Urban75 Home About Offline BrixtonBuzz Contact

Hungerford Town v Hamlet, Saturday 21 December, National South, 3pm

Pink Panther

Well-Known Member
Our last match before Christmas, takes the Hamlet to the far west of Berkshire. It's a one hour train journey, with an hourly service leaving Paddington at 07 past the hour, return trains at 48 past the hour. Off-peak day return fare is £19.35 for railcard holders with a one third discount, £29.20 without. No significant savings on advance tickets, don't forget to check the match is on given the weather at this time of the year.

The ground is around a 10-15 minute stroll from the station through residential streets, with a rather quaint town centre a short distance from the station.
 

Cat Daisy

Active Member
After a rather artless first half, I wouldn't have predicted that final score! Thought Kearney had missed his chance with the first but that was good composure. Both the next two goals came as we ran at the defence and they lunged - OK the keeper looked a chump after letting the ball through his legs but he could ask his defence not to leave him so exposed.
Agree Kearney was my MOTM - apart from the composed finish, he ran into space, tracking wide and back to close people down, generally getting in Hungerford's faces and also geeing up the crowd.
Hopefully this can be a confidence booster ahead of the Christmas / New Year rush. Without putting the cart before the horse, that league table looks pretty compact ...
 

Laurie hill

New Member
First half we did ok and probably should have been ahead with a bit more composure but I was thinking we needed one for going up the hill!
Second half totally unexpected (even if it was hungerford!) - not quite as destructive as whitehawk away but nobody was complaining!
Kearney was excellent and looks fitter - somebody not afraid to have a shot either. Good to see Connors back who assisted on the first with a very good run and through ball.
And Barnes with a mazy run for the pen - was wondering if he had disappeared!!
You would fancy us to beat Hampton now...
 

StephenMac

Well-Known Member
Really? That's quite a turnaround from last week's reports.
Absolutely. He did everything he did in a 10 minute cameo at Champion Hill the other week on his debut, but for a full game. He's got real footballing intelligence about him. He also ended up with the ball at his feet after all kinds of 50/50 and 40/60 challenges. He's not quick by any means but I don't think that matters, he's full of nous.

I may come to regret saying this but he's a huge upgrade on Dipo. And, as already said, a master of shithousery. Genuinely exciting to watch.
 

Pink Panther

Well-Known Member
Absolutely. He did everything he did in a 10 minute cameo at Champion Hill the other week on his debut, but for a full game. He's got real footballing intelligence about him. He also ended up with the ball at his feet after all kinds of 50/50 and 40/60 challenges. He's not quick by any means but I don't think that matters, he's full of nous.

I may come to regret saying this but he's a huge upgrade on Dipo. And, as already said, a master of shithousery. Genuinely exciting to watch.
I can't say I like that myself. I realise other teams will have players who do this and you've got to be able to stand up to them and mix it at times, but unless he's very clever he's often going to find the boot is on the Other foot. He'll be a target for opposition agitators and won't make friends with referees. He was audibly warned twice in the first half for off the ball antics and a less tolerant official might have booked him on two other occasions. Being squirted with your own water bottle before a corner is fairly trivial and only a very sensitive soul would overreact to that, but I didn't like the taunting of the keeper after the crucial second goal had gone in. Very John Aldridge-to-Brian Laws in the 1989 FA Cup Semi Final. I can see him picking up a lot of yellow cards, as well as other players from both sides collecting a few for incidents he's initiated.

Anyway, as for the actual football it was the most invigorating Hamlet performance for many weeks, and unless I'm much mistaken the first time we've ever scored four in a National League match. What impressed me most was the we looked up for it even in a scrappy and goalless first half. This fixture was always likely to be a battle: underdog opponents who everyone probably feels they ought to beat, small ground with its assortment of little stands, slippery midwinter pitch, chilly wind with intermittent showers, and we hadn't won a league match for four months. Unlike the second half at Hornchurch last week we never looked like being outfought, even when we were struggling to play nice football, by a team who were often aggressive and in our faces. Hamlet rolled the dice again with tactics and team selection, opting for a narrow formation and Kearney paired upfront with Mills, with Plan B apparently a bench packed with wingers. There were encouraging moments in a first half where several presentable chances were spurned at either end. Kearney was looking lively, getting involved and keen to take responsibility for making things happen more with hard graft and enthusiasm than silky skills. On one occasion he shot just wide and on another he stumbled and lost his footing just as a forceful run seemed to have opened up a shooting chance.

