Matches, News

The Hawks completed an amazing comeback against Slough Town under the lights at Westleigh Park on Wednesday. 

Slough Town were kitted out in their pale blue away kit, and they kicked off proceedings at Westleigh Park. In the first ten minutes, neither side was able to take control of the game. The Hawks started quicker than Slough though, not giving the Berkshire-based outfit any time on the ball. 

The first two chances of the game fell to Jake McCarthy. Harry Jewitt-White found the captain alone on the edge of the box in the 8th minute. The Portsmouth loanee laid the ball off to McCarthy, but his subsequent shot flew well over the bar. 

Kwaku Donkor found McCarthy from out wide minutes later, this time completely unmarked and much further into the Rebels’ box. The captain received the ball and looked to make up for his miss, but the ball flew even further over the bar this time. 

This near miss seemed to give the Slough players the kick they needed to grow into the game. They began to put much more pressure on the Hawks, repeatedly winning midfield duels and not giving the backline any time on the ball. Scott Davies forced Ross Worner into his first save of many in the 19th minute. The midfielder drove the ball low from outside the area and towards the goal, forcing Ross to get down and palm it away. 

The Rebels players continued to pile pressure on the Hawks, who had almost every player defending the box. Trae Cook-Appiah came so close to breaking the deadlock in the 22nd minute. His header from point-blank range was palmed away by Worner, who got across the goal quickly to make sure Bulgarian forward Slavi Spasov couldn’t tap in the rebound. 

Slough kept bombarding the defence after this chance, but the Hawks players stood defiantly strong. Special praise must go the way of Joe McNerney and Nathan Carlyle, who were commanding the Hawks players well, limiting chances for the Rebels. 

The Hawks’ strong defence meant that even though the Slough players were pilling on pressure, they didn’t have any real chances to speak about. This was until the 37th minute when some excellent interplay between Josh Jackman and Spasov resulted in Jackman getting past McNerney and being through on goal. The Slough defender found himself with only Worner to beat, but he couldn’t get his shot off cleanly, clumsily rolling the ball towards goal. 

Several Hawks and Rebels players had got into the box by this point, and they were all trying to get a foot on the ball. After Worner was forced to make a few saves, McNerney booted the ball clear to nullify the danger.  

The Rebels were desperately looking for the opener and the Hawks were just trying to hold on for dear life. Matt Lench found himself in space deep in the Hawks’ half and decided to take his shot from a distance. This would have been on target if not for a Hawks deflection which sent the ball out for a throw-in.

The throw-in was taken quickly and found Cook-Appiah. He got around the Hawks defender and into space, spotting David Ogbonna in a dangerous position. The ball was delivered to the feet of Ogbonna, who slotted the ball in from close range, giving the Rebels the lead in the 44th minute and the 19-year-old his 4th goal in 5 games. 

4 minutes of added time were awarded, but neither side were able to do anything of note before the referee blew his whistle for halftime. 

Half time: Havant and Waterlooville 0-1 Slough Town 

Callum Kealy walked out with the rest of the team after the break, coming on for Ryan Seager who had struggled to get a foot in the game. The Aussie was quick to get going, pressing the Rebels’ back line from the blow of the whistle. This paid off in the 49th minute when Donkor played a great ball to Kealy who was darting into the opposition box. He laid the ball off to Jewitt-White, but he couldn’t get a shot off thanks to a last-minute tackle from Joe Dandy. 

The Hawks came out a completely different team from the first half, pinning Slough back and creating good chances. McCarthy had grown into the game much more, beating his man repeatedly. The captain dispossessed a Slough player in the middle of the park and drove towards goal. He then looked up and took his shot which glided along the floor and into the bottom corner of the Terror’s net, levelling the score in the 53rd minute. This was the skipper’s second goal in as many games. 

Donkor almost scored the Hawks’ second a minute later, when Jewitt-White spotted the Blackpool loanees run into the box. Donkor found himself one-on-one with Lincoln, who was able to save the shot with his outstretched legs and put the ball out for a Hawks corner. Roberts took the corner and found Whittingham on the edge of the box, but his shot from just outside the area was calmly held by the keeper. 

Slough woke up after this, causing problems for the Hawks’ back line and winning two corners. The second one could only find the head of McNerney, who cleared the ball and found Whittingham to start a counter-attack. The number 18 could have switched the ball to Kealy in space on the left, but he decided to drive forward. However, he was met by Dandy, who retrieved the ball with ease and nullified the chance. 

The game calmed down significantly after this, with neither side being able to create any real chances. The midfield battle between the Hawks and Rebels was extremely entertaining. Roberts received a yellow card for a foul on a Rebels player on the edge of the opposition box, his 10th yellow of the season. 

