Away league match played on 20 November 2011.
Kicked off at 11:00 AM

Horndean Hawks Raptors produced an assured display to come away from Monckton Park with all 3 points and keep their promotion aspirations on track.


With goalkeeper Anthony Batchelor unavailable, Horndean were forced to shuffle their pack with top scorer Euan Condron taking over between the sticks. However they were to bolster the squad with the welcome return from injury of Lewis McKerr.


Horndean pressed their opponents from the first whistle and their early pressure paid off when Will Codling collected the ball in midfield, strode forward and unleashed a venomous shot from 25 yards out which gave the Gosport keeper no chance.


Gosport settled themselves after Horndean took the lead and showed their intent with some neat passing combined with a number of robust challenges. Gosport were finding space in the middle of the park and were regularly looking to play the ball in behind the Horndean defensive line.


Barely 5 minutes after going behind, Gosport drew level when a deep cross from the right eluded the Horndean defence and was met at the back post by the incoming Falcons striker.


With their confidence restored, Gosport continued to press but created few real opportunities.  Then after 14 minutes the Falcons took the lead with a thunderous drive from 20 yards out which keeper Euan Condron managed to get a hand to but couldn’t keep out.


Now it was the Hawks’ turn to regroup and take up the fight – which they did very impressively. As the pace increased more and more of the match was being played in the Gosport half. Jake Lynch, Harry Mansfield, Steven Fazackerly and Jamie Emery were proving to be more than a handful for the Gosport defence who were regularly called upon to make last ditch tackles or give away free kicks in dangerous positions.


After 20 minutes one such free kick on the right saw Jake Lynch step up and dispatch one of his customary thunderbolts which hit the back of the net before the Gosport keeper knew anything about it.


Horndean now had the match in their grasp and went close to taking the lead again on a number of occasion. In the space of a minute both Lewis McKerr and Steven Fazackerly went through one-on-one with the keeper but were thwarted by excellent saves on both occasions.


At the other end Euan Condron pulled off a superb point blank save when Gosport threatened on the break.


Half-time : Gosport Falcons 2, Horndean Hawks Raptors 2


The exertions of the first half seemed to have taken their toll on Gosport far more than Horndean because the second half saw Horndean very much in control.


After 7 minutes of the second half Horndean regained the lead. A Will Codling corner from the right was floated to the back post where Charlie Fry rose to meet it and powered home a great header.


By now the midfield core of Will Codling, Lewis Harrison, Lewis McKerr and Daniel Nicholson-Stone were well on top whilst Steven Fazackerly and Jamie Emery were marauding the flanks at every opportunity.


This restricted the Gosport attacks to a few minor threats and speculative long balls which Charlie Fry, George McBride and Harry Fairclough were able to handle easily – with Euan Condron only being called upon occasionally. Even when Gosport moved to a more aggressive 3-man attack they were more than able to handle the threat.


Up front Harry Mansfield and Jake Lynch continued to pick holes in the Gosport back line and created numerous chances. Unfortunately they found a Gosport keeper on the very top of his form and who pulled off a string of fantastic saves. Without his heroics the winning margin would have been much higher.


Final score : Gosport Falcons 2, Horndean Hawks Raptors 3

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