Havant put in a spirited performance in their 43-10 defeat at unbeaten Dorking in National League three London & south east.
The visitors’ cause wasn’t helped when prop forward Luke Marks was sent off for a retaliatory punch after just 10 minutes.
‘Considering we had to play for 70 minutes with 14 men we did well,’ said director of rugby Will Knight.
‘We kept them out for 26 minutes and only trailed 19-0 at half-time.
‘Most pleasing was the way we competed in every phase of the game and our line-out, in particular, showed a massive improvement. For the first time we could secure a regular stream of possession
‘We have asked for a step up in performance and we have definitely seen that in our last two games.’
Havant scored two tries in the second half, through replacement winger James Sutton and captain Grant Morris.
The first try came midway through the second period, after the visitors applied a good spell of pressure.
The ball eventually broke left to Sutton, who beat his opposite number to score in the corner.
In the final 10 minutes, Havant dominated territory and possession, continuosly running at the home defence.
Their reward came at the death, after good carries from Pete Austin, Will Williams and Ross Parkins.
The ball reached prop forward Sam Cutting, who shipped it inside to Richard Burgess-Kelly who in turn put Morris over for a try.
‘We are still leaking too many tries but, afterwards, Dorking admitted we had given them their toughest game so far this season,’ said Knight.
‘The important thing is we are moving forward and can approach games like Staines next week with increased confidence.’