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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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Well I think the media is surely wrong, I think Havant will be a team in the midfield of the table and next year they gain promotion!
TaroMisaki: I have to agree in saying, the media were definitely harsh on us and we should be hoping for a mid table finish, at the very least.
Good luck this season!
Think of it, in a few seasons' time that result against Bayern II will be the same against Bayern Munich themselves :P
MaxB_MaxB: Thank you.

NVDTahir: Haha, I think it will take more than a few seasons for us to achieve that! :P
pompeyblue's avatar pompeyblue
9 yearsEdited

Season Three: August and September

It was time for The Hawks’ life in the Football League to kick-off, with some exciting clashed around the corner, considering the status of the club just a few years ago. With little expectancy from the media, there wasn’t as much pressure on the players’ shoulders as is normal, but this would at least give them freedom to express themselves while proving their ability to any of the doubters. The journey to the top has taken a massive step in getting here, but there’s still a whole long way to go yet!


Game 1: vs Luton Town (COC Preliminary Round)

Havant and Waterlooville 1 – 2 Luton Town

Nathan Doyle (pen), 45+1’

Bradley Bubb, 49’

Caolan Lavery, 86’

Match Review
A disappointing defeat in our first competitive game of the season, but looking at the stats, it was a deserved loss. Consolation can at least be taken in the fact that, it gives us the opportunity to focus on other competitions – particularly the league.

Game 2: vs Burton Albion (Sky Bet League 2)

Havant and Waterlooville 4 – 2 Burton Albion

Dominic Knowles, 4’

Bradley Bubb, 20’, 65’

Lucas Akins (pen), 35’

Adebayo Akinfenwa, 42’, 57’

Match Review
A very pleasing game to watch, and a cracking way to begin our league campaign. A great response to going out of the Capital One Cup beforehand.

Game 3: vs Northampton Town (Sky Bet League 2)

Northampton Town 0 – 0 Havant and Waterlooville

Match Review
Perhaps not the most entertaining of matches, but it was still a solid display from our players, and a well fought away point.

Game 4: vs Luton Town (Sky Bet League 2)

Havant and Waterlooville 2 – 2 Luton Town

Nathan Doyle, 16’

Chris Whelpdale, 55’

Rashid Yussuff, 59’

Amari’I Bell, 60’

Match Review
The chance to get some revenge on Luton went amiss here, with only a draw managed, despite some good chances created. In all honesty we were a tad unlucky, as their goalkeeper had a good game to keep us out on more than a few occasions.

Game 5: vs Crewe Alexandra (Sky Bet League 2)

Crewe Alexandra 2 – 2 Havant and Waterlooville

Austin Lipman, 11’

Armand Traore, 18’

Joao Teixeria, 46’

Ian Morris, 82’

Danny Grainger, 88’

Match Review
A third consecutive draw, but that’s still a lot better than being defeated, which we still hadn’t been in the league. With Crewe being one of the favourties for promotion, we could take pride from this result.

Game 6: vs Accrington Stanley (Sky Bet League 2)

Havant and Waterlooville 3 – 1 Accrington Stanley

Antony Kay, 1’

Bradley Bubb, 16’

Adebayo Akinfenwa, 21’, 88’

Match Review
A disaster start saw us fall 1-0 down but we showed real character to fight back and win 3-1, getting our first victory since the opening day in the process.

Game 7: vs Coventry City (JPT South 1st Round)

Havant and Waterlooville 1 – 3 Coventry City

Tom Wildig, 5’

Rob Atkinson, 10’

Danny Pugh, 57’

Jordan Robertson, 86’

Match Review
We slipped out of another competition, as League One side Coventry City showed their class to upstage us, and relatively comfortably progress into the next round of the JPT.

Game 8: vs Morecambe (Sky Bet League 2)

Morecambe 1 – 2 Havant and Waterlooville

Ian Morris, 11’

Ryan Edwards, 45+2’

Bradley Bubb, 53’

Match Review
Again we bounced back well from cup elimination, with our first Football League away win. We were in control for most of the match, and could have easily won by more goals, promising signs for the team.

Game 9: vs Carlisle United (Sky Bet League 2)

Havant and Waterlooville 1 – 2 Carlisle United

Adebayo Akinfenwa, 4’

Danny Kearns (pen), 45’

Bevis Mugabi, 90’

Match Review
Our first league loss of the season was a devastating one, at that. As in many games, we produced good opportunities against Carlisle, however were guilty of poor defending, eventually conceding a 90th minute winner.

