Havant wary of Guildford revival

Havant crushed Birmingham University. Picture: Paul Jacobs

Havant crushed Birmingham University. Picture: Paul Jacobs

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Title-chasing Havant are looking to settle a score at ‘bogey side’ Guildford in National League men’s conference west tomorrow (midday).

The Barncroft Way outfit are in fine form, having won four matches on the bounce and thrashed Birmingham University 5-0 last time out.

Guildford, by contrast, have had a very disappointing start to the season.

They are rock bottom and even performance director, Ian Jennings, 51, has had to pull on his astros.

Havant head coach Merijn van Willigen is wary of a Guildford revival, though.

He said: ‘Guildford have been a bit of a bogey side for us in the past but they are difficult to read because they have lost a few players.

‘They are rock bottom of the table with no points.

‘But they have got so much pedigree and history that I don’t think that can continue forever.

‘They will reach a point where they start to pick up results and we need to make sure that isn’t against us.’

Havant will be able to select from a full squad.

On Sunday, they then travel to Bromley & Beckenham for the second round of the Now Pensions Knockout Cup. (12.45pm).

In the first round, Havant thrashed Crawley 8-0.

Bromley & Beckenham had it tougher as they managed to beat London Wayfarers 4-3 in extra-time.

Havant will be locking horns with some familiar faces.

Bromley & Beckenham’s keeper is ex-Havant player Andrew Isaacs, who left last season, and outfield player Jon Smeadley also used to ply his trade on the south coast.

Van Willigen said: ‘Selection is a headache because we have got some fantastic youngsters playing well in the seconds.

‘They deserve a look but it’s difficult at the moment because we’re playing very well.

‘But these are good young players who will eventually go on to play in our first team.

‘I know these players want to play in the first team but it’s good to have that competition for places and to know there is good talent coming through at the club.’

Meanwhile, Fareham are preparing for a busy weekend as they aim to put recent defeats behind them.

They have slipped to seventh in National League men’s conference west.

Leaders Cardiff & Met visit tomorrow (1.30pm) in what will be a difficult contest.

On Sunday, Fareham host St Albans in the second round of the National League Cup (1.30pm).

St Albans won promotion to the east conference last season.

Fareham will utilise their squad as they aim to seal a place in the last 16.

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