Colden Common FC Dev

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HAMPSHIRE PREMIER LEAGUE

While We’ve Been Away….

To say it’s been something of an up and down close season in the Hampshire League would be something of an understatement !

However, whatever the existing members may feel, spare a thought for those who finished in a promotion place at the level below our Senior Division and have had their hopes of promotion denied. BOURNEMOUTH ELECTRIC have an outstanding record in the Haywards Bournemouth League Premier Division – over the last twenty-odd season’s they have almost always finished as winners or runners-up – and, following second-place last season, sought promotion to Step 7. The club’s denied them that place…

However, it was not ‘victimisation’ aimed at ELECTRIC or anything untoward; rather it was self-preservation. Earlier in the season Hampshire League club’s preference, expressed during a Special General Meeting, was for a sixteen team division for 2016-17 and onward – thus reducing the Senior Division by two - and it was just unfortunate that Bournemouth Electric chose to seek promotion when the club’s were determined to reduce the workload.

So, to accommodate the reduction Champions Baffins Milton and Runners-up Hamble Club were promoted to Sydenhams Div One while Andover Lions and Hayling United came up from Hampshire League Division One. Otterbourne FC folded and, unfortunately, Common were consigned to relegation for the first time in their Hampshire League history…. Or were they?

Some seven days before the official start of the new Hampshire League season all club’s were advised that Headley United were seeking voluntary relegation from the Senior Division because, they felt, that a very young and inexperienced squad would suffer to their and the club’s detriment if they remained in Hampshire League’s top-flight.

At an Extraordinary General Meeting it was proposed by the committee that Headley be granted their wish and they were to be replaced by the formerly ‘relegated’ Colden Common so that the desired 16-team Senior Division would remain.

The club’s voted and the motion was overwhelmingly carried – despite a couple of baffling abstentions – and we were back in the top flight – albeit by a rather curious route!!

Oh, and to bring the curtain down on the meeting the Chairman advised that Puma Engineering have withdrawn their sponsorship of the League. Now, lets get on with the football!

Following our rescinded relegation the first game of another Senior Division campaign ended with a win for the Commoners.

Stockbridge (who had their fair share of problems last season) were our generous hosts this afternoon for a Hampshire League Senior Division game which, while not top quality, provided compelling viewing for the gathered throng.

Common debutant, JUSTIN DELON, registered a hat-trick - a blistering 35th-minute strike from the edge of our visitors box, and two penalties In two minutes - 57th and 59th - finished with aplomb - to make an instant impression, while the inspirational SAM CRABBE (26th minute - IMG 3169) and strong running ALEX SIMMONS (85th minute) sandwiched the threesome to complete a 3-5 victory.

A shaky start with a line-up of Rovetto, Warnes, Mackay, Hansford, Wardlaw; Moore, Bragginton, Delon, Baldachino; Simmons, Crabbe: Subs - Walsh, Williams, Kneller, Burns - soon settled and, although Rovetto had saves to make, Common were in the ascendancy and took the lead when SAM CRABBE nodded home from ten yards out.

No sooner was it 0-1, that it became 0-2 when debutant JUSTIN DELON hit a blistering drive from 18-yards. 2-0

Disappointingly an 'unintentional' (the ref was right) handball gave Stockbridge a lifeline and they netted to make the game 1-2 at half time.

The second period (and how often have we said this?) began with Common in sloppy mood and our defence - Rovetto, Warnes, Mackay, Hansford and Wardlaw - had to be at their best to repel several Stockbridge raids. However, two penalties in two minutes, despatched with aplomb by Delon gave a comfortable margin....... until we started dropping back!!!

Stockbridge took the initiative and netted twice to cause several 'scary moments' in the Common box, 3-4.

Still the game ebbed and flowed and chances were created at both ends but Common were settling on the ball better than in the previous fifteen minutes. Kneller and the outstanding Crabbe were causing all sorts of problems but it was a perfectly flighted through ball from Delon that secured the points as Alex Simmons ran on midst cries for offside to plant the ball wide of the keeper - 3-5. A tremendously entertaining game for the neutral and, with Delon making an indelible mark, Common were the beneficiaries.

Ian Steele

Secretary Colden Common FC

23/04/2016

Many congratulations to Colden Common FC Veterans side as they secured the Southampton League's Veterans Over 40's Division Championship following a 5-1 success at Humble Plumb today.

