9th April 2018 - Riley Taylor (Brockenhurst FC)

Brockenhurst started off this Wessex League Premier Division match brightly with Matt Vokes getting an early chance inside the first minute as he shot just wide of the far post. Hamble won a corner moments later, with it being drilled into the box but the header from it was weak and it was easily booted away by Luke Deacon in the Brock goal.

A minute later, Brock were caught out as the referee waved away a foul on Moore, Hamble had men forward but the eventual shot was well saved by Deacon.

Brock lacked creativity inside the first few minutes which was rare considering they had been most prominent at creating chances in the opening phases in most games this season.

This was proved when Matt Casey had a volley stifled on the edge of the box and it trickled through to Rory Anderson in the Hamble net. Tommy Barnes was to not to be deterred by this as he cut inside past two defenders down the right before laying the ball off to Vokes on the edge of the box but he was closed down and the attack was ended.

Brock won their first corner in the 9th minute, a deflected cross from Vokes. The corner found the head of the home midfielder but it went straight at the keeper. From this point Hamble started to turn the screw when they won a free kick in a dangerous area which was floated in and had to be cleared away by the Brock defence.

Minutes later the Badger's got what was to be their only chance for a while as a free kick was floated deep into the box by Cassius Newton, it was headed back across by Vokes to Dammy Bada, but a free kick was ruled against him for a push in the back and the chance was ended.

Eventually though Hamble broke through, a good attack was created by Mo Nyang cutting in from the left and laying a pass off inside the box to the Hamble striker who tapped in from three yards, it had to said that there wasn’t a lot wrong with the defending from the home side, as overall it was a good attack by Hamble. 

Pat McManus' side looked to respond instantly when Matt Sheedy found Mitchell Speechley-Price out wide, who then proceeded to whip in a great ball to Vokes at the far post but he fluffed his shot and it hit the side netting.

Brock started to defend well from the onslaught of Ben Kneller's Hamble as they attacked, Casey blocking an effort from long range only for it to rebound back out to Jack McCarthy who tested Deacon but he made a comfortable save to deny.

Brock had a good chance moments later as they won a free kick after a foul on Price. It was hit straight into the wall by Bada but it rebounded to him, the ball was then whipped into the far post to Vokes but his header hit the side netting once more. Bada then got a carbon copy of the free kick moments later, this time his effort did not hit the wall but instead went over the bar.

Hamble continued to apply pressure as they countered Brock, Smith went through but was intercepted by a brilliant last man challenge from Ben Kelly denying him a certain goal. Hamble, in the final few minutes of the first half, began to assert themselves, a ball over the top cutting open the Brock defence, Deacon having to come out and intercept, however he brought down the man and received a yellow card and gave Hamble a free kick on the edge of the box.

Things got worse for Brock as the following free kick was put past the reach of Deacon and Hamble were 2-0 up courtesy of Mike Amoam. Brock got their last chance on the stroke of half time as Price flicked a header on to Casey whose shot was saved by Anderson.

The following corner saw a header from Ben Kelly go inches wide of the far post. At the break, Brock will of not have been happy with the performance, lack of chances created meant they couldn’t get into the game, Hamble had taken theirs and were rightly leading.

The Badgers needed to start the second half off well and they got the perfect start when Vokes won a free kick on the edge of the box, Ronan Moore stepped up to take it with Price. The latter dummied his run up and allowed Moore to strike it over the wall and in to make it 2-1. Brock looked a lot more lively on both ends of the pitch with Kelly making another brilliant tackle to deny Hamble a shot on goal.

Brock really did look a different team with Price floating an effort from a free kick just past the goal. Brock started to dominate the game for the first time with Price being played through, laying the ball off to Newton and threaded through for Casey only for his effort to be hit just wide.

Brock had another great chance moments later when a free kick that was crossed in just evaded a diving header from Price at the far post. They began to pile on more pressure with a cross coming in from Price which was headed out to Newton on the edge of the box, whose volley was hit narrowly wide of the far post.

Hamble had the odd attack but they were all defended brilliantly by Brock, who were still desperately searching for an equaliser. Brock thought they had completed the comeback when a cross from Bada was put in on the second attempt by Vokes but it was eventually ruled out for offside.

Eventually Brock got their reward when substitute Noel McCarthy-Gardiner was tripped inside the box and the referee awarded a penalty. Price stepped up and saw his spot kick saved by Anderson but the rebound he tucked into the opposite corner to bring Brock level.

After bringing the game back, the Badgers couldn’t afford to give it away but this is exactly what they did. A misplayed back pass saw a Hamble striker being played through and Bada,caught off guard, brought him down to give Hamble a chance to retake the lead from 12 yards. It was scored as Deacon was sent the wrong way and all Brock’s hard work had been undone.

Brock had one last chance to tie it up at the end as a free kick was floated in by Deacon to Bada but his header was saved comfortably by Anderson and the full time whistle was blown.

A really disappointing result for Brock considering they fought back so well from 2-0 down only to give away a needless penalty right at the end to hand Hamble the game.

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