Havant win first match of the season

Nicky Atkins. ''''Picture: Allan Hutchings 142953-843
Nicky Atkins. ''''Picture: Allan Hutchings 142953-843
Laura Ryan in control for Fareham Ladies against Aldershot & Farnham. Picture: Ian Hargreaves

Fareham pay penalty against University of Birmingham

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Havant manager Richard Cook was delighted with the commitment of his players after they won their first match of the season 3-1 against Reading 1A on Saturday.

Havant came from behind to beat their South Clubs’ Women’s League division one opponents thanks to goals from player-of-the-match Nicky Atkins, Anna Reynolds and Katie Paxman.

Cook said: ‘It was a good game to win after some disappointing results away from home.

‘It was a good chance to put the record straight and that’s exactly what they did.

‘It was one-way traffic most of the time. I was very pleased with the attitude and commitment and the way the players carried out the tactics.’

A careless pass within 15 minutes saw the visitors take the lead but Havant responded well and equalised two minutes later with a cleverly-taken goal by Atkins.

Reynolds finished off a slick short corner routine 15 minutes into the second half to make it 2-1.

Paxman, playing her first game this season after an injury, netted the third with a powerful drive low to the keeper’s right.

There could have been two or three more goals, as Sophie Brigg, Atkins and Katie Pugh all went close.

Cook praised Atkins for her excellent performance.

‘Her running off the ball was particularly effective,’ he said.

‘I was really impressed with her attitude and commitment and way she led the team from the front.’

He added: ‘The difference this week was we maintained our level of intensity for much longer periods.

‘In the past we couldn’t keep that consistency going.

‘We also had Katie Paxman back after she broke her thumb in pre-season, which made a big difference to our defensive approach.’