Game 10: vs MK Dons (Sky Bet League 2)

MK Dons 1 – 1 Havant and Waterlooville

Adebayo Akinfenwa, 51’

Tom Hitchcock, 74’

Match Review
This is another game which we could have got more from, but nevertheless the players showed spirit, and I can’t really complain about claiming a point against a team that has only just dropped down from a division above – title favourites at the start of this season..

Game 11: vs Chesterfield (Sky Bet League 2)

Havant and Waterlooville 4 – 2 Chesterfield

Danny Grainger, 3’

Jay O’Shea, 20’

Jimmy Ryan, 41’

Adebayo Akinfenwa, 45+1’

Bradley Bubb, 51’

Ian Morris, 62’

Match Review
We faced stern opposition at home next, and rose to the challenge quite brilliantly. 4 goals were smashed in, and there was a fantastic array of attacking talent for the fans to witness.

Game 12: vs Grimsby (Sky Bet League 2)

Grimsby Town 3 – 2 Havant and Waterlooville

Patrick McNair, 4’, 67’

Adebayo Akinfenwa, 18’

Wes Thomas, 68’

Bradley Bubb (pen), 85’

Match Review
The first two months of our season ended on a low note though, with more poor defending costing us dearly, in a 3-2 loss against a mediocre Grimsby team. The worries at the back can be summed up by the statistic that we have had just a single clean sheet all season.

League Table

A strong opening to the League 2 season places us inside the play-off zone, in 5th place, with 16 points garnered. If we can keep up this kind of form we have every chance to keep up this promotion push, and challenge with some of the division’s big boys.

Player of the Update

Adebayo Akinfenwa wins the ‘Player of the Update’ award, scoring 8 goals following the fixtures in August and September. The 34 year old journeyman striker proved he still has the ability to play in the Football League, as he proved a ‘huge’ problem for opposition defences with his unbelievable power, and goalscoring ability.

Goal of the Update

Chris Whelpdale claimed the ‘Goal of the Update’ award with his first goal for Havant & Waterlooville, in the league game against Luton Town. A nice exchange of passes opened up some room in the box for the right midfielder, who wrapped his weaker left foot around the ball, to curl it past the keeper and into the goal.


Manager’s Comments;
Although we were knocked out of two cup competitions in our first two months of the season, the league is the main focus anyway, and our efforts so far should be applauded. 16 points is a good return for a newly promoted side, with 4 wins, 4 draws, and 2 losses, on the board. We are in a play-off position at the moment, but it is still early days, and there is still a lot of work to be done.

Captain’s Comments;
It was an eventful opening couple of months to the season for the club, with highs and lows to take note of. Everyone was extremely disappointed with our cup efforts, having won a cup competition last season. But then on the other hand, some of our league results and performances have been excellent – even when we have lost we have played well, to an extent. Defensively improvement is needed, and that will take hard work from everyone to address, as it’s about defending from the front as well – something I would know especially, being a striker.

Last Update: Sky Bet League 2 Season Preview: 2016/17
Next Update: Beagrie: 'Lower league football isn't appreciated enough'
Not the best two months, that defeat at Luton though must of hurt!
Erm, a decent couple of months there Joshie, room for improvement though! Also loving the presentation.
Tallery: Yeah, that was a painful one..

Josh: Agreed, but I was still relatively impressed at how the players had adjusted to a higher division, and had only lost two games. Glad you like the presentation!
pompeyblue's avatar pompeyblue
9 yearsEdited

In his latest weekly column, Sky Sports’ Football League expert Peter Beagrie talks about lower league football as exciting and underrated, also convinced that the country’s football association should take note of how clubs among the bottom divisions have structured plans to develop…

In the past few years, FA chairman Greg Dyke has set about a plan to boost English football and particularly improve the national team’s success in major tournaments. We’ve seen plans ranging from the creation of a new tier within the Football League to accommodate Premier League B teams, to the idea of entirely revamping youth development in the country.

Fans and the clubs themselves have turned against these campaigns though, preventing the disruption of the longest standing league structure, in world football. After all, the Football League is the heart of English football – ‘proper football’, some would say.

Yes the quality may not be quite at the same level, but I'd much rather see 90 minutes of getting stuck in than seeing players roll around on the floor as if they have a broken leg, before sprinting and scoring two minutes later.

Even saying that, recent years have seen a fair share of players come up from the lower divisions to play Premier League football, and have successful careers. Charlie Austin and Danny Ings are two current top tier stars to have forged their way up from non-league, while we all know the story of Rickie Lambert. In the lower leagues there is plenty of young, homegrown talent, and helping those players grow and reach their potential could alone, make a difference to the national side.

