First Team Star
Nov 9, 2019, 6:28 PM
Location: South Hampshire
Team(s): Hants/Middx/Sussex Non-League, Brentford, THFC, Eastleigh, SC Freiburg
FA Trophy 2Q
Gosport B. 4 Melksham T. 2
admission £11-00 programme £2-00 (also online) attendance est 280
8th in Southern Premier South v 17th in Southern Div 1 South
After heavy rain in the area from about 11-3, lots of games called off late. My first three choices bit the dust (water) late on, Fleetlands only 5 mins before kick-off (also dodged an expensive bullet at Havant as the Hawks' game v Slough was abandoned) but Privett Park provided a surprisingly good pitch for a surprisingly good game, with Borough deserving to win, although they had a lot of help from the officials, notably the crucial 'goal that never was'.
The home team started will, with an attractive passing style which was just a little too slow to be really dangerous. Nevertheless, they took the lead in only the third minute with a a good cross from the left which was allowed to reach Paterson at the back post, who finished clinically. Two mins later a corner for the visitors was headed towards goal by Ford, it hit the bar and was cleared, with the visitors claiming a goal, to no avail. Straight up the other end another cross from the left was steered just wide by Paterson. Another Melksham corner was then half-cleared to Romanski, whose shot was just over. Another flowing Borough move saw a last-ditch tackle preventing their second goal. But again the visitors broke and a superb turn by Ball set up Ojo on the left; his powerful shot produced a great save from O'Flaherty, pushing the bar against the bar and over. Ojo came close again soon afterwards, a cross-shot being deflected just wide of the far post. After this the game calmed down a bit, a couple of injuries in a competitive game disrupting the flow. But Borough came good again as the half ended, a delightful chip over the defence setting up Lewis to finish well. The visitors were insistent that Lewis was offside, and, given the linesman's previous decisions over there, there was a fair chance that they had a case. In injury time John ran through, aided by a lucky bounce, but he shot just wide, so it stayed at HT 2-0.
After the break a good move down the right saw Lewis narrowly miss at the near post for the home team, but on 50 mins the visitors pulled a goal back, Ballinger's free-kick being deflected into the corner of the net. Ballinger had another shot saved soon afterwards as the visitors looked dangerous. But on 54 mins Borough went 3-1 up; a cross from the right was met by Flood, his shot hit the post and came back into the arms of keeper Bartlett. Because it had stopped raining we were standing pretty level with the goalline and there is no way that the ball crossed the line. But the linesman gave it and despite heated protests, the goal stood. Several of us, mostly favouring the home team, saw this incident and all agreed it was not even close to being a goal. The visitors then pulled it back to 3-2 on 58 mins, a quick free-kick finding Ford in space to finish coolly. The game was bubbling up nicely, and we had a few tasty tackles and some choice words bandied around. Borough had a chance when Roberts headed wide from a free-kick; for the visitors, a long shot by Hurley was save and a chip by Thompson was just over. On 88 mins came the clinching goal, a good break down the right, a good cross, and Paterson was one of three forwards waiting to score as the visitors were stretched to the limit. Shades of the 1966 World Cup Final.... O'Flaherty still had time to make another save and Paterson had two chances to grab a hat-trick, once he was crowded out and once he hit the side netting - but Borough go through to the next round in a closer game than I and they, had probably reckoned with.
No changes at Privett Park since my last visit - £11-00 is in my opinion still too high for this level, although the entertainment value made it worth it today.
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 9, 2019, 7:55 PM)