Havant have Knight tearing his hair out

Luke Barfoot will make his 100th league appearance. Picture: Neil Marshall

Havant hope normal service will resume at home

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Havant head coach Will Knight was left tearing his hair out after his side handed Dover a late 27-26 victory at Hooks Lane.

The home side looked to be cruising when they comfortably led 21-10 midway through the second half.

But it all went badly wrong from that point.

A third consecutive loss sends Havant into the bottom half of London one south, leaving Knight and his coaching staff frustrated.

‘We were in total control and Dover’s heads had dropped,’ he said.

‘Then we kept handing them opportunities to get back into the game.

‘I was pulling my hair out in the final minutes as we let the game slip through our fingers.

‘We had the game in the bag but then handed it to them on a plate in the final 15 minutes.’

After a delayed kick-off, because Dover had been held up on the M25, the home side dominated the opening 20 minutes.

The visitors opened the scoring with a converted try against the run of play before Havant made their superiority count.

On the half-hour mark, winger Matt Hart finished off a good move with a try wide out. Joel Knight added the conversion.

And although Dover regained the lead with a penalty, Havant hit back to go 14-10 up at the break, with a James Read try again converted by Knight.

The visitors used the elements to pin Havant back in the second half but Knight intercepted and fed Read for his second try to extend the home side’s lead to 21-10.

Poor play allowed Dover to pull back to within a point but another try from Dom Bellman looked to be enough to see Havant home.

Unfortunately, Knight could hardly look as a poor defensive kick and a missed tackle in midfield saw Dover claim a dramatic victory three minutes from time.

‘We are not bringing what we are doing on the training field into game situations,’ said the head coach.

‘Bits of our game are working well and we did score four tries. But we are handing the impetus to our opponents through poor decision making and individual mistakes.

‘What should have been a five-point bonus win has ended up as a defeat.

‘For long phases we were dominant but still ended up losing.

‘Though we have lost our last three games, I felt we could and should have won two of them.

‘I just hope it doesn’t come to haunt us later on in the season.’