Thursday, 9 August 2012

Report: Verwood Tn 1-2 Horndean - Wessex Premier

CHANCE: Tom Chapman thumps a header over

Excitement, pride, and an air of reserved confidence could be felt around Potterne Park ahead of Verwood Town’s first Wessex Premier home match, but the bubble was more trampled than burst as savvy Horndean left with three deserved points.

The visitors hassled and harried in every position, with Verwood, now playing at the highest level in their history, looking nervy and unable to comprehend the lack of time and space afforded them in the opening half.

After the break at 2-0 down, the hosts improved and looked more composed with the ball, though still more than a little suspect without it – Martin Edwards’ goal renewed the hope, but his glaring miss late on summed up a frustrating night.

The opening was frenetic and scrappy, but Horndean gradually worked their way into the match with man-mountain Jamal Fenelon drawing the Verwood backline all over the place, creating room for others to work in.

Town’s cause was not helped by the early withdrawal of left back Luke Homer through injury, and his replacement Charlie Elysee had a tough evening alongside centre half Ben Kelly.

A free kick from the right handed Horndean the lead on 19 minutes, defender Dan Hayes thumping a header back across goal from Tommy Woodward’s free kick.

Chances continued to come and it was no surprise when the visitors doubled their lead four minutes before the break – Elysee and Kelly were caught square as Fenelon darted through the offside trap and curled the ball beyond Chris Lynch from close range.

Tom Chapman thumped a good chance to make it three over the crossbar for Horndean after the interval, while an improving Verwood should have scored when Jack Satterley volleyed over when well placed.

Hope came Verwood’s way just before the hour mark as Hayes was denied Horndean’s third by Dean Evans’ goal line clearance. At the other end, Town’s full back caught Simon Stone in possession three minutes later and set up Edwards to pull one back. Game on.

Evans had a weak shot saved by Derek Harding, but the visitors still carved out openings too easily, Hayes, Gavin Spurway and Fenelon all going close.

As the match drew to a close, Evans was involved again in what should have proved to be the leveller, crossing for Edwards at the far post, but his stooping header bounced wide with the goal at his mercy and Verwood were left to wonder what might have been.

The quality is clearly there for Town to compete in the Wessex League’s top flight, but they will need learn fast and box clever against experienced and rugged sides to make an impact this season.

VERWOOD TOWN: Lynch, Evans, Homer (Elysee 14), Delaney, Kelly, Gajic, Dyer, Clark (Webb 62), Edwards, Satterley, Hill.

Unused subs: O’Sullivan, Steer, Anderton.

GOAL: Edwards 58.

HORNDEAN: Harding, Errington, Stone, Hayes, Chapman, Lofters-Desporte (Sebuliba 71), Fennemore (Warren 78), Spurway, Woodward, Austin, J Fenelon (Bell 86).

Unused subs: Perkin, C Fenelon.

GOALS: Hayes 19, J Fenelon 41.

STAR MAN: Tom Chapman (Horndean)

A few Horndean players in contention after a stoic away performance – Fenelon bullied his way through, Woodward was lively around him, and Hayes’ marauding runs from centre half were levelled out with a mature positional sense. But when it got a little bit nervy at 2-1, Chapman barked out the orders and calmed everything down – lead his team to victory.

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