Havant call for bumper crowd to roar them to a famous title success against Chichester

Havant are calling for a bumper crowd as they look to seal the National League men’s conference west title at home to Chichester on Sunday (2pm push back).

Tuesday, 19th March 2019, 8:21 pm
Updated Tuesday, 19th March 2019, 8:26 pm
Federico Bertoni scored against Chichester last time when the teams met and also netted against University of Birmingham. Picture: Vernon Nash (230219-082)

The league leaders have enjoyed a fine campaign in their first season under head coach Raj Laly, moving four points clear following a 4-3 win away to University of Birmingham last weekend, writes Alex Rennie.

Needing just a win from the remaining two fixtures to be crowned champions, they will be hosting a Chichester side at Havant College still in with a chance of making the seventh-place play-off spot.

Havant edged the reverse fixture in October 5-3 when goals from Federico Bertoni and Miguel Rodrigues inside the final 10 minutes sealed a hard-fought contest.

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Speaking ahead of the showdown, Havant chairman Chris Pickett said he expected another close game.

He said: ‘A win at Havant College next Sunday in a derby against Chichester will see them crowned west conference champions and we could not be more proud of the playing squad and our head coach Raj Laly and his management team.

‘I am pleased they have the opportunity to win the league at home and in front of what will be a large partisan crowd of Havant supporters that will hopefully roar their team onto success.’

Goals from Bertoni, Mike Deller-Merricks, and Ethan Hoddle last weekend ensured Havant edged a seven-goal thriller to move to the brink of claiming the title.

Pickett added that the display encapsulated the qualities that have been on display all season as Havant aim to make it the top level of English hockey for the first time in a decade.

The club were crowned national champions three times in the early 1990s.

Havant’s chairman added: ‘Resilience, commitment, good team moral and determination to succeed are qualities our men’s first team have displayed this season and they thoroughly deserve the position they find themselves in.’