The scenario going into today's games was if BTC Southampton won the title would be theirs. However, their opponents, WINCHESTER OLD BOYS, helped to scupper the Southampton side's title aspirations as they held their hosts to a 3-3 draw allowing Alan Darling's Common Vets to take the silverware.


Saturday April 9th, 2016

Hampshire League Senior Division

At the sound of the final whistle Otterbourne's goalkeeper let out a scream of relief as his top three side had been scared to death by bottom dwellers Colden Common!!!

For the neutral this was a good game which ebbed and flowed from end to end.

Otterbourne, seeking to break into the top two, started the better wind assisted going up the Colden Common Park slope.

Their football was clever, concise and attacking but it lacked a finish around the edge of the box. Max Rovetto had to be alert on a couple of occasions when indecisive defending allowed the visiting forwards a shot toward goal.

Max Rovetto was particularly critical of the defence but saved his most stinging criticism for Common's midfield. At the back the excellent Steve Hercock, solid Matt Wardlaw, and Captain Dan Hansford with the never-say-die Ben Mackay in support had their work cut out but they dealt, in harness with Max, with most everything if not comfortably then with a 'last ditch' tackle an interception or a save!!!

Common's midfield was being by-passed as the visitors played the ball around the likes of Henry Bragginton, David Warnes, Oli Adams and the mobile Ben Mackay but each were putting in a serious workload to try and stem the flow.

Unfortunately another Otterbourne foray forward saw them double their lead on 40 minutes.  Another well-constructed attack ended with a shot which hit the bar but the rebound was headed home to give Otterbourne a 2-0 advantage.

That goal seemed to release the tension in Common's ranks and they began to come to terms with their visitors to such an extent that we reduced the arrears on the stroke of half-time.

ALEX SIMMONS
However, the pace of Alex Simmons in harness with the strength of Sam Crabbe and the guile of Oli Adams gave Common a couple of sighters going forward to ensure that Otterbourne were aware we carried a threat.

A series of corners for Otterbourne, three in a short space of time, seemed to un-nerve the hosts and a half-clearance from one was collected by the visitors. They worked their way into the box before the ball was played out to the left edge and an Otterbourne forward fired home. 0-1
                                                                   MAX ROVETTO
Another Otterbourne attack was broken up by Dan Hansford who played the ball wide to Dave Warnes. Warnsey looked up and saw OLI ADAMS who he released on the right side of Otterbourne's box. Oli took the ball inside, beat a couple of Otterbourne defenders while heading toward goal and, from an acute angle, fired beyond the Otters goalkeeper and into the net.

1-2 Half time.

The second period was a mirror of the first really, the visitors starting brightly but Danny Barkers Common finding their feet and more than 'coming to the show' once again.
                                                                    STEVE HERCOCK
Steve Hercock was bullish while remaining composed in Common's defence and even had time for a 'discussion' with managers Danny and Ken on the touchline before getting on with a particularly impressive performance. Alex Brady suddenly came to life and he was choosing the right ball from midfield to unsettle The Otters and seek out Alex Simmons who was unfortunate not to benefit on a couple of occasions.

Sam Crabbe's workrate was now high octane along with Warnsey and the struggling Oli Adams who had taken a knock. Henry Bragginton shared the belief that was coursing through the bottom side and Otterbourne were now on their 'uppers'..... but they still held a threat and they increased their lead courtesy of a sloppy Common pass. The ball was picked up by Otterbourne in the centre circle and played forward to an area about 25 yards from goal where Mitch Parker unleashed a volley that was in the net before anyone could move!!! 1-3. Still Common responded and reduced the arrears almost immediately.
                                     ALEX BRADY
Ben Mackay collected the ball from Dan Hansford and surged forward to the edge of the 18-yard box. He flicked a ball into Sam Crabbe's feet and he, in turn, played the ball across goal for DAVE WARNES to nod home from four yards. 2-3.
Now the hosts were in the 'box seat' and with Otterbourne (surprisingly) tiring Common looked to take advantage by introducing Sam Dixon (Steve Hercock), Sam Williams for his debut (David Warnes) and Matt Powell (Oli Adams).

