Game 2: Paulsgrove 2.4 Hayling United (Hampshire Premier) 29.08.16
Joined Alan for an early Bank Holiday game in Paulsgrove on the outskirts of Portsmouth. The first half saw Paulsgrove take the lead with a tap in after a good run down the right side. They dominated most of the early chances but Hayling came back to equalise with a similar effort midway through the half. On the half hour Paulsgrove took the lead again, this time from a high cross in the the area and a well controlled low finish.
Five minutes into the second half, Hayling equalised from a free kick that was deflected high into the opposite corner that the home keeper had covered. Paulsgrove seemed to lose their composure and several players were booked for dissent after this. One of the worst offenders was the home official who directed plenty of “naval” language at the referee. He had taken over the flag duties in the second half and appeared to be one of the management team. The turning point of the match came after 55 minutes when Hayling won a corner. The ball was cleared from the area but the referee pointed to the spot and gave the keeper a second yellow. From our angle, it looked like the keeper was impeding a Hayling player in front of him from jumping for the ball. The same player was given the task of taking the penalty and after a long wait, plenty of verbals from the home team and a substitution he slotted the ball in to give Hayling the lead.
Paulsgrove were still creating chances when they conceded a free kick in bizarre circumstances. A clearance appeared to hit a Hayling player in the face but the referee gave Hayling the free kick in a dangerous position on the edge of the box. The small Paulsgrove sub goalkeeper was agile but had no chance as he watched the ball curve into the far top corner. Just after the kick off, the game petered out as the home bench walked onto the pitch and their team followed them to the dressing room to end the game. With fifteen minutes left to play, the result may stand – we await the league’s decision.