Pressure mounts on Havant’s ladies after painful blow

Havant midfielder Katie Pugh on the attack against Reading. Picture: Rob Atkins
Havant midfielder Katie Pugh on the attack against Reading. Picture: Rob Atkins
Katie Spooner is aiming high for City of Portsmouth Ladies. Picture: Keith Woodland

Developing talents can boost City glory bid

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Havant slipped deeper into relegation trouble in South Clubs’ Women’s League division one on Saturday.

Drew Emery’s side crashed to a disappointing 3-0 defeat to fellow-strugglers Woking at Havant College.

And a draw for Guildford at Maidenhead meant the Barncroft Way side are now just a single point above bottom spot – with a crucial trip to the Surrey side up next.

Havant had been determined to build on an encouraging display at Epsom when they returned to home turf on Saturday.

Sam Lister and Steph Lurshay were back in the ranks, while Sophie Brigg made her debut as Emery selected from a full-strength squad.

However, the home side were quickly rocked on to the back foot when Woking took an early lead during a powerful start.

The Havant defence were bombarded as skipper Kim Tyrell, Helen Moore, Lauren Thomas-Peter and Floor Dijkamns worked tirelessly to stem the tide.

Mel Insall made a couple of smart stops between the posts as they struggled to get a foothold in the game, before conceding a second towards the end of the half.

Amanda Hilsdon, Laura Hudson and Katie Pugh were given precious little time on the ball as the Woking midfield hassled and harried superbly after the break.

Havant did have chances, though.

Eveline Frouws hesitated when in space at the top of the D, while a superb break and clever cross from Pugh found no-one at home.

But raids on the oking goal were few and far between and the visitors were rewarded for their higher tempo, pressing tactics when they rounded off the win with a third five minutes from time.

Player-of-the-match Katie Paxman came out of the game with huge credit, the youngster adapting maturely to a couple of different positions.

Yet it was largely a game to forget for Havant, who will be looking to bounce back against Guildford in a must-win encounter next weekend.