First Team Star
Nov 26, 2019, 10:57 PM
Location: South Hampshire
Team(s): Hants/Middx/Sussex Non-League, Brentford, THFC, Eastleigh, SC Freiburg
Eastleigh 3 Torquay U. 2
admission S/T, otherwise £15, programme £2-00, attendance 1888 (166 away)
15th v 8th
With a big FA Cup game on Saturday, a 3-0 half time lead looked like a great opportunity for the home team to coast through the second half. Such things never happen at the Silverlake and four mins after the restart it was 3-2, leaving the home team to have to battle for the win.
A fairly quiet start, the first effort came when the Spitfire's Smart shot from the right wing forcing visiting keeper Covolan to save at his near post. Atkinson then shot over from a corner, then Barnes ran through after an error but was blocked by a last-ditch tackle. The injury-hit visitors looked useful coming forward, apart from their finishing; a great cross from the right was asking to be put in but Keating somehow failed to get a touch on it. Another cross from the right saw Medford-Smith unmarked at the far post but he headed across rather then in and the ball went wide. On 25 mins a cross from the Eastleigh left saw a handball in the area and Rendall converted the penalty to give the hosts the lead. On 29 mins the ball fell to Hollands in the area, his first shot was well blocked, but his second attempt flew into the top corner for Eastleigh's second. The home team the suffered as blow as Johnson went off with an injury (I was surprised he started his third game in a week, it's usually too much for him) and obviously he would be a big miss for Saturday. On the pitch the visitors came close as a Medford-Smith cross came close but it was the home team who increased their lead on 36 mins as Partington's cross took a horrible deflection and ended up in the net. Soon afterwards a quick free-kick by Payne saw him find Barnes clear on the right, but Covolan came out to make a good block. The visitors had a couple of shots as we approached HT at 3-0.
After the break Eastleigh's plans were rudely interrupted as on 46 mins a cross from the right was converted by Keating at the far post with the home defence dreaming of the Alex. They were still dreaming three mins later as a ball was played back to Andrews on the edge of the area, and he found the corner with a well-placed shot. Game on, and the home team had to battle and try and resist pressure from the Gulls. This they did, and produced some decent attacks of their own. A couple of home free-kicks were blocked, then the visitors had a chance when sub Lewis was unmarked in the area from a free-kick but Stryjek produced a good save from his header. A curled shot from Andrews then went just wide, then Torquay had a decent shot for a penalty as a forward appeared to be pushed in the box. Andrews had another shot over, but the home team weathered the storm and could have clinched it with two mins to go as Seaman ran with the ball out of defence well into the visitors' half, he had several options but passed to Rendell on the right, who shot wastefully wide. They then held out for an unexpectedly hard-earned win.
Great turnout and support from the visiting fans, as usual: a few more in tonight because of a special student deal - ticket, pie and pint for over-18s at £7, ticket, pie and soft drink for under-18s at £5. Worth a try....
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 Nov 26, 2019, 11:10 PM)