OILERS LINE UP
STARTING 11: 1. J. PAGE, 2. P. KEATING, 3. M. HAWKINS, 4. E.EARL, 5. N. DWYER, 6. M. BUCKTHORPE, 7. O. BRADLEY, 8. S. GREEN, 9. D. KNIGHT, 10. N. WILLIAMS, 11. B. BOLTON SUBS: 12. R. MACEY, 14. M. LILLEY, 15. J. MCPHEE, 16. D. HARTIGAN
GOALSCORERS: M. BUCKTHORPE 1, D. HARTIGAN 1
Fawley welcomed Laverstock & Ford to the L.B. Roofing Arena on Saturday, making it their third encounter this season after two previous away fixtures earlier this season. The first a 3-0 league defeat and the second a 2-1 victory in the FA Vase. The sides knew each other fairly well it was safe to say.
Oilers handed a debut to the returning Dylan Knight up front and a first start for new addition Neil Williams in midfield. Nick Dwyer replaced the missing Aaron Lucas in the heart of defence.
Laverstock made their intentions clear in the first minute, playing very direct, moving it from back to front as fast as possible and testing the homes resolve and forcing an early save from keeper Jon Page. They won a corner straight away and a succession of early free kicks in Fawley's half. The first real chance on goal however came from Fawley, Neil Williams setting Dylan Knight on the edge oi the box only for his effort to go straight at the keeper.
As the game seemed to level out, Laverstock would find themselves very fortunate to have 11 men on the pitch. After midfielder Max Allen lunged in dangerously with a two footed challenge against Elliot Earl, thankfully not hurt. The referee felt a yellow card and a firm word was enough on this occasion.
Midway through the first half Laverstock picked up some momentum and started to test the oilers. Russell Jones from out wide left cutting in and blazing an effort over the far corner. Tyler Brockway fired a great effort from 25 yards out to which keeper Jon Page tipped onto his post, luckily across the goal line and out of play. After Fawley got through this tough period they created probably the best chance of the half, Ollie Bradley as always causing problems got in space out wide and drilled in a low cross. Dylan Knight found himself alone and only yards out, but could not connect with the ball well enough resulting in a tame effort at the keeper.
Fawley came out this half determined to step things up a gear and avoid a repeat of last weeks antics. Both sides were adventurous going forward and looking for that precious first goal. The home side got it through perhaps an unlikely source. Steve Green whipped in a great corner which evaded the more obvious targets and was met by Martin Buckthorpe at the back post, sliding the ball over the line. His first for the club, including his first spell three years ago.
The goal seemed to deflate the away side, because Fawley had more of the ball and less defending to do for the best part of 20 minutes. In that spell Dylan Knight had another glorious chance to kill the game off and Ben Bolton started to find more space on the counter attack.
Mark Lilley came on for Dylan Knight and Dek Hartigan replaced Neil Williams shortly after. Minutes later Lilley found himself with a clear shot on goal forcing the save, only for the ball to come back out to Hartigan for the tap in. The two subs combining well to kill off the match and continued to cause problems after.
The Laverstock keeper did make a couple of smart saves whilst the home side were on top, but unfortunately late on some more cards were issued. Tyler Brockway found himself in being called up for a bad foul, he was booked twice and we can only assume once for the tackle and a second for dissent towards the official after. The away side had to see the remaining minutes down to 10 men.
Laverstock forced a couple of good saves from Jon Page late on as they refused to give up, but the clean sheet was well earned in the end. Final whistle and Fawley picked up a much needed win after two successive away draws. Next up is the local derby against waterside neighbours Hythe & Dibden on Saturday 23rd December at The L.B. Roofing Arena.