Mark Robinson admitted mixed emotions after seeing Havant secure their status in South Clubs’ Women’s League division one with a 3-1 home win over Teddington.
The hosts needed a win or a draw against the bottom side to ensure their survival in the division with one match to go.
Meanwhile, their London opponents desperately needed the three points to stand any chance of avoiding relegation themselves.
The home side really stepped up to the challenge, though, and two goals from Zoe Stride and a third from Anna Reynolds sealed a comfortable win at Havant College.
Coach Robinson said: ‘There was relief and a lot of pride. It was a really good performance.
‘We stuck to the game plan and from the get-go, we were the dominant team.’
And that showed, as Havant raced into a two-goal lead inside the opening 20 minutes.
Georgie Poole started the attack for the first goal with a superb pass to Pippa Lock, whose speedy run left her marker standing.
Lock’s pin-point pass found Stride, who calmly slotted the ball home after 18 minutes.
Two minutes later, Havant scored their second from a well-rehearsed penalty-corner routine with a slipped ball to Reynolds, whose trademark shot found the backboard with a resounding thud.
We stuck to the game plan and from the get-go, we were the dominant teamMark Robinson
However, the momentum then swung the other way.
Teddington suddenly took charge of the game with a succession of short corners – the last of which resulted in an equaliser for the visitors.
The half-time whistle came at a good time for Havant, as they were able to regroup and reassert their dominance in the second period.
They finally ended the contest with 12 minutes remaining thanks to a second goal from Stride.
The lively attacker cleverly rounded the keeper and, with her back to goal, managed to get a shot away, which the Teddington shot-stopper saved.
The rebound came straight back to Stride, though, who just managed to tip the ball over the line to make it 3-1.
Havant could have scored at least two more goals, with chances falling to Nicky Atkins and Lock, but in the end they ran out comfortable winners.
The result moved the Barncroft Way side up to eighth in the table, with 16 points, and relegated Teddington.
Robinson believes his side had to work hard for the victory but were worthy winners in the end.
‘We dominated for most of the game but there was a passage of play in the second quarter where Teddington were absolutely all over us,’ he said.
‘After we went two goals up, we played really poorly.
‘Teddington won countless short corners and they scored just before half-time.
‘But we were really competitive and strong in the second half and we didn’t give them a look-in.
‘The third goal broke the resistance of Teddington.
‘We deserved the win. It means we can play the last game of the season without so much pressure.’
The ladies’ last league game is away to Tulse Hill & Dulwich on Saturday.
Havant also progressed to the semi-finals of the Hampshire Cup after thrashing Haslemere 6-1 on Sunday.
Two hat-tricks from Sue Robinson and Stride secured the emphatic victory and set up a clash with Basingstoke on April 12.