Injuries continue to hamper Havant’s promotion quest after a depleted side were held to a 1-1 draw by Oxford Hawks.
The Barncroft Way outfit took an early lead through Sandeep Singh, but the visitors equalised in the second period despite the hosts dominating for large periods of the game.
The dropped points mean Ady Adams’ side slip to second in South League premier division one behind Old Georgians on goals scored.
Havant are level with their rivals on 25 points and with the same goal difference of plus 30, but Old Georgians go top having scored six more goals.
Adams admitted his side were not their usual clinical selves in front of goal at the weekend and were not helped by the growing list of injured players.
‘It’s a massively frustrating result because we could have been three or four goals up in the first half.
‘We weren’t our characteristic goal-scoring selves.
‘In the second half, Oxford were a lot more physical.
‘They were talked to three times for bundling over our players. One of their tackles broke Tomek Bruml’s thumb and he had to go off so we only had 10 fit players.
‘Everybody understood the importance of the game and the players put the club before their own well-being and continued playing through the pain barrier so I can’t fault them at all.’
Despite scoring early on, Singh was clearly suffering from his back injury and did not feature after the break, while Craig Duffy, Ollie Nail and Chris Smith were all carrying injuries.
Havant started strongly and took the lead in the fifth minute when a spin and a slip set up Singh to flick home from close range.
Maciej Janiszewski’s effort deflected off the keeper’s face mask, while Mike Deller-Merricks, James Lester and James Speke all had chances to extend the home side’s lead.
Oxford made a good start to the second half, using a full and three quarter press on Havant’s defence.
The hosts continued to create chances but just couldn’t find a second goal.
Keeper Ben Cowling was called into action a couple of times, before Oxford finally equalised in the 56th minute.
Unmarked Hawks forward Sam Chilvers received the ball in the circle and buried a shot into the corner of the goal.
Yet Havant were guilty of missing further chances, including a one-on-one for Deller-Merricks.
Both teams picked up yellow cards late in the game and attacked with intent, but time ran out and the spoils were shared.
The end of the first half of the season can now not come quick enough for Adams’ men, who finish with a trip to London Wayfarers this weekend.
Elsewhere, Havant twos lost 3-1 to Fareham twos in Hampshire regional one.
Meanwhile, the under-18s travel to Whitgift School on Sunday for the south qualifying round of their national indoor competition, from where the two finalists will represent the south at the national finals in January.
In the pool stage the youngsters have been drawn with Canterbury, Amersham & Chalfont,Trojans, Surbiton and East Grinstead.