Havant win ‘important’ point against Barnes

Katie Spooner is aiming high for City of Portsmouth Ladies. Picture: Keith Woodland

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Havant Ladies manager Richard Cook was delighted with his side’s hard-fought draw with high-flying Barnes.

The hosts took an early lead through Sophie Brigg but were pegged back before half-time.

With no more goals after the break, Havant held on for a 1-1 draw.

Cook said: ‘Overall it was a very important point for Havant.

‘With Barnes being second in the table, it was important we played well and that’s exactly what we did.

‘I’m delighted we got a point.

‘It was a really hard-fought game. To be fair to Barnes, they were often in better positions than we were.

‘They had a succession of short corners but we defended brilliantly against them.

‘At times I thought we might give way to them but we stuck to our game.

‘It wasn’t a pretty game. It was scrappy here and there and the passing was a bit indifferent.’

Havant went in front after a good break down the left- hand-side from Zoe Stride.

The ball broke to Nicky Atkins just inside the D and she laid the ball off to Brigg who, with her back to goal, tucked it in at the far post.

Barnes equalised 10 minutes later however, and that is how the match ended, despite the efforts of Havant.

Cook added: ‘We looked quite strong even after they equalised.

‘Barnes found it hard to get the ball past us and they were getting more and more frustrated as the half went on.

‘In the end, we had a few half chances ourselves and could have snatched it.

He was also complimentary about young Pippa Lock’s contribution.

He said: ‘She’s 14 years old and has come through to the first team for the first time this season.

‘She’s got a lot of promise and talent and she’s one for the future.’

Despite gaining an excellent point, the ladies have dropped down to ninth in South Clubs’ Women’s League division one.

Their opponents, meanwhile, leapfrogged Hampstead & Westminster, who were beaten by Oxford, to move one point clear at the top of the table.