Sunday, 11 November 2012

Havant Haven't Stumbled at Bognor Regis

Hopperational details
Date & Venue
Saturday 10 November 2012 at Nyewood Lane
Bognor Regis Town 1 Havant & Waterlooville 4
FA Trophy 3rd Qualifying Round.  Bognor Regis play in the step 3 Isthmian Premier and Havant & Waterlooville are in the step 2 Conference South.
492 on the lifetime list, and the only unvisited step 3 ground hosting knockout football today, so the choice was made for me.
Pre-match preparation
Third home tie in a row in the FA Trophy for Bognor Regis (aka The Rocks), preceded by wins over Ilford and Bridgwater.  They are in the top half of their league.  Havant & Waterlooville (aka The Hawks), as a step 2 club, enter the competition at this point.  They have Lee Bradbury as manager these days but have faced boardroom upheaval with the recent departure of the chairman under unhappy circumstances, giving them a financial headache.  They are in the lower reaches of their league.  I am really hoping that Bradbury will play 4-5-1 (scifi fans will understand the reference!) - even better will be if he has a tall player called Farron or Farrell, but that may be asking too much.  It will just make the convoluted punning headline easier later on tonight.
This match in one sentence
The win was deserved but the three-goal margin somewhat harsh on the home side after a spirited effort.
So what?
Havant & Waterlooville go into the proverbial hat for the First Round Proper on Monday.
The drama unfolds
Sadly, the tallest player is Palmer (see above) in a 442, but any nerves on the higher-ranked team must have been eased by their third-minute lead from the penalty spot.  A good ball from midfield had released Ollie Palmer to bear down on goal. He cut inside on the corner of the area - centre-back Louis John went to ground and was beaten, and then as fellow defender Matt Partridge came across to block, the ref called a handball.  Steve Ramsey is pictured below, in the pink kit, scoring from the spot.  0-1

Bognor Regis tried to strike back immediately.  James Crane released Jon Marzetti to storm up the right wing from fullback.  Sadly, Ashley-Paul Robinson mistimed his free header at the far post and sent it well wide.  Here's a clip from 13 to 16 minutes into the game...

... and here is the equaliser from three minutes later.  A volley back to the keeper Clark Masters was correctly interpreted as a backpass, and Bognor Regis created the goal from the indirect freekick.  James Crane smacked the rolling ball through the crowd on the line.  That may well be the first time I have ever seen one of those converted.  1-1

Masters was called into action again almost straightaway as the home side took the initiative for a few minutes, but then this happened.  It is a lovely headed finish from Tony Taggart.  1-2

Bognor Regis again tried hard to hit back immediately and forced two corners of their own in quick succession.  Masters made a good low save and his opposite number Craig Stoner had to scramble to tip away a long distance shot after the ball had been given away.  The first half ended with the home side attacking.  1-1 at half-time

Stoner kept his side in the game with an excellent double block in the 59th and 60th minutes as the sun went down.  This clip is from just after this point in the game.

Bognor had two more very good chances.  Sub Terry Dodd showed skill on the right and laid the ball back to Kane Wills, who shot straight at Masters.  Then Robinson was unlucky as he pinged the angle of bar and post with a curling shot which left Masters as a spectator.  The rebound fell to the boot of a defender.  In the classic cuptie conundrum, the home side had to attack, which of course left them short at the back.  In the 81st minute, Ollie Palmer burst into acres of space and his shot was blocked by Stoner, but the ball fell to Taggart who had an easy finish to seal the win.  1-3

Sub Scott Jones added an insult-to-injury fourth in stoppage time.  Final score 1-4

I suppose this is what happens when Crane and Partridge come up against Hawks.
The programme

Something random
Not the best-ever, but certainly a very nice non-league sunset.  I have to say that I thought Bognor Regis have an excellent setup.  The new clubhouse is superb and the prematch steak pie has gone on to my list of best-ever, honestly.

No caption necessary ... oh.
Hopping for Moorfields Update
Five goals is slightly above the season average and much needed after the Jutland Jaunt.
What Next?
No idea! We are entering that phase of the season where experience shows that forward planning is tricky due to the weather.  If you follow @GrahamYapp on Twitter then you will be among the first to know.

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