Hawks Felled By Lions

Last updated : 14 November 2006 By Jim Bonner
Havant and Waterlooville's FA Cup dream was ended on Monday night at the hands of Millwall after they ran out 2-1 winners in front of a crowd of 5,793 at Fratton Park.

The Hawks didn't start off too well and some poor defending allowed Ben May to slot in the opener after just 5 minutes of the game. Havant didn't let their heads drop though and proceeded to put Millwall under some pressure and looked to create some decent opportunities however the "home side" either lacked that crucial first touch or just a bit more quality when finishing. 'Looville had played some nice stuff in the first half and looked better than their League One opposition but at the break they trailed 1-0.

Havant came out in the second half and immediately began to attack Millwall again. They got their just rewards when Mo Harkin; who had been a nuisance on the right all game crossed into the box and leading scorer Rocky Baptiste tapped in an equaliser which made the Fratton End and North Stand erupt! The goal silenced the small number of Millwall fans who were singing anti-Pompey songs during the game that were recieved ungratefully by the home supporters who chanted "Who are ya?" and "League Two, and you know you are!" back at them, among other flattering songs.

Havant continued to have the better of the game but just when they thought they might go on and win the game Millwalls Alan Dunne took a potshot from way out that unfortunately got the better of Shane Gore who could only help the ball on its way into the top corner of the net. The Hawks then pressed to find a winner and put Dean Holdsworth on to try and earn a replay but they just lacked a cutting edge despite creating more chances. Millwall tried to counter-attack but had they have added a third at the end it would have made the scoreline look extremely harsh on Havant.

Millwall kept the ball in the corner in stoppage time and saw out the last attack to win 2-1. The scoreline is unfair on the Hawks whose performance on the night at least deserved a replay at The New Den. The visitors were poor and it's easy to see why they are struggling at the wrong end of League One. They were outplayed and outfought by a side three leagues below them for much of the game and their 'keeper; Lenny Pidgeley left his goal wide open on occasion and if Havant could finish better, the scoreline would be different.

Havant and Waterlooville can look back at the game with their heads held high. If they put on that sort of performance in the league then promotion to the Conference is a real possibility. The Hawk's chairman will be disappointed that the attendance wasn't what he hoped as the looks to find a way to pay the ridiculous £35,000 police bill.

Here's hoping that Pompey can draw Millwall in the cup in the third round to gain some measure of revenge for the Hawks. That's of course if they don't get mauled at Bradford in the next round and judging by that performance, I can't see anything else happening other than a defeat for them.

The day was all about Havant though. A valiant effort from the Conference South side and here's to more big games in the future! (So long as there isn't a massive police bill to go with it).