Pre Season Friendly

Fawley 0

Petersfield Town 6

(Connor Hoare, Joe Briggs, Howard Neighbour x2, Dan Symonds x2)

Attendance: 63 (approx. headcount)

Waterside Sports & Social Club

I love pre-season, loads of games, loads of teams facing unusual opponents and plenty of goals, and anyone that knows me knows that I love a goal or two.

Now apart from my opening game- a 4-0 win for Bath City against Partick Thistle, the following six games had been relatively low scoring and I was waiting for a big score line to come. Having seen Petersfield play twice last season and seeing them notch six times I was hoping that they would have their shooting boots on at the Waterside Sports & Social Club.

Having never seen Fawley play, this tie could have gone either way.

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The Ground

Having driven past this place a couple of times last season on the way to local rivals Blackfield & Langley, I had finally managed to get a game in to see the Oilers.

Attached to a social club, I was greeted by a bunch of ageing New Forest residents enjoying what I was guessing was a Zumba class in the main hall. Cutting through the club and across the cricket pitch and you come across the ground.

Free entry and the chance to get to a new ground was tempting enough for me to soak up game eight of the season.

With one seated stand, Fawley’s home turf is pretty basic but does the job, a little tea hut and some Portakabins for the changing rooms it had everything needed for a tier nine (step 5) club.

The one covered seated stand was just simple bench seats but pretty full as some of the under 18 side were in attendance and it was where I decided to watch the game from.

Two small covered areas either side of the dugouts opposite the main stand give enough options if the weather isn’t perfect, all in all not a bad place to watch some football.

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The Game

Southern League Division One Central side Petersfield Town breezed past their Wessex Premier counterparts with a 6-0 thrashing of Fawley AFC.

With the score just 1-0 at the break, The Rams really kicked on in the second half and they were too strong for Fawley who looked pretty tight in the opening 45 minutes.

Petersfiled, just one league above Fawley took the lead midway through the first half through Connor Hoare. The winger had found some space in the box to simply side foot the ball under the onrushing Oilers ‘keeper Michael Edgar.

Fawley’s star striker Dan Fry nearly pulled it back for the home side but his long-range effort bounced off the cross bar and out.

With the home side just 1-0 down at the break, they would have thought they had a chance to maybe sneak in an equaliser but Petersfield were struggling to miss and soon managed to put the game to bed early in the second half.

Right-winger Joe Briggs who had been causing problems all game managed to double Town’s lead when he got the better of a goalmouth scramble to slot in the second.

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Fry must have been cursing his luck when the ball fell to him perfectly on the edge of the box. The striker connected with the ball beautifully only for it to whistle past the keeper and against the underside of the bar without crossing the line.

Rams target man Howard Neighbour grabbed a quick five-minute brace to well and truly put the game to bed. Neighbour’s strike partner Dan Symonds had raced away on the left wing and crossed in the perfect ball for the classic number nine to tap in for Petersfield’s third of the game.

Neighbour’s second came with a little one-two with Symonds around the last defender and the big striker had the simple task of placing the ball into the bottom corner.

Fawley still tried to play the ball even though four goals behind looked like a mountain to climb. Fry had again broke away from the back four but his one-on-one with the ‘keeper saw his precise shot rolling agonisingly wide of the far post.

Symonds soon got on the scoring himself when Briggs had dispossessed the full back and passed to his team mate. The striker then rounded the ‘keeper and put the ball into the open goal for his first of the game and Town’s fifth.

The best was definitely saved for last when Symonds grabbed his second of the night with a sweet volley from 18 yards. The ball came over the top and the striker hit it on the bounce and found the top corner to round off a perfect evening for Petersfield.

2016/17 Games: 8

2016/17 Grounds: 10

Total Grounds Visited: 157

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