Game 1: Hamble Club 4.3 Fleet Spurs (Wessex 1) 13.08.16
Hamble Club were promoted to the Wessex League this year so I decided to take in their first home game of the season against Fleet Spurs. The forecast was predicting rain in the area so I had a raincoat in my bag just in case. Arriving at the ground it was clear that a lot of work had taken place to get the ground to a suitable standard. A new changing block, stand and hard standing were in place and the floodlight bases were set up.
The first action of note came when a Fleet player stood on the ball and managed to fall over. It took him so long to get up that a Hamble player had time to nip in and take the ball. Fleet’s keeper was keen throughout the first half to come out of his area to sweep up any balls but was over ambitious at times. He got caught out early on and was lucky to see a lob cleared by one of his team mates. Hamble took the lead on ten minutes when the keeper dropped the ball from a deep cross and it fell to a Hamble player who passed it in. Two minutes later and the scores were level again. A header from a corner was flicked up and over the diving keeper’s hand. Hamble were having most of the attacking play and the Fleet keeper made some good saves. Against the run of play Fleet broke forward and a cross from the right found an attacker’s foot to direct the ball into the net. There was an unnecessary moment at the start of injury time when a Hamble player put his knee into the Fleet keeper’s groin despite having pulled back from the challenge moments earlier. The officials didn’t have a good view and no action was taken for the foul. This may have affected the keeper as he went charging out to win the ball outside his area only to lose it to a tackle. The Hamble player unselfishly passed it across the open goal to a team mate who scored.
Due to the additional injury time it was almost 4.10 before play started again. The second half started with Hamble having most of the play and pressure and they scored twice in ten minutes in near identical situations – passes across the goal finding a team mate with an open goal to aim at. The game had a real lull after that, only waking up when Hamble hit the crossbar with a header. Fleet pulled a goal back with ten minutes to go when a high ball into the area went over the covering defender’s head. A Fleet player had made an intelligent run behind the defender and headed the ball past the Hamble keeper to reduce the deficit. Fleet continued to press for the equaliser but Hamble did enough for their first home win in the Wessex league.