Four minutes after half time Hamlet were ahead as Kearney, fed by Connors on the left edge of the box, spun inside and surged goalward before confidently firing past the keeper from close to the penalty spot. After another ten minutes Hungerford were punished for one of their many fouls after Kearney was brought down just outside the edge of the box. Chapman's free kick seemed poorly directed, dipping straight towards the keeper's ankles, but with the wind behind it the ball slipped through his hands and slithered between his legs and over the line. The poor bloke could probably play hundreds of matches without making the same mistake again, but given our recent form if anyone needed that stroke of luck it was us! Hamlet continued to hold the upper hand and with around a quarter of an hour to go two goals in as many minutes put the game to bed. A marvellous run from Barnes, receiving the ball out wide on the right and accelerating past a string of challenges, was ended by a crude foul that flattened him on the corner of the six yard box when he had only the keeper to beat. His assailant wasn't even booked despite getting nowhere near winning the ball and it clearly being a goalscoring opportunity. Connors' first penalty kick for the Hamlet was blocked by the keeper, ending a long run of successful Hamlet penalty conversions by various players stretching back at least a couple of years, but the rebound fell kindly for him to tuck calmly into the empty part of the net. Almost straight from the restart that man Kearney was involved again, making a determined run to the left byline before crossing low into the goal area for Mills to fire home a fourth. Hungerford bagged a consolation with two minutes left on the clock as a hopeful shot took a deflection to leave Edwards stranded, then deep into stoppage time they struck the crossbar. All in all though, a very satisfying afternoon that will hopefully boost the team's chances of picking up further wins from the three games in the next ten days.

Team (4-3-1-2): Edwards - McCoy, Orlu, C.Smith, Connors - Taylor, Ijaha(c), Chapman - Vose - Mills, Kearney. Subs: Barnes (for McCoy), Clunis (for Mills), N.Smith (for Ijaha), Ainsworth, Monakana (not used).
Attendance: 310
 

Bugpowder Dust

Well-Known Member
Sounds like with Kearney we've found a player who can play up front alongside Mills.

At Hornchurch he was deployed as a lone striker while Mills was on the bench, which didn't work. Yesterday with both of them on the pitch together seems promising; finally some league goals!
 

Poids

Active Member
At Hornchurch he was deployed as a lone striker while Mills was on the bench, which didn't work. Yesterday with both of them on the pitch together seems promising; finally some league goals!
I think part of the issue last week was that there was no creative midfielder for him to play off, whereas yesterday he was linking up really well with Vose, with whom he already looks to have developed a good understanding.
 

dcdulwich

Well-Known Member
Wasn’t there yesterday but agree Kearney looked promising in his brief ten mins as a sub vs Dartford.

Last week, as well as being tactically isolated, he was subjected to some pretty grubby treatment by their defence early on - including some blatant (from where I was sitting) punches to the kidneys. He tried to hold his own but it must have been difficult.

Pleased to hear he played well and held his own yesterday. I gather from the person who handled his paperwork at the club that he’s a lovely lad - friendly and very polite. I know, even at our level, few people may care about such niceties these days, but it’s still good to hear.
 

Pink Panther

Well-Known Member
I think part of the issue last week was that there was no creative midfielder for him to play off, whereas yesterday he was linking up really well with Vose, with whom he already looks to have developed a good understanding.
And of course he also had Mills up there alongside him this week. I thought Vose was excellent again yesterday, in a bit of a dogfight his instinctive close control and composure in holding onto the ball and picking the right pass were a big asset. I've never really been a fan of the lone striker model. For me it requires a number 9 with pace and acceleration, which Mills lacks, and a number 10 who will get into the box and chip in with regular goals, which Vose doesn't. Or at the very least wingers who give close support for the striker and bag some goals.
 

Poids

Active Member
I thought Vose was excellent again yesterday, in a bit of a dogfight his instinctive close control and composure in holding onto the ball and picking the right pass were a big asset.
Absolutely. I like him in that more advanced role, seems to bring out the best in him and he's less inclined to overthink things. Played some really clever little balls to Kearney in the second half.
 

Pink Panther

Well-Known Member
Last week, as well as being tactically isolated, he was subjected to some pretty grubby treatment by their defence early on - including some blatant (from where I was sitting) punches to the kidneys. He tried to hold his own but it must have been difficult.

Pleased to hear he played well and held his own yesterday. I gather from the person who handled his paperwork at the club that he’s a lovely lad - friendly and very polite. I know, even at our level, few people may care about such niceties these days, but it’s still good to hear.
There was a fair bit of aggro between him and one or two Hornchurch players last week. It wasn't always clear who was the instigator, but he should certainly have had a penalty in the first half for an off the ball incident where a defender stood over him and held him down inside the box following a challenge. Instead the referee blew up, gave both players a warning, then restarted with a drop ball. I doubt the referee actually saw it, but the linesman must have done as he was right in front of me and he didn't want to get involved.

Dylan played like a bit of a yob at times yesterday, but I found a YouTube clip of him being interviewed when signing for Sutton last February and he comes across as perfectly polite and well mannered off the field.

He's aged 22, played at a lower level with Hayes & Yeading, Uxbridge and North Greenford United before joining Wealdstone two seasons ago, but didn't seem to feature in the first team there before joining Harrow Borough at the start of last season. He'd scored something like 24 goals in 38 games there before Sutton snapped him up. He looks like he could become one of those charismatic strikers who can lift the team and the crowd by really having a go, like Danny Carr in his first spell or Chris Dickson.
 
Top