Bristow the hero in goal as Havant held to draw

Chris Bristow was Havant's hero in goal against Oxford Hawks
Chris Bristow was Havant's hero in goal against Oxford Hawks
Havant under-16s in the national finals (fourth place). 2017

Havant youngsters perform well at nationals

Havant under-16s hockey team after their win against Fareham. Picture: Craig Stevens

Havant under-16s booked themselves into county cup final

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HAVANT recovered from a slow start to draw at Oxford Hawks in South League premier division one.

The visitors went behind after just 12 minutes.

Havant failed to react to a quick side line hit from Oxford, and allowed the hosts’ midfield drive across the edge of the circle to deliver a ball straight towards goal.

An Oxford forward was there to step in front of his marker and struck the ball past a helpless Chris Bristow to take the lead.

The goal acted as a wake-up call for Steve Lawson’s men, who responded well.

In the 22nd minute, Mike Deller-Merricks linked well with Davis Taylor-Bargent, who’s shot was stopped by the Oxford goalkeeper.

But Adam Bloomfield was on hand to smash the ball into the net.

Oxford got themselves back in front after a clever move.

Bristow made a great save from a penalty corner and the ball was cleared wide to the side line.

But, again, Havant were caught snoozing after the restart and Oxford moved the play five yards.

The ball was drilled across the Havant goal, where a Hawks forward beat his marker to it and scored.

However, Havant levelled things back up when Niall Stott combined well with Maciej Janiszewski, who smashed in a backhand shot into the back of the net.

In contrast to the first period, Havant were out of the blocks well after the break following a subtle tactical change from Lawson.

In the 45th minute, Havant won their second penalty corner of the game and Adam Seccull finished well to give the visitors the lead.

The Hawks stepped up the momentum as they hunted for an equaliser.

Havant gave away a number of cheap penalty corners, which were well saved by Bristow.

But, with five minutes remaining, Oxford won another penalty corner.

Bristow again produced heroics in the Havant net with a double save.

But he was helpless to stop a third shot to draw Oxford level.

Lawson said his team were slightly disappointed with the result.

However, it was a superb season overall, with the team securing the South League title and promotion back to the National League.