Saturday 25th April 2015 Vanarama Conference South
Havant & Waterlooville FC 1 – 2 Whitehawk FC
Last match of the season on a great sunny day. Overnight rain had left the pitch in good condition and a travelling bus of Whitehawk’s noisey supporters had helped swell the crowd to a season’s best for the hosts of 1125.
Both teams had already qualified for the playoffs, H&W in 4th and Whitehawk in 5th. Today’s victory for the away side reversed those placings. So, next it’s Playoff semi-finals, with Whitehawk facing Basingstoke, over 2 legs – the first next Wednesday at home 19.45hrs. The return on the following Saturday.
There were numerous chances for the visitors in the first 25 minutes, during which time they could have been ‘out of sight’ – it was like ‘attack v defence’ with the Havant goalkeeper making some great saves to keep his team in the game. The way Whitehawk kept the ball was clear to see as Havant where chasing shadows for most of the half. Then H&W scored with their second chance of the game when JJ Hooper forced the ball home from close in after good work on the right flank to send in the inviting pass from close range.
With so many chances and none taken, to dominate the game and then go behind – was ‘one of those days’ on the cards for Whitehawk? Travelling fans encouragement and the continued flow of chances meant the equaliser was always ‘on the cards.
From 4 yards out Scott Neilson had an open goal but the ball hit his shin and went out for a goal kick. But Whitehawk would eventually get the reward their fine play deserved, in the shape of two substitutes. Jake Robinson’s 77th minute equaliser and the 90th minute winner from Ahmed Abdulla got the result that most people would admit was what Whitehawk deserved.