There’s also the argument that England don’t have a clear game-plan, an approach, a style, so to say. Germany are built from young, quick, powerful, and still technical players, that a play fast attacking football. Belgium likewise, while Brazil are based around skillful, flair players. England? Well, we’re unsurprisingly, associated with playing ‘long ball’.

From what I can see from the outside, there is no structure to the progress of the national team. Why not take a look at Football League clubs? Again, in recent years we’ve seen the likes of Swansea City rise to the top, playing a popular passing style of play. What about Southampton FC, who climbed up the leagues by making use of their youngsters and famed Academy?

Havant and Waterlooville have caught my eye this season, and in the past couple of seasons, having made great strides of progress. Under a promising young manager in Lee Bradbury they have won the Conference South, The FA Trophy and were promoted from the Conference Premier via the play-offs, now building for a Sky Bet League 2 play-off push. There is quite clearly direction at the club. They know where they want to go, and more importantly, how to get there.

Football chiefs should pay more attention to well run Football League clubs, ask for advice, and actually talk to the people that help build the foundations to football in our country. People just disregard the Championship, League One and League Two, because the same amount of money isn’t involved in these leagues, like the Premier League.

I seriously think that these divisions are not appreciated enough, as these matches can be really exciting. The league table is always tight, and all of the teams are very competitive, making for some great action. The passion is like no other. In general, lower league fans seem to be more passionate about their teams, as well. Yes there might be only 180 going to Tranmere away, but a lot of Premier League fans wouldn't think of travelling for hours to a lower league ground knowing that they are more likely than not to lose.

The passion lower league fans have also allows them to have a laugh. Hartlepool's fancy dress away days are well known, even when at times when they have nothing to celebrate. They even dressed up when they were relegated from League One. There is no doubt rivalled passion in certain Premier League games, such as the Merseyside and North London derby, but that sort of passion is rarely illustrated in the top tier.

Last Update: Season Three: August and September
Next Update: Season Three: October and November
Superb update Joshie! I totally agree, the FL is really entertaining and is underrated!
The Football League is, I agree, a much more fan-friendly and passionate league setup to follow. The fans truly love their teams and player are honest and play with their hearts on their sleeves.
Josh: Thanks man, and yes, I know you're a massive fan of the FL!

Walter: Yep, the players in every team apart from Pompey seem to do that. We have a lot of passionless players, unfortunately :P
pompeyblue's avatar pompeyblue
9 yearsEdited

Season Three: October and November

After a solid start to the season saw Havant placed inside the play-off zone, there was real promise at West Leigh Park, for the remainder of the campaign. On the training ground work was especially needed on tightening up a leaky defence, something which if done, could have an immediate effect in bettering results. Some tricky opponents stand in our way though, and as the demands of professional football increases, the Hawks players may find things getting a lot tougher.


Game 1: vs Doncaster Rovers (Sky Bet League 2)

Havant and Waterlooville 2 – 2 Doncaster Rovers

Luke McCullough, 47’

Adebayo Akinfenwa, 52’, 62’

Harry Forrester (pen), 58’

Leroy Lita, 80’

Match Review
With the Doncaster sending off, and Akinfenwa putting us in front, I would have hoped for all three points here; unfortunately we had to settle for just the one. They are a good side but if we had been more clinical in front of goal, there is no doubt that we would have won.

Game 2: vs Crawley Town (Sky Bet League 2)

Crawley Town 1 – 1 Havant and Waterlooville

Adebayo Akinfenwa, 1’

Ivan Toney, 13’

Match Review
Going ahead after only a minute really encouraged me, in this game, but we failed to capitalize on this positive start and soon found ourselves back level. From then on it was a rather lackluster display from the players, and I know they could have down much more, with their ability.

Game 3: vs AFC Wimbledon (Sky Bet League 2)

AFC Wimbledon 0 – 0 Havant and Waterlooville

Match Review
We made it three draws on the bounce, with a goalless bore draw away to AFC Wimbledon. Taking the positives out of things is always the best thing to do, so I can say that at least we’re not losing many games, but we really do need to start turning these draws into wins.

Game 4: vs Mansfield Town (Sky Bet League 2)

Havant and Waterlooville 1 – 0 Mansfield Town

Bradley Bubb, 33’

Match Review
A win against Mansfield was welcomed with open arms by the team, after going on a 4 game winless streak that desperately needed to come to a halt. It was a scrappy 1-0 victory, however could well be vital in helping us kick start our form.

