Knight: No place to hide in relegation battle

Loz Blackburn has been in good form for Havant this season, scoring 12 tries

Loz Blackburn has been in good form for Havant this season, scoring 12 tries

Freddie Gleadowe had a hand in Hampshire's try. Picture: Keith Woodland

Hampshire pride in Twickenham defeat

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Havant coach Will Knight has warned his players there is no hiding place as his team continue their fight for London one south survival.

The Hooks Lane side head into tomorrow’s game against Haywards Heath just one place above the drop zone, with Gosport & Fareham – who currently occupy the final relegation spot – just nine points adrift.

Gosport’s bonus-point win over Cobham last weekend has increased the pressure on Knight’s side and reduced Havant’s margin for error.

The Hooks Lane side’s fate is still in their own hands but they cannot afford too many slip-ups in the remaining games they are targeting to win.

And Knight views this weekend’s visit of Haywards Heath as a massive opportunity to relieve some of the building pressure.

‘We know we need to get a win and there are no hiding places for this one,’ he said.

‘This is a game we are capable of winning in front of our home supporters.

‘Gosport & Fareham are breathing down our necks after their result last week.

‘I don’t believe there is any need to panic but it’s important we get things right.

‘When we lost to Haywards Heath earlier in the season we felt it was a game we could have won. We didn’t perform well enough but have improved a lot since then.’

Failing to take their own scoring chances has been a recurring theme for Havant for much of this season.

And it was in evidence again in last Saturday’s disappointing defeat at Dover.

‘We applied a lot of pressure and got ourselves into good scoring situations but didn’t convert that into points,’ said Knight.

‘Later in the game we paid dearly for our lack of precision and clinical finishing. We have to take our chances when they come along.’

Havant are largely unchanged from the side that lost to Dover, although the experienced Grant Morris comes in at scrum-half.

Knight also brings Academy graduate James Doe in on the replacements bench to act as a utility three-quarter.

Loz Blackburn remains on the wing, looking to add to his tally of 12 tries this season.

Havant: Read, L Blackburn, Berridge, J Knight, J Blackburn, Living, Morris, Osborne, Elsmore, Ward-Golden, Parkin, Neil, L Barfoot, White, Rubenheimer, Doe, Bennett, Anchor

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