Pre Season Friendly

QK Southampton reserves 1

(Emlyn Jones)

Hythe & Dibden reserves 0

Attendance: 22 and 2 dogs (approx. Headcount)

Lordshill Recreation Ground

Eastleigh’s win over Barnet last night was looking very likely to be my last pre-season friendly of the 2016/17 campaign with a stag weekend away coming up and no plans for anymore weeknight games my Wednesday was looking relatively chilled out when I left work about 7:10pm

Driving literally about half a mile I noticed a handful of cars lining the road by the Lordshill Recreation Ground, home of QK Southampton (at the back of where I work).

Being as mad into football that I am, I pulled up and went to see what was happening, turns out it was QK’s reserve side playing Hythe & Dibden reserves.

With the scores still 0-0 when I arrived I decided to stay and watch the game, not a new ground having been their last season for a Hampshire Premier League game with Bush Hill but another game to add to this season’s tally.

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The Ground

A bit like Lyndhurst (QK are one division higher) the ground specification for the Hampshire Premier League is fairly basic. With a barrier surrounding the playing surface and two dugouts on the opposite side to the road that is pretty much all there is to it.

On the near side, adjacent to the road, they have three cabins in a ‘U’ shape for both dressing rooms and a little inside area for tea and snacks but nonetheless, a simple but pleasant place to watch football.

The pitch is at the end of a massive field that has a floodlit rugby pitch for a local egg chasing team as well as some 3G pitches, which could be affiliated to the secondary school on the opposite side of the field.

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The Game

Not one for the faint hearted as QK Southampton’s reserve side edged out their Hythe & Dibden counterparts in a less than impressive 1-0 win.

The game itself produced very little apart from Emlyn Jones’ first half strike which went through the ‘keeper’s legs.

Having admittedly missed the best part of the opening 20 minutes (probably for the best), Hythe & Dibden did nearly take the lead when their left winger got a free header on goal, hitting the top of the crossbar before bouncing out.

Jones was the top performer out of both sides and looked to be the home side’s best chance at getting a goal and he did just that after a little one-two with the striker before placing the ball into the corner and through the goalkeeper’s legs to add to the embarrassment.

The game was scrappy and little was created in front of goal with a lot of loose balls and turnovers in possession the game rolled into half time with one spectator being less than complimentary about what he had just witnessed.

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But it was a friendly and all about getting minutes on the pitch and blooding new talent, especially in a reserves side.

The Hythe & Dibden keeper was to thank for keeping the score down to just one with a couple of good saves from long range QK efforts.

With players getting tired, their were a few late challenges flying in, but the referee managed to keep control and the game was played in good spirits, players getting fouled but helping each other up and with a simple handshake the game would go on, a great sign on a football pitch in the modern era.

QK midfielder (no shirt number, but going by the nickname ‘Waggy’) had a great chance to double the lead for the home side but his curling effort was just high of the crossbar.

The crossbar came into use again to deny another goal, this time for the home team who were unlucky when the last header bounced off the bar after a bit of a head tennis scramble inside the area.

H&D had little possession in the second half but as the game went on they did manage to take advantage of what little of the ball they had, however no one seemed to have their shooting boots on with many balls ending up in the bushes behind the far goal.

Not a classic but the real stuff will be starting soon, this may be where I sign off from the 2016 friendlies, but nothing beats competitive games.

2016/17 Games: 11

2016/17 Grounds: 13

Total Grounds Visited: 157

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