Game 5: vs Cheltenham Town (Sky Bet League 2)

Havant and Waterlooville 2 – 0 Cheltenham Town

Bradley Bubb, 26’

Chris Arthur, 90’

Match Review
Another home win quickly followed, as we eased past the visitors Cheltenham. They never caused any problems to our defence, let alone goalkeeper, and at the other end we had the class to break through their backline.

Game 6: vs Southend United (Sky Bet League 2)

Southend United 4 – 3 Havant and Waterlooville

Shaun Miller, 6’, 30’

Chris Arthur, 47’

Nathan Pond, 67’

Cian Bolger, 73’

Bradley Bubb, 77’

Tom Hopper, 86’

Match Review
It was a goal fest at Roots Hall, and we were a tad unlucky to finish the match empty handed, after all the impressive attacking play. Once again though, poor defending let us down, our players seemingly unable to defend set pieces. We need to sort out this issue as soon as possible.

Game 7: vs Hartlepool United (FA Cup 1st Rnd)

Hartlepool United 1 – 2 Havant and Waterlooville

Bradley Bubb (pen), 57’

Joe Pigott, 68’

Adebayo Akinfenwa, 69’

Match Review
It was a determined team performance against League One side Hartlepool, and an excellent triumph, seeing us through to the next round of the F.A. Cup. Nobody can say we didn’t deserve it either, as we were considerably better than the struggling hosts.

Game 8: vs Bury (Sky Bet League 2)

Havant and Waterlooville 1 – 0 Bury

Chris Whelpdale, 1’

Match Review
Home victories are starting to be very vital now, and the supporters got more joy here, as we edged past Bury. An early goal, this time from Chris Whelpdale, looked like it would set us on our way for more goals – the opposition goalkeeper wasn’t having any of that, though. Still, it was a solid display and a fairly comfortable three points.

Game 9: vs Cambridge United (Sky Bet League 2)

Cambridge United 1 – 1 Havant and Waterlooville

Adebayo Akinfenwa, 79’

Reuben Reid, 88’

Match Review
We threw away the chance of only our second league victory on our travels, right at the dead, with a sloppy mistake laying on a perfect chance for Cambridge forward Reuben Reid. Our away form is another niggling concern of the season, and it was also extremely disappointing to see us lose our lead.

Game 10: vs Oxford United (Sky Bet League 2)

Havant and Waterlooville 1 - 0 Oxford United

Bradley Bubb, 35’

Match Review
As I’ve mentioned before, making West Leigh Park a fortress and consistently winning these home games be critical to our season, and once again we held out for a 1-0 win at our home stadium. A big three points.

League Table

Having now played 19 games in the league, we are still occupying a play-off position, clearly showing that we are no pushovers in this division. I really do think we are capable of holding onto this place, and cutting out defensive errors will go some way to achieving this.

Player of the Update

‘Captain Fantastic’ Bradley Bubb has lead by example in the past couple of months, claiming the ‘Player of the Update’ award. Bradley scored 5 goals this month, and some were very important winners too, while he also scored his landmark 100th goal for the club against Hartlepool. A momentous occasion for a player who has been so successful here, and has been a big part of our recent flight up the divisions.

Goal of the Update

Adebayo Akinfenwa lashed in his 10th goal of the season against Doncaster, and what a quality finish it was, winning him the ‘Goal of the Update’ award. We had kept hold of the ball well for a good period of time, but quickly upped the pace of the pass as approaching the box, sending The Beast through. The goalkeeper had no chance as he buried it, into the top corner.


Manager’s Comments;
I have to say, we’ve been let down a bit by our away form so far this season, but at home we have been terrific and are quite rightly inside the play-off zone. The lads have put in some tremendous shifts on our own ground, winning some vital games, as well as showing signs of more defensive stability. If we can transfer this mentality and deliver the same quality of performance away from home, then we could seriously be talking about promotion this season.

Captain’s Comments;
I said the last two months were eventful, and the most recent two months of games have been even more eventful. First off I would like to express my delight at reaching 100 goals for the club, an accomplishment which I am immensely proud off, but want to thank the manager and my team mates for supporting me throughout my time at Havant. Back to the results of late, the team is really happy with how things are going, and to see that a newly promoted club like ourselves are fighting for the play-offs is a testament to the squad mentality and ability we have here.

Last Update: Beagrie: 'Lower league football isn't appreciated enough'
Next Update: #One2Eleven: Bradley Bubb
A great month! Some important victories here and you're sitting nicely in 6th place! Surely you can't get promoted again, right...?

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