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The Hawks - Dare To Dream

Started on 22 October 2014 by pompeyblue
Latest Reply on 16 February 2015 by Walter
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Tallery: Thanks, and yes, your graphic was nice! :P

Neal: Haha, I didn't think of it that way!
pompeyblue's avatar pompeyblue
9 yearsEdited

LIVE: FA Trophy Final

Josh Slater: Havant & Waterlooville and Luton Town – two teams with plenty to play for today. They’ve made it this far, all the way to Wembley and to the final of the FA Trophy, and now the winner will be decided. I’m Josh Slater, your host, and we will be bringing you unprecedented coverage of all the action in this afternoon’s game. Alongside me is Neal ‘Emma’ Hasan and Sir Steve Justice.

Neal ‘Emma’ Hasan: Glad to be here.

Sir Steve Justice: Happy to collect the pay.

Josh Slater: It will sure be an interesting matchup with two competitive sides going head to head, having both battled it out for the automatic promotion spot, so far this season. A day out at this grand stadium is a major bonus for the finalists and the silverware at the end, makes this a great competition for our non-league clubs. Gentleman, how much of an impact do you think this tournament can have on smaller teams like these?

Neal ‘Emma’ Hasan: Financially it can be quite a big benefit, especially for some of these teams who have a real lack of funds. As you say, the opportunity of playing at Wembley and winning a trophy at the end too, is an unforgettable experience for all these players – some who probably thought they would never get close to this, in their entire career.

Sir Steve Justice: It gives bitches monies.

Josh Slater: Are you drunk?!?

Sir Steve Justice: Quite possibly, yes.

Josh Slater: Erm..anyway, what do you make of the Havant & W manager, Lee Bradbury? Leading his side to the Conference South title last season, making them extremely competitive in a higher division this season while putting together encouraging cup runs - surely a bigger side is going to come in for him sooner rather than later?

Neal ‘Emma’ Hasan: You would think so, he’s certainly got all the aspects to move on to bigger things, from what I’ve seen. He’s an astute tactician, a great man-motivator and seems to be impressive in the transfer market as well. There is the case that he might not even want to leave the club, regardless of an offer from elsewhere.

Sir Steve Justice: I agree with that, you get the sense that Lee is trying to build something here, and has something of a long term plan in place for Havant. We’ll have to wait and see, I guess.

Josh Slater: Meanwhile, Gary Lowe is the boss at Luton Town and with the largest budget in the league by a considerable margin, you would expect them to take the league by storm. He seems to be fulfilling expectations, is it fair to say?

Sir Steve Justice: Relegation from League 2 wasn’t an easy thing to swallow for The Hatters, but Lowe has quickly reinstalled confidence into his players, so credit to him there. We already know that there is plenty of ability in this Luton side, and Gary has found the perfect formula for these players, making them such a force. He is certainly fulfilling expectations at this time, however the fans and board will be wanting them to be successful upon promotion, as well. That shouldn’t be beyond their reach if you take into account their playing budget, which you mentioned beforehand.

Josh Slater: Thanks for your input lads, now over to Thomas Cellery, who has been speaking to both managers before the big game.

Pre-Match Interview with Lee Bradbury

Thomas Cellery: Lee, no doubt it’s been a busy week for yourself, the rest of your staff and the entire club in preparation for today’s final. There is also the demands of league football to deal with and a busy match schedule, yet do you still feel like your side are as ready to face Luton as you can possibly be?

Lee Bradbury: Of course I would love to reply a definitive ‘yes’ however in life and in football as a matter of fact, you can never be fully prepared for anything. But we have obviously taken our time to study Luton, noted there strengths and weaknesses, naturally as we do with all of our opposition so I am still confident that we can get a good result. Playing them earlier on in the season, twice in fact, is a big help to us too and we are relatively familiar with their squad now.

Thomas Cellery: As you just said yourself, you have come up against Luton twice already this season, winning one encounter and painfully losing the other. Do you think past history between the two clubs will have any effect today?

Lee Bradbury: Mentally, it may well get into both sets of players heads. There will probably be a few niggling thoughts pre-match, but my job as the manager is to motivate these players, get them focused and in the right mind frame to win the match.

Thomas Cellery: It’s Havant’s first appearance at Wembley and personally it’s your first visit too, having unfortunately missed out on the opportunity as Bouremouth manager when losing in a play-off semi final against Huddersfield, on penalties. Yourself and the players are relishing it, right?

Lee Bradbury: Of course! It’s an incredible experience for everyone involved, and this is why the FA Trophy is so good for clubs of our stature. The players really are buzzing, just stepping out onto that turf will be magical, and winning the game would make it even more special.

Thomas Cellery: Finally, how are you looking to defeat your opponents, Luton Town?

