Havant & Waterlooville (0)2 Bath City (1)1

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Post by Kelston Koppite on Sun Nov 17, 2019 10:28 am

Bath City produced an excellent performance at Westleigh Park, home of high flying Havant & Waterlooville, and were desperately unlucky to return to Somerset without at least a share of the spoils. Having led at the break by a goal from Adam Mann, Jerry Gill’s men were undone by two controversial refereeing decisions in the second half leaving them with a feeling of frustration.

Bereft of three players from last week’s starting line up in Sam Pearson, Alex Hartridge and Dan Bowry, City began the match playing down the slope. Making light of the tricky and soggy underfoot conditions, they started brightly and Andy Watkins’ shot from outside the box in the 2nd minute flew over Ross Worner’s crossbar.

Tom Smith cut in from the left on 6 minutes and fired in a low shot from 20 yards that drew a good diving save from Worner. The visitors then had a golden opportunity to take the lead after 10 minutes when Watkins, racing into the box, was clipped from behind by Craig Robson, and the referee, Mr. Sunny Gill, pointed to the spot. With Ryan Brunt on the bench, the responsibility fell to Noah Chilvers, but his effort from 12 yards was too close to Worner who parried the ball out as far as Mann. The frontman saw his follow up well saved by the recovering keeper.

Vociferous penalty appeals at the other end were waved away by the referee a minute later when Robson went down in the City box, but the away side made their pressure pay on 14 minutes. Smith made good ground down the right and delivered a clipped cross to Mann beyond the far post, who headed back across Worner and into the bottom corner of the net.

The lead was nothing more that City deserved and, whilst The Hawks came more into the game thereafter, they were unable to create any clear cut openings. The lively Jonah Ayunga saw his 22nd minute shot pass wide of Ryan Clarke’s far post after a driving run across the Bath penalty area, Bradley Tarbuck sliced high and wide from 20 yards, and Danny Kedwell’s free kick on 33 minutes was deflected for a corner off a defender.

The visitors continued to play the neater football in midfield and always looked dangerous going forward. An intricate move in the 36th minute ended with Watkins passing inside to Smith, only for the midfielder’s shot from the edge of the box to bring another good diving save from Worner. Three minutes later, Chilvers gathered the ball just inside the Havant half, advanced towards the box, but fired narrowly wide of Worner’s post from 20 yards.

As half time approached, Sam Magri burst into the City area and crossed to Ayunga who was unable to find the target. The final action saw Antony Straker’s long range effort deflected for a corner that eventually came to nothing.

City were hugely unfortunate not to double their lead within two minutes of the restart when Watkins cleverly skipped past two challenges before curling a shot past Worner that appeared destined for the top far corner of the net. Alas, in a moment that would have confounded some of history’s most eminent scientific brains, the ball somehow struck the inside of the post and bounced back across goal into the grateful arms of the disbelieving custodian.

With the gradient in their favour, and buoyed by their good fortune, the hosts inevitably began to impose their more direct style of play on the game. A cross from the right from Andy Drury was met by Josh Taylor, but his header was wide of Clarke’s far post. Kedwell then headed over the crossbar from a 55th minute corner kick.

Tom Richards curled a shot just wide of Worner’s far post, but the home side were back on level terms after 56 minutes. A long ball downfield was flicked on to Ayunga and, although his initial shot was repelled, the loose ball was tapped into the net by substitute Alfie Rutherford, who had just been introduced at the expense of Nicky Bailey. The City defenders were furious that Ayunga had not been flagged offside, but the referee waved away their earnest protests.

Stunned by a sense of injustice, City looked for an immediate response and Chilvers burst forward towards the area on the hour mark, but his shot lacked the power to trouble Worner. Mann then nodded wide of the near post following a cross from the left by Watkins.

The Hawks were now putting the visitors under greater pressure and they were presented with a gift in the 73rd minute. Taylor turned inside the Bath box and, although Chilvers appeared to take the ball cleanly, Mr. Sunny Gill awarded a penalty kick. Kedwell took full advantage by firmly driving the ball down the middle of the goal from the spot.

Havant now had their tails up and, two minutes later, Rutherford shot straight at Clarke from a good position on the edge of the City box.

Ross Stearn replaced Richards on 82 minutes as the visitors looked to take something from the game. The substitute tried his luck with a free kick from 25 yards with 5 minutes left on the clock, but it was deflected for a corner off the defensive wall.

The home side should have wrapped matters up as the game approached stoppage time when Ayunga laid the ball into the path of the unmarked Kedwell, but the striker somehow managed to miss the gaping goal from 6 yards out.

Despite 4 minutes of added time, City were unable to mount any further meaningful attacks and the hosts were able to celebrate their victory.

