Goals galore as ‘Ville edge a thriller

Matt Tubbs played well against Sutton. Picture: Habibur Rahman

Injuries are big concern but defensive errors also worry Hawks

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Waterlooville Social Club progressed in the Billy Hill Cup after an incident-packed 9-6 extra-time victory over Wymering.

The match proved a defensive nightmare for both sides as goals flew in.

Wymering were looking to take advantage of the wind at their backs in the first half and Lee Cooper had an early header that went straight to the keeper.

Jimmy Hird then crashed a shot from 30 yards as Waterlooville threatened. But that, too, proved an easy save.

Wymering went ahead on 20 minutes. Jack Matthews launched a long throw into the box and Cooper rose above the defence to nod in from close range.

But Waterlooville scored two quick goals around the half-hour mark to edge ahead.

They were awarded a disputed free-kick for offside, which Reggie Plumbley lifted into the box and Danny Wilkes bravely headed down for Sam Godfrey to fire in from six yards.

Wilkes provided a similar assist from James Wilson’s cross which allowed Hird to lash home.

The lead lasted only a minute, however, as Cooper out-battled the last defender and rounded the keeper to make it 2-2.

A frantic first half then saw Waterlooville go into the break with the lead as Hird’s effort from 25 yards took a huge deflection to leave the Wymering keeper stranded.

Wymering were back on terms soon after the restart. Paul Coulton’s cross from the right was finished from 10 yards by Michael Knight.

They were then inches from going ahead on the hour. Cooper’s shot came back off the post and ‘Ville keeper Liam Johnson brilliantly blocked Matthews’ follow-up.

Waterlooville gained a two-goal cushion with two quick efforts after 75 minutes. Wymering waited for an offside flag that never came and Hird was able to square to Wilkes who converted the simpliest of chances.

Hird then received the ball 20 yards out and launched a stunning strike that when in off the far post.

Still the goals came. Knight was tackled as he shaped to shoot but the ball broke to Grant Humphreys who arrowed his shot inside the near post for 5-4.

And Wymering were level two minutes later. Another Matthews throw caused chaos in the box and defender Jody Howard glanced his headed inside the far corner.

That sent the match into extra-time.

Some lovely skill from Wymering sub Connor Whitaker left his marker for dead and he set up Coulton to put Wymering ahead.

But Wilkes soon made it 6-6. And in the second period of extra-time, a Wilkes header, combined with late strikes from Plumbley and Wilkes, put Waterlooville into the next round.