Havant enjoy derby delight

113775-464_HAV_HOCKEY_SR_22/10/11'Asction from Havant HC vs Fareham  in the E H L Conference West at Havant College.'Charlie Stubbings scored on his Havant debut.''Picture:Steve Reid 113775-464
113775-464_HAV_HOCKEY_SR_22/10/11'Asction from Havant HC vs Fareham in the E H L Conference West at Havant College.'Charlie Stubbings scored on his Havant debut.''Picture:Steve Reid 113775-464
Katie Spooner is aiming high for City of Portsmouth Ladies. Picture: Keith Woodland

Developing talents can boost City glory bid

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Havant earned the local bragging rights after a fine first-half display saw them edge past Fareham 2-1 in their derby clash.

An early strike from Andy Pett and a Charlie Stubbings effort on his first-team debut put Havant in command at the break.

And despite a spirited fightback from Fareham in the second period, with Alex Bennett pulling one back, Havant held on to claim the points and stay in touch with EHL Conference West leaders University of Birmingham.

The home side got off to the perfect start inside the first minute of a keenly-fought contest, with Pett producing a neat finish after good work from Craig Duffy and Sunny.

Shellshocked Fareham then struggled to get a foothold in the game with a host of uncharacteristic misplaced passes as Havant continued to dominate the early exchanges.

Pett went close to a second, only to be denied by a desperate defensive goal-line clearance, with goalkeeper George Harris beaten.

But Fareham’s defence were under constant pressure, with Jon Smedley going close to extending the advantage, deflecting wide after Pett turned provider.

Harris was proving to be a one-man barrier in attempting to keep rampant Havant at bay with a succession of quality saves, and he denied Sunny’s reverse shot in style.

But he was powerless to prevent Havant doubling their lead as Stubbings rattled home a crisp finish after Sunny’s dangerous run and pull-back had set up his young team-mate to open his first-team account at the first time of asking.

With Havant in cruise control at the break, Fareham set about hauling themselves back into the game after the interval with a spirited fightback.

Craig Peel was pushed higher up the pitch, and their efforts were rewarded as Bennett was on hand to sweep home at the far post after their first penalty-corner of the game.

That gave Fareham renewed hope of dragging themselves back into the game and asking questions on why they had made such a slow start to the contest.

Havant goalkeeper Andy Isaacs, who was a virtual by-stander for the first half, was a much busier figure in the second half but was up to the challenge thrown at him.

Alth-ough the home side had other opportunities to make the game safe in the closing stages, with Ben Mackey and Sunny both going close, the hosts’ defence stood firm as Fareham’s late bid to rescue an unlikely point ended in a narrow defeat for the Henry Court side.