Havant not clinical enough as Sutton & Epsom snatch win

Hvant boss Will Knight
Hvant boss Will Knight
Luke Barfoot will make his 100th league appearance. Picture: Neil Marshall

Havant hope normal service will resume at home

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Havant are still searching for a first home win after suffering a last-minute 39-37 London one south defeat to Sutton & Epsom at Hooks Lane.

It proved another frustrating afternoon for Will Knight.

The Havant coach saw his team twice get themselves into winning positions only to lose with the last kick of the game.

To add to the misery, the hosts felt the final penalty was unjust.

‘We felt we had legally turned the ball over only to be penalised,’ said Knight.

‘But we shouldn’t have got ourselves into that position in the first place.

‘The result should have been beyond doubt and we have to become more clinical in putting teams away when we have the advantage.

‘We fell off too many tackles in the end and conceded too many soft tries.

‘That is the biggest frustration and some of the players will have a few sleepless nights reflecting about their performance.’

Havant started well, establishing a 13-3 lead in the opening quarter with captain Joel Knight again the finisher.

The centre kicked two penalties and converted his own try under the posts following good work by Luke Barfoot and Grant Morris.

The home side looked in total charge at that stage.

But suddenly missed tackles and poor discipline turned the game on its head.

The visitors capitalised for their first try and when Havant had two players sin-binned in quick succession they paid a heavy price.

Sutton & Epsom ran in two more tries to lead 23-13 at the break.

Morris crossed for Havant early in the second half but Sutton & Epsom also went over the whitewash.

Barfoot and Joel Knight then added tries for the hosts.

Knight’s penalty handed Havant a 37-36 lead with just three minutes to play.

However, they lost out with the final play of the game.

‘It was a game that we feel we should have won but allowed to get away from us,’ said Knight.

‘These games against teams who are going to be in the middle of the table are ones we need to be winning.

‘I am sure it was an entertaining game for the neutral.

‘But for us coaches it was hugely frustrating and in the end heartbreaking for us.

‘The pack played well in patches but were not consistent.

‘There were some good individual performances in our backs but our lines of running and patterns were not there.

‘So we allowed the game to become fragmented which suited Sutton far more than us.’