Knight: Gosport will be no pushovers

Havant coach wary of the threat neighbours possess despite their poor start to the season Picture: Mick Young

Havant coach wary of the threat neighbours possess despite their poor start to the season Picture: Mick Young

Steve Cruddas     Picture: Allan Hutchings

Havant set sights on return to winning ways

Joel Knight helped Havant continue their strong start to the season

Havant too strong for Brighton in game of two halves

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In-form Havant are favourites to maintain the bragging rights in their London one south derby against Gosport & Fareham at Hooks Lane tomorrow (3pm).

The home side have made an unbeaten start to the campaign and there is a mood of confidence in their camp.

In contrast, the visitors have begun their season with two heavy defeats and are looking vulnerable.

Havant coach Will Knight is delighted with his team’s efforts so far, but at the same time has warned that Gosport won’t be pushovers.

‘One thing you can be sure of is that Gosport will always raise their game when playing us,’ said Knight.

‘That is something we need to be respectful and wary of.

‘We are in a confident place at the moment having started well.

‘All the hard work done in pre-season is coming out more and more on the pitch.

‘We must keep building on this and take things forward.

‘It was a fantastic win at Brighton, although it was frustrating that we weren’t able to get a fourth try.

‘In the second half conditions deteriorated badly and we found ourselves pushed back in defence.

‘The accuracy and concentration of our players was remarkable.

‘It is good to be tested like that so early on in the season and putting a zero on Brighton at their place is quite an achievement.’

The home side are set to make a number of changes, including a debut for Tristan Treharn in the second row.

Treharn joined Havant from National Two outfit South Leicester and is an ex-Loughborough University player.

He is also a member of the Royal Navy squad.

In the front row, Jerome Trail – an ever-present last season – comes in for the injured Elliott Bellman.

Gav Hart and Joe Davis are unavailable, but Mitch Goldring has shrugged off his hamstring problem to return to the pack.

The hosts field an unchanged line-up in the three-quarters.

It has been a torrid start for Gosport & Fareham coach Barry Bridgeman, although he felt his team gave an improved showing against Tottonians.

Bridgeman is hoping that powerhouse full-back Wayne Dugan has recovered from a muscle strain.

If he makes it, his physical presence will be important to the Blue & Golds.

‘We played a lot better in our last game,’ said Bridgeman.

‘Our first-up tackling and decision making was better, although there is still lots to be done.

‘We know that it will be tough at Havant and are under no illusions.

‘It is little steps at a time for us because we are still a work in progress.’

Havant: Pat Gains, Jerome Rudder, Ben Brierley, Joel Knight,

Loz Blackburn, Dave Sweeney, Jake Reynolds, Luke Marks, Jerome Trail, Justin Powell, Richie Janes, Mitch Goldring, Tristan Treharn, Steve Cruddas, Nathan Bellman. Replacements: Tom Blackburn, Wayne John, Harrison Young.

Gosport & Fareham: Danny Gamblin, D. O’Donoghue, Nathan Titchenor, A. Collard, Ash Wakefield, Danny Cheal, J, Bunting, Anthony Reynolds, Simon Trivett, Ben Roberts, Trevor Westerman, Wayne Dugan, Alex Cooksley, Kieron MacRoberts, Rory Penfold,

K. Darlington, S. Taylor, Alex Heron, Wes Dugan, Dave Cleary, Chris Brettell, Max Page

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