Lee Bradbury: That’s for me to know, and you to discover!

Pre-Match Interview with Gary Lowe

Thomas Cellery: Gary, you’re team is top of the league, full of confidence, and the next step is a victory at Wembley, surely?

Gary Lowe: Well, I’m delighted with how things have panned out this season, I really am. The players have been terrific, and I have thoroughly enjoyed my time working with them. The league form has been excellent, and reaching the final in this competition is a real achievement, and yes, we’re confident of claiming that trophy as ours.

Thomas Cellery: Lee Bradbury has been saying similar things ahead of the game, and is to say the least, raring to go. What kind of a threat do you think Havant will pose?

Gary Lowe: I have a lot of respect for Lee and he has done a very admirable job with Havant since he arrived. His team plays football the right way, which is excellent to see, and are a tricky side to defend against. They have some very talented players in the squad, but so do we, and I feel we do edge them in quality which will hopefully show.

Thomas Cellery: One last question, what would winning this trophy mean to you?

Gary Lowe: More importantly, it would mean everything to the fans. To bring them some silverware, on an occasion like this, would be magnificent and a real reward for all of their support.

Josh Slater: Thomas providing us with some intriguing interviews, chiefly interesting to hear the views of both managers, and both of them sounded confident. Neal, your views?

Neal ‘Emma’ Hasan: That’s exactly what you want to hear from your manager, and if the players were listening, it would give them a real boost mostly. You can’t take much more belief from your manager backing you and them believing in your ability. They both have strong personalities, clearly, but also were using basic motivational skills.

Josh Slater: Steve?

Sir Steve Justice: I need more drink. Oh, and it’s Sir Steve to you. But not to Emma, she can call me whatever she wants…

Josh Slater: Let’s go back to Thomas Cellery, as I’ve heard he has today’s team news for us.

Team Lineups

Havant & Waterlooville Line-up:
Mikhael Jaimez-Ruiz; Joe Oastler, Daniel Pappoe, Dan Strugnell, Jerome Okimo; Ashley Hemmings, Therry Racon, Ian Morris, Ben Swallow; Adebayo Akinfenwa, Bradley Bubb

Luton Town Line-up:
Iain Turner; Paul Connolly, Dominic Hyam, Callum Davies, Ben Purrington; Nathan Doyle, Edouard Schoenecker, Olly Lee; Denzel Slager, Modibo Tounkara, Wes Burns

Thomas Cellery: Season regulars Scott Donnelly and Rashid Yussuff are both ruled out through injury and are replaced by Ashley Hemmings and Ian Morris for Havant, unfortunate timing for two key players. Jerome Okimo is handed a rather surprise start at left back in place of Danny Blanchett, but other than that it’s a standard looking Hawks lineup.

Luton are without on loan MK Dons striker Jonathan Fusco, who has 15 goals to his name this season, due to injury. Top goalscorer Wesley Burns therefore operates as a lone striker, in a change of shape and system, by Gary Lowe. Elsewhere, winger Cameron Stewart has to settle for a place on the bench despite his good form with Modibo Tounkara preffered ahead of him. Stewart is alongside players such as Pelly Ruddock, who could make a big impact if brought on, however.

Josh Slater: Guys, in the studio, what do you make of the team selection?

Neal ‘Emma’ Hasan: The absence of Donnelly and Yussuff for Havant may have a big impact, I feel. Yussuff in particular is having a good season, and Donnelly is something of a free-kick specialist, being a key player for his team in the past. Bubb and Akinfenwa is a great strike partnership however, and is bound to cause the opposition problems, while both are clinical in front of goal and have scored a hatful this season.

Sir Steve Justice: Pfft, Luton will roll over this Havant side. Doyle, Slager and Burns are way too much to handle. Havant are fucked!

Josh Slater: Let’s find out now, shall we? We’re moments away from kick-off, so I’ll hand over to your commentator who goes by the name of Walter – some Australian dude.

Live Match Commentary

Kick-off: Havant & Waterlooville in their home strip of white, get today’s game at Wembley underway, with the roar of their fans behind them.

5’ Here come Havant launching the first meanginful attack of the game. It’s down the left with winger Ben Swallow, who floats in a dangerous cross into the box. It’s a real chance but the effort has been saved by the keeper. Akinfenwa was the man on the end of the delivery, but his left footed volley was well held by Turner.

18’ Luton have a freekick here, and I’d say it’s about 25 yards from goal. Slager stands over the ball, with a Cristiano Ronaldo-esque stance. That’s not a bad strike either! Oh, just over the bar. He did really well to get the ball over the wall, but it just didn’t dip down enough in time, to stay under the crossbar. Unlucky.

