Match Data 2011/2012
Havant & Waterlooville 1
Bobby Hopkinson (Jones, 58)
Chris Young (Kabba, 65)
The Hawks stay fifteenth in the table tonight after toughing out a 1-1 draw with Weston-super-Mare at Westleigh Park.
A low-key first half came to life only when Brett Trowbridge nodded home past Lyall Beasely to put the Seagulls ahead after 33 minutes, but the Hawks managed an equaliser seconds from the break when Leon Cashman arrived unnoticed at the back of the box to punch home Sammy Igoe’s cross with a bullet header.
Despite chances for both sides through a more entertaining second half, neither could break the deadlock before the final whistle.
With Lee Peacock ill and Craig Braham-Barrett and Jon McDonald on the injury list, hawks boss Shaun Gale shuffled his side to form a five man midfield. Cashman made his first appearance for the Hawks since April after returning from duty with the armed forces, and entered the midfield on the left alongside Steve Ramsey, midweek revelation Bobby Hopkinson, Paul Hinshelwood and Igoe.
The first chance of the game fell to the visitors when Dayle Grubb’s free kick dropped to Chris Young on the edge of the six yard box, but Young wanted to look for someone to pass to instead of trying the shot.
Hopkinson was first to try for the Hawks, but his speculative 20 yard effort sailed over the bar.
Trowbridge should have opened the scoring when he picked up a flick through the box from Young, but his attempt to poke the ball past Beasely from six yards sliced over the bar.
Ramsey ran in to volley a corner from Igoe soon after, but Weston had the post covered.
Weston looked the more likely side in the opening stages and Ben Kirk almost scored by accident when he picked up a through ball and scuffed his shot, sending Beasely the wrong way and the ball rolling gently wide of the unguarded far post.
Young then put Grubb through for another attempt that went wide as the Hawks struggled to mount a serious threat.
33 minutes in, Weston gained the goal their efforts deserved when a short corner was lifted into the box. Young connected for a close range header that Beasely managed to claw away brilliantly, but the ball fell only as far as TROWBRIDGE for a second easy header.
However the Hawks ensured a level playing field for the second half seconds before the whistle when Igoe crossed from out by the corner flag on the right and CASHMAN was left unguarded to cut in at the back for a diving header that sent the ball past Lloyd Irish.
The hosts then squeezed in another chance when Ramsey lofted in a free kick and Chris Holland’s header looked set for goal before Jamie Laird managed to flick it away.
Havant and Waterlooville 1
Ollie Palmer fired narrowly over the bar as the second half got underway, and the Hawks gained another chance when Irish’s questioning gestures to the referee were ignored and the keeper consequently picked up a back pass a yard inside his box. Igoe tapped the free kick sideways allowing Ramsey to run in and thump a shot into the wall that deflected wide for a corner.
With the match in danger of fizzling into nothing, the hosts kicked their game into a higher gear when Scott Jones replaced Hopkinson just before the hour. Palmer had been isolated alone at the front for most of the game, but a quick return to a 4-4-2 formation saw an improvement in the Hawks’ play immediately.
Jones got quickly into the mix and touched a header wide before scuffing a shot on the increasingly muddy pitch.
Palmer then brought down a cross from Igoe, but with his back to goal was forced off his shot before he could turn.
As the half went on the hosts looked increasingly like snatching a later winner, but Palmer’s last shot was blocked by Matt Villis seconds from the final whistle.