Southampton Senior Cup Quarter Final

Brockenhurst 2

(Aaron Dunne, Jake Long)

Hamble Club 1

(Doug Lowe)

Attendance: 40

Grigg Lane

A cold night for football but having spent the whole day inside I was desperate for some fresh air.

I love Grigg Lane, I have only been once, way back in November 2015 when they drew 3-3 with AFC Portchester. I have wanted to return for some time and their game with Hamble Club was as good a game as any to head back to SO42.

Not too sure what it is that I love so much about the ground, it isn’t anything particularly special, just different.

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The Ground

Although I have been to Grigg Lane before, I haven’t done so since setting up this blog.

Grigg Lane is different to anything I have seen. The main stand, like many clubs at this level is the centrepiece of the look of the ground. Brockenhurst is no different and their main stand is pretty cool.

White and blue in colour, the old school bench seats sit on top of the changing rooms and you certainly feel like you are sat on the roof. The raised view gives you a nice perspective of the game that you take for granted if you watch your football on row ZZ at Stamford Bridge for example. A lot of non-league football is watched from the side of the pitch, which is great, but it is nice to mix it up a bit and sit/stand from a raised area once in a while. The clubhouse sits next to the stand and lines half of the pitch.

Behind one goal there is some covered standing area and then the rest is uncovered standing around the rest of the pitch. Nicknamed the Badgers, Brock’ have aptly named their snack bar the Badgers Sett which was the source of a well needed Bovril at half time.

There is also a massive cartoon badger that stands between the two dugouts, however I didn’t get a picture this time.

Providing you don’t break your ankles on the cattle gate that lines the entrance of the ground, you are going to enjoy your visit.

Grigg Lane is a pretty welcoming place to watch football in the New Forest/ Hampshire area. The car park is a bit on the small side but there is parking available nearby.

One final note must be reserved for the Brockenhurst fans that have been awesome every time I have seen the Badgers play home and away. The small group who sat in the middle of the stand were in great form all night and that is what makes non-league great.

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The Game

Brockenhurst moved one step closer to the Southampton Senior Cup final with a 2-1 victory over Hamble Club in the quarter final.

The final, played at Premier League ground St Mary’s (home of Southampton FC) gives an added incentive to all sides involved in this particular cup.

Captain Jake Long scored late on to put Brock into the semi finals after Doug Lowe had cancelled out Aaron Dunne’s early opener for the home side.

Patrick McManus’ side took the lead after five minutes when Dunne headed in from close range connecting with a flick on from a team mate at the near post from a corner.

Hamble, who play a division lower than Brockenhurst were giving a good account of themselves and showing why they are contenders for promotion from Wessex Division One.

Liam Crook and Lowe combined well on the edge of the box, feeding the ball to Nathan Lynch who flicked the ball up and tried an acrobatic attempt that was easily held by Callum Maher.

Brockenhurst should have doubled their lead when Hamble ‘keeper Rory Anderson scuffed a clearance straight to and unmarked Ryan Long in the box who had all the time in the world to score but he took a touch and curled the shot over the bar.

Will Tickle and Mark Barker both wasted good chances when they cut inside from the right to take aim at goal but neither could find the target with their respective efforts.

Maher kept the hosts in the lead with a great one handed save to deny Lynch who had sent his header towards goal.

In an end-to-end encounter, Tickle wasted another good chance when his shot from the edge of the area was just a tad high to trouble Anderson.

Badgers ‘keeper Maher was called into action again when he got low to block out Lowe’s effort from inside the box.

Maher was putting in a man of the match performance and it looked like he wouldn’t be beaten when he palmed away Mike Byrne’s header from a corner.

After the restart Hamble continued to test Maher, who again managed to block another good shot, this time denying Matty Holmes the chance to get on the score sheet.

Hamble did manage to pull the scores level when Jude Nwachukwu was dispossessed on the edge of the box and Wayne O’Dell’s shot was deflected high into the air and Lowe was on hand to get a touch ahead of Maher as the ball trickled into the corner of the net off the post.

As Brock’ went looking for a second, Anderson produced a good block at the near post to deny Tickle who had done well to get the better of the defender and fire a shot away.

With seven minutes to go and extra time looking likely, Brockenhurst managed to take the lead when Barker’s cross went straight to Long who took a touch inside the area before prodding the ball home underneath Anderson to seal the victory.

2016/17 Games: 80

2016/17 Grounds: 57

Total Grounds Visited: 149 (38)

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