Havant: Frustration for Knight as injury problems grow

Harry Carr. Picture: Mick Young
Harry Carr. Picture: Mick Young
Dave Wheaton and the Fareham Heathens. Picture: Neil Marshall (171152-317)

Double trouble for heroic Heathens

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Injury-hit Havant slumped to a fifth successive London one south defeat with a 41-22 reverse at Maidstone.

The visitors were forced 
to reshuffle their three-quarters when they lost both Darren Bamford and Jake Reynolds with knocks during the game.

In the end the home side were able to exploit the disruption in the Havant ranks to win easily.

Head coach Will Knight bemoaned the injury and availability problems his Hooks Lane outfit team are facing.

‘We picked up more injuries and it is difficult to get any continuity at the moment,’ he said.

‘This is our longest losing spell for some time and our resources are being stretched to the full.

‘It is important that we work our way through this situation.

‘But it needs to happen as quickly as possible.

‘The most frustrating thing is that all our defeats until this game have been by narrow margins.

‘Even in this game we were competitive for long spells but just kept letting them back into it.’

A poor start saw Havant concede two tries in the opening 12 minutes before hitting back with a 15th-minute try of their own.

Gav Hart broke up the blindside of a ruck in the Maidstone twenty-two and his perfect off-load put Jerome Trail over.

On 32 minutes, strong running from Ben Brierley produced a second try for the visitors.

‘Ben (Brierley) ran straight and hard and would have gone through a brick wall for his try,’ said Knight.

‘Having made such a poor start we were happy to claw it back to 12-10 just before the interval.

‘Unfortunately a missed tackle in midfield allowed them to score another converted try before the break.’

The Kent hosts then stretched their lead to 31-10 with two converted tries at the beginning of the second half.

But Knight’s team refused to give up and hit back with two tries of their own from man-of-the-match Harry Carr and Dom Porter.

Joel Knight added one conversion, prompting the head coach to think his team still had a chance of pulling off a surprise victory.

Chasing the game, however, led to mistakes and Maidstone ran out comfortable winners in the end.

‘We were pleased to come away with a four-try bonus point which was some consolation,’ said Will Knight.