Otterbourne still held a threat but more and more they were blunted as Matt Wardlaw and Dan Hansford controlled the Common back line.
Although the hosts had the lions share of the ball chances were few and far between with Alex Simmons featuring in the best moment but he could only fire his shot just over the crossbar. 
Ultimately, the Otterbourne goalkeeper's relief was shared by all the visiting camp and Danny Barker's Common can consider themselves unlucky not to have shared the spoils.

Full Time 2-3.

MATCH REPORT – Saturday March 19th, 2016

TIP ACROSS EUROPE

Players at opposite ends of the pitch were the the ‘Stars of the Show’ for Common as the villagers secured victory after falling behind in the tenth minute.

A penalty save and several top-drawer stops would have put Common custodian Max Rovetto in the Man-of-the-Match bracket were it not for ALEX SIMMONS fulsome foursome.

Playing up the slope in the first half Hedge End dominated proceedings and deservedly took the lead on 10 minutes. Their third corner was sent over from the attacking left flank and Hedge End’s defensive kingpin, ANDREW BAUCK, swept the ball home. 0-1

Common were stunned into inactivity and their failure to close the opposition down saw Hedge End break through the middle and when the ball fell to Steve Bauck a goal looked certain. However, Max Rovetto came to the rescue with a wonderful save at the strikers feet.  Another Hedge End foray ended in another corner from which Rovetto again made a critical save but the ball deflected off a Common defender and onto Dan Hansfords elbow.... ‘penalty’ said the ref. This was, of course, hotly disputed and rightly so but the decision stood. Up stepped goalscorer Andrew Bauck but Rovetto dived to his left to pull off a stunning save.

Max’s heroics deflated The Enders somewhat and Common made them pay  on 30-minutes when Ben Mackay fed David Warnes. Warnsey found Henry Bragginton who released ALEX SIMMONS to run on and beat Hurst in the Hedge End goal. 1-1

Common were now more prominent but still lackadaisical in some areas allowing Hedge End several breaks up field. From one Shergold was completely free but Hansford recovered before Rovetto made another brilliant save and punched the ball away.

Matt Wardlaw, Sam Dixon, Andy Furness and Hansford were under the cosh but dealt with almost all that came their way, that they did not was address by the star custodian. Half time 1-1

During  the break the ‘haidryer treatment’ was applied in the home dressing room and Commoners re-emerged with tender ears!!

The second half was a totally different game of football with the home side more and more involved as the players applied the managers will. Throughout the side there was a verve and determination to impose upon the visitors.

Oli Adams, Warnes, Bragginton and Mackay were now dominant while Sam Crabbe and  Alex Simmons were a constant threat but there was still plenty to defend as Hedge End broke often and dangerously.

However, it was Common who would take the advantage when SIMMONS collected Hansfords clearance and ran clear of the visiting defence to put the hosts 2-1 ahead on 55 minutes. Some five minutes later Alex was at it again to give Common a 3-1 advantage and register his hat-trick.

Still Hedge End battled and broke forward at pace. One such break down Common’s left saw a throw-in directed at Andrew Bauck who won the ball, flicking it on for LUKE SHERGOLD to convert; 3-2.

Alex Brady came on for Ben Mackay and, with 75 minutes on the clock he received the ball from Oli Adams and found ALEX SIMMONS who netted his fourth, a class finish curling the ball around the keeper and into the net. 4-2.

Scott Challis and Steve Hercock each came on for Adams and Furness, respectively and Common saw out a cracking encounter with three points, and their first win over Hedge End for three years, in the bag


1203

1203

Sat, 27/02/2016

For the first time since September 3rd, 2015, Colden Common - on Saturday February 27th, 2016 - won a game of football!Of the intervening 19 games we had drawn 4, with three of those draws coming with our last three games... so improvement was well under way.

The coup-de-gras, however, came on Saturday when goals from SCOTT CHALLIS, HENRY RULE, MATT WARDLAW and ALEX BRADY secured a 4-1 defeat of visiting Stockbridge.

However, we started slowly and it was the visitors who toook the lead on 35-minutes. Fortunately we then upped the ante and equalised before the break.

Credit to Stockbridge for giving us another tough encounter but, come the final whistle, the delight of all Commoners was hard to contain.

