Havant control key to victory

Mike Deller-Merricks
Mike Deller-Merricks
Katie Spooner is aiming high for City of Portsmouth Ladies. Picture: Keith Woodland

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ADY ADAMS believes the way Havant took control against Staines was key to their 8-2 victory on Saturday.

The South League premier division one side were well on top, thanks to four goals from drag-flick specialist Sandeep Singh, and one apiece from the National League’s all-time top goalscorer, Tim Davenport, Adrian Wilkinson, Mike Deller-Merricks and Adam Bloomfield.

Former Bath Buccaneers player Davenport rejoined the Havant ranks last week and will play for the club on an ad-hoc basis.

The victory at bottom side Staines leaves Adams’ outfit second in the league table on goal difference behind title-rivals Old Georgians, who beat the Londoners 9-0 in their opening match of the season.

Coach Adams said: ‘What was impressive was the way we adopted a mentality where we dictated the play throughout.

‘Patience has been a massive thing for us and that’s when we’ve been creating chances.

‘The connections in the forward line are increasing every week. The team are working well together and they’re recognising the mistakes and working hard to put them right.’

Havant started as they meant to go on, as Singh maintained his goalscoring streak with a hat-trick of penalty corners in the first half.

Davenport also got on the scoresheet with a lovely dink over Staines’ onrushing goalkeeper.

At 4-0 up Havant were cruising, but a momentary lapse in concentration allowed their opponents to pull a goal back before half-time.

‘We knew their confidence was going to be low as they were beaten 9-0 the weekend before and we tried to use that to our advantage,’ said Adams.

‘There were some well-worked team goals in the second half.

‘The pick of the goals was Adam Bloomfield’s – his first league goal for the first team.

‘He had five defenders around him in midfield but he passed the ball off and received it back in the D, and then with his reverse stick he lobbed it over the keeper.

‘It was a fantastic finish and landed just inside the bar.’

In another of the goals, Wilkinson worked well with Deller-Merricks, with the latter finishing off with a simple tap-in.

Singh netted his fourth from five attempts with another thunderous drag-flick to take his goal tally to eight in two games.

Staines’ goals came from a first-half penalty corner and a second from open play.

They also had a penalty stroke saved by keeper Ben Cowling.

Despite the clinical finishing, Adams points out his side need to tighten up at the back, after conceding four goals in the opening two matches.

‘Defensively, there are just little lapses in concentration in key parts of the game,’ he said.

‘When we score, we’ve still got to remember that we’ve got the same responsibility to keep a clean sheet.’

Next up for Adams’ side is newly-promoted Banbury at Havant College on Saturday (1.30pm).