Match Data 2011/2012
Havant & Waterlooville 2
Jon McDonald (Thompson, 71)
Sam Pearce (Woodford, 65)
Mark Nisbet (Scarborough, 71)
Martel Powell (Worsfold, 71)
Manny Williams (Holgate, 79)
The 10-man Hawks rose to 14th in the table after a miraculous turnaround saw them come from behind to beat Maidenhead United 2-1 at Westleigh Park this afternoon.
When Bobby Hopkinson was sent off for a two-footed lunge on ex-Hawk Manny Williams in the dying minutes of a goalless first half, the hosts looked set for an impossible second period.
And when Alex Wall turned home Williams’ deflected shot fifteen minutes after the break the game looked up for the struggling Hawks.
But an inspired substitution saw the side back on level terms when Ryan Woodford nodded home Steve Ramsey’s corner just six minutes after coming on.
The goal fired the faltering home side back in to life, and two minutes from the end Scott Jones sealed the unlikeliest of wins when he took on Chris Holland’s beautifully flighted ball and drove a low shot into the bottom corner.
Changes to the side that lost to Dartford last week saw Jon McDonald move to left back, with Chris Arthur ahead of him in midfield. That meant a place on the bench for Leon Cashman, and a return to the heart of the defence for Holland. Sammy Igoe and Lee Peacock were also absent, giving a midfield line that was completed by Paul Hinshelwood, Perry Ryan and Steve Ramsey. Hopkinson started just behind lone striker Jones.
The unusual arrangement at the front almost paid dividends at the start of the game when Hopkinson slot a superb ball through to Jones, whose effort from the right was stopped by Magpies keeper Billy Lumley.
At the other end, Martell Powell’s dangerous cross looked set for Wall before it was lifted away from the powerful striker by Sam Pearce.
The Hawks then gained two free kicks in quick succession. Pearce’s first effort from 30 yards was handled by Michael Pook, which saw the ball advance ten yards before Ramsey’s second effort again slammed into the wall.
21 minutes in, the Hawks came close to snatching an opener when Arthur tore up the left and sent the ball back from the line to Ramsey, whose sliced effort sent it spinning past the back post.
Wall’s firm shot on target from just outside the box soon after drew a diving save from Lyall Beasley.
The Hawks were then back to defend again and Wall’s next shot came back off Pearce before Williams sent it spiralling wide. Williams then missed another chance when he slid in to try and connect with Mark Nisbet’s low cross.
Hopkinson and Ramsey combined to bring the ball up the right, but when the chance for a shot finally came, Ramsey sent it over the bar.
Wall remained busy at the front for the Magpies, and the striker drew another save from Beasely, but it was the Hawks who looked the more likely side at the end of the half as they attacked three times in succession from corners.
The visitors managed to scramble away the first two balls, before the third went skimming out off Jones’ head.
While the half hadn’t been a spectacular affair, the signs were there for a better second until disaster struck three minutes into first half injury time when Hopkinson was sent off with a straight red for a two footed lunge on Williams.
Havant and Waterlooville 0
Maidenhead United 0
The absence of Hopkinson from his position just behind Jones made little difference to the Hawks as they tried to assert themselves at the start of the second half.
Hinshelwood freed Jones with a clever ball through the middle, but the striker made little effort with an end shot stopped easily by Lumley. Ramsey then followed with another shot that was gathered by the keeper.
But the visitors began to apply pressure, and an off the line clearance from Pearce denied Wall before Maidenhead eventually took the lead.
Jermaine Hinds’ low ball through the box went unchecked and Williams tried to force it home from close range before WALL eagerly turned it home on the hour.
Five minutes later a bloodied and battered Pearce, on his third shirt, came off to be replaced by Woodford, and nine minutes after that the Hawks were back in the game when WOODFORD rose to turn home a header from a corner by Ramsey.
The hosts then sent on recent signing Dan Thompson in place of McDonald, and the striker was denied an obvious looking penalty when given a hefty shove in the box after a free kick.
Maidenhead broke quickly as the ball was cleared and play switched ends to where Beasely came racing out of his area to head it clear.
The tempo continued to rise as both sides went in search of a winner and Ashan Holgate created space for a shot for Maidenhead but put the ball wide.
Two minutes from the end the Hawks completed their turnaround when Holland lofted the ball forward from his own half, sending it through the visiting defence perfectly for JONES to break and slot a composed shot past Lumley.
The Magpies responded with an all out assault in injury time, with Lumley coming forward into the mix when the side gained a corner.
The keeper then had to race back the full length of the pitch when the Hawks escaped with the ball. Arthur sent Hinshelwood away on the left, but Lumley managed to get back just in time to stop his shot.