Manager Danny Barker, assistant Ken Brady and Physio Darren Heskins deserve all the praise going for such a sweet moment but we all realise it is only the first few steps of a tough ask as we seek to move away from the relegation zone.

ANDREW_GIBB


















Title-winning manager Danny Barker returns to the Colden Common helm
DANNY Barker has returned to Colden Common as manager after a gap of six-and-a-half years.
Barker, who guided the club to the Hampshire League title in 2008/09, replaces out-going duo Sam Dixon and Ken Brady who stepped down in the wake of Saturday's 2-1 defeat at Overton United.
Common are enduring a tough season, marooned at the bottom of the Senior Division with just seven points from 20 games.
Ironically, Saturday's display was described by chairman Dave Hadfield as 'one of our most committed and honest this season', but Dixon and Brady have opted to relinquish their roles in the hope that a change of direction will turn the club's fortunes around.
Hadfield explained: 'Sam, since the managerial role was thrust upon him in November last year, and Ken (Common's first Hampshire League manager in harness with 'Rocky' Garrett back in 1985) have moved heaven and earth in their efforts to push the club onward and upward but, particularly in the wake of a lack-lustre team display at Hedge End recently, acknowledge that a change of leader may have the desired impact.
'Danny is keen that all players and staff remain with the club as he views a 'united front' as the firmest foundation from which to build'.
'The officers and members of Colden Common FC wish Danny well in his new role.'
Since leaving Common, Barker has managed the likes of Romsey Town, Sporting Bishops Waltham and QK Southampton.
The ex-Portsmouth, Basingstoke, Andover and AFC Totton defender has more recently been playing for Whitchurch United in the Sydenhams Wessex League.





SATURDAY 23rd Jan 
GROUNDHOPPER KEITH ASLAN - (from Broadstairs, Kent)
VISITED COLDEN COMMON PARK.
Colden Common v Fleetlands; - Hampshire Senior Division;


Result: 3-3; Admission: Free; Programme: £1; - Attendance: 21 (16 home, 4 away & 1 neutral)
There's only one team in Hampshire for paper fetishists and it is a long time ago since I last visited Colden Common. I remember absolutely nothing about the game but the superb programme sticks out in the memory.
The quality hasn't dropped and the best part of 25 years on, another terrific issue with the Editor cum Secretary cum Linesman, Ian Steele, producing another cracker. He's being doing them every season for the past 30 plus years, a labour of love, and this in a league where programmes are about as rare as an Aston Villa victory.
Colden Common is a village between Winchester and Eastleigh, and for public transport junkies it is the latter station you need to go to. Although only every two hours the X9 timetable fits in perfectly with a 2 o clock kick off, but not one at 8 minutes past which is when today's match finally got going.
Having been forced to leave their village green headquarters due to changing room issues (not particularly serious ones as they played their first five games back there, presumably due to cricketing conflicts) they aim to return permanently. Not that there's anything wrong with the current set up. Located on the outskirts of town in a country park, it has all the requisite new facilities including the all important hall to serve hot drinks, set in glorious countryside. But it's remoteness is the problem for the club. When they played in the centre of the village, everybody knew they were there and the club maintained a high profile. Attendances have suffered since the move and I wish them well in their attempt to return. Also the old ground was right next to the village pub which apparently helped to attract players! No matter what the weather brings, one thing the "Commoners" won't need to worry about is fixture congestion, having whipped through their first 8 games, almost a quarter of the season's fixtures, by the end of August.
Colden Common's most famous son is Steve Guppy who began his career playing here, scoring in the equivalent fixture in 1995. "Gupps" played for a number of clubs, most notably Leicester City and Celtic and was inexplicably a full international. Who will ever forget his solitary appearance in a friendly against Belgium during England's "Desperation Years" (1970-2016). Today his first club are rooted to the bottom of the Hampshire League with seven points, although why, this is beyond me judging by today's match. They were full value for their point in a scintillating game of football and they won't be bottom much longer if they can play like this on a regular basis. Great match, fantastic programme, what more could you want from an afternoon? Well just one thing actually, a 2 o'clock kick off.

