Match Data 2005/2006
Maidenhead United 3
Robbie Pethick (Fowler, 57)
Fitzroy Simpson (Byles, 57)
Tom Jordan (Harrison, 84)
Mark Graham (Romeo, 76)
Dean Bradshaw (Badu, 76)
Havant and Waterlooville’s promotion credentials were seriously dented again this afternoon as the side lost for the second time in two weeks to relegation threatened opponents. This time Maidenhead United, until this afternoon propping up the bottom of the league, put three goals past the Hawks at York Road conceding only one in reply.
Looking for their fifth win in 28 games, the hosts took on the challenge with relish and surged ahead in the 34th minute with a crisply taken finish from Steve Hughes. After the break Dean Bradshaw put the hosts two in front, and although Rocky Baptiste’s 63rd minute strike sparked some life in the Hawks, it proved to be too little too late. In injury time Hughes struck again through a gaping defensive hole left by the surprise substitution of Tom Jordan.
Whether fatigue or the extensive injury list is to blame, the Hawks at present don’t seem able to fire on all cylinders every game. The season run in will become harder and harder as the Hawks strive for a play-off place but after last week’s terrific performance against fourth placed Farnborough, the good work was once again undone by an awkward display at bottom placed Maidenhead. A single change to last week’s side saw Robbie Pethick take up his old role at right back, with injured Darren Annon watching from the terraces.
Maidenhead saw the chance to prove a point, and looked to make it early on when Hughes’s cross to an unmarked Mark Graham forced a diving save from Gareth Howells. Ryan Parsons then came belting up the wing past Shea Saunders to fire hard at Howells, but the keeper managed to block the shot. In reply, the Hawks found it hard to get a shot off, and dithering on the edge of the box from both Carl Wilson-Denis and Tony Taggart wasted shooting opportunities.
Jamie Collins did chip a great free kick over the home wall for Baptiste to race in behind, but his attempt to control a header put the ball past the post. Saunders finally tested ex-Basingstoke keeper Scott Tarr with a weighty effort when Wilson-Denis managed to cross back well from the line. But the hosts continued to look the more involved side, and Tom Jordan made a critical tackle on Graham as he raced free toward the Hawks goal.
The visitors earned several corners through the first half, but could make little of them, with Neil Sharp knocking one from Collins back in for Fitzroy Simpson to stumble over the ball as he tried to cross. But the biggest calamity came at the other end in the 34th minute when Matt Glynn slid a quickly taken free kick through an unwitting Hawks defence for Hughes to pick the ball up and fire it past Howells at his near post.
Maidenhead United 1
Havant and Waterlooville 0
Sharp ran in to misdirect a free kick from Guy Lopez DaCruz as the second period got underway, but matters were made worse for the Hawks just four minutes in when Steve Dell’s long throw dropped into the box for Ryan Ashe to shoot at Howells. The keeper did well to block the point blank shot, but the ball rebounded free to Dean Bradshaw on the far side of the goal, who smashed it into an open net.
The Hawks were being taken apart by the enthusiasm of the underdogs, who with relatively little to lose, were proving themselves to be by far the more organised and committed side. Bradshaw came close to adding a third goal for the hosts minutes later when he flashed another shot wide.
Just before the hour the Hawks swapped experience for youth by changing left and right backs Simpson and Pethick for Luke Byles and Jordan Fowler, and the increase in pace helped the visitors slowly back into the game. Saunders sent in a corner for Sharp to nod to Taggart, whose well-placed effort was cleared off the line by Dell. The defender was less lucky seconds later though when he collided with Tarr, leaving Baptiste to cut in for a soft shot that Parsons tried and failed to keep out at the back post.
The goal gave the Hawks the lift they needed, and Saunders followed quickly with an excellent effort that skimmed the bar after he brought down an over the shoulder ball. Jordan then drifted in a cross for Baptiste to send high, and Jordan himself missed out when he couldn’t quite get a foot to a free kick from Collins.
The visitors were all of a sudden showing the urgency that had been missing for the first hour of the game, and crosses and corners from Taggart allowed them to threaten repeatedly. In a bid to add further fire power, Hawks boss Ian Baird made an unusual change six minutes from time when he sent on Byron Harrison in place of Tom Jordan, the Hawks skipper recording his first ever substitution in a competitive game after 84 appearances.
Although Harrison did find one shot on target when he latched onto a back heel from Baptiste, the removal of the visitors’ defensive centrepiece put an already makeshift back line into further disarray. After substitute Yashwa Romeo showed how easy it was to expose the back four with a shot that went wide in the 88th minute, Hughes added his second and Maidenhead’s third in injury time when he raced forward to beat Howells from a narrow angle.