Match Data 2005/2006
Havant & Waterlooville 0
Gareth Howells (Matthews, 46)
Sam Pearce (Pethick, 46)
Brett Poate (Chewins, 46)
Jamie Collins (Ayaz, 60)
Neil Sharp (Campbell, 71)
Geoff Pitcher (Collins, 83)
Neil Davis (Byles, 46)
David Town (Newman, 71)
Jo Flack (Champion, 46)
de Zeeuw (45)
Jamie Ashdown (Andrea Guatelli, 46)
Andy Griffin (David Unsworth, 46)
Dejan Stefanovic (Linvoy Primus, 46)
Matt Taylor (Gary Silk, 46)
Richard Hughes (Matt Day, 46)
Arjan de Zeeuw (Daryl Fordice, 46)
Gary O Neill (Vincent Pericard, 46)
Giannis Skopelitis (Svetoslav Todorov, 46)
James Keene (Philip Cousins, 46)
Ivica Mornar (Marc Wilson, 46)
Laurent Robert (Liam Horstedt, 46)
Portsmouth football club came in force to Westleigh Park tonight, with no last minute changes to a full Premiership side that dazzled over 3000 delighted fans and left the Hawks for dead with a 6-0 score line. Laurent Robert’s Pompey debut started in dramatic fashion when the Newcastle loan striker angled a perfect volley past Gareth Howells in the 12th minute, setting the visitors on course for an irrevocable landslide victory.
Ivica Mornar struggled the ball past Tom Jordan to double the score five minutes later, and before Portsmouth swapped their side wholesale for the second half, Arjan de Zeeuw put the visitors three up in first half injury time. Sandwiched between an excellent brace for Liam Horstedt after the break, fan favourite Svetoslav Todorov slot home superbly past Colin Matthews to cap a perfect start for Portsmouth’s pre-season.
For the Hawks though the night was not about the result, but the spectacle and the financial draw that Pompey provided for their non-league neighbours. With kick-off delayed by fifteen minutes to get the streams of fans in through both sets of turnstiles, and both burger vans serving perpetual queues that died down only after the final whistle, the event is sure to assist the club in filling the coffers for the coming season.
On the pitch the Hawks put up a brave fight against a Pompey side they stood little chance of besting. With players including Dean Holdsworth still unavailable, manager Ian Baird continued to experiment with players and positions, and created a starting eleven that again gave chances to rarely seen players. Youth team graduate Sam Pearce was thrown into the fray, and within seconds was called on to clear the ball from Gary O’Neill, who followed with a shot over the bar set up by Laurent Robert’s well applauded first touch in Pompey colours.
O’Neill’s sprightly activity kept the Hawks defence busy and it was his sublime arcing cross in the 12th minute that met Robert for an angled volley that planted the ball firmly in the far corner of the net. Five minutes later a less gracious finish from Ivica Mornar put the blues two up after he trapped Andy Griffin’s cross and struggled it past Tom Jordan.
Chances for the Hawks were few and far between through the game, but Joe Flack’s enthusiasm balanced Dave Town’s experience as the pair looked for an opening at the front. Town saw one effort go wide in a brief moment of pressure for the hosts, before play switched again to the other end with Premiership standard passing keeping Pompey in control.
James Keene missed an easy finish as he scooped a shot wide, and Robert sent a free kick blazing over the bar. Mornar went down for a diving header, and connected in front of an open goal, but couldn’t get enough power into the effort to turn the ball home.
Geoff Pitcher was proving to be the most active of the Hawks midfield, sent sprawling several times in his bids to get the ball but proving nimble enough to release a brace of chances from midfield. Jamie Collins then sent a free kick over the bar, and Flack miscued sending a shot well wide into the terrace. The half ended though with another superb finish for the visitors, this time a corner from Robert bending neatly for Arjan de Zeeuw to volley home.
Havant and Waterlooville 0
As anticipated, Portsmouth fielded a completely different eleven players for the second half, while the Hawks rearranged to ensure that everyone on the bench sampled the action before the end of the game. Four minutes in Philip Cousins slid the ball wide for Svetoslav Todorov to take his first shot of the game, caught ably by second half Hawks keeper Colin Matthews.
Collins snatched a shot from the edge of the box, but put it wide, Pitcher sent a free kick over the bar, and Matt Gray head a well placed free kick from Robbie Pethick out as the Hawks looked to assert a foothold on the game, but the hosts were soon swept aside by the near balletic fluidity of their guests.
In the 70th minute Daryl Fordyce threaded a great through ball to Liam Horstedt, whose shot from the side of the box curved back across an acrobatic dive from Matthews to tuck inside the far post. Two minutes later a brilliant set of one touch passes allowed Todorov to add Pompey’s fifth when he fired home a superb near post effort after Vincent Pericard knocked down David Unsworth’s cross into his path.
Pericard, Horstedt and Todorov would prove lethal in Portsmouth’s second half game, the trio responsible for terrorising the Hawks defence time and again. It took until the 87th minute though for the magical footwork to finally yield the final goal, when it came, Todorov sending in a cross that Horstedt rifled under Matthews. But for a superb save from the Hawks keeper minutes later Horstedt would have managed a hat-trick, but as it was six goals was enough to satisfy the thoroughly entertained attendance.