Havant leave it late as captain Knight holds nerve

113659-2500 RUGBY HAVANT (SPORT) MRW 15/10/2011''// all pix of HAVANT RFC (blue shirts)  V STAINES RFC (red shirts) at Hooks Lane on Saturday 15th October 2011 - action, filers and headshots - MRW // ''Pete  Austin (holding the ball) wearing shirt No 2 ''Picture: Malcolm Wells (113659-2500)
113659-2500 RUGBY HAVANT (SPORT) MRW 15/10/2011''// all pix of HAVANT RFC (blue shirts) V STAINES RFC (red shirts) at Hooks Lane on Saturday 15th October 2011 - action, filers and headshots - MRW // ''Pete Austin (holding the ball) wearing shirt No 2 ''Picture: Malcolm Wells (113659-2500)
Dave Wheaton and the Fareham Heathens. Picture: Neil Marshall (171152-317)

Double trouble for heroic Heathens

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Havant produced a sensational late fightback to beat Southampton Trojans 23-21 at Hooks Lane.

Will Knight’s side hit form to make a winning start to life back in London one south.

Havant had looked to be heading for defeat, trailing 21-12 with just 10 minutes remaining.

But they showed terrific resolve to raise their game in the final stages.

A Joel Knight penalty and an Alex Bruce try moved Havant to within a point of the visitors.

Then newly-appointed captain Joel Knight kept his nerve three minutes from time.

Havant were awarded a penalty on the right of the Trojans 10-metre line.

And Knight stroked his kick through the posts for the winning points.

‘After last season’s relegation it was important we got off to a winning start,’ said director of rugby Will Knight.

‘We have learned a lot from this game, not only about the team but about how tough this league is going to be.

‘Our performance is very encouraging because I know we have a lot more we can give.

‘When Trojans put us under pressure we went inside our shells a bit – that was a hangover from last season.

‘Once we get a few more good results that should see us grow in confidence. This will give us a big lift.’

The home side established a 12-0 lead, with tries by Pete Austin and Pete Living and a Joel Knight conversion.

Trojans hit back, however, with three penalties and a try to lead at the break.

The visitors increased their lead with a further try but Havant stormed back to win.

Gosport & Fareham went down 32-20 at Hove on their return to London one south.

The visitors trailed 21-3 at half-time but hit back with two converted tries by Gareth Jones and Vetaia Veiteve.

Alex Duncombe scored two penalties, with Josh Whitehead notching a conversion but it was in vain.

– KEVIN RICKETTS