West Leigh Park, Havant
fifth in a series of short despatches from the play-off push
One thing you should now be able to take away from this website. As of today. Trust my water.
Absolutely no doubt. Guaranteed. My water is one stand-up, err, well, load a’ water. Lend it money, you will definitely see it again. And get a nice thank you gift. And any secrets you may have let slip during the transaction will be kept. 100%. Whup!
Some of you might be sceptical about this Shopping Channel hard-sell on the honour-bound nature of my bodily fluid. You’d be right to do so, as it has let me down before. As such, I stopped listening to it. Until today that is, when it raced back to me, pounding at the door and pleading, like an heiress's fiancé caught in flagrante at his favourite car-park-come-dogger-lounge, for a second chance. Call me a sentimental old fool if you like, but we’ve got ‘istory, y’know.
Despite the disappointment of Saturday, followed by the added kick in the sack that was teletext’s revelation, once home, that we had slipped outside of the play-off zone for the first time in months, I was excited, well, once time enough had been had for sleeping on it. Very excited, in fact. Surprisingly so for a league game of this type. After all, a win would not see the job fully done. However, a defeat would arguably, considering the almighty dent two defeats in three days can have on your morale, have been game over. As such, while nowhere near the final push, this was a pivotal game. My excitement, however, came from an internal knowing, an almost a priori certainty, that tonight we would not only win, but win big. I could feel it in my water and, it turns out, my ol’ water knows its onions. Well, it did today at any rate. I think it’s learnt its lesson and I would commend my water to all.
4-0 then, all done and dusted by the 41st minute, bar a couple of second half near-misses from the bonce of Tom Jordan, and the boots of Pacquette and Baptiste. Ah well, at this stage, I guess we’ll be wanting to keep some of the powder dry, as this clearly followed on from the nature of Saturday’s defeat. There, the chances created a jammed bottleneck, but the pressure finally told as for the first 45 minutes, a stunned Yeading were on the end of a dam-breaking, climactic gush.
Minute Nine : Rocky dances through defenders and the plunging keeper as though to a big-band swing rhythm before stabbing the ball in. Goal One.
Minute Twenty Six : Brett Poate curls a priceless oil-painting of a free-kick to the edge of the six-yard box, where Richie Pacquette need break no sweat in nodding it inside the near post, unmarked. Big Rich then pulls out Saturday’s goal celebration again. Able to reappraise this, I’d now cast it as less machine gunner and more a martial-artistic super-soaker oscillation. Anyhow, Goal Two.
Minute Thirty Three : Free-kick slap-bang on the edge of the area. Baptiste nudges the ball, then Poate either psyches out the wall, or possibly himself, by approaching it like it’s an unattended suitcase on a Bakerloo platform. While Yeading scamper about confused, Big Rich hammers a toe-poke through the parting of their sea and emphatically into the back of the net. This time the celebrations sees him run backwards across the box, dragging a couple of team-mates with him. That be Goal Three.
Minute Forty One : To cap a fine performance before we, very unfortunately, lose him to a 2-game suspension, Shaun Wilkinson collects the Yeading centre-halves as though he’s a defender magnet, leaving Rocky free to receive his pin-up of a pass, and beam a shot past the keeper from the edge of the area. Goal Four. Could have been more.
However, with three games to go, against relegation-threatened Thurrock, second-placed Salisbury and the always dangerous Fisher Athletic, and with suspensions and injuries (keeper Shane Gore aggravating his hamstring tonight which may put him out for the duration) likely to stretch us, we need to keep revving as, like I say, the job ain’t yet done.
However, the spirit to do it appears refreshed. Booyah!
Conference South state of play (17apr07)
1: Histon 88pts (39 games played, of 42)
2: Salisbury City 72pts (39)
3: Braintree Town 70pts (40)
4: Havant & Waterlooville 68pts (39)
5: Welling United 67pts (40)
6: Bishop’s Stortford 66pts (39)
7: Newport County 63pts (37)
8: Eastbourne Borough 60pts (37)
Havant & Waterlooville website