Disjointed Havant lose ground in title race

HAVANT saw their title hopes dented by a 4-2 defeat at home to Horsham in South League premier division one.

Tuesday, 31st January 2017, 6:00 am
Havant's Connor McLoughlin. Picture Ian Hargreaves (161346-04)

This disappointing result leaves them six points adrift of league-leaders Bromley & Beckenham, a gap that will be very difficult to close.

It was a disjointed performance by a squad who looked anything but contenders for the title.

Havant’s poor basic skills and even worse decision making littered a game where running with the ball was favoured to passing interchanges.

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It could have been so different if Havant had taken advantage of early chances.

They were denied in the first minute by their former keeper Andrew Isaacs.

Horsham then netted after a lifted ball from defence was not stopped.

It fell to the unmarked Horsham forward, who crashed a shot past Richard Hancock, in Havant’s goal.

Three minutes later Isaacs made another fine save to frustrate the home side.

Then Connor McLaughlan shot high and wide, while Maceij Janiszewski also fired off target a few minutes later.

In the 24th minute Havant won their third penalty corner, which was poorly injected and no shot on goal resulted.

Havant should have levelled the score in the 28th minute after Niall Stott made a good run into the circle.

Stott committed Isaacs and passed the ball to Craig Duffy who only had to control the ball and place it into an empty net.

But unfortunately the ball ran wide of Duffy’s stick and the chance went.

With six minutes of the first half left Havant netted from their fourth penalty corner.

Adam Seccull placed a flick hard and low into the corner of the goal.

The home crowd were rocked as the visitors took the lead within 45 seconds of the restart.

Havant continued to fight on and Seccull crashed a powerful flick through Isaac’s legs for the equaliser.

To the disbelief of the home supporters, Horsham quickly scored their third goal to regain the lead.

A long aerial ball was hard to pick up for the defence and a few interchanges by Horsham provided a tap in on the far post.

In the 45th minute Horsham netted again with a drag flick to extend their advantage to 4-2.

After that Havant went on the offensive but were unable to penetrate the Horsham goal.

Poor basics, poor decision making and too much individual dribbling with the ball saw Havant waste chances.

In the 55th minute Seccull’s flick was superbly turned onto the post by Isaacs and away to safety.

Further chances came and went as McLaughlan had a shot blocked.

Meanwhile, Havant ladies were beaten 3-2 by Teddington in South Clubs’ Women’s League division two.