Defeat for City was very harsh and they certainly deserved to have taken some reward from this display. Even discounting the questionable validity of both Havant goals, the Somerset side played the more controlled football overall and created enough chances to have, at least, taken a draw. For their part, Havant made use of the conditions and geography of the ground with their more direct style of play in the second half, but The Romans will take great heart from their performance. In the end, they were made to pay for missed chances, a missed penalty, and the lack of a blessing from Lady Luck.

Havant & Waterlooville; Ross Worner, Anthony Straker, Dean Beckwith, Sam Magri, Andy Drury, Danny Kedwell, Jonah Ayunga, Bradley Tarbuck (Jake Flannigan 76), Nicky Bailey (Alfie Rutherford 54), Craig Robson, Josh Taylor. Subs not used; Simon Walton, Kingsley Latham, Chris Paul.

Bath City; Ryan Clarke, Joe Raynes, Dan Ball, Oliver Kensdale, Connor Riley-Lowe, Tom Richards (Ross Stearn 82), Frankie Artus, Tom Smith, Noah Chilvers, Andy Watkins, Adam Mann. Subs not used; Ryan Brunt, Harvey Wiles-Richards, Jordan Simpson, Harry Hamblin.

Referee; Mr. Sunny Gill.

Attendance; 1,460
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Post by comrade powell on Sun Nov 17, 2019 12:48 pm

An intricate move in the 36th minute ended with Watkins passing inside to Smith, only for the midfielder’s shot from the edge of the box to bring another good diving save from Worner.

Possibly the move of the season.

Ayunga laid the ball into the path of the unmarked Kedwell, but the striker somehow managed to miss the gaping goal from 6 yards out.

Probably the miss of the season.
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Post by Peter Newman on Sun Nov 17, 2019 1:35 pm

Excellent summary as usual. Think Havant must count themselves very lucky to have got anything from the game. Firstly they did not have to face the same City squad of the previous weeks and then had all the breaks going in their favour in the 2nd half. I think Havant were also assisted by the poor pitch quality as we found it more difficult to keep our quick passing game going the more the surface cut up. Realistically I suspect Havant to win the league as they seem to have signed a number of high cost (possibly) non-league stalwarts.

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Post by LB on Sun Nov 17, 2019 3:21 pm

"Alas, in a moment that would have confounded some of history’s most eminent scientific brains..."

Possibly my favourite line in any of KK's reports to date!

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Post by South London Road City on Sun Nov 17, 2019 5:06 pm

Big jump in the Havant attendances in recent years, wonder how they've done that?

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Post by the demon headmaster on Sun Nov 17, 2019 6:08 pm

South London Road City wrote:Big jump in the Havant attendances in recent years, wonder how they've done that?

Recent success?

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Post by stillmanjunior on Sun Nov 17, 2019 6:14 pm

I understand their season tickets are all under £100, which if correct is excellent value. Massive savings if you’re not going as a one off.
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Post by Ashley on Sun Nov 17, 2019 10:12 pm

LB wrote:"Alas, in a moment that would have confounded some of history’s most eminent scientific brains..."

Possibly my favourite line in any of KK's reports to date!

A perfect description of the incident. Isaac Newton wouldn’t have been able to explain it, although given football was invented 130 years after he died he’d have probably found the whole event quite baffling.
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Post by tovid on Mon Nov 18, 2019 11:04 am

From the FIFA website - The very earliest form of the game for which there is scientific evidence was an exercise from a military manual dating back to the second and third centuries BC in China.
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Post by yuffie on Mon Nov 18, 2019 12:07 pm

stillmanjunior wrote:I understand their season tickets are all under £100, which if correct is excellent value. Massive savings if you’re not going as a one off.

They must include those in the crowd figure whether they are there or not as there certainly didn't appear to be anywhere near approaching 1500 on Saturday.

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Post by Ashley on Mon Nov 18, 2019 1:02 pm

tovid wrote:From the FIFA website -  The very earliest form of the game for which there is scientific evidence was an exercise from a military manual dating back to the second and third centuries BC in China.

I went from the date Sheffield FC were founded. Good job City didn't exist in the third century as the inevitable FA Trophy draw away to the Chinese army would have been a long journey on Berkeleys' chariot!
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Post by Kelston Koppite on Mon Nov 18, 2019 6:27 pm

Having now seen the highlights of the game on the Havant website the goalscorer, Rutherford, looked offside for their first goal rather than Ayunga.

With regard to the penalty award, it has got to be said that it is a complete joke.  Taylor threw his leg out sideways (as is often seen on TV in the Premier League) against Noah Chilvers and the referee, who was no more than 10 yards away, fell for it hook line and sinker.  I now feel that City were even more hard done by than I had originally thought.  Absolute nonsense of a decision.

(The highlights can be found under the 'Hawks TV' button which is on their website main page).

Link https://www.havantandwaterloovillefc.co.uk
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Post by tovid on Mon Nov 18, 2019 7:37 pm

I'm trying to work out how the ball went sideways if Chilvers didn't touch it.
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