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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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Walter: Oh gawd Walter, not another pun! :))
2015-01-20 18:58#206517 pompeyblue : Walter: Oh gawd Walter, not another pun! :))
I Havant a clue how he comes up with this stuff! :))
pompeyblue's avatar pompeyblue
7 yearsEdited
2015-01-20 22:48#206536 Justice :
2015-01-20 18:58#206517 pompeyblue : Walter: Oh gawd Walter, not another pun! :))
I Havant a clue how he comes up with this stuff! :))

I've got to say, you Havant done yourself any Justice with that joke...
pompeyblue's avatar pompeyblue
7 yearsEdited

Season Three: February and March




With eight new January signings giving the squad an extra boost, Havant were hopeful heading into February and March. The addition of players such as John Swift, Adil Chihi and Jack Barmby, have already been praised, and they’ll be eager to impress, showing what they bring to the Hawks team. League Two football isn’t always easy to adjust to, however the ability that the side possess is clear for all to see. If they can cope with the physical demands then there are very few clubs that can cause them problems, Doncaster maybe, and the upcoming match will surely settle that.



Results

Game 1: vs Carlisle United (Sky Bet League 2)



Carlisle United 2 – 1 Havant and Waterlooville

Tommy O’Sullivan, 4’

Nathan Pond, 26’

Danny Knight, 83’

Match Review
Looking at the statistics, everything pointed towards a win for us, yet somehow we managed to lose this game. After 23 shots, 14 of them on target, it was extremely disappointing to suffer defeat especially such a scrappy one which it was.

Game 2: vs Morecambe (Sky Bet League 2)



Havant and Waterlooville 3 – 1 Morecambe

Bradley Bubb, 18’

Adebayo Akinfenwa, 50’

Yohann Lasimant, 64’

Adil Chihi, 69’

Match Review
Back at home against Morecambe, we were much more clinical in front of goal, and sealed a relatively easy 3-1 victory. It was a good performance from the players, and exactly the kind of response I wanted after the Carlisle game.

Game 3: vs Chesterfield (Sky Bet League 2)



Chesterfield 0 – 2 Havant and Waterlooville

Nathan Pond, 55’

Bradley Bubb, 78’

Match Review
Another win followed, a hard fought one at that, with two second half goals doing the damage. In the first half, the hosts proved difficult to break down, but eventually our quality shone through and we managed to pick up three points.

Game 4: vs MK Dons (Sky Bet League 2)



Havant and Waterlooville 3 – 1 MK Dons

Bradley Bubb, 43’

Chris Arthur, 54’

Eoin Doyle, 78’

Ray Grant, 90+2’

Match Review
We cruised past MK Dons in this one, not even hitting top gear, to win 3-1. John Swift played a starring role in the game with a magnificent performance, encouraging signs for me to see. It was a little but frustrating to not see us hold out for a clean sheet, but at the end of the day, it’s about winning – exactly what we did.

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



Havant and Waterlooville 3 – 1 Grimsby Town

Adebayo Akinfenwa, 18’, 61’

Bradley Bubb, 47’

Conor Wilkinson, 49’

Match Review
3-1 was becoming a familiar scoreline, as we recorded our third 3-1 win in the last five games, at home to Grimsby Town. Bradley Bubb and Adebayo Akinfenwa unsurprisingly made their way onto the score shoot, even at a combined age of 63, defences can’t seem to stop them.

Game 6: vs Doncaster Rovers (Sky Bet League 2)



Doncaster Rovers 3 – 1 Havant and Waterlooville

Hiram Boateng, 9’

Adebayo Akinfenwa, 24’

Harry Forrester, 53’

Daniel Powell, 88’

Match Review
Our winning streak came to an abrupt halt against table toppers Doncaster, as this time we were on the receiving end of a 3-1 final result. It was always going to be an extremely difficult game, especially since we were playing away from home, so I can’t really criticize the team considering the effort they put in to try and neutralize Rovers’ threat.

Game 7: vs Crawley Town (Sky Bet League 2)



Havant and Waterlooville 3 – 3 Crawley Town

Razak Boukari (pen), 7’

Bradley Bubb, 16’

Ivan Toney, 37’

Sam Guthrie, 64’

George Thomas, 86’

Chris Whelpdale, 87’

Match Review
We went behind three times in this game, and at home, that simply isn’t good enough. But credit where credit is due, and the lads do deserve praise for their fight and character, to get back into the game three times – an 87th minute goal from Whelpdale salvaging a point.

Game 8: vs Cheltenham Town (Sky Bet League 2)



Cheltenham Town 0 – 2 Havant and Waterlooville

Adil Chihi, 15’

Dan Strugnell, 90+1’

Match Review
After a loss and a draw, we were back to winning ways away to Cheltenham. As in a lot of other games we created a lot of opportunities, 20 shots and 10 on target, only two of those converted. Regardless, it was a very solid display, as for once we were just as strong defensively as we were offensively.