27’ Ah, what a shame. Havant are forced into their first substitution of the game and it’s the goalkeeper Mikhael Jaimez-Ruiz who is going to have to come off as a result of an injury. Scott Bevan, at the age of 35, replaces him.

35’ Decent spell of possession for Luton Town, at the moment. The ball is worked wide to the overlapping full back Connolly, who will look to fire in a cross. It’s the header, and a marvellous save! Second choice goalkeeper Bevan did extremely well there, flexing his old arms and legs to make a full stretch save and tip the effort over and out for a corner.

42’ Ben Swallow is on the ball again now, looking to take on the booked full back Connolly. He flicks it past him with a brilliant piece of skill. He’ll look to bring the ball into the box now, but oh, that’s a horrendous tackle from Connolly and he is off. Swallow had flown past him and cynically Connolly brings him down and receives his marching orders, in turn. Silly sending off.

44’ There is one more chance left of the half, as Ian Morris prepares to swing a corner into the box for Havant. In it comes. The header from Pappoe. Off the post! What a way to end the half as Daniel Pappoe, up from the back, smacks the post with a bullet header with the ball cleared before any chance of a follow-up.


Kick-off: It was a dramatic first half with plenty of action at both ends of the pitch, not to mention the dismissal of Luton defender Paul Connolly.. Havant came closest to a goal with Pappoe hitting the post, and now it’s 10 men Luton who get this second period of play underway.

56’ Strugnell plays a lofted pass to Bubb, looking to rectify a rather slow start to the half. The striker has taken the pass down brilliantly, and is now heading straight for goal. He’s gone round one, round two, and shoots! Ah, but he’s dragged his effort just wide of the mark. That’s better though.

74’ Both teams have struggled in this half, to be honest, with Luton sitting really deep now as a result of the sending off. Havant just can’t seem to break down this defence either, and this game looks like it’s going to head for penalties. Yes, that’s right, there’s no extra time in this year’s final.


Penalty shoot out: Penalties it is then. The trophy will be decided in the most nerve racking manner possible. It was an action packed first half, and a not so entertaining second half, with the scores ending goalless. But we must find a winner, and these spot kicks will do so.

Hawks 1st Pen: GOAL! Hemmings scores.

Hatters 1st Pen: MISSED! Doyle’s effort hits the woodwork, and that early error could well prove costly.

Hawks 2nd Pen: GOAL! Bubb confidently slots the ball into the back of the net.

Hatters 2nd Pen: GOAL! Schoenecker fires home.

Hawks 3rd Pen: GOAL! Akinfenwa continues Havant’s perfect penalty record.

Hatters 3rd Pen: GOAL! Ruddock shows how it’s done.

Hawks 4th Pen: GOAL! Pappoe makes no mistake.

Hatters 4th Pen: GOAL! Purrington had to score, and he did.

Hawks 5th Pen: It all lies on this. If Ben Swallow scores, the his team wins the game. GOAL! Swallow has done it, and Havant are champions!


The Champions: Havant and Waterlooville

Josh Slater: Unbelievable! Lee Bradbury has seen his side defeat Luton Town on penalties in the FA Trophy Final. The Hawks fans have erupted with noise as celebrations, which will last all night long, get fully underway. Opinions?

Sir Steve Justice: Shite game. Why did I even turn up?

Neal ‘Emma’ Hasan: Drama at its finest, and a thoroughly enjoyable match from my point of view, despite their being no goals. To see two teams settle the match on penalties was incredible, and I was glad to see Havant win. They were deserved winners, in the end.

Josh Slater: Thanks Neal for your insight today, and I guess a thanks to Sir Steve for being here as well. Havant lift the FA Trophy, an afternoon to remember for Lee Bradbury and his players. Goodbye!

NOTE: Thanks to Tallery for the graphic at the start of the update.

Last Update: FA Trophy: Road To Wembley
Next Update: Pappoe: We deserved it
A very close run thing and a tense penalty shoot out to decide the winner, luck was on your side.

A comprehensive update, but where was I?!?! :P
Walter: Thank you, indeed it was a very tight match, and thankfully we held our nerve in the shootout.

2014-12-23 21:51#204419 pompeyblue : I’ll hand over to your commentator who goes by the name of Walter – some Australian dude.

You were the commentator, of course :P
2014-12-24 12:32#204426 pompeyblue : Walter: Thank you, indeed it was a very tight match, and thankfully we held our nerve in the shootout.

2014-12-23 21:51#204419 pompeyblue : I’ll hand over to your commentator who goes by the name of Walter – some Australian dude.

You were the commentator, of course :P

How did I miss that? >.<
Walter: Who knows? :/
2014-12-24 04:49#204439 Walter :
2014-12-24 12:32#204426 pompeyblue : Walter: Thank you, indeed it was a very tight match, and thankfully we held our nerve in the shootout.

