Match Data 2008/2009
Havant & Waterlooville 3
Jamie Collins (Ramsey, 84)
Gary Elphick (Smith, 65)
Craig Watkins (Martin, 76)
Louis Hollingsworth (Charlton, 65)
John Raus (Greene, 53)
Havant and Waterlooville secured their Blue Square South status for next season with a 3-0 win over bottom of the league Fisher Athletic at Westleigh Park this afternoon. It took the Hawks just 90 seconds to find the net in a game that was dominated by the home side, Luke Medley scoring first before Luke Nightingale added a second in the 41st minute. Craig Watkins then secured the match in the 72nd minute, killing off any hopes the visitors may have had of a late revival.
Starting again with the same eleven, the only change to the side came on the bench, where Matt Gray’s dislocated elbow meant a first name check for Leslie Thompson, a former Arsenal schoolboy midfielder who last season was released by Bolton Wanderers.
Medley’s opener put the Hawks on the front foot and the side never looked back against young Fisher opponents who failed to test keeper Kevin Scriven once in the match. Jamie Collins started the move by putting Watkins away on the wing, and when he crossed the ball back MEDLEY hammered it into the net from the far side.
John Raus’s free kick at the other end caused problems after it cannoned off the wall, eventually scrambled free from a packed box as Fisher looked to restore the balance straight afterwards.
Nightingale’s first shot tangled in towering keeper Stuart Robinson’s legs after Jay Gasson crossed to him, and after the ball was cleared to the edge of the box, Watkins smashed it back over the bar.
Shaun Wilkinson came to the fore in the middle of the half, crossing to Medley for a first time shot that went wide, and then after an attack by Wes Fogden broke down, Gasson fed Wilkinson 35 yards out for a thunderbolt shot that slammed into the foot of the post and back into play.
Wilkinson then followed that with a free kick from the half way line that Ian Simpemba head down toward the bottom corner. Robinson however got down to scoop it away.
Collins saw a shot blocked, and a rare quick break followed for Fisher which eventually saw tenacious midfielder Jack Lyons dispossessed on the edge of the Hawks’ box by Paul Hinschelwood.
The pressure paid off for the Hawks in the 41st minute when Medley’s excellent work on the right created space for a perfect cross that NIGHTINGALE stole in front of Louis Hollingsworth to turn in at the near post.
Havant and Waterlooville 2
Fisher Athletic 0
The Fish faired little better in the second half, with the Hawks shrugging off clear cut chances that could have seen them finish the game with double the tally they eventually achieved.
Watkins fired into Robinson after another superb defence splitting pass from Fogden put the striker through, and Medley saw a close range effort deflect high over the bar after Fogden provided again.
Watkins then missed a perfect opportunity to add a third goal when Nightingale released Medley on the left and the Barnet loan signing looped the ball over the goal to put it at Watkins’s feet just eight yards out. The striker however miscued his shot and put it past the post.
Seb Schoburgh’s right wing run impressed as Fisher surged forward suddenly, but substitute Anthony Charlton sent the cross over the bar from the edge of the box.
The Hawks secured the game, and their league status, in the 72nd minute when Fogden sent the ball up the middle once more for WATKINS to shield it past Alex Bentley and take it into the box. He then rifled a low shot under oncoming keeper Robinson.
Charlton sent another effort over the bar in the dying minutes, and Jamie Lovegrove sent Fisher’s second corner equally high with a header after Wayne Grant was dispossessed trying to shoot in injury time.