Havant & Waterlooville
Noble 23' (p), 89' (p)
By Henry Deacon (@H_Deaconmedia)
The Hawks fell 1-0 down following the 1st of Noble's two penalties midway through the opening period before Ryan Woodford equalised with a bullet header into top corner with 5 minutes left to play. However, a foul by Tarbuck on Kitching saw Noble step up to the spot again to secure the win for the Pools.
The result leaves the Hawks in 21st ahead of our televised clash on Wednesday Night against Aldershot Town.
Lee Bradbury made 3 changes from the team that lost to Bromley on Monday. The gaffer decided to go with 1 up top with Nicke Kabamba leading the line alone with Alfie Pavey dropping to the bench. Brian Stock came in for the place of Andreas Robinson and Ed Harris returned after being ruled out of Monday’s encounter for Ryan Woodford.
The first opportunity fell to the Pools and came courtesy of Mark Kitching, who drove forward, wriggling his way past the Hawks defence before unleashing an effort which was deflected by his own man with the ball being guided away from danger as a consequence.
A few minutes later and the Hawks had their maiden effort on the Hartlepool goal courtesy of Nicke Kabamba who following a defensive mix up was able to latch onto the ball, initially gliding the ball away from the keeper before Loach got a strong two hands to the ball before Kabamba could get the shot away.
Midway through the opening period and Hartlepool had a penalty after Paul Robinson was deemed to have fouled Mark Kitching. Stepping up to the spot was skipper Liam Noble and he would covert his kick sending Young the wrong way, notching it into the bottom left hand corner. The Hawks one down.
Following the goal, a lot of the play was played in the middle of the park with both defences standing resolute and letting very little past their respective lines.
When the Pools’ line was breached by the Hawks 8 minutes from the interval it would be the best opportunity of the half for Lee Bradbury’s side as Rory Williams driving forward floated the ball into the path of Theo Lewis who directs his header goal wards, but Loach would be equal to the effort.
And in the last action of the first half, Fogden was able to capitalise on a short lapse from the Hartlepool defence, leaving them for dead but before the ball could run to him Loach gets his hands to the ball, to stop his advances.
Ryan Woodford came on for the Hawks at the start of the second period, replacing Jordan Rose who went down late in the opening period with a Hamstring strain.
It was Hartlepool with the first opportunity of the second half as Mark Kitching made his presence felt once again but his header went just inches wide from Young’s goal.
The Hawks looked the better side though at the beginning of the second half as we looked to work our way back into the encounter.
And just before the hour mark, that little bit of magic needed to get an equaliser nearly came to fruition as Nicke Kabamba, who else, brings the ball down before turning before forcing the Hartlepool defender bought the Hawks attacker to the ground. But the Hawks would win a corner and from the resulting set piece worked short to Wes Fogden saw Foggy play the ball into Brian Stock who went for goal on the edge of the area but couldn’t steer his effort goalwards.
Following the corner, the Hawks boss Lee Bradbury decided in a change in the way that the side were going to play as Theo Lewis was taken off to make way for Alfie Rutherford as the Hawks look to add numbers in the attack.
With just under 25 minutes to play Williams was teed up brilliantly by Fogden and with a raft of Hawks bodies in the Hartlepool penalty area, the signs looked promising, however the Hartlepool defence stood resolute and were not letting anything get past as Rory’s cross is blocked for a Hawks corner.
And the Hawks was growing in confidence as we continued to work the Hartlepool backline in a search for an equaliser.
With ten minutes to play a short corner into Tarbuck saw the ball floated straight across the penalty area into the path of Woodford who head the ball powerfully goalwards but claimed by Loach with calls from many behind the goal saying that the ball crossed the line with the Hawks players surrounding the referee to plead a case which the referee unhinged by the appeals.
But within 60 seconds the ball did cross the line, this time there was no debate about it as the ball was played into Woodford’s path, rising the highest unmarked to nod the ball into the top right-hand corner and to send the Bartons Road end delirious.
The Hawks grew in confidence following the goal with the momentum swinging in their favour and the ball was being played with freedom as we looked to go forward and perhaps even get a winner.
But that hope would be extinguished with a minute left of normal time as Tarbuck sticks his leg out with Kitching in his path with the referee pointing to the spot.
Noble would step up for the second time this afternoon and he would slot it into the place as his original kick, slotting into the bottom left hand corner to make it 2-1 to Hartlepool.
Despite a heavy blow, the Hawks kept going with the ball being played deep inside the Pools half with a matter of urgency, however the closest the Hawks would get to breaching the Hartlepool damb was through Kabamba’s effort which could only hit the advertising hoardings in the Bartons Road End.
The Hawks left with another bitter pill to swallow in a game where both sides agreed that a draw was a fair assessment of the fixture.
Hawks XI: 1. Young, 3. Williams (Sekajja 72'), 4. Stock (c), 6. Harris, 7. Fogden, 8. Lewis (Rutherford 61'), 10. Kabamba, 11. Tarbuck, 14. Carter, 17. Rose (Woodford 45'), 23. P.Robinson
Man of the Match: Nicke Kabamba