About Match

Searching for their second win in a row, Havant and Waterlooville kicked off the game kitted out in their traditional all white strip, with Tonbridge Angels donning their blue and white outfit. Last home game’s 1-1 draw with promotion pushing Bath City would no doubt boost spirits as the referee blew to start the game.

It would be the visitors that would break the deadlock within ten minutes. Nathan Odokonyero picked up the ball midway into the Hawks’ half and began a mazy dribble into the Havant backline. He was then able to slip in Tariq Hinds in one on one with goalkeeper Ross Worner. Hinds was able to delicately life the ball over the advancing Worner, and in for 1-0.

However, the Hawks refused to take this setback lying down as they pressed forward for an equaliser. On eight minutes, full back Devante Stanley came close, with a high shot from the right flank that whistled past Jonathon Henley’s left hand post.

It wouldn’t take long for the Hawks’ pressure to pay off. Fourteen minutes in, James Roberts opened his body up and cut inside just outside the Tonbridge box. He was able to lay in captain Jake McCarthy who took one touch, then fired a ferocious shot low into the bottom left corner. It had taken only ten minutes for Havant to draw back level. 1-1. 

In the nature of what was turning into an end-to-end game, Tonbridge came close once more. Odokonyero was able to jink inside Kai Innocent and attempt to curl a strike into the top left corner. However, his shot ballooned over the bar with little worry to Worner in the Hawks net.

The Hawks bit back twenty minutes in, with McCarthy coming close once more. A lofted free kick in from Alfy Whittingham wasn’t cleared properly by the Tonbridge defence. After a hectic few seconds of the ball pinballing around the area, it fell to McCarthy, who had his shot blocked by the outstretched leg of Jamie Fielding.

The Hawks took their momentum forward and finally got their reward twenty five minutes in. Winger Callum Kealy latched onto a long ball down the right flank and powered to the byline. He whipped in a venomous cross that was met powerfully by the head of Ryan Seager. The Hawks number nine was able to direct the ball past Henly and in for number two.

Havant nearly doubled their advantage not two minutes later. James Roberts found himself with acres of room on the right hand side. He cut in, and curled a right footed cross into the heart of the Tonbridge box. Unchallenged, Whittingham launched himself at the ball but was unable to make contact, leaving the goal gaping.

Tonbridge almost found their way back into the game through sheer luck in the very next phase of play. Odokonyero was central once again to the move and sprinted down the right flank, chipping in  a ball towards the six yard box. Centre half Joe McNerney lunged to stop the cross but inadvertently kneed the ball towards his own net. Que the heroics of Worner in the Hawks goal, who threw himself to the right and clawed the ball away, incredible reactions from the stopper.

As the first half came to a close, the game calmed, with neither side really creating any further chances. Havant largely dominated proceedings, having the lions share of chances whilst also looking commanding in possession. The first half ended Havant & Waterlooville 2-1 Tonbridge Angels.

HALF TIME: Havant & Waterlooville 2-1 Tonbridge Angels.

Both sides made substitutions going into the second half, with Havant & Waterlooville subbing off Whittingham and Kealy for Jack Jebb and Roarie Deacon. Tonbridge subbed off captain Kodi Lyons-Foster for Lewis Gard. 

It was the visitors that kicked off the second half with a spring in their step, Sean Sheilds was able to drop his shoulder and fire a shot in but Worner was able to parry it out of harms way.

But Tonbridge were able to convert their pressure into an equaliser just two minutes later. A short corner orchestrated by Shields and Gard found its way to the edge of the box. Midfielder Mohammad Dabre was teed up and launched a strike past the diving Worner in the Hawks goal. 2-2.

Havant pushed forward with intent and managed to get a clean strike on goal. Roberts picked up the ball about twenty-five yards out and drove a blistering shot into the palms of Henly. Roberts repeated this move five minutes later, but this time his shot soared over the bar. Roberts made it a hattrick of close chances a minute later. Deacon worked his way down the right hand flank, chipped a ball to Roberts who struck a first time effort over the bar.

Right on the hour mark, Havant came close to nudging themselves ahead. Once again, Roberts weaved his way down the left hand flank and whizzed a ball into the penalty area. Seager was able to meet the ball with a left footed drive, but saw his effort fly over the goal.

Havant refused to stop pressing, with this time Deacon being the latest Hawks player to come close. After some scrappy Tonbridge defending, the ball fell to Deacon on the edge of the area. However, the winger could only place his shot wide of the mark.

As the second half played on, both teams began equaling themselves out. Neither team was really able to break into the oppositions final third, with a lot of the play being contested in the midfield. 

Odokonyero came closest for the visitors seventy-five minutes in, cutting in from the right and firing a low shot on goal. However, the placement was poor, striking it straight down the gullet of Worner, who collected it calmly.

For such a vibrant and action-packed first half, the second half wasn’t really following suite. Both sides continued to battle fiercely in the midfield but failed to trouble either keeper, as the ninety minute mark loomed.

The game petered out with both sides taking home a point. For all their possession and chances, Havant were unable to finish the game off. Tonbridge took advantage of their limited periods of dominance, netting twice against the run of play. The Hawks extend their unbeaten home run to two games on the spin but will be left wondering if they could’ve grabbed a win here today. It ends at Westleigh Park, Havant & Waterlooville 2-2 Tonbridge Angels.


FULL TIME: Havant & Waterlooville 2-2 Tonbridge Angels

Report by: Leonardo Maiello

Havant & Waterlooville: Worner (GK), Stanley, Innocent, McNerney, McCarthy (C), Carlyle, Seager, Jewitt-White, Kealy (Deacon 45’), Whittingham (Jebb 45’), Roberts

Unused subs: Donkor, Willson, Beckford

Goalscorers: McCarthy 14’, Seager 25′

Cautions: Whittingham 31’, Deacon 77’, McNerney 80’


Tonbridge Angels: Henly (GK), Fielding, Lyons-Foster (C) (Gard, 45’), Higgs, Odokonyero (Popoola 86’), Hinds, Dabre, Sutcliffe, Shields, Vincent, Hanson

Unused subs: Edwards, Mampolo, Meade

Goalscorers: Hinds 6’, Dabre 50’

Cautions: Higgs 23’, Hanson 84’, Sutcliffe 95’