Havant blow cobwebs away in Bournemouth win

Have your say

Mark Robinson believes Havant’s friendly victory over Bournemouth on Saturday went a long way in preparing them for a tough second half of the season.

The ladies went behind but came back to record a 2-1 victory at Havant College.

The match, which was the side’s first since the end of November, was played in quarters.

The coach said: ‘I was really happy with the display.

‘We had a huge amount of circle entries and shots on goal but we only converted two, so we need to work on that.

‘Our possession was a little bit erratic. We had people playing who don’t always play together but we got there.’

Bournemouth netted from open play early in the first quarter but Nicky Atkins deflected in the equaliser from Zoe Stride’s initial strike at the end of the second period.

Atkins was involved once again for the second goal and Robinson was particularly pleased with the build-up to the eventual winner.

He said: ‘It was a really well-worked goal on the counter-attack from our D.

‘Jo Faulkner intercepted the ball and passed it to Zoe Stride.

‘It was a brilliant ball from Zoe to Nicky Atkins and Nicky picked it up superbly and played it across for Sophie to score from a narrow angle.’

It was a good opportunity for the players to get a match under their belts, as well as to test out new tactics.

‘The match was designed to blow away the cobwebs so by the time we get back to the league we’ll be ready,’ said Robinson.

‘We did try a couple of different formations, which may come in handy if we need to do something different for the second set of matches.

‘We did something different in each quarter. We tried a half-court press early and that’s when we conceded the first goal.

‘We need to experiment if we’re going to be in tighter games. It was interesting to see how the players reacted to that.’

Havant have arranged three more friendlies against Eastcote, Trojans and Brighton as they build up to the resumption of South Clubs Women’s League division one at Southgate on January 24.