The introduction of Kealy changed the game. He was running things from an attack point of view and creating chances that his teammates couldn’t quite get on the end of. He came within inches of finding the Hawks second in the 63rd minute, beating Lincoln but smashing the ball against the post from inside the box. 

He didn’t make this mistake twice. In the 66th minute, McCarthy picked out Kealy with a great through ball. The Hawks striker darted into the box, cut across and calmly slotted the ball past Lincoln with the side of his foot and into the back of the net. The score was not 2-1 to the Hawks.  

The Rebels were quick to get going and were franticly trying to get players forward. This left miles of space for the Hawks to play in. Donkor took advantage of this, constantly getting on the ball and driving forward on the right-hand side.

Carlyle was awarded a yellow card for taking a Slough player down just outside the Hawks box, presenting the Rebels with a great chance to equalise in the 74th minute. Johnny Goodard stepped up and struck the ball towards goal, but it hit the wall and crept just wide. 

Straight after this Carlyle and Donkor were taken off for Brendan Wilson and new man Jonas Mukuna, who was announced as a new signing for the Hawks from Farnborough on the day of the game. 

The momentum of the game had shifted back towards Slough now, who was cutting out almost all of the Hawks’ passes. McCarthy tried to play the ball through to Mukuna on the right-hand side, but it was cut out by Dan Bayliss. The centre-half sent the ball up the pitch to substitute Leon Chambers-Parillon, who twisted and turned his way past McNerney. The midfielder took a shot but it flew just over the Hawks crossbar. 

Slough was starting to look desperate for an equaliser, putting pressure on the Hawks’ back line. They would have likely found this leveller if not for Worner, who was playing out of his skin, making save after save. The pick of these was a fantastic double save where the Hawks’ number one parried Nathan Minhas’ shot from point-blank range, and then got across expertly to stop Bayliss from tapping the rebound into the net. 

Worner held onto this rebound and spotted the run of Whittingham on the edge of the Rebels’ half. The stopper distributed the ball expertly to Whittingham, who drove deep into the opposition half. The midfielder took his shot but was saved by Lincoln. Jewitt-White was there to try and slot the rebound in the net, but he couldn’t find the target. 

James Roberts came close to scoring a worldly a few minutes later. He took a shot from outside the box on the left-hand side, and it curled just wide of the top right-hand corner. 

The Hawks were still a threat on the counter though. Roberts picked the ball up in the midfield and drove into the Rebels box. He found himself with only Lincoln to beat, but the stopper was able to make the save. The rebound only fell as far as Jewitt-White on the edge of the box, who spotted Mukuna alone on the box. He played to ball to the debutant, who would have had a goal on his first game if it wasn’t for a great stop by Lincoln.

The introduction of Chambers-Parillon added another dimension to the Tudor’s play. He was winning set pieces, beating Hawks players with ease and almost equalised in the 88th minute, curling his effort narrowly wide. 

The referee added on six minutes of extra time, and Slough was trying all they could to find an equaliser. Every blue shirt was running desperately trying to win back the ball, but they were repeatedly met with a Hawks player to cut out any chance of a goal.

The voice of Gary Pratt came over the tanoy to pronounce Ross Worner as man of the match. he made his most important save of the game. Seconds after this the Hawks stopper pulled off the save of the game. Ogbonna sprinted into the box with the ball at his feet and looked to take the shot, but Worner was there to leap on the ball and hold on for dear life. The referee’s whistle echoed around the stadium as Worner booted the ball up the other end of the pitch. The Hawks players fell to the floor as their massive victory was confirmed. 

While Ross Worner deservedly took the man of the match, special praises must be heaped on McNerney and Donkor. Joe was a brick wall and the back for the full 90’ and most of the Hawks’ attacking play went through Kwaku, who didn’t stop running until he was taken off.  

Full time: Havant and Waterlooville 2-1 Slough Town 

Written by Harry Ince 

Havant and Waterlooville: Worner (GK), Stanley, Innocent, Donkor (Mukuna 75’), McNerney, McCarthy (C ), Carlyle (Willson 75’), Seager (Kealy 46’), Jewitt-White, Whittingham, Roberts

Unused subs: Beckford, Woolston

Goals: McCarthey 53’, Kealy 66’

Yellow cards: McNerney 34’, Roberts 63’, Carlyle 72’, Jewitt-White 85’


Slough Town: Lincoln (GK), Jackman (C ), Dandy (Abisogun 79’), Bayliss, Prosper, Lench, Goodard, Davies (Minhas 70’), Cook-Appiah (Chambers-Parillon 63’), Ogbonna, Spasov  

Unused subs: Ward, Sobte

Goals: Ogbonna 44’

Yellow cards: Prosper 49’