Havant out to surprise high-flying Maidenhead

Sam Stares in action for Havant. Picture: Mick Young
Sam Stares in action for Havant. Picture: Mick Young
fareham's James Evans, right. Picture: Habibur Rahman

Barnes positive after loss... Lemon lauds Ladies’ response

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Havant are gearing up for a tough test against Maidenhead at Altwood in South Clubs Women’s League division one tomorrow (midday).

The ladies’ first team have struggled with injuries in recent weeks and have suffered consecutive defeats at the hands of Wimbledon and Southgate.

The latter beat Havant 1-0 last weekend, despite the best efforts of central midfielders Sam Stares and Katie Pugh.

The duo will be key to Havant’s hopes tomorrow, too, as they take on third-placed Maidenhead.

The hosts are embroiled in a promotion scrap and are attempting to close the gap on Hampstead & Westminster in second spot.

The club’s men host Guildford in England Hockey League conference west on Sunday (2pm).

Havant, with Raj Laly ruled out with a broken thumb, handed a debut to Matt Boot last weekend.

They currently lie in second position in the table on 26 points.

However, they are only ahead of Guildford on goal difference and the clash promises to be a thriller.

Havant approach the game full of confidence, though, after beating Fareham 3-1 in the south coast derby last weekend.

Fareham face the daunting task of putting the brakes on runaway leaders Team Bath Buccaneers on their home patch (2.30pm).

Victory over the Henry Cort outfit on Sunday will see the west country side claim the title and book a spot in the play-offs for the premier division.

Fresh from their 5-0 thrashing of Yateley, Havant’s second string travel to Chapel Gate to face Bournemouth in the Hampshire/Surrey Regional League division one (midday).

Drew Emery’s side are keen to keep their promotion ambitions alive but so, too, are Fareham’s second team who host Southampton at Henry Cort (1.15pm).

Meanwhile, another side with promotion hopes are Havant’s ladies’ second team.

After a narrow win over Basingstoke at Whale Island last weekend, they face a must-win clash at league leaders Yateley.

Victory over the pacesetters will see Danelle McKenna’s team narrow the gap, with Andover’s premier side also in with a shout of claiming league honours.