Missed half-chances cost Hawkinge Town two much needed points

Contributed by editor on Feb 27, 2017 - 11:45 AM


Hawkinge Town 1-1 Rolvenden
Kent County League Division One Central & East
Saturday 25th February 2017
Report by Grant Wilbur


In a match played in difficult conditions Hawkinge Town had to settle for a point. The home side went in at the break a goal to the good thanks to Kieran Byrne but the visitors equalised with a controversial goal late in the second half.

Match action  Photo:  Grant Wilbur

On a bitterly cold afternoon with a continual driving wind that blew down the pitch from one end to the other the match was a classic game of two halves. Hawkinge starting with the wind behind their backs had an early warning when straight from the kick off. The visitors attacked and looked likely to score but a weak finish saw Town goalkeeper Ben Humphrey gather the ball safely.

Wind assisted Hawkinge dominated keeping the visitors in their own half and created a plethora of chances. A Sam Marsh shot was well saved by Rolvenden goalkeeper Darren Bailey and Marsh again was unlucky not to score with a header following a Kieran Byrne (left) cross. John Walker forced a good reflex save from Bailey before Byrne put Hawkinge ahead after he got on the end of a Michael Yianni pass into the goalmouth.

The bombardment of the Rolvenden goal continued. Toby Heydon had three great shots that were just off target and Damian Abel’s long range free kick was also just inches wide. The visitors only managed to create a couple of scoring opportunities one ended with Oliver Ferris hitting the side netting and the other, a close range shot by Thomas Winder was thwarted by Ben Humphrey in the Hawkinge goal. Then the Hawkinge attacks resumed. Billy Weir-Sommerville’s shot missed the target by inches as did another long range free kick by Abel.


Abel was also unlucky not to score when he shook off two defenders and fired a shot that was palmed away for a corner by Bailey.

The second half Rolvenden with the wind behind their backs kept Hawkinge penned into their own half for long periods forcing a string of corner kicks but Town defended stoically. Anything that breached the Hawkinge defence was reliably mopped up by Humphrey.

The visitors equalised controversially late in the game when a shot on goal saw the ball deflect off a Hawkinge defender onto the post and was cleared. Instantly there were claims and counterclaims. Rolvenden players were claiming a goal whilst the Hawkinge players claimed that the ball had not crossed the line but Referee Mr. Danny Roberts awarded a goal. The complaints of the home side’s players continued until the final whistle. One player Sam Marsh was shown the red card for remonstrating with the referee as players were leaving the field of play.

Match action  Photo: Grant Wilbur

Two points dropped mainly because of Town’s inability to finish off those first half chances. Town welcomed back defender Sam Marsh after a five game absence due to injury and also last season’s goalkeeper Nathan Sims who made a second half substitute appearance as a centre forward.

Although Hawkinge remain top of the table two teams New Romney and East Kent College can overtake them should they will all of their games in hand.

Next up for Hawkinge is an away trip to Sutton Athletic Reserves. The kick off time at the London Hire Stadium will be 2.45pm.

Matchday co-ordinator Peter Cranthorne spotted eating a pie on the touchline at Saturday's game  Photo: Grant Wilbur

Hawkinge: Humphrey, Sinclair, Nunn, Bullard, Marsh, Heydon, Yianni, Walker, Byrne, Abel, Weir-Sommerville. Subs: Elalem, Taylor, Sims



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