Hawks 2 v 0 Dorchester
The Hawks went all out to confound former manager Mick Jenkins`s Dorchester side at Westleigh Park tonight in an action packed game that ended with two sendings off and a 2-0 victory for the Hawks.
Half time told a familiar tale of dominance and possession with no goal for the hosts, but when Richard Pacquette nodded home Tony Taggart`s cross in the 63rd minute the game exploded with passion and saw Pacquette and Scott Morgan dismissed for fighting five minutes later. Brett Poate stepped up to send in a trademark thunderbolt free kick off the Dorchester wall in the aftermath, taking the game well beyond the dumbstruck visitors.
The Hawks started the encounter with the same eleven that finished Saturday`s, with Mo Harkin and Richard Pacquette in place of Fitzroy Simpson and Craig Watkins.
With something to prove against their old manager, the Hawks started at speed on the heavily watered surface. Jamie Collins`s early break was cleverly put through to Brett Poate, streaking into the box to be muscled off the ball by closing defenders.
Excellent communication between Matt Groves and £125,000 Portsmouth signing Giovanni Torre, brought in to Dorchester on loan recently, created some impressive attacking football in the opening stages. The pair repeatedly set each other up but with only off target shots to show for the footwork.
Pacquette turned the ball past Scott Morgan, who managed to poke it out for a corner that Poate lofted to the back of the box where Baptiste sent a thumping header into the boards.
Torre tricked his way to the line with a ball from Groves and crossed it nicely for ? (totally illegible gold numbers on the shirts fellas, I mean the red ones two seasons back made it hard enough but did anyone really think that through?) to miscue and scuff a shot wide from only three yards.
Poate followed at the other end with a free kick that took an age to arrange because of encroachment from Guy Lopez DaCruz. But the ex-Hawk knew exactly what his former team mate was planning and eventually forced Poate`s shot wide.
A brace of corners kept the action in Dorchester`s goalmouth, Pacquette first doing well to turn the ball in for Baptiste to shoot into a defender, and then Justin Gregory popping a header from the back of the box that needed a hasty off the line clearance.
The Hawks continued to rain in corners, but the Magpies packed their box with all but Groves every time, and the going was hard for the hosts. Harkin almost snuck the lead with a long looping shot that sailed across keeper Simon Evans from 25 yards, but the ball dropped outside the post.
Torre threatened again when he got the better of Michael Warner on the edge of the six yard box, but Shane Gore stepped up magnificently to make a point blank save.
The hosts were more than able to plant crosses in the box, but with the Magpies clearing every one, a familiar tale of dominance and possession with nothing to show for it bled the game weakly into half time.
Havant and Waterlooville 0
Dorchester Town 0
Gore was kept busy at the start of the second period making several saves – the most dramatic a low diving effort that stopped a tremendous blast from James Rowe.
Counterpart Evans had to be quick to stop Collins`s firm shot soon after, when the Hawks` passing play landed him the ball in a prime position.
An inspired substitution 62 minutes in set the Hawks up for their opening goal. Tony Taggart replaced Harkin and within seconds of coming on broke away with a midfield ball from Baptiste. Taggart`s cross met Pacquette perfectly for the striker to guide the ball in off the underside of the bar with a header.
68 minutes in a bizarre off the ball incident saw Pacquette and his marker Morgan locked with fists raised, and both players received straight red cards. Play resumed with a free kick for a different incident involving Collins, and Poate drove his shot home with venom from 20 yards to put the hosts two up.
The dismissals opened the game into a fast and fractious affair and another Poate free kick would have thumped home 75 minutes in had a defender not stuck out a leg to stop Jordan diverting it in.
Gregory`s perceptive ball put Phil Warner through in acres of space, but his narrow angled shot went across the goal and wide.
The second goal took the fight out of the visitors, who produced only soft shots to test Gore. Conversely, the lead removed any anxiety in the Hawks, and the side charged forward at any opportunity. Taggart, Watkins, Poate and Simpson all came blazing through the exhausted looking Dorchester defence for shots that amazingly failed to find the target.
At the death Taggart could have capped his excellent, if short, performance with a third Hawks goal when Simpson volleyed the ball into his path, but one on one with Evans his shot slammed into the keeper`s legs.
By Rich Self
Hawks 2 v 0 Dorchester
Hawks 2 v 0 Dorchester