Game 9: vs AFC Wimbledon (Sky Bet League 2)



Havant and Waterlooville 6 – 2 AFC Wimbledon

Rashid Yussuff, 1’, 41’

Matt Green, 6’

Danny Grainger, 18’, 73’

Bradley Bubb, 28’, 29’

Shaun Batt, 34’

Match Review
It was an 8 goal thriller at West Leigh Park when AFC Wimbledon visited, the goals going in our favour, with an emphatic 6-2 triumph. This definitely trumps other games, for our best attacking performance of the season, and that’s exactly what the fans want. Plenty of entertainment, plenty of goals, and a win to celebrate – we managed to achieve all three.

Game 10: vs Mansfield Town (Sky Bet League 2)



Mansfield Town 0 – 0 Havant and Waterlooville

Match Review
It looked as if we had used all our goals up by the next fixture, however, as we drew blank against Mansfield. Telling from the scoreline, this wasn’t a great match, so I’m happy to take a point when we’re not at our best.

Game 11: vs Southend United (Sky Bet League 2)



Havant and Waterlooville 4 – 1 Southend United

Adam Marriot, 11’

Bradley Bubb, 29’, 71’

Adebayo Akinfenwa, 42’, 51’

Match Review
In the final match of the two month period, the goals seemingly returned, with a highly impressive 4-1 over Southend. At the time the visitors were in third place, so to brush them aside as we did was very pleasing, indeed.







League Table



6 games remain this season, and Havant now find ourselves comfortably in 2nd place, after another strong set of results. A 19 point advantage over Tranmere means thet are near certain for a play-off place, while automatic promotion should also be secured, bar a poor run of form in the final matches. Similarly to last season though, the league leaders look out of sight, but you never know what can happen in football – Havant and Waterlooville will fight until the end, that’s for sure.



Player of the Update


Danny East has been brilliant in recent months, winning the ‘Player of the Update’ award, showing quality going forwards and solidity while defending. From the right back position, Danny has been a real outlet, providing some excellent crosses into the box on a regular basis, leading to 5 assists. In fact, he’s not had an average rating lower than 7.30, in the last two months – shining in the first team with Liam Donnelly out injured. East’s contract runs out in the summer, but he has definitely shown enough to earn a new Hawks deal.



Goal of the Update



With one full back picking up an award, the other followed suit, Danny Grainger winning the ‘Player of the Update’ award. It was only his second goal of the season, but it was a truly beautiful strike. Standing over a free kick from around 23 yards out from goal, Grainger curled the ball over the wall marvelously, with it flying straight into the top corner.



Overview


Manager’s Comments;
Another excellent run of form means we are now securely positioned in 2nd in the league table, and considering we were labelled as candidates for relegation by the media, shows how well the players have done. Two away losses did little to stop our charge to promotion with some stunning attacking displays against AFC Wimbledon and Southend putting any loss far back in the memory of supporters, while thoroughly entertaining those fans at West Leigh Park. As always I will look to distill any complacency from the players, but you have to say, Havant now look set to move up to League One.


Captain’s Comments;
We have played some brilliant football in the latest two month period, creating plenty of opportunities, and scoring a hatful of them too. As a striker, you live and breathe for goal scoring openings, and we’ve been served up many in recent games. I think I have repaid the faith, 9 goals in my last 11 games, with a lot of points being collected. There is a lot of excitement around the club right now, but we know we need to keep the concentration, and see out the job before any celebrations – our eyes are still firmly on holding on for promotion.



Last Update: Havant's new midfield maestro?
Next Update: Hawks edging closer to closing the gap
pompeyblue's avatar pompeyblue
6 yearsEdited

Hawks edging closer to closing the gap




Playing each other in pre-season friendlies only, the pair never imagined their paths would cross in league football. That was quite simply unimaginable.

Go back 8 seasons and Portsmouth were F.A. Cup holders, about to enter Europe for the first time in their history with a full host of international stars in their side. The likes of Jermain Defoe, David James and Sol Campbell were all integral players to the squad, among others, helping the club to a 1-0 triumph over Cardiff City at Wembley as well as an 8th place finish in the Barclays Premier League.

Financial difficulties due to mismanagement and corrupt, moneyless, fraud owners at the club led to Pompey’s downfall. Two administrations, and three relegations later, the fans took ownership of their team, saving them from further disaster. Since then, debts have been cleared and there has at least been some celebration – the 2015/16 League Two title winning campaign.

