Havant and Waterlooville
Pavey 10 (p); 43(p)'
By Henry Deacon (@H_Deaconmedia)
The Hawks ripped up the formbook’s with the game having a EFL feel about it.
Rory Williams returned to the starting lineup for Lee Bradbury with reliable frontline of Pavey and Kabamba starting up front. With Ben Dudzinski’s marvellous performance for Totton against the Hawks, many asked whether he could pip Ryan Young to the starting post but the Hawks Number 1 Young would keep his place in goal.
The game kicked off once again in a furnace at Westleigh Park with temperatures hitting 24 degrees at kick-off.
The first chance of the game fell to the visitors as Nathan Tyson’s cross come shot forced Andreas Robinson to head the ball off the line 6 minutes in.
But the minutes that followed would see the Hawks start to show their attacking intent with Williams flashing a good few balls into the penalty area.
Then Alfie Pavey broke free of the Wycombe Wanderers defence and with the Chairboys defence at 6’s and 7’s had a pop at goal from the best part of 25 yards out forcing a good, instinctive save from Ryan Allsop in the Wycombe Wanderers goal, with the Hawks winning a corner in the process.
From that requisite corner kick the ball was floated into the penalty with a heap of bodies inside it and as it came through, the referee Mike Desborough spotted a handball and pointed to the spot and a chance for the Hawks to go a goal to the good.
Alfie Pavey was the man that stepped up to the spot and despatches the ball emphatically down the bottom right hand corner sending Allsop the wrong way to maintain his fine scoring record from both open play and from the spot.
The Hawks a goal to the good ten minutes into the game.
Martyn White: Alfie Pavey (left) celebrating scoring his first penalty with Rory Williams.
Then 7 minutes later the Hawks looked promising again and if not for the offside flag would have become perilously close to a second as Tarbuck, a thorn in the side of the Wycombe defence, swung a sweet ball into the penalty area into the path of Alfie Pavey who gets a great connection but his header saved unbelievably by Allsop, a worldie of a save but the linesman came to Wycombe’s rescue in any instance with the flag going up for offside.
Seconds later a Wycombe free kick saw Adebayo Akinfenwa, “The Beast” wriggle himself free from the Hawks defence and in space flashed a free header inches wide of Ryan Young’s goal.
The Hawks were showing the doubters that they are more than a match for the higher league opposition and halfway through the opening salvo again we gave the Wycombe defence another test with Fogden having a go at goal but he could only drag his effort wide of goal.
Just before the half hour mark, Wycombe again had an effort on goal as EFL veteran Craig Mackail Smith dragged his effort from the best part of 25 yards out just wide of the goal.
5 minutes later the Hawks came scurrying forward once more with Williams being the architect of the attack before crossing the ball into the penalty area towards the path of Kabamba who couldn’t quite latch onto it.
Martyn White: Nicke Kabamba proved to be a handful for the Wycombe defence.
Minutes before Half-time the Hawks’ persistence paid off up front as a promising Hawks attack saw Nicke Kabamba bundled to ground inside the 18 yard box, fouled by the Wycombe skipper Adam El-Abd with the ref for the second time this afternoon pointing to the spot.
It was Pavey that stepped up to the spot again and this time he would go the other way and for the second time sending Allsop the wrong way as the penalty crashes off the post into the bottom left hand corner.
HALF-TIME: HAWKS 2-0 Wycombe Wanderers
Following a phenetic opening period the second half would be played at a more sedate pace with the conditions not changing since the half time period.
The Hawks would have the first chance of the second period a few minutes in with Pavey playing a good through ball into the path of Nicke Kabamba who outstretched couldn’t quite latch onto the ball.
8 minutes into the second period, Wycombe had their first chance on goal in the second half as Dominic Gape played a great ball into the penalty area but Ryan Young came out and commanded the ball to stop any sniff of a header as Wycombe grew into the game.
Nicke Kabamba was praised by Wycombe boss Gareth Ainsworth for his quality and you could see why, creating all sorts of problems for the Wycombe defence and 20 minutes into the second period as he looked to burst through the Wycombe defence and up against 3 defenders in the penalty area the Chairboys defence did well to stop his advances towards goal and scuff his effort.
But Wycombe were showing their League 1 class in the second period as they looked to advance deeper into the Hawks’ half with Marcus Bean looking threatening. His first effort came from the edge of the penalty are with his thunderous effort being blocked heroically by Fogden who put his body on the line for the cause.
Martyn White: Ryan Young was kept alert by Wycombe but never truly troubled.
Then, minutes later he would have another effort on goal with Ryan Young being forced to produce a great save after the ball was pinballed into the penalty area with Bean getting an effort way which required the strong hands of Ryan Young to gather as the Hawks backline stayed resolute.
The final 20 minutes saw a multitude of substitutions with practically the entire Hawks squad being chopped and changed as the game grew into its conclusion.
And that would see the game head into somewhat of a lull with both sides enjoying spells of possession but not threatening the opposition goal before 2 minutes from the end when new signing Aaron Cosgrove drove from one end of the field to the other, leaving the Wycombe team for dead but right at the last was unable to get his shot away much to his disappointment.
FULL-TIME: HAWKS 2-0 Wycombe Wanderers
A great result, performance and workout for the performance as the National League season fastly approaches with the Barrow opener now just a fortnight away.
The Hawks really went through the gears in the first half, turning the form book upside down with the Hawks left with one final pre-season test remaining with AFC Wimbledon coming to Westleigh Park on Friday Night.