Hampshire Chronicle Cup - 12/07/2006

WINCHESTER V EASTLEIGH
WEDNESDAY 12th JULY 2006

Hampshire Chronicle Cup




This years Hampshire Chronicle Cup saw Eastleigh win their first trophy of the season with a solid performance from the word go. They were rarely troubled and looked good going forward, in what was a good work out for the whole Eastleigh squad giving Paul Doswell a chance to look at other options.

Eastleigh looked a threat from the off and it was Dave Town’s dipping shot from 35 yards that nearly caught the Winchester goalkeeper out as Town spotted him off his line. However it was slightly over hit and the speculative effort went just over the bar.

In the ninth minute, the Spitfires were at it again. A great move involving Ryan Ashford and Steve Forbes saw the ball swung in from the right hand side to pick out the rising jump of Andy Forbes, whose header in the end, was comfortably saved.

Andy Forbes and Eastleigh had another good chance ten minutes later. His snapshot on the turn was deflected into the path of namesake Steve Forbes who tried to volley the ball goalwards but all he managed was to kick thin air!

A Winchester back pass led to an indirect free kick to Eastleigh only nine yards from goal. Ashford hit the ball with fury but somehow the ball was swept off the line and Winchester survived the glorious opportunity that their opponents were gifted in the first place.

Eastleigh’s pressure on the Winchester goal and their dominance in possession finally paid dividends when they took the lead in the 29th minute. Richard Hodgson put in a deep cross to the back post from the right flank that went all the way out to Ryan Ashford on the far side. Ashford’s pinpoint ball into the six yard box found the unmarked Steve Forbes who headered home with ease.

After the goal, Eastleigh had a couple more chances to add to their already growing shots on target tally. Firstly, the captain Danny Smith tried his luck from distance with a curling shot from distance that the keeper just managed to pick out and hold on to.

In their next attack, Ian Oliver’s dangerous low driven cross from the left flank evaded everyone in the penalty area, when all it needed was a touch.

On the stroke of half time, Andy Forbes latched onto Steve Forbes’ through ball before dribbling at pace and cutting inside his marker. The former Winchester City striker then hit a powerful goal bound effort, but it was headed clear to bring to an end a very one sided half.

HALF TIME – Winchester 0-1 Eastleigh

Eastleigh rung the changes at half time with no less than five substitutions. Ashley Jarvis, ‘Taz’ Roberts, Martin Thomas, Darren Wheeler and Brian Dutton all took to the field to replace Danny Smith, Dave Town, Jack Smith, Richard Hodgson and Ryan Ashford.

Jarvis, the young striker that made his debut against Yeovil, almost made an immediate impact. Andy Forbes pulled the ball back for Jarvis who drove the ball hard and low only to see his effort pushed away to safety.

Eastleigh doubled their lead coming up to the hour mark with a beautifully crafted goal. Ashley Jarvis did exceptionally well to win possession for his team on the half way line with a defenders tackle, before flicking the ball out to Martin Thomas. The second half captain put in an inch perfect delivery for Andy Forbes who thrives on this kind of pass and he did what he does best – found the back of the net, with a great finish with the outside of his boot to beat the keeper.

Having gone 2 goals clear, three more substitutes were introduced into the action. Andy Puckett, Ben Ngwa and David Hughes came on to replace the goalscorers Andy and Steve Forbes and Rob Marshall who had a good game at centre back.

In the 60th minute, Darren Wheeler went on another trademark pacy run down the left hand side and in the process he won a free kick on the edge of the area. A training ground routine was evident as a very clever and deceptive pass from David Hughes picked out Brian Dutton who ran around the back of the wall to get on the end of Hughes’ chip. However, Dutton’s volley was parried away and Jarvis couldn’t get good contact on the rebound.

For the first time in the game, Winchester were beginning to see a lot more of the ball. Firstly Wayne Shaw had to be on his toes as a thunderbolt from distance had to be tipped around the post with a fine save to prevent a come back from City.

Moments later, the home side must have thought they had scored. They came agonisingly close, this time they hit the side netting from a free kick.

In the 74th minute, Eastleigh made the last of their substitutions for the evening. Danny Smith and Richard Hodgson returned to the action, with Hodgson switching to left back and Smith slotting in at centre half. They replaced Ian Oliver and Adam James – who Eastleigh must be delighted to see playing again on his return from his studies in the U.S.A. James had a good workout at the back, he looked sharp, and never really put a foot wrong.

Eastleigh had one last effort before the final whistle. It fell to Ashley Jarvis who sprinted down the left hand side to create a goal scoring opportunity but his shot lacked the power needed to cause any kind of damage.

In the dieing moments, Wayne Shaw pulled off yet another excellent save, this time with his legs to deny Winchester a goal from point blank range, to hold on to his clean sheet.

Eastleigh wrapped up the win with a solid performance all round to ensure victory and their first trophy of the season! Lets hope there are more of these to come.

FULL TIME – Winchester 0-2 Eastleigh

JAMIE MONTIGUE

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