Match Data 2011/2012
Havant & Waterlooville 0
Joe Dolan (Thompson, 80)
Shaun McAuley (Ogunbote, 46)
Delano Sam-Yorke (Pratt, 60)
The Hawks’ league safety hangs in the balance after tonight’s encounter with Basingstoke ended in a slender victory for the Dragons. The only goal of the game came in the 21st minute when Delano Sam-Yorke ran on to Wes Daly’s long upfield ball and fired a shot past Dan Thomas from the edge of the area.
Basingstoke were reduced to ten men just before the half time whistle when Ross Adams was dismissed for a second caution, leading to a second half rearguard from the visitors that the Hawks came closest to breaking when Ollie Palmer turned Steve Ramsey’s cross onto the post with a header.
Steve Johnson sacrificed Sammy Igoe for Ollie Palmer as the Hawks took on an attacking 4-4-2 formation at the start of the game, and as matters got underway it was the hosts who created the early chances.
Scott Jones managed to release a shot under pressure from Jay Gasson to force Ashley Bayes into the first save of the game, and minutes later Jones saw Palmer on the far side of the box and tried to flick the ball across to him. Connecting with it as it rose, Palmer couldn’t get enough power behind his header to test Bayes fully.
The Basingstoke keeper then pulled off a critical stop to deny the Hawks when Eddie Hutchinson knocked a cross into the path of Steve Ramsey, whose vicious drive from 18 yards Bayes only just managed to push away. The ball made its way to Jones at the back post, but his close range volley went over the bar.
Despite their chances, the Hawks looked nervy and cautious in their approach and fell behind in identical fashion to Saturday. Wes Daly’s long ball forward somehow eluded the home defence and SAM-YORKE capitalised by sprinting through to smash his shot past Dan Thomas from the edge of the box.
It was a sucker punch that again deflated the Hawks, just as Dover’s did two days previously, but the side should have been level soon after when Ramsey’s perfect cross through the box skirted defenders and curled back straight in front of Jones. With the goal gaping, the striker inexplicably managed to put the ball past the post.
Play began to derail as the half progressed. Demanding refereeing saw name after name enter the book, and an injury to Bayes seemed to require the keeper to go through a full warm up routine before play could recommence.
At the start of first half injury time the Hawks were handed a potential lifeline when Ross Adams cut down Christian Nanetti and was given a second yellow card, leading to a tortuously slow departure from the pitch.
Havant and Waterlooville 0
Basingstoke Town 1
And indeed the numerical advantage looked like it might pay off as the Hawks came back from the break to pin their guests back and dominate possession for long stretches of the second half.
Ryan Woodford’s bullet header flew wide after Ramsey curled in a corner, and Paul Hinshelwood sent a shot wide after a free kick. The pressure mounted and the Hawks came within inches of an equaliser when Ramsey sent the ball through the box again, and Palmer turned it onto the post with a header.
Basingstoke were finding it hard to get out of their own half, yet for all the possession the Hawks couldn’t force a goal. Hutchinson headed wide yet another long free kick, and late on Chris Arthur dropped the ball to the back of the box for Jones to send a header straight at Bayes.
Ultimately though, the Dragons hung on and moved one step closer to a playoff place with the Hawks now knowing that a win at Farnborough on Saturday will be critical to their survival.