting a shot off had Josh Thomas not hauled him down as he raced into the box just before the whistle.
David Town flashed a shot over the bar as the second half got underway, and evidence of a stern half time pep talk saw the Hawks maintaining considerable pressure through the first fifteen minutes. It eventually paid off when Davis’s pass to Eribenne on the edge of the box saw the big forward holding up the ball once more for Town as he powered forward to take it.Town skipped round a defender and then Sawyer as the keeper dived at his feet, and tapped into an open goal.
The game twisted back and forth as the half progressed, before exploding in the 71st minute with three goals in five minutes. The Hawks took too long to deal with a Salisbury free kick, and Turk sent home a second equaliser. The hosts immediately charged to the other end and Eribenne took the ball past Thomas before setting up Taylor who saw his shot crash back off the underside of the bar. Poate latched onto it as it headed for the midfield, and sent back a rocket that fizzed over the bar. The action was relentless. Salisbury came forward from the goal kick, and with the Hawks defence napping again a sublime cross from substitute Stuart James sailed cleanly across the box to where Josh Thomas guided it past Howells with the gentlest of headed touches.
Salisbury’s elation at taking the lead lasted a scant two minutes. Taylor claimed his second goal of the game when he sent another Poate corner goalward. The ball took a couple of deflections as it headed through the pack and bounced up off a defender on the line into the roof of the net.
Salisbury could have been forgiven at this point for making a bid to hang on for a replay, but with the Hawks moving into an all out attack in the final ten minutes the visitors continued to surge forward in a bid for security and passage to the next round themselves.
Skelton launched a long, long diagonal the full length of the pitch to Eribenne on the left of the box, who cut inside with it before releasing a shot that flew over the bar. Funnell continued to prove himself the linchpin of the Whites’s midfield with a free kick that deflected out, before the winner arrived four minutes from time. Sawyer’s goal kicks were gaining momentum every time the keeper took one, and by the closing stages of the second half they were raining down on the home penalty area with increasing regularity. An astonishing rocket of a ball soared way above the ground before plummeting to earth on Howells’s 18 yard line. It bounced awkwardly high, foxed the Hawks defence totally, and fell to substitute Darren Crook who angled a shot brilliantly into the side of the goal.
Eribenne combined with substitute Dean Blake to work three chances that all failed to find an elusive second equaliser for the Hawks, despite one effort ricocheting back off the post in injury time. It had been a tremendous game, action packed and full of surprises, but ultimately one that left questions to be asked of the Hawks defence. Three goals should have been enough to beat a team from a lower division, but no one could have expected four in reply.
David Town rounds Kevin Sawyer before slotting in the Hawks' second
Chukki Eribenne and Alec Masson in the air (Dave Haines)
James Taylor tackled by Roger Emms (Dave Haines)
Eribenne shadowed by Josh Thomas
Keeper Kevin Sawyer punches away a corner
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