Match Data 2008/2009
Havant & Waterlooville 2
Jay Smith (Ramsey, 75)
Gary Holloway (Royce, 63)
Luke Nightingale (Slabber, 41)
James Mariner (Ojukwu, 37)
Brahim Eloumani (Nabil, 66)
Andy Ottley (Haddad, 84)
The Hawks reached the final qualifying round of the FA Cup for the third consecutive season with a 2-1 victory over Southern League South and West visitors Godalming Town at Westleigh Park this afternoon.
The hosts surged into an early lead when a double whammy from Gary Holloway and a debut goal from Paul Booth put the side two up with just 15 minutes on the clock, but a less than inspired second half against unyielding opposition, who pulled one back just before the hour when Graeme Purdy fired past Kevin Scriven, led to an uncomfortable last half hour that could easily have seen the visitors claim a replay.
Shaun Gale made a single enforced change to Tuesday night’s Setanta Shield side; Shaun Wilkinson replacing injured Brett Poate.
Glen Stanley’s breaking run on the right led to a shot from Brahim Eloumani in the opening minutes, but through the early stages the Hawks governed much of the play.
Jay Gasson launched a high ball toward the area, and when it dropped, Holloway smashed a volley back across the goal and wide.
Godalming keeper Rodney Chiweshe then blocked a 25 yard drive from Booth after the striker produced a galloping run, which he then followed quickly with a neat touch that left Chiweshe to charge down Luke Nightingale as the Hawks struck again.
Holloway’s 12th minute opener came with the assistance of defender Damian Matthews, whose attempt to block HOLLOWAY’s shot saw the ball ricochet back off the midfielder and over the line; Chiweshe wrong footed behind.
Three minutes later the Hawks ensured a comfortable early lead when Shaun Wilkinson’s through ball was taken on by BOOTH. With Chiweshe racing forward to try and claim the ball, the striker deftly took it round him to roll home his debut Hawks goal from the edge of the box.
Seconds after that, the Hawks were desperately unlucky not to go three up when Nightingale released a tremendous blast under pressure from Richard Taylor that smashed into the top of the post.
The Hawks continued to dominate the half and Booth came close again when Jamie Collins flicked the ball through to him for a shot that went past the post. Booth then tried again with another off-target effort when he latched onto a corner from Holloway.
Four minutes from the break Jamie Slabber came on in place of Nightingale, who went off sick.
Eloumani almost made a name for himself in first half injury time when he managed to turn both Gasson and Ian Simpemba, but having made space for his shot he hurried it and fired into the boards from 15 yards.
Havant and Waterlooville 2
Godalming Town 0
Victor Kiri scooped in a lose ball for Carl Hutchings to head a shot into Gary Elphick at the start of a second half that would see much more from the visitors. Simpemba was then forced into an awkward lunging clearance that managed only to deflect another attempt from Eloumani.
Wilkinson’s 50th minute dipping drive was clearly pushed high of the goal by Chiweshe, but a goal kick ensued that took the game to the other end for a corner that Scriven did well to reach and palm away.
Godalming’s enthusiastic attack continued against a surprisingly relaxed Hawks side, and an inevitable goal came in the 57th minute. The push on Elphick that created space for PURDY’s shot went unnoticed, but his volley stubbed into the ground and bounced up at an angle that caught out Scriven.
Eloumani was then put through again, needing Jay Smith to race across and guide the ball away from him, and a lucky deflection took the ball inches wide of the post after a hand ball from Collins gave the visitors a free kick just outside the area.
The Hawks came close to sealing the win 15 minutes from time when a brace of corners sent in from either side by Matt Gray gave Simpemba the chance for a firm header from the second that was again denied by the post.
The concluding minutes of the game were a decidedly uncomfortable affair for the Hawks, who found it difficult to contend with opponents determined to force a replay. Godalming’s overtly physical style though caused several holdups and free kicks that kept the momentum at a pace the hosts could keep on top of, just, giving them passage, albeit uncomfortably, to the Fourth Qualifying Round.