Jones shines but rain is the only winner

Hawks-Steven Ramsey has a shot on goal in the first half'''Havant & Waterlooville vs Basingstoke Town'Football Conference South - Mon Mar 16, 2012 'Dave Haines (Photo credit should read Picture/s by Dave Haines)
Hawks-Steven Ramsey has a shot on goal in the first half'''Havant & Waterlooville vs Basingstoke Town'Football Conference South - Mon Mar 16, 2012 'Dave Haines (Photo credit should read Picture/s by Dave Haines)
Ryan Pennery netted for Moneyfields. Picture: Neil Marshall (171026-11)

Trophy dream is over for Moneys

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It was more like the middle of the football season than the start of pre-season as heavy rain presented the Hawks with just 45 minutes of football from their opening friendly.

The ground staff at host club Winchester City did well to even get the match started at the Denplan City ground.

But the game was abandoned at half-time, with the Hawks leading 1-0.

New manager Stuart Ritchie – and his assistant Barry Blankley – watched their side take control from the start of the match.

Scott Jones gave Hawks the lead in the seventh minute.

The diminutive but tigerish Alex Baldacchino battled hard and won the ball as Winchester failed to clear it from their back line.

He fed Steve Ramsey, who saw his powerful strike pushed out by keeper Rory Anderson to Jones, and the striker calmly rolled the ball in to an unguarded net.

Ramsey, down the right, and Tony Taggart, down the left, provided good width for the confident-looking visitors.

Up top, Jones and Baldacchino displayed some good technical ability, combined with strong running, to unsettle the Winchester defence.

Bobby Hopkinson and Taggart both tried their luck from 25 yards but each missed the target as the Hawks pressed for a second.

A torrential downpour, 20 minutes into the match, slowed up both the tempo of the match and the field of play.

New Hawks signing Ed Harris and Hopkinson were on the receiving end of some rough treatment but the latter part of the half was lit up by some neat football.

Winchester’s James Screen sent in a good cross from wide on the left which found the head of the unmarked Adam Roberts 15 yards out.

But he headed across the goalmouth, just missing the target by inches.

Hawks defender Sam Pearce was then called into action, bravely heading clear from his own goal line.

The impressive Taggart continued to work his magic down the left and sent in a sweet cross towards the near post.

Baldacchino made a well-timed run and looked sure to score but his shot was pushed away by Anderson.

No sooner had the teams trudged off at half-time when the referee called them back out to abandon the match.

Assistant-boss Blankley understood the decision in the interests of safety but it was disappointing for the players who were keen to play on.

The Hawks face Selsey tomorrow night.

Hawks: Thomas; Newton, Wilson, Pearce, Harris, Ramsey, Hopkinson, Ryan, Taggart, Baldacchino, Jones

Winchester: Anderson; McClory Cuthberson, Screen, McCarthy, Castle, Mills, Dunford, Roberts, Allen, Cox, Smeeton