First Team Star
Apr 24, 2019, 11:07 PM
Location: South Hampshire
Team(s): Hants/Middx/Sussex Non-League, Brentford, THFC, Eastleigh, SC Freiburg
Hampshire Premier League Cup Semi-Final
Bush Hill 1 Infinity 2 (at AFC Stoneham)
admission £3-00 programme none attendance est 100
1st v 2nd in HPFL Senior Div
First of two clashes in four days between the best two teams in the league - Saturday's will decide the destination of the league title, and tonight Infinity booked their place in the League Cup final against Lyndhurst (a repeat of the Southampton Intermediate Cup final) on May 6th at Hamble Club. As expected, this was a good-quality, hard-fought close game, just shaded by Infinity despite their being under massive pressure for the last half hour.
Infinity started the better and after an early scramble in the Bush area, the ball was cleared to Fear who shot over. But on 5 mins his team took the lead as the ball wasn't cleared after a cross and Boud hooked the ball into the bottom corner. Bush came back, and from a corner Drake had a shot well blocked, then Barker ran on to a through ball but keeper S.Parker just got there before him and cleared. Infinity looked more dangerous coming forward: Fear had an overhead kick saved, then Phillips made one of his trademark runs down the left wing, but his shot went narrowly over the bar. Drake then went close for Bush as his shot was fumbled by S.Parker, but he recovered to clear the ball away before it could cross the line. Drake went one better on 34 mins as he found space on the left of the area and finished well from an acute angle for the equaliser, despite a defender on the line trying to clear. Infinity came back and a twisting run by Powell saw his shot saved by Hodder, then a ball was played back to Floyd, whose shot went over. But right on half time Infinity got a corner and Floyd rose highest (he's taller than most players anyway) to head Infinity back into the lead, HT 1-2.
After the break, another Phillips run down the left saw Hodder save his shot; he had to save again from the same player moments later. Another Infinity break saw another good save from Hodder, this time from Powell. After this, however, Bush stepped up the pace and, with an impressive controlled passing game, dominated the rest of the match, putting their opponents under a lot of pressure. Barker and Drake came close on numerous occasions: firstly, a good break saw Davis cross from the left and Barker just fail to connect; next, a shot by Drake was parried by S.Parker, and Barker headed the rebound over; a run down the left by Drake saw him shoot wide. Barker then had a couple of long shots over, and had a curling cross sneak through but was cleared off the line. Infinity defended well, and rode their luck: on 88 mins Drake curled a shot through a group of players and S.Parker could only watch as the ball came back off the post; there was also a loud appeal for handball as a cross was cleared for a corner; and in injury time both Haines and Barker came close. But Infinity it was who emerged the victors in an exciting semi-final. On Saturday Bush are at home and only need to draw to win the league (on goal difference) but I'm sure that will be another game worth watching.
The match was well-hosted by AFC Stoneham (tea bar doing a good trade as usual) - they said that they hope to be moving into their new ground in Stoneham Lane in Sept/Oct and will be continuing to use the current ground until they are ready to move in.
If you're going to/been to a Hampshire Premier League match, I'd really appreciate you filling in a questionnaire - available in the Groundhopping/General section, or just PM me for a copy. Thanks.
(This post was edited by HantsLondoner on Apr 24, 2019, 11:30 PM)