Knight’s delight as Havant put hammer down in derby demolition

Loz Blackburn bursts through to score for Havant. Picture: Mick Young (161149-11)
Loz Blackburn bursts through to score for Havant. Picture: Mick Young (161149-11)
Luke Barfoot will make his 100th league appearance. Picture: Neil Marshall

Havant hope normal service will resume at home

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Havant produced their most powerful performance yet to crush Gosport & Fareham 77-5 in a one-sided London one south derby at Hooks Lane.

The home side ran in 11 tries to leave the hapless visitors anchored at the foot of the table.

Winger Loz Blackburn racked up four tries – including the first which arrived after just 37 seconds.

Gosport & Fareham had no answer to the combination between the Havant forwards and three-quarters, who tore them apart at regular intervals.

And Havant’s head coach, Will Knight, was pleased with the way his troops refused to let up.

‘We have talked a lot about what it takes to be at the top end and challenging for promotion,’ he said.

‘One of the things we recognised is the discipline that is needed to keep going for the throat when opponents are on the ropes.

‘We showed good precision in our finishing – although, we still could have scored more points.

‘It was interesting when our players came off they weren’t talking about all the points they scored.

‘They were more concerned with the chances they missed and the try they conceded.’

The writing was on the wall for Gosport & Fareham inside the first minute when Blackburn finished off a move which started deep in Havant’s half.

There was little let-up after that and the home side led by 34-0 at the break.

Full-back Pat Gains went over for two tries – with prop Justin Powell and Blackburn, again, also touching down. Joel Knight added the extra points.

The rout continued in the second half with Blackburn grabbing two more.

Luke Marks, Harrison Young, Joel Knight and Ben Brierley also added further tries for the home side.

Will Knight is pleased to see five years hard work starting to pay off.

But he knows there is still much to do in Havant’s pursuit of a return to the National League ranks.

‘When I first started five years ago we were at a low point,’ said the Hooks Lane chief.

‘At our first training session we only had eight players.

‘Since then we have been building and now have a good blend of youth and experience at the club.

‘The youngsters who started with us are now in their early 20s with over 100 games under their belt.

‘Our feet are still firmly on the floor, though, and the challenge is to perform consistently every week.’

Gosport have now conceded 179 points in their first three games and it has been a baptism of fire for new coach Barry Bridgman.

He accepts his side have a lot of work to do in the months ahead.

‘It was another tough day at the office,’ said Bridgman.

‘Injuries and unavailability did not help but Havant just outclassed us.

‘Our players didn’t give up and showed a bit of dog right to the end but it was never going to be enough.

‘It is a case of trying to plot a survival course between now and the end of the season.’