Definition of a ‘Groundhopper’
There are two………A small predominantly brown insect that resembles agrasshopper and has well-developed wings. Family Tetrigidae, order Orthoptera: several species, including the European common groundhopper(Tetrix undulata)
Or, and more relative to what we are looking at….
Groundhopping is a hobby that involves attending matches at as many different stadiums or grounds as possible. Participants are known as groundhoppers, hoppers or travellers. Largely a football-related pastime, groundhopping probably found its origin in football in the 1970s in England. There is no universal set of rules for counting ‘hopped grounds’, although a generally accepted one is that a match must have been seen at the ground while many Groundhoppers will only travel to club’s that produce programmes.

DAVE HATFIELD


Danny Barker's third game in charge in his second spell at the club ended with no reward despite an encouraging display against a rugged, hard-working Clanfield side who were a bit more 'switched on' in the forward areas.

Dan Hansford wins another header watched by (L to R) Alex Brady, Henry Bragginton, Connor Dalton and Ben Andrews

Common, with Ben Andrews and Henry Bragginton making their first starts. started brightly and created the potential of a chance in the first five minutes following a surging run from Ben Mackay but his cross eluded Sam Crabbe and David Warnes before Clanfield cleared.

On a heavy, uneven surface both sides were finding it difficult to keep possession so the game became an end-to-end affair but with neither side testing the opposing custodians.

However, on 23 minutes an enterprising break down Common's left saw Clanfield break into the box and DAN COLEMAN hit a rasping drive into the roof of the net to put the home side 1-0 ahead.

Henry Bragginton was like a Terrier in the middle of Common's midfield and he won plenty of ball before seeking out Ben Mackay or Alex Brady in an effort to prompt Common forward. He found Connor Dalton some 16 yards out but Dalton's shot sailed over the bar. Clanfield were well-equipped to counter but the back line of Sam Dixon,Matt Wardlaw, skipper Dan Hansford and Ben Andrews all combined to avoid Max Rovetto being troubled with any direct shots on target.

The game continued to flow from one end to the other but the quality of the respective 'final ball' was poor, defended well or the wrong option was chosen

Half Time 1-0

Ben Mackay, Sam Crabbe and David Warnes (L to R) surging forward once more

After the break Clanfield were more 'involved' as they upped their workrate but still Rovetto saw little action (apart from a verbal spat with some Clanfield supporters) but the same was true at the other end. Crabbe held up good ball, Warnes was working his socks off and Ben Mackay continued to threaten down the hoe side's left but Clanfield closed quickly to negate any danger.

Scott Challis, Nick Kemp and Gareth Snelling all came off the bench but, although there were a couple of 'nearly efforts', including Dan Hansford's shot that went out for a throw-in!!! Common did not give the home goalkeeper much to do.

Toward the end of the game Common skipper went in with a high foot on the home goalkeeper prompting a second yellow card and subsequent dismissal.

Final Score Clanfield 1, Common 0.

Despite the loss the attitude, desire and commitment for the visitors was good and some of the football on a difficult surface was very encouraging.

Danny is doing his stuff but being rock bottom does not court Lady Luck and, at present, we are having no luck at all.

Nick Kemp, Scott Challis, Henry Bragginton, Sam Dixon and Dan Hansford all admire the view from atop Clanfield 'mountain'


DANNY OVERSEES HIS FIRST TWO GAMES & SEES HOW MUCH THERE IS TO DO.

New manager DANNY BARKER took charge of his first game on December 12th - a visit from Liphook United - which, although ending in a 0-2 loss (two stunning goals late in the game), Danny will have been pleased with his team's effort, application and committment.

However, there was little threat from his Common side - aside from a 1st half Ben Mackay header which hit the crossbar and a late rally but it rarely troubled the visiting goalkeeper.

The neutral in the crowd would have considered a share of the spoils to be all Common deserved but as Max Rovetto was the busier custodian, Liphook will argue that the right result was achieved.

Danny introduced Joe Urquhart, Dave Warnes, Matt Kneller - Common debut for all and Gareth Snelling (unused sub) to The Club as he honoured his promise to boost numbers.

The following Saturday - December 19th - we travelled to Danny's old club, QK Southampton, where a 45-minute lack-lustre display from Common allowed the hosts to storm into a deserved 3-0 lead - despite, again, some heroic save's from Mr. Rovetto. Although The Common woke up for the second half - a 1-1 draw (Sam Crabbe) - the damage was already done and the game was lost 4-1.

