SFC 3 – 1 Hamble Club

Velocity Wessex League Premier Division – Saturday 16th December 2023

Shaftesbury 3 (Pitman 29, 35 Walker 11)

Hamble Club 1 (Johnson 15)

“13 is the lucky number as ‘Rockies’ march on”. 

Brett Pitman moved onto 33 goals for the season as the ‘Rockies’ made it 8 wins in a row and 6 in the league to move on to 53 points at the top of the table, even though the chasers have their games in hand with a league double over Hamble Club, historically our masters, though we have put 13 goals past them this season including the FA Cup tie in August. 

A depleted ‘Rockies’ with only 13 players available can be pleased to get the points. Liam Farrugia and Greg Peel came in with Aaron Roberts, Jordan Barnett and the engineer that is Steve Devlin missing we still managed to get the points showing the quality of Peel and Farrugia returning. 

Of course with today’s skipper Steve Walker and Sam Davidson they have proved an adequate insurance in making us more robust. We are more of a Trojan horse now, and one that is only going forwards oblivious to the naysayers. We do our work. We cannot have time for anything else. 

Walker had our first chance that was tipped over by Hamble Club keeper Henry Newman. Soon we were in front as Walker planted his header from  Farrugia ‘s corner to put us 1-0 up for his 4th goal since joining. 

Hamble Club equalised within minutes when Braydon Douglas played the ball back to James Johnson who planted a good effort into the roof of Shane Murphy’s net. It was a good goal by Hamble Club and we knew this was one game we simply had to get done and get three points from. It wasn’t going to be a cakewalk when Hamble Club is in town. 

Murphy took a knock blocking Douglas as Hamble Club had their tails up and went looking for a second goal. Pitman then hit a scorcher that Newman superbly tipped over the bar for one of the saves of the season. 

We took the lead when another Farrugia corner was headed back the face of the goal by Walker for Pitman to head in to put us 2-1 ahead. Soon after the returning Greg Peel beat his man and hooked the ball across to Pitman to plant the ball home and we were 3-1 ahead. We were now on top and had hit Hamble Club with two quick goals going into the break. 

Hamble Club however put in a decent second half showing, though we kept 37 goal Clayd Roach at bay, they did create some chances. We nearly went further ahead when Luke Holmes linked in Pitman who hit the base of the post. 

Shane Murphy made a couple of excellent saves, with one from Douglas particularly impressive. We had further chances when Pitman’s free kick was saved well by Newman, who had picked up a shoulder injury. Holmes got through and had a little dink after a back heel from Billy Maybury that Newman dealt with and then Peel shot just wide as we looked to put the game to bed. 

Johnson was sent off for Hamble Club with Maybury on his 100th ‘Rockies’ appearance ending up in the sin bin. This wasn’t one of those type of games really. Hamble Club gave it a good crack. It’s just one we needed to get out of the way. Looking at Hamble Club they are a decent side and we don’t have to play them again this season. Today’s foe could become a very useful friend! 

In fairness Hamble Club pressed and kept at it. This game is not one that will live long in the memory, and quite simply one we had to get through with hopefully a full squad available for next weekends Dorset Derby at Sherborne Town. 

Callum Sweeney, Louis Kellaway and Cam Beard did their jobs as ever as the spine of the team. Other teams have their games in hand for sure but Jim Milligan and Luke Burbidge focus on winning games of football, and when you have Walker leading the charge then anything is possible. 

No one is ‘bouncing off the walls’ in December of course. If we can get a result at Sherborne Town then maybe the lads can a bit before they enjoy Christmas Day with their families at what I hear is the most wonderful time of the year apparently! 

For now we have added another brick to our wall and just got to keep going. 

Shaftesbury – Murphy, Farrugia, Davidson, Maybury, Beard, Kellaway Sweeney, Pitman, Peel, Holmes, Walker (Capt)

Sub used – Herbert, n/u Wells 

Hamble Club – Newman, Godfrey, J.Johnson, Moore, Attrill, Fox, Roach, Gange (Capt), Taylor, Douglas, Honeysett

Sub used – B.Johnson, Casey, Lynch, Rattley.

Officials – J.White, R.Nobbs, D.Burke

Attendance -103

Gametime – Steve Walker leads out the ‘Rockies’ vs Hamble Club. 

November’s player of the month Cam Beard received the trophy from joint boss Jim Milligan. 

Report/Photos – Avril Lancaster 🐌

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