Havant boss gets right response after half-time dressing down

Mike Deller-Merricks. Picture: Mick Young (151763-01)
Mike Deller-Merricks. Picture: Mick Young (151763-01)
  • Barncroft Way side heed Ady Adams’ call for tempo and width
  • Havant College team stay in touch with league leaders
  • Mike Deller-Merricks takes tally to five for the season
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Ady Adams’ stern words at half-time saw Havant come from a goal behind to beat Oxford University 5-1 at Havant College.

Strikes from James Speke, Maciej Janiszewski, Sandeep Singh, Alistair Pollard and Mike Deller-Merricks sealed the South League premier division one victory.

The three points kept the Barncroft Way outfit in touch with leaders Old Georgians.

Injuries once again forced the Havant coach to make further changes to his side.

With Duncan Marsh, Indy Laly, Adrian Wilkinson and captain Raj Laly all unavailable, Singh and Ollie Nail had to play through with their knocks.

Pollard stepped up from the second team, while youngster Tomek Bruml returned to first-team action.

‘It wasn’t our best performance,’ said coach Adams.

‘They weren’t doing what I wanted them to do in the first half.

‘We were a bit too direct and that played into Oxford’s hands.

‘We kept trying to play the ball through their players instead of going out wide.

‘At half-time I asked them to up the tempo and pass the ball quicker.

‘And that’s what made the goals in the second half.’

The closest Havant came to scoring in the first half was when Singh’s penalty corner drag-flick was diverted on to the crossbar by the Oxford keeper.

The opposition’s shot-stopper also made two other excellent saves before the break.

Oxford then took advantage of Havant’s inability to score and broke the deadlock.

Andy Oxburgh was allowed to run from just over the halfway line into the circle and put a well-placed shot past Ben Cowling.

Adams’ team talk did the trick, though, as Havant equalised within a minute of the restart thanks to Speke.

Some excellent play by Bruml set up the second goal for Janiszewski in the 45th minute and from then on Havant were in complete control.

Singh tucked a flick past the keeper to make it 3-1.

Nail was the narrowly off target before Havant scored their fourth goal.

And debutant Pollard got it as he deflected Singh’s long-range ball into the circle past the Oxford keeper.

Adam Bloomfield should have scored a fifth shortly after but Deller-Merricks took his tally to five for the season as he rounded off the win.

Janiszewski was the orchestrator, slipping the ball to Deller-Merricks who deflected the ball over the advancing keeper.