Match Data 2005/2006
Jordan Fowler (Saunders, 78)
Richard Pacquette (Watkins, 78)
Rocky Baptiste (Harrison, 89)
Baptiste (pen, 89)
OG (Byles) (58)
Craig Mawford (Walker, 67)
Justin Pritchard (Robertson, 67)
Darren Hawkins (Fisher, 67)
Havant and Waterlooville scored all four goals in their 3-1 victory over Weston-super-Mare at the Woodspring Stadium this afternoon, securing their place inside the playoff bracket by four points. The visitors got off to a flying start when inside the second minute of play Tony Taggart volleyed from outside the box to send a screamer of a shot into the top corner, and 18 minutes later Rocky Baptiste nodded home from close range to put the Hawks two up at the break.
A bizarre own goal, fired home by Luke Byles from the left wing as he tried to clear the ball from Marvin Brown, brought the hosts back into the game, and a nervy period ensued before Lee Jarman’s awful challenge on Baptiste earned the Hawks an 89th minute penalty that the downed striker tucked away for his 26th goal of the season.
The Hawks continue to limp toward the end of the season with injury rife among the squad. While Gareth Howells managed to shake off an ankle problem to retain his place over Colin Matthews, the side started without Darren Annon, Guy Lopez DaCruz, Shea Saunders and Carl Wilson-Denis, who were replaced by Neil Champion, Fitzroy Simpson, Jordan Fowler and Richard Pacquette.
However, the Hawks started in attack with Baptiste running the ball into the six yard box for a drag back to Pacquette, and a shot that smashed into a defender to spin out of play.
Fowler’s high corner was head clear from the edge of the six yard box by influential forward John Williams, but the ball worked its way to Taggart, who struck a barnstormer of a volley from well outside the area that blazed into the top corner, leaving keeper Ryan Northmore rooted to the spot.
The hosts tried to rally quickly, but a blustery wind spoiled their early chances as over hit long balls rolled into touch.
Baptiste’s chance overhead flick dropped neatly between Taggart and Tom Jordan, who both missed a fine back post opportunity before the ball was cleared away.
Poate’s scything clearance put the visitors away again and Pacquette cut in to fire a tremendous shot straight at Northmore that burst through the keeper’s hands and rebounded back off his stunned face.
The visitors were making the most of the early going, with Howells barely tested at the other end. 20 minutes in, the Hawks started to make matters look easy when Simpson’s cross over the box was head back by Jordan to roll off Neil Sharp’s head and bounce up nicely for Baptiste to swoop at the back post with a low header. The bewildered Seagulls defence cawed for offside, but the goal stood.
Champion, otherwise fitting back into his long absent right back role well, made a poor clearance leading to a Weston corner. Jon French chipped the short ball into the box and Matt Rose head it over the bar.
Darren Hawkins then did well to control a difficult ball with the aid of a rebound off the corner flag as Weston surged forward again, but Marvin Brown’s header off Hawkins’ cross was badly aimed and fell harmlessly wide.
Pacquette was equally off target when he then tried to ship Fowler’s through ball past Northmore. The idea was right as the keeper rushed toward him, but the hastily angled shot bounced wide.
French’s free kick from far on the right found Williams for a narrow angled shot that slammed into the side netting, but with 30 minutes gone the Hawks defence remained considerably more solid than in recent games. However, some last ditch hooked clearances kept the visitors ahead at the end of the half as the hosts pushed to get back in the game.
On the whistle Craig Rand’s headed clearance prevented another chance for Pacquette after Fowler launched a good corner into the box.
Havant and Waterlooville 2
At the start of the second half a Simpson free kick was lifted out over Baptiste for a corner and Poate took two attempts to deliver the ball to the back of the box where Sharp head it wide. Justin Pritchard’s free kick arced beautifully round the Hawks wall in reply, but Howells saw it early and moved across his goal to meet it on the line.
The Seagulls looked more alive as the hour approached, and Marvin Brown capitalised on Champion’s poor back pass to snatch it away from Jordan for a shot he poked wide.
A dreary midfield battle ensued with the ball barely escaping the middle third of the pitch, but the hosts were given a lifeline in the 58th minute in bizarre circumstances. Byles chased down his wing ahead of Brown after a long Weston ball, and tried to flick it back to Howells with the outside of his left boot as the striker challenged him. The shot though carried more power than needed, and whistled past a dumbfounded Howells at head height to hit the back of the net.
Poate almost made amends minutes later when he brought down Baptiste’s cross and hammered it bodily into Northmore, but the keeper managed to push the shot away.
Simpson tripped Pritchard as he crossed the edge of the box, giving Williams another free kick that he ably put round the wall to an expectant Howells.
In the 67th minute Weston opted to make a triple substitution, bringing off Mawford, Pritchard and Hawkins to be replaced by Scott Walker, Andy Robertson and Matthew Fisher.
Despite the changes the game continued to stall for both sides, with chances coming few and far between. Twelve minutes from time the Hawks sent on Shea Saunders and Craig Watkins in place of Fowler and Pacquette.
Mistake after mistake exposed the Hawks as the game wound down, and the side several times found themselves confronted by the possibility of a third consecutive 2-2 draw. Confusion and miscommunication over free kicks and passes showed the visitors to be a shadow of their first half selves again, and Howells was lucky with a desperate punch that cleared the ball away five minutes from time as the Hawks failed to clear their lines again.
In the 89th minute though the hosts handed the game to their guests when Lee Jarman took a lump out of Baptiste’s shin as the defender swung at and missed a throw in from Saunders.
The referee awarded a penalty without hesitation and Baptiste stroked it easily into the bottom corner past Northmore. The Hawks then changed Baptiste for Harrison before the game restarted, and despite a scramble to clear a late Walker corner, looked good for the points at the death.