The club they have a long standing relationship with, Havant and Waterlooville, were still plying their trade in the Conference South until as late as the 2014/15 season – Lee Bradbury guiding the club to the league title, that year. Bradbury himself played for Portsmouth, and proved to be a catalyst for The Hawks, sparking them to a further promotion from the Conference Premier and into the Football League.

Tipped for relegation, once more Havant have proved everybody wrong, all season long proving themselves as genuine promotion challengers. Their quick and simple passing style of play has been very effective, taking them to second place in the table, with some incredible results to boast. The 6-2 victory over AFC Wimbledon is a standout, a performance that summed up everything about the new look Havant & W – entertainment.

Yet at heart, it still has that community club feel about it. Some of that charisma may be lost when they move away from their current stadium West Leigh Park to a brand new 8,000 all seater in 2018, but the charm and character of a team that has rose up the lower leagues, will never be lost.

If they do hold on and secure automatic promotion, League One beckons, and they will finally be on level terms with local neighbours Portsmouth. A competitive fixture between the two will be a strange occurrence, but with passion, fight and determination on show, it’s already a match everybody is relishing. And after all, bragging rights are on stake, as well.



Last Update: Season Three: February and March
Next Update: Season Three: April
Nice to see Adil Chihi score a goal, as an ex-Fulham player. Any chance we could see your tactics? I'd love to see how you've got Bubb and Akinfenwa set up front :)
Neal: Having played ahead on the save a bit, my tactics have changed slightly, but I can still remember that I used a 4-4-2 formation - Bubb playing as an Advanced Forward while Akinfenwa was deployed as a Target Man. Then I had two wingers on attack, two central midfielders with one on automatic and the other on support. The centre backs were set as central defenders, and full backs were selected to be on support. Mentality was control, team shape was structured. Nothing too complicated, as keeping it pretty simple seems to be effective in the lower leagues.
pompeyblue's avatar pompeyblue
6 yearsEdited

Season Three: April




The final month of the season would bring about 7 more games for Havant & W, determining the fate of the club’s entire season. So close to crossing the line, one final push is all that was needed, but it wouldn’t be as easy as it sounds. The 7 games would all be long, tricky battles, and would need the desire which has been at a forefront of the team’s play all season, to continue. Automatic promotion would be won or lost here.



Results

Game 1: vs Bury (Sky Bet League 2)



Bury 0 – 3 Havant and Waterlooville

Nathan Pond, 32’

Bradley Bubb, 79’

Adil Chihi, 90’

Match Review
An excellent away display secured a comfortable 3-0 victory over Bury. We controlled the game, and scored three quality goals to brush away the opposition.

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



Havant and Waterlooville 1 – 0 Cambridge United

Josh Coulson, 2’

Bradey Bubb, 38’

Match Review
An assured performance against 10 men Cambridge ensured another vital three points. Admittedly it would have been nice to have scored a couple more goals, but obviously getting the win was far more important, anyway.

Game 3: vs Oxford United (Sky Bet League 2)



Oxford United 4 – 4 Havant and Waterlooville

Adebayo Akinfenwa, 6’, 27’

Ritchie Humphreys, 31’

Jack Barmby, 34’, 58’

Danny Hylton, 35’

Dominic Calvert-Lewin, 43’

Josh Ruffels, 88’

Match Review
A thrilling match for the neutrals however it was one which left myself and the team feeling really empty-handed, throwing away a 4-2 lead to draw the game 4-4, conceding an 88th minute equaliser.

Game 4: vs Wycombe Wanderers (Sky Bet League 2)



Havant and Waterlooville 2 – 1 Wycombe Wanderers

Rashid Yussuff, 37’

Adebayo Akinfenwa, 58’

Jimmy Spencer, 77’

Match Review
The lads were once more controlled the match and ran out deserved winners against Wycombe. Of course it was a shame that we conceded again, but at this point in the season, that’s the last thing on our mind.

Game 5: vs Exeter City (Sky Bet League 2)



Exeter City 1 – 3 Havant and Waterlooville

Eoin Doyle, 13’, 80’

Adil Chihi, 66’

Jon Stead, 77’

Match Review
The last away game of the season was an entertaining, attacking match with our players playing with plenty of drive and commitment, proving too strong for the hosts Exeter.

Game 6: vs Tranmere Rovers (Sky Bet League 2)



Havant and Waterlooville 0 – 3 Tranmere Rovers

Jake Kirby, 20’

Benik Afobe, 74’, 78’

Match Review
Despite creating numerous chances we failed to convert any of them, and were stunned with a 3-0 defeat against Tranmere, on our own turf. Overall, an extremely disappointing loss with some shocking defending on show, which costs us badly.

Game 7: vs York City (Sky Bet League 2)



Havant and Waterlooville 4 – 2 York City

Eoin Doyle, 21’, 47’, 52’

Lawrence Vigouroux, 36’

Jack Barmby, 59’

Dominic Samuel, 90+2’

Match Review
The campaign drew to a close with a home encounter against York City, and what a way to end! Eoin Doyle was magnificent throughout bagging a quality hattrick, showing exactly what has made us such a strong side - attacking prowess.







