HAMPSHIRE FA SATURDAY SENIOR CUP FINAL sponsored by Regal Building Services
Havant and Waterlooville 2 Basingstoke Town 1
John Moody reports.
For the first time in its long history going back to 1888, the Hampshire Senior Cup final was played at Eastleigh F.C. on 24th April 2019 and for the first time in its history it was played on a National League ground. Havant and Waterlooville came into the final manger-less and on the back of a disappointing season which has seen them relegated but left the Silverlake Stadium on a high having snatched the cup from a Basingstoke team who looked to have been favourites to take the County's most prestigious trophy. Basingstoke were made to rue their missed chances.
The first twenty or so minutes of the game saw Basingstoke dominate play. They had the ball in the net in the 2nd minute when a cross from Ben Wright was fumbled by 'keeper Ben Dudzinski and bundled into the net by Michael Atkinson but the Assistant Referee ruled offside.
Sam Smart broke through and went one on one with the 'keeper but he smothered the ball well to keep Basingstoke at bay.
As Basingstoke continued to press Wright shot just over the bar and then he set up Sam Smart but his shot was blocked by the 'keeper. It was Wright again who carved another opening to let in Yvan Jourdan but he sliced his shot wide.
At this stage Havant and Waterlooville could not get in the game although they were starting to play some attractive football, keeping the ball on the ground as they chased the game.
Jourdan had another chance for Basingstoke to take the lead when a penetrating run by Charlie Kennedy opened up the defence but he was caught offside.
Havant's best chance of the game came when a long ball over the top from Chris Paul to Dan Strugnell saw him advance into the box but a good challenge from Jake Wakely stoped his run.
Basingstoke were handed another chance of scoring when awarded a free kick on the edge of the box but Wright blazed it over the bar.
Against the run of play Havant and Waterlooville opened the scoring in the 35th minute when a through ball from Chris Paulin in defence was picked up by Josh Huggins who ran on to beat Tom McGill with a dink over his head.
Basingstoke continued to press and Shane Hollamby and Jourdan both had chances well saved. The pressure paid off, however and in the second minute of added time Basingstoke were awarded another free kick on the edge of the box and on this occasion Wright beat the 'keeper with a delghtfully curled kick into the top corner.
Both teams made changes at the start of the second half, Havant and Waterlooville brought on Andreas Robinson and Alfie Rutherford for David Banjo and Hassan Jalloh and Basingstoke brought on Dan Bayless for Shane Hollamby.
If the first half belonged to Basingstoke the second certainly was claimed by Havant and Waterlooville, they settled to their game and played some attractive football. Early in the half Robinson flicked the ball over the Basingstoke defence for Rutherford to slam in a shot which was spilt by McGill but Wes Fogden' s shot from the rebound was cleared.
A brilliant save by the 'keeper from Fogden kept Basingstoke in the game.
It was not all Havant however, and in the 65th minute a penalty claim by Basingstoke was turned down by the Referee after some lengthy discussions and he gave a free kick from the edge of the penalty area which was put over the bar by Wright.
In the 68th minute Havant and Waterlooville made another change replacing Dan Strugnell with Rory Williams.
As Havant pressed Rutherford burst through the centre but McGill got down well to thwart him.
Basingstoke made another change in the 72nd minute, taking Ben Wright off for Sam Argent. Unfortunately Argent left the field in the 85th minute due to injury to be replaced by Harry Pearse.
With time running out and the dreaded penalty shoot-out threatening Havant and Waterlooville snatched the lead in the 84th minute when Basingstoke failed to clear a corner and Rutherford was on hand to side-foot the ball through a crowded penalty box into the net.
The game was not over and in the 86th minute Basingstoke's Pearse had a shot kicked off the line.
The Referee ruled that five minutes added time would be played in the 90th+1st minute Rutherford looked as if he had sealed the game for Havant and Waterlooville when he chipped the 'keeper, but the ball hit the underside of the bar and did not cross the line.
The match was sponsored by BSA Regal Building Service. The Referee was James Robinson and his two Assistants were Mike Desborough and Peter Lowe. The Fourth Official was Rob Ablitt.
The Ball Sponsor was Paris Smith.
The Player of the Match Award went to Havant and Waterlooville's Wes Fogden.
The squads: Havant and Waterlooville – Ben Dudzinski, Dan Strugnell, Ed Harris, Wes Fogden, Joe Quigley, David Banjo, Josh Huggins, Lee Molyneaux, Tyler Cordner, Chris Paul, Hassan Jalloh, Rory Williams, Ryan Woodford, Mike Carter, Andreas Robinson, and Alfie Rutherford.
Basingstoke Town – Tom McGill, Dean Stow, Adam Everiss, Charlie Kennedy, Shane Hollamby, Jack Wakely, Sam Smart, Michael Atkinson, Ben Wright, Sam Deadfield, Yvan Jourdan, Jim Orvis, Chris Rackley, Dan Bayliss, Harry Pearse and Sam Argent.