Gareth Snelling and Tyler Lewis each made their debut. Joe Urquhart, who has made an immediate impact, was lost to the game midway through the first period through injury which hopefully will have cleared in time for our trip to Headley United on January 2nd, 2016

The first half 'performance' revealed the real tasks Danny has to address within the current squad but, perhaps, his biggest task is to try and restore confidence amongst all the players before they step on the park.

That done, only positive results can strengthen any chjanged mindset, so let's hope 2016 will start with a bang for The Commoners as we face Headley United (away), Clanfield (Away), Hedge End Rangers (Home), Fleetlands (Home) and Stockbridge (Home), during the month of January.

Danny and Ken Brady are prepared to do whatever they can to lift The Club out of the doldrums. We are all behind them in their efforts.

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL FROM COLDEN COMMON FOOTBALL CLUB

IAN STEELE - SECRETARY - CCFC


GARY_MATCH_OF_THE_DAY

Saturday December 12th, 2015 - Hampshire Premier League Senior Division

Colden Common 0 Liphook United 2

GARY_MATCH_OF_THE_DAY

Another Saturday game which was not aided by an end to end wind and a greasy surface and I don’t think any player or spectator would have ranked this as a classic.

The significant action of the first half happened early and late. In the first few minutes Ryan Angear of Liphook, who was playing in the back four, came up from the back to sting the hands of Common keeper Max Rovetto. From the ensuing corner Alex Elcombe shot wide. Then at the other end Sam Crabbe had a good chance but his glancing header went wide.

Through the half there were few chances with probably the best being a Sam Gray header that flashed across the Common goal. Then just before half time, both sides had chances to open the scoring. First, from a corner, Ben Mackay’s header glanced off the cross bar and over the at the other end Josh Marshall unleashed a vicious shot that Rovetto parried away at his near post.

With the benefit of the wind in the second half, Liphook started the brighter and Alex Yates flashed a shot across goal.

In the middle of the half there were two minutes that sealed the game. After 68 minutes the Common defence only half cleared a Rich Covey free kick and Josh Marshall pounced to send a shot that Rovetto could only get his fingertips to as it sped into the top corner. Then 2 minutes later Steve Harding got on the end of a through ball to shoot into the roof of the net from close range.

Both sides looked composed in defence but, if Common are to escape relegation, they will have to produce much more up front. Liphook are in transition but their side still contains match winners which will ensure their share of victories.

Roger Allen


Saturday October 15th, 2015 - SOUTHAMPTON SENIOR CUP



Saturday October 10th, 2015 - Hampshire Premier League Senior Division


Infinity 2, COMMON 2

Common worked their collective 'socks off' this afternoon against fifth-placed Infinity to thoroughly deserve a point from the hosts in an increasingly tempestuous encounter.

Manager Sam Dixon had a 14-man squad to choose from including Ben Mackay who had missed the previous four clashes and goalkeeper Max Rovetto (for whom Steve Hercock deputised so capably the previous week).
The starting line-up included a sickly Steve Hercock who, despite warming the toilet seat all morning, announced his readiness to play.

The game opened with the home side applying pressure down the flanks - ex-Commoner Ryan Moth featured on the left for Infinity - but defensively Common were sound with skipper Dan Hansford (who was to have an influential part to play) sweeping all that went beyond Sam Dixon and Matt Wardlaw.

Both Steve (Squits) Hercock and Andy Furness were employing their free roles well defensively so Max Rovetto had little to do.

Although Infinity dominated possession Common still broke forward and on several occasions found the exceptional Sam Crabbe who would either hold the ball up or move it on seeking Alex Brady or Scott Challis both of whom were supporting ably.

However, the increasing threat came from the hosts through Moth and it was he who forced the opening goal on 24 minutes. A Colden foray forward was broken up and Infinity broke swiftly down their right to Moth who beat Furness and then crossed for an onrushing forward but it was Dan Hansford who unwittingly put the ball in his own net. 1-0. 