League Table



So, there it is, the final Sky Bet League 2 league table. Havant managed an incredible 2nd place finish in their inaugural season in the division, achieving promotion straight up to League 1. The Hawks amassed a grand total of 91 points, only 9 points behind the champions Doncaster, who were favourites to go up anyway – while Havant were one of the favourties for relegation. The team even managed to score 100 goals, another impressive feat, in another highly impressive season under Lee Bradbury.



Player of the Update


Havant supporters are quickly warming to January addition Eoin Doyle, and it is he who has won the ‘Player of the Update’ award for April. 5 goals, including the stunning hattrick against York, went some way to earning him the plaudits. However his work rate, application and drive was also an important factor while he has also been able to chip in with a few assists when featuring in the starting lineup. There is certainly signs that a successful Hawks career for Doyle, lies ahead.



Goal of the Update



You guessed it, Eoin Doyle grabs the ‘Goal of the Update’ award as well, his second goal against York City the standout. Collecting the ball around 30 yards away from goal, the 28 year old attacker quickly jinxed away from the defender before opening up his body and unleashing a ferocious striker into the top corner.



Overview


Manager’s Comments;
What can I say? Another terrific season for the club, the players, myself and the fans. Not many people gave us a chance, they said League 2 would be a step too far, but yet again we have proved the doubters wrong. Ever since I have become manager we have been a strong attacking side, something I have enforced on the players, and this year was no different – an incredible 100 goals scored. We can have no complaints in finishing behind Doncaster, automatic promotion itself is a tremendous accomplishment. Bring on League 1!


Captain’s Comments;
Unbelievable. That’s how to sum up our season from a players prospective. It really was an incredible effort from everyone to make promotion, not only a possibility, but a reality. Personally I have enjoyed every minute of it, and have reveled in being able to continue my goalscoring form, and help bring success to this wonderful club which I have grown so very fond of. We always knew that the players in this squad were talented, but I think we would be kidding ourselves in saying we expected promotion. Plaudits go to everyone in the dressing room for all the hard work on the pitch, and a thanks to the fans for the continued support. League 1, here come the mighty Hawks!



Last Update: Hawks edging closer to closing the gap
Next Update: Supporters laud Havant boss
Who is Mourinho? Who is Guardiola? Bradbury is the Number 1 Manager!

Great achievement mate! Now you "only" need to win the playoff matches
pompeyblue's avatar pompeyblue
6 yearsEdited
TaroMisaki: Haha, thank you. No need for play-offs though, second in the league means automatic promotion, so we're already promoted!
Even better!
TaroMisaki: Yep!
pompeyblue's avatar pompeyblue
6 yearsEdited

Supporters laud Havant boss




Fans of Havant and Waterlooville have taken to social media to heap praise on the club’s manager Lee Bradbury, after steering the side to 2nd in Sky Bet League 2 and another promotion.

Little was expected from The Hawks in their maiden season in the Football League, but critics were made to go back on their words, as a stunning season saw a third consecutive promotion secured. The man in the hot seat Lee Bradbury has been in charge since 2012, and proved his managerial credentials once again with the latest success at West Leigh Park.

A trademark of the team over the last couple of campaigns has been their quick, attacking style of play bringing about a hatful of goals and this was evident during the 2016/17 season too – 100 goals scored in the league. Key triumphs over AFC Wimbledon and Southend among other games, were crucial to determining their fate, both high scoring and entertaining clashes as has been the norm.

Now with the season wrapped up and confirmation that Havant & W will be playing their trade in Sky Bet League 1 next year, the local media has exploded with acknowledgements for the 41 year old Bradbury.


@Pauks10 wrote: “Bradbury is da boss.”, while others such as @Josh_MU wrote: “Amazing stuff from Havant & W, as Lee Bradbury works his magic again.” Elsewhere, @Mr. Bond007 chipped in by saying: “So Lee Bradbury continues to amaze the Hawks supporters… another great achievement, onwards and upwards.”

While the fans are still in a celebratory mood, key decisions will need to be made by the management team regarding the future of some senior players in the squad. The likes of Adebayo Akinfenwa and Therry Racon have expiring deals this summer, with news yet to emerge as to whether or not they have been offered new contracts.



Last Update: Season Three: April
Next Update: Season Three: Season Review
Mr.Bond using social media?!!? HE MIGHT BE BLOWING HIS COVER! In all seriousness, best of luck in the Sky Bet League 1 and maybe a chance at promotion?
Sky Bet League 1 is going to be a helluva challenge, but I know you'll kick arse :P

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