2014-12-23 21:51#204419 pompeyblue : I’ll hand over to your commentator who goes by the name of Walter – some Australian dude.

You were the commentator, of course :P

How did I miss that? >.<

Because you're 'some Australian dude' :))

Anyway what a great update Joshie, amazing presentation and writing!
Luton lost because they lacked Sir Ryan Ferguson ;)

In all seriousness, a fantastic update and a fantastic win over a side who could afford to bring in the likes of Ben Purrington to the Vanarama Premier!
Unbelievable win! A great update as well.
Josh: Thank you pal, thank you! xD.

Justice: Indeed, Luton have a lot of financial power in this league, so I am delighted to have beaten them and won the trophy. Cheers for your comment.

coyb20: I appreciate your kind words, thanks buddy :P
Well done. Sir Steve made me laugh. Very nice update. "Some Australian Dude" =)). Best update I have read in a while :P
Tallery: Many thanks, praise like that is very nice to here, and I am especially glad that you enjoyed the update! Sir Steve is quite the character :P
pompeyblue's avatar pompeyblue
9 yearsEdited

Pappoe: We deserved it

Hawks defender Daniel Pappoe surveyed his side’s dramatic FA Trophy Final triumph over Luton Town, then voicing that they were ‘deserved winners’.

Ghanaian center back Pappoe has been a mainstay in the Havant side all season long, having signed on a free transfer in the summer, and again was an important player in the Wembley win on Sunday. Alongside Dan Strugnell he was tasked with keeping the dangerous Hatters front three at bay, with top scorer Wesley Burns one of their main threats; in fact he’s won of the top strikers in the Conference Premier, right now.

Pappoe particularly stuck to the task, throughout the game, excellently and helped keep a clean sheet. The former Chelsea youngster won the Man of the Match award and even stepped up to take a penalty in the shootout that decided the match – scoring with aplomb. That made it 4-3 to Havant, who eventually were victorious 5-3 on penalties, bringing silverware back to West Leigh Park.

The 90 minutes of normal time, although scoreless, had seen its fair share of action too. In the first half especially, there were plenty of chances for both sides. Luton were reduced to 10 men as the half came to a conclusion, Paul Connolly dismissed, while Pappoe came closest to an opener by hitting the post with a header on the stroke of the interval.

The second half was not so open, and instead a cagy and fierce affair. Chances dried out and were at a minimum, the match being more of a midfield battle, challenges flying in left, right and center. Nevertheless Havant came out on top after penalties, and the Man of the Match himself, believed they were worthy winners;

”We played some very good football, and although the game went to penalties, it was a good team performance. Luton are a quality side and they themselves play good football, and we dealt with them really well. People might point out that they went down to 10 men, but I still felt as if we were the better side before that incident, anyway. I think if you take the entire competition into account, we are worthy winners of the FA Trophy. I would said in every game we outplayed our opponents, we dominated teams even, and have deservedly won the tournament.”

”It means a lot for this club, it means a lot for the players, the manager, the staff, and of course the fans. I think it also shows signs of how much this club is developing and what we are trying to build here. I for one think Havant & Waterlooville have a bright future, and this could well be just the start, of something much bigger.”



The final was a memorable day, an unforgettable experience really. Some of us, myself included, didn’t really think that the moment would come when we were playing at Wembley Stadium – one of the greatest venues in world football.

Just stepping out onto the pitch was incredible. Looking around, I couldn’t help but embrace my surroundings, just being there spurred me on and helped motivate me. Being honest, it’s difficult to put into words what it was like playing there. I just hope that if we don’t get automatic promotion from the Conference this season, then we can get back to Wembley, in the play-off final!


From the moment I met the gaffer, I knew that moving to Havant would be a good fit. The way he talked to me put me intent on signing for this club, and I was excited to be working under him. He really is as good as they say. Man management is one of his biggest traits, in training, he can give you a big lift.

I’ve learnt a lot from him already, as well. His coaching sessions are great, and I’m sure have been a big help to many of the other lads too. Getting results is the biggest part of management though, and it’s there for all to see, how well he has done in that department. Lee is a very promising manager.


Although I never made a senior appearance at Chelsea, my time at the club, was a fruitful one in many ways. I was part of a successful youth team, and from time time, some of us were given the opportunity to train with the first team. I trained with the legend that is John Terry a couple of times, and he really did take me under my wing, and gave me some tips.

Being educated by top players like Terry aided me massively, and I was able to up my game by a notch or two. I’m still young now though, and still have plenty to learn, so I’m very grateful to Havant for giving me that chance. I’ve loved every minute of my career here, so far.

Last Update: LIVE: FA Trophy Final
Next Update: Season Two: March
Another very nice update, so much detail...
Good update and congrats to the trophy!

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