Game 17: Bush Hill 0.1 Paulsgrove (Hampshire Premier) 07.04.18
With two Premier League derbies on TV today, I decided to go to the nearest new ground in the Hampshire Premier which meant a trip to Mansel Park on the outskirts of Southampton. The park is situated in the middle of a large housing area and there were plenty of local spectators for this clash between the 2nd and 3rd placed teams in the table. Bush Hill have only lost once in the league this season while Paulsgrove have two defeats so I expected a close derby match with the Portsmouth based visitors.
Bush Hill dominated the earlier exchanges and had a good shout for a penalty after ten minutes that the referee waived away. Paulsgrove took the lead after thirteen minutes when they won the ball on the edge of the area and put a shot past the keeper. The ball was cleared by a defender but the assistant flagged to indicate to the referee that the ball had gone over the line first. Bush Hill continued to press and won free kicks and corners but were unable to convert their chances. Just before half time they were reduced to ten men following a nasty stamp on a Paulsgrove player who had gone to ground off the pitch. The referee saw the incident and sent the Bush Hill player off.
The second half had only just begun when Paulsgrove missed a good opportunity to extend their lead. The ball was cut back to the edge of the area but the unmarked Paulsgrove player put his shot over. Moments later and the Bush Hill keeper was forced into a good save with his legs as Paulsgrove broke away again. Bush Hill started to pick up as the half went on and their number 9 took the ball round the visiting keeper twice from a tight angle. On both occasions he was unable to get a shot past the covering defenders. There was a brief interlude where events off the pitch took the spectators attention – a number of police cars drove around the roads near the pitch and eventually a man was arrested and put in the back of the van. With twenty minutes to go it looked like Bush Hill would get back into the game when they won a penalty. The keeper was moving towards his left before the kick was taken and got lucky as the shot went in that direction so he was able to save it. There was still time for more chances in an entertaining and feisty end to the game but it was the visitors who celebrated at the final whistle.