Hampton Rovers recorded one of their most memorable wins in recent history, kicking two late goals to defeat local rivals Old Brighton by seven points in the battle of Bayside.
The Rovers trailed by a point with 28 minutes gone in the last and the home side looked in control. Enter Nick Pavlou brilliance. Josh McPherson kicked the ball inside 50, an Old Brighton player collected it, Adam McNeil laid a brilliant tackle, and as the ball spilled, Nick Pavlou picked it up, ran towards the boundary and snapped a magical goal on his left to put the Rovers in the lead.
A minute later, Sam Bradford kicked the ball deep inside the Rovers forward line, Ed Turner marked and goaled, to put the Rovers up by seven points and seal the win, as the travelling Rovers supporters went wild. The final siren soon sounded to confirm the Rovers second win of the season.
It was extremely soggy conditions underfoot at Brighton Beach Oval, with the recently resurfaced ground not holding up to overnight rain, making for a scrappy game of footy. Hampton were dealt a blow with the late withdrawal of Sam Clements, while Daniel Corp and Guy Martyn were still on the sidelines. In came Cam Cullis from the U19s to make his senior debut for the club, while Richard Atkins made a welcome return.
Old Brighton started the game brightly, kicking the opening goal in the first minute before the Rovers responded through Nath Smith and Jack Toouli. At quarter time the Rovers were up by five points.
Hampton completely dominated the second term, probably the best quarter of footy for the year, kicking seven consecutive goals to Brighton’s two. Sam Bradford, Nath Smith, Ed Turner and two each to Ned Fallon and Jack Toouli extended the Rovers lead out to 34 points at the main break, and there was some feeling in the game as the siren went. The highlight was a snap from the boundary from Ned Fallon, which at the time appeared to be the goal of the day.
The home side clawed their way back into the game in the third term. Old Brighton were in control and they kicked five for the term while the Rovers managed just the one, through Mat Care. Still, the Rovers held a 10 point lead at the final change, and while the Rovers had the scoring end in the last, it was anyone’s game.
Old Brighton kicked the first goal and half way through the term, Hampton maintained a two point lead. At the 20 minute mark, free-kick in front of goal gave the Tonners the lead for the first time since the opening minutes of the game, and they had the momentum. It was a scrappy affair and the Rovers just couldn’t get the ball into their attacking 50. That was until the 29 minute mark and the brilliant goal from Nick Pavlou, followed by Ed Turner to record a memorable victory.
Captain Leigh Fletcher led the team off the ground to the cheers of the large contingent of Rovers supporters, in what he said was one of his best wins of his career and that sentiment was echoed by most. The club song was sung loud and proud, just about lifting the roof off.
WATCH the boys sing the song on Rovers Facebook | View full highlights below
Christian Carnovale was named best on ground and was well supported by Josh McPherson, Ben Audige, Nick Pavlou, Adam McNeil and Zach Donald. Jack Toouli kicked three goals for the day with Nath Smith, Ed Turner and Ned Fallon kicking two each.
The win also saw the Rovers claim the Browne Cup for the first time. In fact, it’s the first time Hampton has defeated Old Brighton in some 15 years, with the previous victory also at the South Road ground. Despite the win, the Rovers remain bottom of the Premier B table, but are now on equal points with Old Brighton, and one win behind Old Haileybury. Next week, the Rovers return to Boss James Reserve to face Monash Blues, who upset ladder-leaders Beaumaris on Saturday, inflicting their first loss of the season. Book now for the lunch >
HAMPTON ROVERS 2.4 9.5 10.6 12.6 (78)
OLD BRIGHTON 1.5 3.7 8.8 10.11 (71)
Goal Kickers: J. Toouli 3, N. Smith 2, E. Turner 2, N. Fallon 2, J. Pavlou, S. Bradford, M. Care
Best Players: C. Carnovale, J. McPherson, B. Audige, N. Pavlou, A. McNeil, Z. Donald
The Under 19s recorded a 27-point win over Marcellin at Boss James Reserve – their fourth of the season, and keeping their finals asperations alive. With a good side in and on a good deck, the Rovers took control in the second term, kicking four goals to nothing to lead by 20 points at the main break, and a strong second half secured the win. Scott Ebbott was best for the Rovers while Mitch Bowles and Matt Rieniets kicked two goals each.
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Saturday 30th July, 7pm @ the Boss