Havant and Waterlooville have ended a historic season by winning the Portsmouth Senior Cup after beating Petersfield Town 5-0 in a repeat of the 2015 in which the Hawks won to end a historic cup run becoming the first side in the competitions history to not concede and scoring 19 goals in their 3 matches.
With a 31 day gap between matches, the players featured this evening had only one training session on Thursday to prepare for the match with the likes of Brian Stock and Ed Harris being absent due to holiday. This gave Alfy Whittingham and Marley Ridge opportunity to taste the final stage.
Before the final got underway players, officials and supporters of both sets of clubs joined in a minutes silence for the 22 people who lost their lives in the Manchester Arena attack.
The Hawks were in the ascendency right from the get go as within the space of the opening 5 minutes the Hawks had two opportunities to get the opener. Firstly a ball by Theo Lewis was whipped into the penalty area evading Jason Prior who was in the 6 yard box before Williams recovers the ball but his effort goes wide of goal. Then a minute later Tarbuck played the ball to Rory Williams with his second effort of the evening being saved by Matt Collins in the Rams’ goal.
Then the Hawks’ pressure in front of goal showed as they took the lead after 9 minutes as Marley Ridge picks up the ball on halfway before playing it out to Wes Fogden, looks up, finds Williams out wide and instinctively crosses the ball into the penalty area which illudes everyone in the Petersfield Town penalty area bar Jason Prior who gives the Hawks an early lead.
Minutes after the Hawks were presented with the perfect opportunity for a second strike of the evening as Rutherford passes the goalkeeper and with an open goal gaping shoots, his effort hits the post before Wes Fogden who is
then brought down by the Petersfield ‘keeper with the referee left no option but point to the spot. Prior would then step up to the mark. His effort did reach Matt Collins but he couldn’t keep it out as he puts into the bottom left and the Hawks are two up after 12 minutes.
In the minutes after the Hawks were again making their presents felt in the Petersfield Town penalty area as firstly a corner is put into Jason Prior who heads the ball across the frame of goal. Before a matter of moments later Tarbuck shoots on the edge of the area, his effort being parried away by Collins who was by that time becoming an ever present between the sticks for the Rams.
But he would be picking the ball out of the net for a third time though just minutes after as Ridge plays the ball out to Bradley Tarbuck, who in turn, finds Alfie Rutherford and the charismatic 18 year old’s effort hits the roof of the net and it would be 3-0 to the Hawks after just 23 minutes.
As the interval at Fratton loomed and the Hawks fans made their way down to the bar for some half-time hydration Bradley Tarbuck was making a nuisance of himself in the Petersfield Town half putting ball after ball into the penalty area testing their defence with a bombardment of efforts before having a go and with just the ‘keeper to beat losses possession.
HALF-TIME: HAWKS (3-0 PETERSFIELD TOWN
The Hawks began the second half as the finished the first period as they take charged of proceedings once more as Alfie Rutherford cooly slots home 60 seconds after getting underway to secure his brace and a seemingly unassailable 4-0 lead for the Hawks.
With both the Bognor boys looking to get a hattrick ball at Fratton Park it would be Jason Prior who would have first refusal as 30 yards out decides to shoot and a wonderful effort with only a great save from the goalkeeper stopping him from collecting the ball on this occasion.
Good build up play was a key feature in the Hawks performance throughout and it nearly saw the Hawks gain a fifth with a third chance within 5 minutes of the restart as Rutherford with the ball on his feet on the edge of the penalty
area plays the ball across to and it was only an Olly Searle clearance that stopped Theo Lewis the chance to score a fifth.
Rutherford would complete his hattrick and take his scoring tally at Fratton Park to 8 goals in 6 games as he connects to a Ryan Woodford cross and he comfortably dispatches with the onion bag bulging once more.
With one Hawks already collecting the matchball another in Jason Prior was in search of one to increase the evergrowing collection as player of the season Rory Williams crosses the ball into the penalty area towards the former Newcastle and Wimbledon striker but his effort was cleared of the line by the goalkeeper.
Petersfield showed a never say die attitude even if the result during the second half seemed inevitable but they tried to go out with a goal and nearly did right at the death as Connor shoots in the penalty area but Searle parries the ball to safety.
FULL TIME: HAWKS 5-0 PETERSFIELD TOWN
It was the cherry on top of the icing on top of the cake for the history boys of 2017, 31 days after their title triumph they had the taste of silverware once more as they lifted the Portsmouth Senior cup in front a crowd in excess of 500 at Fratton Park.
Following our one season excursion in the Ryman League attentions now firmly turn to the return of Vanarama National League South football to Westleigh Park and with a second piece of silverware in the cabinet for the next 12 months.