Squits Hercock had to be replaced as he was in danger of leaking so Sam Chandler came on to fill the left wing back role with Andy Furness moving to the right

Although Infinity now tried to increase the pressure Common coped well and following a swift move down the left flank involving Sam Chandler, Scott Challis and the influential Mo Aslami the visitors won a corner. Alex Brady took the 27th-minute kick and under challenge from Sam Crabbe the home goalkeeper flapped at the ball which fell for Crabbe to backheel home from approx 75mm; his first goal for Common. 1-1.
It didn't stay that way for long however. A dubious free-kick was awarded to Infinity some 25-yards out and from that kick Sam Floyd stood his ground to net with a header on 28 minutes; 2-1.

Once again Colden responded positively and with Ken Brady leading from the sidelines sought a second leveller. Henry Rule was having a huge influence in his holding/spoiling role and more often than not came up against seven foot Sam Floyd in what was to be a tremendous battle all afternoon.

Meantime Infinity were causing problems and it took some excellent goalkeeping from Max Rovetto and critical interventions from Sam Chandler and Andy Furness to deny the home side chances.

As the game approached half-time Common managed to conjure the goal of the game. Chandler started things again down Common's left and found Mo Aslami. He in turn found Scott Challis who swept a ball into the hosts box where Alex Brady swept the ball home from 17 1/2 yards. 

2-2 Half Time. 

The second period was never going to match the first and, unsurprisingly, it did not. It has to be said that Infinity held most of the possession and created several very good chances which were thwarted through a combination of very poor finishing and good defending / goalkeeping.

On the occasion Common broke free from Infinity possession both Sam Crabbe and Mo Aslami could not find a worthwhile shot on target. Scott Challis was once again covering every blade and Alex Brady was also providing good movement for any potential breakaways. 

Sam Floyd was Infinity's main target but he finished poorly when given the opportunity.
When Common broke they did so with pace and Scott Challis had an excellent chance when he challenged the home goalkeeper only for a free-kick to be given to the Infinity custodian.

Matt Powell and Ben Mackay each entered the fray - replacing Scott Challis and Alex Brady - and each were instantly involved.

Infinity were becoming frustrated at their inability to finish off the Commoners but the hosts maintained a high level of possession although still without the major gain of a goal.

Common were now defending desperately but in the final few minutes again broke forward through skipper Dan Hansford. One on one as he approached the goalkeeper his final touch was poor and a lunging challenge for the free ball resulted in a heavy clash with Infinity's keeper and a red card for Hansford.

Obviously tempers flared and words were said and the situation could well have spiralled out of control. Disappointingly the referee was not able to quell the 'disturbance' it was down to the managers to settle things down for the last couple of minutes.

At the final whistle there were again 'rumblings of discontent' when players from both sides were speaking out of turn but a potentially explosive situation was calmed and the players were left to consider two points dropped or a point gained???

Final score 2-2.    

This was a committed Common display from all fourteen members, full of belief, ability and no little last-ditch defending. Credit to you guys for taking a point of a strong top six side.


Saturday October 3rd - Hampshire Intermediate Cup, 1st Round

OTTERBOURNE 4, COLDEN COMMON 0

When the draw for the Hampshire Intermediate Cup was made and this 'local derby' was pulled out of the hat, few people will have envisaged the differing fortunes being enjoyed / endured by each club.

A whole division stood between the two sides as top-placed Otterbourne entertained Common, sitting at the foot of the table.

A further difficulty was encountered by Common manager Sam Dixon when goalkeeper Max Rovetto cried off some 1/2 hours before kick off - STEVE HERCOCK donned the claret jersey.

The home side opened well and their quick movement and intelligent running, coupled with some slow reactions from the Commoners, saw CHRIS MASON (9) and then LUKE POTHECARY (11) give Ottebourne a 2-0 head start.

However, Common rallied and for the remainder of the half were unlucky not to reduce the deficit with the outstanding SAM CRABBE working well up front ahead of the impressive CONOR DALTON and ALEX BRADY. ANDY FURNESS (when not discussing the merits or otherwise of any given decision by a poor referee) was unfortunate not to find the net when his rasping shot cleared the bar forcing another member of the 'Ball Recovery Team' into the woods.

STEVE HERCOCK was not disgracing himself between the posts and, to be fair, a relatively solid back line - DAN HANSFORD, MATT WARDLAW, SAM DIXON with FURNESS and CRAIG VINCENT dropping back from their defensive / midfield roles coped generally well but a rapid Otterbourne break on 38 minutes ended with an exquisitely placed MASON shot into the top right corner - 3-0 and half time.

