Hawks swoop to hit Weymouth
HAVANT & WATERLOOVILLE 1
LUCKLESS Weymouth succumbed to a second league defeat in their last three home games against a streetwise and resolute Havant outfit who just about deserved all three points with a solitary winner from Simon Walton on the stroke of half-time.
The opening period had been an even contest until Walton nodded home from a corner and, during a late onslaught from the hosts, an equaliser proved elusive with Jake McCarthy denied by the impressive Ross Worner who made a huge save to keep out his 89th-minute penalty.
There was a surprise enforced change close to kick-off when Calum Ward was not deemed fit enough to take his place between the sticks and straight in came Mark Childs for his first appearance of the season.
Also, there were three outfield changes with Ben Thomson replacing Yemi Odubade, Josh McQuoid came in for Brett Williams while Stephane Zubar was recalled in place of Ade Olumuyiwa.
Both Williams and Odubade took up places on the bench alongside keeper Tom Rees, Jordan Ngalo and Cameron Murray.
There was an eerily subdued opening to the game and even both sets of fans were strangely quiet, but the game was to become a slow burner.
McQuoid tried his luck with a diagonal shot seven minutes in but it dribbled wide of the far post with Abdulai Baggie sliding in to no avail.
Moments later McQuoid clipped in an inviting centre for Thomson but the striker could not direct his header towards goal and it was not until the 12th minute when Baggie earned the game’s first corner.
Two minutes on and it was Baggie that fed Brennan Camp who, having cut in past Walton, could not get sufficient purchase in his shot to trouble keeper Worner.
The next action saw a cross from Walton cause a little panic in the Weymouth rearguard before Jonah Ayunga’s nod back across goal was finally hacked clear.
In the 17th minute the hosts conjured a big chance when Thomson wriggled free in the box and, as he bore down on goal, Sammy Magri was forced to slide in and prevent a certain goal.
And from the resulting corner Baggie’s cross found Zubar at the back post whose header was brilliantly kept out by Worner before the most exciting period of the first half arrived just past the half-hour.
At one end Childs did superbly well to keep out a neat flicked header from Kedwell and then the Terras instantly countered with Thomson ending the move with two bites of the cherry – his first effort was blocked while his second was headed off the line for a corner.
Next, Childs had to be at his best again to thwart Alfie Rutherford twice in quick succession.
The game was now hotting up nicely as first Childs denied the striker from point-blank range and then, seconds later, the keeper was just able to keep hold of a Rutherford low drive from out wide.
The Hawks were clearly knocking on the door and there was little surprise when, two minutes before the half-time whistle, they edged in front following their first corner of the game.
Walton was on hand six yards out to thump a header past Childs from Andy Drury’s pinpoint corner and the visitors could boast a 1-0 lead going into the second period.
After the break the game once again took a while to really get going and it was not until the home side gambled just past the hour mark with a double substitution that the pace of the game reignited.
On came Odubade and Wakefield for McQuoid and Tom Whelan and within seconds the Terras were looking threatening again as Thomson exchanged passes with Baggie but was then felled by Walton whilst in full flight.
Alas, Ollie Harfield’s resulting free-kick was headed clear and then another neat move involving Baggie and Thomson ended with the latter steering a shot just wide at the front post.
With 15 minutes remaining Havant went looking for a killer second when Josh Taylor cut in neatly from the left side of the area but his hammered low shot only managed to strike teammate Kedwell and fly over.
Seconds after that scare the hosts had to negotiate another fright when, out of the blue, Ayunga thrashed in a 30-yarder that cannoned off Childs for a corner.
Brett Williams then entered the fray in place of Zubar as Weymouth went for broke and he quickly brought a flying save at full stretch from Worner as the home fans got right behind their side ahead of the final stages.
As they rallied themselves for a final push a loose ball was seized upon by Jake McCarthy who could only stroke his first time effort from the edge of the box just over.
But there was to be one huge chance for the Terras to earn a point when, in the 87th minute, a low centre from Baggie saw Williams’ attempt handled by Taylor for a clear penalty.
McCarthy composed himself but saw his spot kick clawed away expertly by Worner. Weymouth kept on the front foot and there was to be one more chance a minute from time when Shaun Hobson swung in a cross only for Thomson’s header to be saved once more by Worner.
Terras: Childs, Harfield, Zubar (Williams 75), Sherring, McCarthy, Thomson, McQuoid (Odubade 62), Baggie, Whelan (Wakefield 62), Camp, Hobson.
Subs not used: Rees, Ngalo.
Havant & Waterlooville: Worner, Straker, Walton, Magri (Read 70), Fogden, Drury, Kedwell, Ayunga (Beckwith 90), Cook, Taylor, Rutherford (Bailey 71).
Subs not used: Tarbuck, Paul.