Havant run hot to deny Bath

Former Havant man Tim Davenport was denied
Former Havant man Tim Davenport was denied
Katie Spooner is aiming high for City of Portsmouth Ladies. Picture: Keith Woodland

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DEPLETED Havant fought hard to earn a 1-1 draw with league-leaders Team Bath Buccaneers in the EHL Conference West.

Havant were missing three players due to an England under-18 training camp and were also without defender Xavi Molina.

Ali Pollard and Craig Snelling stepped in for their national league debuts to help plug the gaps.

And despite the changes, Havant looked a more cohesive unit than in recent weeks as they took the game to Bath.

On 14 minutes Havant’s bright opening was rewarded when they were handed a penalty corner.

They capitalised in fine style as the ball was fed to Jamie Askam who reacted faster than the Bath defence to deflect the ball over keeper James Bailey.

Both sides spurned chances before the break.

Pollard deflected a ball high and wide over the goal, as did Tim Davenport at the other end, and James Lawson was unable to direct a cross on goal.

During the interval, Havant braced themselves for an onslaught from Team Bath.

But when it came, they were powerless to stop it.

Almost before the crowd had settled back into the action, Bath were level.

An errant Havant pass was intercepted and switched to the unmarked Edward Matts, who flicked the ball in to the net past Andy Isaacs.

It was harsh on Isaacs who had an outstanding game for Havant.

With the scores level, Bath pressed on and hit the post from a penalty corner and then hit the bar from another before Havant scrambled the ball away to safety.

It then took a great save by Isaacs to deny former Havant man Davenport what would have been his 200th National League goal.

At the other end, Havant won a penalty corner in the 54th minute but when play broke down, Bath countered rapidly with two players going clear on Isaacs, who, to Havant’s relief, won and cleared the ball.

Havant worked themselves back into the game and their best chance to win it fell to the unmarked James Lawson but his reverse shot was saved.

It was a great team display from Havant and sets them up nicely for a double header next weekend away to Whitchurch and Cheltenham.

Fareham slipped to the bottom of the table, losing their seventh game on the bounce 3-1 at Bournville.

Havant II suffered a 3-2 defeat at Woking. It leaves the men’s team in second spot, three adrift of Woking.