MO ASLAMI was struggling to impose himself on the game but he worked tirelessly with HENRY RULE to try and impact for Common in the middle of the park but still the home side were causing problems and on 51 minutes MASON completed his hat-trick. 4-0

SAM CHANDLER, MATT POWELL and SCOTT CHALLIS all came on for Common (replacing Mo Aslami, Alex Brady and Andy Furness) and Common managed to - in fits and starts - impose themselves on the game with CRABBE still providing some excellent work and WARDLAW becoming more and more dominant at the back.
HERCOCK was called upon to intervene when The Otters Tom Richards was clear but a bouncing ball was well-defended by the visiting goalkeeper before the two players collided.

The home side continued to look the more likely scorers but a combination of solid defending and some poor finishing meant the game ended 4-0.

Common's young side with CRABBE putting in an excellent 90-minutes have much to learn but, it seem's, they are slowly but surely upping the ante to give all Commoners hope that a poor run can be turned on it's head.
As for Otterbourne they are a very good side and one that will challenge for league and cup honours when the season draws to a close.

ADDITIONAL FIXTURE:

Southampton Senior Cup, Round 2.

Winchester City Res v Colden Common - Thurs October 15th - ko 7:45 at the Denplan ground, Winchester.



Saturday August 8th, 2015

HAMPSHIRE PREMIER LEAGUE, Senior Division

Colden Common 2, Baffins Milton Rovers 5


LOUIS BALDACCHINO
Hugely influential for Common with another
excellent display

MATT WARDLAW
Scorer of our first goal

Following an impressive and determined opening victory against Paulsgrove last Wednesday, Colden Common started the meeting with last season's Runners-Up Baffins Milton Rovers in confident mood.

Unfortunately, some old defensive frailties came back to haunt us as the visitors netted three times in the opening eleven minutes!!

Baffins poured through a leaky midfield and stretched a static defence to score through TYLER YATES (2) and JAMIE WHITE.

However, at 0-3 down we then woke up and started to comply with the management instructions!!!

We were now keeping the ball and finding our own players as we sought to reduce the arrears.

LOUIS BALDACCHINO was again proving a thorn in the visitors side and he determined that he would 'make the difference'. Indeed he did and the game turned on it's head with Common creating chances through Baldacchino's strong running and intelligent use of the ball. SIMON WATERS was also instrumental as he looked to involve players running through from midfield where HENRY RULE, SCOTT CHALLIS, ANDY FURNESS and Louis found their feet and began to press.

On 26-minutes BEN MACKAY found AIDEN REED down the left flank from which Aiden won a corner. From the resulting kick MATT WARDLAW volleyed side-footed into the net; 1-3.

Common, although still troubled by long diagonal balls from the visitors, were now much more threatening with GRANT BROWN combining well with Andy Furness and Louis down the right flank.

Another Common surge forward saw Louis get to the by-line and drag the ball back but to no avail as Common were not rapid enough to fill the box.

MAX ROVETTO was called into action several times at the other end and, aside from one tremendous save, had little to trouble him thanks to the defensive work of skipper DAN HANSFORD and an improving Matt Wardlaw in the centre of Common's defence.

Half-time 1-3

After the break Common were again found wanting as Baffins applied the pressure. After 50-minutes CHAZ GARDNER capitalised on a defensive error and six minutes later Common's midfield and defence was torn asunder as Baffins netted again through DANNY RIMMER; 1-5

Back to the hard graft once more and, again, Common responded well. SAM TREADAWAY replaced the injured Henry Rule and ALEX BRADY came on for a struggling Aiden Reed and again a level of composure was regained by the home side.

Composure however was not apparent in the home goal as Max found justifiable cause to complain to the referee and our opposition about a couple of challenges. There was no quick fix!! Player/Manager SAM DIXON came on to replace Matt Wardlaw.

The game now became thrust and counter-thrust with Baffins looking the more dangerous but one last hurrah for the hosts saw ALEX BRADY curl a super strike beyond the excellent visiting keeper (Derek Harding) and into the top corner. 2-5

All in all a disappointing second game by the Commoners but credit to the guys who responded to their own frailities and sought to make amends which made the game a closer contest than the scoreline suggests.


Wednesday August 5th, 2015 - Hampshire Premier League Senior Division


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