Hawks soar into final

Pompey skipper Brett Pitman believes his side can match their play-off rivals

Pitman’s promise to Pompey play-off rivals

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Horndean eased into the final of the Len Day Cup with victory in the first of three crucial meetings with fellow division one side Carberry.

Horndean were inches from an opener on five minutes as Dan Sowden managed to get over a bouncing ball in the box, but his fierce drive was deflected just over the bar.

Sowden was getting good service and rifled a low shot at Carberry keeper Adam de Caen and then looped a header wide from a corner.

And it was no surprise when Sowden was on target after 25 minutes. Ash Wheatley broke forward, the ball fell kindly into the path of Sowden who steered past the exposed de Caen.

It was 2-0 soon after as Hawks launched a quick counter-attack. Sowden fed Tom Gray, he pulled the ball back to Wheatley who squeezed the ball inside de Caen’s near post.

Carberry had struggled to create a chance against a solid Horndean defence but finally fashioned a few chances on goal late in the first half.

Dave Bridger looped a header that the keeper held easily and Jay Robinson lifted a shot off target after some neat footwork.

They were even closer when Brian Poynter out-muscled his marker but his goalbound shot nicked a defender’s boot and flew wide.

Hawks started the second half brightly but de Caen was able to watch a Wheatley drive fly wide after a free-flowing move.

The tie looked to be drifting away from Carberry, although Rich Flower had the Hawks keeper scrambling with a delicate lob that dropped over the angle of post and bar.

Hawks were inches from a killer third goal on 75 minutes. Defender Dan Morten came up from the back for a corner but saw his header crash against the crossbar.

But a quality move soon after did make it 3-0 when Wheatley crossed from the left for Liam Jeram to wrong-foot de Caen with a brilliant dummy and leave Sowden with a far-post tap-in.

Josh Baker missed an open goal to deny Hawks a fourth but his side had done the job and will deservedly meet Fareport Town in the final.

Len Day Cup semi-final

HORNDEAN HAWKS 3 (Sowden 2, Wheatley)