Match Data 2005/2006
Dorchester Town 1
Darren Annon (Saunders, 68)
David Town (Harrison, 68)
Baptiste (pen, 80)
Keeler (pen, 60)
Justin Keeler (Mekchiche, 65)
Two second half penalties forced a draw between the Hawks and Dorchester Town tonight in a rain soaked game that could have been called off even before it began. A late inspection passed the Avenue fit for play, but torrential rain continued to fall throughout a goalless first half, turning the pitch into a quagmire.
Despite the visitors finding more of the shots on target, the hosts took the lead eventually from the penalty spot in the 60th minute. Justin Keeler sending Colin Matthews the wrong way after Darren Annon had brought him down. With ten minutes remaining Rocky Baptiste leveled the score from the spot at the other end after Gary Middleton sent Tom Jordan sprawling.
Team changes meant that Darren Annon gained his first league start at right back, with Robbie Pethick in front of him and Dave Town partnering Rocky Baptiste after the sudden disappearance in the week of Vill Powell. Gareth Howells’s absence from the substitute bench was due to an ankle twist the keeper sustained in training.
Rain lashed down and while fans discussed the likelihood of the match reaching half time, the Hawks took the first chance when Baptiste head wide a cross from Poate. Matt Groves replied for the hosts with a dipping shot from range that Colin Matthews had covered at the top corner.
Two corners and a free kick created a bout of pressure for the Hawks, and Neil Sharp got a shot off that keeper Nick Jones did well to block, although the defender was subsequently ruled offside. Town then followed with an attempt that bent from the outside of his boot over the bar, and Annon did well to stop a shot from the troublesome Justin Keeler at the other end.
Despite the rain the game proceeded at pace, with both sides creating chances. Jamie Collins sent a chip over the Dorchester defence that Baptiste picked up, and a back tracking Magpie only just managed to turn wide the narrow angled shot that followed. Baptiste’s aggressive running exposed the home defence repeatedly, and he was there again when Pethick saw a shot ricochet high, drawing Jones well off his line to lose the ball in the air. Baptiste though couldn’t get a shot off as defenders crowded him out of the area.
Dorchester’s bizarre form made them a difficult team to decipher. With two points from seven home games, but five wins from seven on the road, the side made it difficult to see why home wins were so elusive. Keeler and Ryan Moss were active on the wings and no shortage of crosses gave Groves and Jamie Brown chances, but very few tested Matthews severely. The best attempts came from the wingmen themselves, with Matthews doing well to stop Moss after he broke past Collins with a poorly taken Hawks free kick. Keeler then followed with a long low shot that skimmed across the wet box, needing another fine save.
Dorchester Town 0
Havant and Waterlooville 0
The rain eased during the break, but the pitch remained thoroughly soaked and both sides spent most of the second half slipping and sliding as it cut up. Pethick launched an early corner across the box, and Jones managed only to punch it as far as Luke Byles, who agonizingly missed his chance to shoot. Poate followed with a typical shot from range that Jones managed to touch over the bar.
The hosts took the lead eventually on the hour. Annon managed a clumsy tackle on Keeler as he broke into the Hawks box and the number 11 took his own spot kick, sending a frustrated Matthews the wrong way. Seconds later Dorchester almost went two ahead when a sliced clearance from Byles arced back toward his own goal, almost beating Mathews as he scrambled to stop it. Five minutes later Keeler left the pitch injured, taking a significant part of Dorchester’s attack with him.
Cries for a Hawks penalty were ignored when Tom Jordan tumbled over Alex Browne, but minutes later there was no denying a second shout when Gary Middleton pulled the defender back as he looked to get hold of Ryan Hill’s attempt to clear a Poate cross. Baptiste stepped up and casually fired the penalty past Jones.
Substitute Shea Saunders managed to find considerable space on the right through the final ten minutes, but his crosses came to nothing. Pethick tried from range with a pile driver of a shot, and for the hosts, substitute Larbi Mekchiche wasted two opportunities in front of goal. Dorchester spent time arranging an injury time free kick, but what turned out to be the last kick of the game Hill blasted straight into the Hawks’ wall.