Havant press self-destruct button

James Speke Picture: Mick Young
James Speke Picture: Mick Young
Matt Cox scored for Havant. Picture: Keith Woodland

Havant give leaders Exeter a big scare

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Havant’s decision-making in the final third against Spencer was partly to blame for their 2-2 draw, according to coach Ady Adams.

The hosts were 2-0 up at half-time thanks to James Speke and Jonathan Pickett, but then pushed the self-destruct button, conceding two soft goals in a seven-minute spell at the start of the second half.

The result means they are now five points behind Old Georgians, who also have a game in hand in South League premier division one.

Old Georgians need just two points from their remaining three games to win the league and secure promotion.

Havant coach Ady Adams said: ‘We had enough opportunities to win the game.

‘It does grate me a little bit because we’re not five points worse than Old Georgians.

‘They narrowly beat us 1-0 both times this season but the points don’t show that.

‘We started off pretty well against Spencer and created some good goalscoring opportunities but on two or three occasions we chose the more difficult option.

‘We need to learn about making the right decisions.

‘If we had done that, we would have been three or four goals up in the first half.

‘We let Spencer back in it in the second half. There were a couple of sloppy turnovers and we needed to defend better.’

Speke opened the scoring after seven minutes when Spencer failed to clear their lines.

The visitors rattled the post from a penalty corner strike but Havant doubled their advantage shortly after the half-hour mark after Pickett won and converted the home side’s first penalty corner of the match.

However, within seven minutes of the restart Spencer were back on level terms with two nearly identical goals.

Both started on the right-hand channel and on each occasion the ball was switched to an unmarked forward on the penalty spot who only had to collect and slot the ball home in the 38th and 42nd minutes.

Despite having Adam Bloomfield and coach Adams green carded, Havant continued to create plenty of chances and had a penalty corner appeal turned down in the dying seconds.

Spencer are third in the league, though, and it was always going to a tough game.

Adams added: ‘They’re well organised, very solid and have got a lot of experience in their side.’

Havant travel to Oxford Hawks next Saturday for their penultimate match of the season.