Havant desperate for healthy result at Heath

Havant's Dickie Duke
Havant's Dickie Duke
Dave Wheaton and the Fareham Heathens. Picture: Neil Marshall (171152-317)

Double trouble for heroic Heathens

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HAVANT make the short journey to fellow strugglers Haywards Heath, looking to stop the rot in London one south (3pm).

The Hooks Lane side have suffered four consecutive defeats and currently sit fifth from bottom in the league table – two places ahead of their hosts.

The match-up in West Sussex is a pivotal one as a win would give the visitors increased breathing space above the bottom four.

Coach Will Knight has been encouraged by the way his side have competed for long spells in games.

But he remains frustrated by their inability to turn their good play into points.

Havant have also been found guilty of making slow starts, gifting opponents early points which immediately puts them on the back foot.

The loss of try-scoring winger Dickie Duke with a broken collarbone against Basingstoke last week is another headache Knight has to contend with.

‘This is a game we have to target to win,’ said Knight.

‘We have to approach it in a confident, positive manner and look to deliver what we are doing on the training pitch.

‘Losing Dickie Duke is a big blow but it will provide an opportunity for someone else to come in and show what they can do.’

Grant Clisshold makes his debut as a replacement for Duke after moving from the West Country with the Royal Navy.

Meanwhile, United Services Portsmouth set out on the road to Twickenham with an RFU Vase tie against Croydon at Burnaby Road (3pm).

And coach Simon Burns believes his side can make an impact in the national competition, with the final at the RFU’s west London headquarters.

‘This season they have limited the competition to just level nine clubs so we have a better chance of doing well,’ said Burns.

‘The players have been given the dates of all the rounds and know where it could lead to.

‘It is a competition we intend to take seriously.

‘We are involving the whole club, have the Portsmouth University cheerleaders coming along, too, and intend to make it an occasion.

‘It looks as though it will be a competitive contest and, being a cup game, it will be about who is up for it on the day.

‘We will have to be tighter defensively after losing for the first time at Millbrook.’