Sunday, 3 December 2017

Hamble Club v Horndean

This way to FA Vase action...
I don't have time to write a long report this week. There's reasons, but I'm not going to tell you what they are. However, I was at Hamble Club yesterday and I took a few pictures, so I thought it would be remiss of me not to share some of them with you.

Consider this a "Picture Special". Normal service will be resumed after Christmas when I'm not quite so busy with life.

Pre-match handshakes.
Hamble Club FC (1) 2 v 1 (1) Horndean FC
Buildbase FA Vase Third Round Proper
Saturday 2nd December 2017
Attendance: 74
Admission: £5
Programme: £1
Colours: All yellow v All red
National Grid reference: SU4707

The yellow stand as it was in January 2017.
Hamble Club have expanded their little yellow stand since I last took photos at the ground. Above is a picture from January, whereas below is a picture from yesterday. Spot the difference! The original stand has had extensions added on both sides. On the left, as you look at it, are covered seats for away officials, whereas on the near side in the picture below is the longer extension which can be used by anybody. There are three rows of bench seats all the way along, giving enough covered shelter for well over 100 spectators in inclement weather.

Hamble Club's extended stand in December 2017.
Yesterday's match was an FA Vase Third Round Proper tie (the fifth round in all, including two preliminary rounds). Hamble Club entered this national competition for the first time ever this year, which means they've never been beaten in a competition at a national level (they'll be able to enter the FA Cup for the first time next season). Rivals from their Hampshire League days, Baffins Milton Rovers, have also entered the Vase for the first time this season - unfortunately, they lost 4-1 at Combined Counties League Horley Town yesterday.

This landscape shot captures the only blue sky of the afternoon.
This was opponents' Horndean's 20th attempt at reaching the latter stages of the competition. They'd never gone beyond the Third Round before (losing to Bemerton Heath Harlequins at this stage in 2012). Someone was going to be a record breaker by the end of the afternoon.

Horndean on the offensive...
It was to be the home side who extended their own best (only) effort, but not before they'd fallen behind to a spectacular Miles Everrett goal in the third minute. Everrett latched on to a bouncing ball 40 yards out and let fly. I was in the perfect position to capture goalkeeper Sam Webb's desperate attempt to keep the ball out of his net as it flew over his head...

...and Hamble Club on the attack.
...but I thought the ball was going over and wide, so I didn't bother taking a photo...

Hamble Club congratulate each other after Mo Nyang's equaliser.
Everyone in the ground was shocked when the ball dipped at the last moment, finding the top corner, an inch below the bar, an inch inside the post. I didn't even manage to photograph the celebrations because (a) I couldn't resist clapping and (b) there were so many Hamble players between me and the group hug. So much for this being a Picture Special...

Totally unnecessary fisheye effect as the teams emerge for the second period.
The man near me said that it had been "a game of two halves in the same half" as the interval approached. He was right - Horndean had dominated the opening twenty minutes, but Hamble had played their way back in to take the honours later in the half - literally, as Mo Nyang scored from close range to equalise in the 41st minute.

The second half was more end-to-end than the first. I couldn't call the result as either side could have scored the winner. It was the team in yellow who got it though, as Nathan Lynch looped a header in to the far corner after 64 minutes to win the tie. Hamble Club join Blackfield & Langley and Newport (IW) as the Wessex league's representatives in Monday's draw for the last 32, which will remain semi-regionalised before the competition goes fully national in February.

It wouldn't be right if I didn't finish off with the traditional arty shot...
More photos will be posted on the HAH Facebook page later today. There is a report from The Echo here.

Now I know how to write a match report in 15 minutes flat! I'll make more effort next time, I promise. HAH will be back after Christmas. Have a fun few weeks.

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