About Match

Hawks settle for a point as visitors score last gasp equaliser in this end-to-end thriller:

The rain was beating down at Westleigh Park, with Havant & Waterlooville kitted out in their all white strip and Bath City donning their yellow and navy striped shirts. The Hawks pressured early with a hopeful cross into the box falling to Harry Jewitt-White, who stung a shot into the Bath City defence that ricocheted out for the first corner of the game.

Bath City retaliated though, creating a golden chance eleven minutes in with Ewan Clark shimmying down the wing and cutting inside. It seemed as though goalkeeper Ross Worner would be called into action for the first time this afternoon, if not for the heroics of Joe McNerney. The Hawks centre half lunged at the feet of Clark and managed to pull off a superb block from the winger’s shot. Bath City were seemingly finally able to turn all their possession into a chance.

But it would be the Hawks that broke the deadlock after a lightning fast counter attack thirteen minutes in. Callum Kealy fizzed in a blistering low cross into the box that was poorly dealt with by The Romans defence. The ball fell to Ryan Seager who saw his strike magnificently stopped by keeper Josey Casa-Grande. He parried it straight into the path of Alfy Whittingham who made no mistake from six yards out, slotting the ball into the bottom left corner, his first goal of the campaign for Havant. 1-0 to The Hawks.

Devante Stanley was the first Havant player to enter the referees book, receiving a yellow card after taking down Clark as Bath City roamed forward on the counter attack. Clark would continue to be a thorn in Havant’s side, constantly pressuring down the right flank but being repelled by the Hawks defence at every attempt. 

The Romans pushed on and created their best chance of the game so far through Tom Smith. The Bath City striker was able to get in between the Hawks’ two central defenders and latch onto a cross from the left hand side. However, his first time shot was tame and posed Worner, in the Havant goal, no real threat.

It seemed as though the Havant back line were taking it in turns to perform defending heroics, on this occasion by left back Kai Innocent. A long ball was flicked on by Cody Cooke inside the centre circle, and seemingly played Clark in and behind the Hawks defence. However, Innocent was able to rush back, jostle with Clark and put in a wonderful sliding challenge to push the ball to safety.

The Romans would come close again five minutes later, this time with a hint of luck about the move. Clark was once again pivotal to the attack as he drove through the centre of the park. The ball pinballed between him and the two Havant centre halves and fell perfectly to Cooke, one on one with the keeper. But the big number nine dragged his shot well wide of Worner’s left hand post and out of play for a goal kick.

The Hawks pushed forward again as the first half came to a close. Innocent worked his way down the left flank once again, floating in a deep cross that was headed clear by the Bath City defence. The ball fell perfectly to Whittingham who hit a brilliant drive on the half volley that swerved just wide of Casa-Grande’s goal. 

The half time whistle blew not one minute later with the Hawks leading one goal to nil. It was a half of few chances for Havant & Waterlooville but they seized the opportunities that they’d created with an Alfy Whittingham strike being the crucial difference between the two sides. Bath City threatened, mainly through the presence of Ewan Clark, as most of their attacks culminated down the right flank. However, they weren’t able to find a way past the rigidity of the Hawks defence.

HALF TIME: Havant & Waterlooville 1-0 Bath City

The rain subsided and the sun began to show as Havant kicked off the second half. Bath City once again dominated the opening exchanges but it was the Hawks that threatened first. After some tricky play on the flank from Seager, he slotted in Kealy who saw his shot deflected out for a corner.

Bath City made their first substitution of the game with Elliott Frear making way for attacker Scott Wilson, a striker with thirteen goals to his name this season.

The Hawks came close again just pass the fifty minute mark through Seager. Kealy burnt down the left wing, whipping in a great ball right onto the penalty spot. Seager met it with a fierce diving header that arrowed towards the bottom left corner. However, Casa-Grande was equal to it, palming the ball around the post and out for a corner.

Unfortunate scenes followed a few minutes later as Hawks captain Jake McCarthy and Bath City player Dan Hayfield clashed heads after an aerial duel. There was a slight break in play to treat the two players but ultimately the pair were cleared to play on.

Bath City should’ve equalised on the hour mark after some great work again from Clark. The winger was able to send in a fast paced ball into the six yard box which Cooke stretched to latch on to. But the Bath City striker came up just short and the chance went begging.

Hawks right back Devante Stanley was forced off the field with an injury. This meant that Havant were forced into their first substitution of the game, with Blackpool loanee Kwaku Donkor coming on.

The Hawks pushed forward with their dominant second half performance with yet another strike on goal. After Tom Smith lost possession deep inside his own half, Seager pounced and sprinted through on goal. However, under pressure, the Havant number nine could only send the strike straight at keeper Casa-Grande.

Bath City sent their fans into delirium on eighty-seven minutes as their constant possession finally created a goalscoring chance. After a mad scramble in the box, substitute James Alabi was able to wiggle free and fire a shot at Worner’s goal. It took a slight deflection that caused the ball to rocket into the top corner, leaving the Hawks keeper no chance. 

It was all hands on deck for Havant as the last ebbs of the five minutes of added time passed. Bath City played a ball deep into the Havant half and Cody Cooke as able to swivel on the edge of the Havant box, baring down on goal. It took some heroics from Worner in the Hawks’ goal to prevent the striker from snatching away all three points.

If hearts weren’t already in the Havant faithful’s mouths, they certainly were after the final whistle. Hayfield found himself with acres of room inside the Hawks penalty area, drilling a ball across the six yard box. Substitute Scott Wilson lunged at it but could only divert the ball over the empty net, a chance that looked easier to score than to miss. A true let off for the Hawks.

The final whistle blew immediately after on a hectic game of football at Westleigh Park. A valiant performance from Havant saw them keep their playoff-chasing opponents at bay until the last five minutes of the ninety. For all of the Romans possession, it was the Hawks that created the vast majority of the chances, with Seager and Kealy coming close and of course Whittingham bagging in the first half. But Bath City’s persistence paid off eventually as Alabi was able to rescue a point for the visitors.


FULL TIME: Havant & Waterlooville 1-1 Bath City

Attendance: 898


Havant & Waterlooville: Worner (GK), Stanley (Donkor, 65’), Innocent, McNerney, McCarthy (C) (Roberts 77’), Carlyle, Seager, Willson, Jewitt-White, Kealy, Whittingham (Deacon, 85’)

Unused subs: Jebb, Beckford 

Goals: Whittingham (13’)

Cautions: Stanley 27’, McNerney 66’, Carlyle 69’, Roberts 90+3’


Bath City FC: Casa-Grande (GK), Raynes, Greenslade, Dyer, Parselle (C), Clark, Hayfield, Cooke, Smith (Alabi, 73’), Frear (Wilson, 51’), Russe

Unused subs: Batten, Cook, Lines

Goals: Hayfield 86’

Cautions: Russe 6’, Raynes 77’, Greenslade 90+1’