OILERS LAST SIX
J.PAGE, M.HUNT, R.MACEY, J.MCPHEE, M.HAWKINS, P.KEATING, D.SEMMENS, E.EARL, O.BRADLEY, M.LILLEY, C.TANNER (1), SUBS: D.GAIN, J.KEEN, K.ROCHE
With the excitement around the last fixture between the two teams scrapping for premier league survival, some might have come to the game expecting more of the same.
Whitchurch and Fawley seem to be suffering from the hangover of relegation from the top flight with unenviable league form, and Fawley came into this game having not picked up a win in their previous six games, despite having several good chances to bank extra points.
Fawley started the brightest and retained the ball better than their opponents, and the games only goal came mid way through the first half as a perfectly weighted ball over the top of the Whitchurch defence had Mark Lilley racing through and the defender backtracking. Lilley managed to get the wrong side of his opponent and slid a perfectly weighted pass back to an unopposed Callum Tanner, who had followed Lilleys run and had the relatively simple task of finding the net from near the penalty spot.
Some further chances came and went for Fawley who were unable to get the second goal, most notably Mark Lilley hitting a right-footed strike across goal only for it to swerve agonizingly wide of the Whitchurch post. Whitchurch had the biggest chance of the half as a loose back pass from Reece Macey presented them with a clear shot at goal, but the returning Jon Page was on hand to make a crucial save as the whistle for half time was blown moments after.
The second half was not one for the purists, as both teams struggled to string passes together. Fawley substitutions provided some welcome fresh legs to the midfield and strike force, and the Oilers were forced to spend long periods playing deeper down the pitch than they would've liked. Whitchurch had one strike tipped over the bar from Page who was having an excellent debut, whilst the back four including Reece Macey and Josh McPhee at centre half were heading and kicking everything that needed to be dealt with. Mitch Hunt provided the only real slice of entertainment for the watching supporters (and both dugouts as managers and subs jumped off their seats to give their opinion!) as he gave their striker a shove in the chest for chasing down a long ball which was supposed to be going back to Page in the Fawley goal. Unfortunately it couldn't of been more in the refs eyeline, and what with the reaction from the touchline there wasn't any getting away with a caution this time.
The game ended without any desperate defending, and despite the slow second half Fawley won't be too worried about that, it's three points after all. Onwards and upwards, to our first home game of the season on Tuesday night against New Forest neighbors Ringwood Town.
FAWLEY AFC v RINGWOOD TOWN
SYDENHAMS WESSEX LEAGUE DIVISION ONE
LB ROOFING ARENA, SO45 2PA
TUES 3RD OCTOBER, 7.45 KO