Hawks 2 V 0 Farnborough Town
Hawks 2 V 0 Farnborough Town
A robust looking Havant and Waterlooville put two unanswered goals past Farnborough Town at Westleigh Park tonight, chalking up the side`s first home win of the season. Hawks captain Tom Jordan put the hosts ahead in the 16th minute when he head home Phil Warner`s angled return of a Brett Poate corner, and Warner himself capped a string of inspired one touch passes with Tony Taggart when he powered home the second goal fifteen minutes from time.
Injuries to Mo Harkin and Michael Warner forced Ian baird to shuffle his deck yet again, but the depth of this season`s Hawks squad meant no lack of talent was on display. Darren Annon came off the bench to fill his familiar role at right back and Craig Watkins slipped into midfield, showing the striker`s versatility behind Rocky Baptiste and Richard Pacquette at the front.
The hosts piled on the pressure with five corners in the opening ten minutes. Brett Poate curled two in from the right, needing hasty clearances from Ben Townsend and Bashiru Alimi, and had Townsend not deflected Jordan`s header over the bar from the third, the Hawks would have taken an early lead.
Boro keeper Kevin Scriven took the next two in the air but the visitors remained pegged back as a long Warner throw and a Poate free kick created further chances.
Paul Harkness tested Shane Gore with Farnborough`s first shot 15 minutes in, after Jordan allowed a long goal kick to drift past him. But the Hawks captain made amends seconds later when he put the side ahead. Poate`s corner from the left swung out across the box and Warner angled it back for Jordan to touch the ball over Scriven with a delicate header.
Harkness remained busy at the font for Boro, working chances with crosses from both wings, but as the side`s lone striker there was never anyone in the middle to receive.
Pacquette twisted a soft header toward Scriven after another long throw, but Boro`s deep defending meant the Hawks had to frequently fight through nine yellow shirts in the box to find the goal. Conversely, the visitors` speed allowed them some racing breaks, but the Hawks` offside trap caught the through balls every time.
Tyron Smith narrowly avoided an own goal when he head another Poate free kick just wide of the post, and when Warner was fouled on the very edge of the box, Scriven only just managed to push Poate`s next thunderous free kick over the bar.
Havant and Waterlooville 1
Farnborough Town 0
Both sides upped their pace at the start of the second half. The Hawks dominated the opening five minutes and were denied a possible penalty when Baptiste went tumbling on the edge of the six yard box, but Boro fought back, showing real appetite stifled by a congested five man midfield. When the side could break, Harkness and Smith both started to look dangerous, and Justin Gregory was forced to show a stunning turn of pace twice in succession to get back for essential clearances.
Sensing more of a balance in the game the visitors brought on Bradley Garness at the front to switch their formation to a more productive 4-4-2, but a moment of inspirational football in the 75th minute though put the game beyond the visitors.
A string of dazzling one touch passes between Warner and Taggart that shredded the Boro defence put Warner through for an angled drive that crashed past Scriven squarely into the back of the net.
With their defensive game plan failing, Boro immediately retired Harkness and brought on Michael Charles to create a fresh front pairing, but the two goal cushion opened the game up for the Hawks. Taggart came close when he sprinted forward to fire a pass from Baptiste past the post with the visiting defence trailing behind.
Smith continued to look Boro`s most potent threat, with a further chance rifled onto the terrace, but despite looking a stronger side after their substitutions, the visitors remained second best to a Hawks side who took the opportunity presented by weak opposition to organise and experiment for tougher encounters ahead.
By Rich Self