Late goals give Hayling Island formbook-busting Hampshire Premier League victory over Locks Heath at Westleigh Park

Hayling United produced a formbook-shredding victory over Locks Heath in a Hampshire Premier League encounter at Westleigh Park.

Monday, 30th August 2021, 8:51 pm
Hayling striker Max Davies is surrounded by Locks players. Photo by Matthew Clark

Three goals in the last 15 minutes gave the Humbugs a 3-0 victory that didn’t really reflect the first 75 minutes of the Senior Division fixture.

Locks had entered the match, moved to Hawks’ 3G pitch because of a caravan show at Hayling College, having belted 19 goals in winning three successive league games.

They had caned Lyndhurst 7-1, Winchester Castle 6-1 and Sway 6-1 and had only failed to score in four of their previous 22 league games - and those matches were against Bush Hill, Infinity, Fleetlands and Paulsgrove.

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Locks Heath's Will Harris. Photo by Matthew Clark

Against that, Hayling had only kept two clean sheets in their previous 25 league and post-lockdown cup games.

Sam Neal broke the deadlock on 75 minutes, latching onto a through ball from Max Davies, rounding keeper Owen Craig and having time to steady himself before rolling a shot into an empty net.

Five minutes later Harry Frost - who had made a big impression after coming off the bench - cut inside from the left side and fired in a low right-footed effort that took a slight deflection past Craig.

For so long an end-to-end contest, Hayling were now pouring forward.

Aerial action at Westleigh Park. Photo by Matthew Clark

Neal’s shot from the edge of the penalty area was tipped over by Craig for a corner, the impressive Brad Hayward shot weakly at the keeper, and sub Charlie Collins’ curling 20-yarder was also palmed over for a corner.

As Locks’ frustrations mounted, Brad Stone was sin binned towards the end for dissent and Shane Kent booked for hacking down Frost.

Those frustrations would only have been exacerbated in stoppage time when Matt Topple started and finished off a move with the third goal.

Topple’s nifty footwork took him past two challenges before he set Davies up. Craig could only parry the shot and Topple was on hand to score from close range.

Hayling v Locks Heath (red). Photo by Matthew Clark

That was all a far cry from earlier on, with the game evenly-contested throughout until Hayling’s opener.

In a first half of few real chances, former Fareham Town player Will Harris had probably Locks’ best effort. After a nice passing move involving left back Jack Maunder and Connor Johnson, Harris’ low effort was saved by Joe Boxall at his near post.

At the other end, Craig was first called upon on 33 minutes, beating away a low Neal shot for another corner.

Locks were close to taking the lead four minutes into the second period. Jamie Hall met a corner from close range, but his header was straight at Boxall.

Boxall threw himself to his right to palm away a 20-yard effort from Steve Hawley while Brad Stone sent a shot whistling just wide.

Hayling were struggling to carve out clear openings, with Hayward’s low shot lacking power and straight at Craig.

Johnson was incredibly unlucky to be booked when the score was still goalless. Despite being clearly pushed over by a Hayling defender, he was stunned - as were most of the people inside Westleigh Park - to then receive a yellow card for diving.

Hayling: Boxall, Caister, Hewson (Collins, 85), B Bishop, Williams, Ashing (Hawkins, 90), Hayward, Watts (Topple, 68), Davies, Gregory (Frost, 63), Neal.

Locks: Craig, Dugan, Maunder (Davis, 79), S Stone (Cuthbert, 74), Kent, B Stone, Johnston, Hall, Whiteley (Wakefield, 58), Hawley (Boggild, 77), Harris.