Havant feel the heat

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Matt Cox scored for Havant. Picture: Keith Woodland

Havant unable to halt Olton counter charge

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Merijn van Willigen believes Havant must learn from their moments of indiscipline – even though they eased to a 4-3 victory over Indian Gymkhana on Sunday.

First-half goals from Inderpal Laly, plus an own goal and a Martin Gough effort, put Havant in total command at the midway stage of the contest.

Pol Soms Irazola was sent to the sin bin Picture: Mick Young

Pol Soms Irazola was sent to the sin bin Picture: Mick Young

But as the feisty affair saw tempers becoming frayed after the break, Gymkhana profited as both Pol Soms Irazola and Gurmukh Bhamra were shown yellow cards and sent to the sin bin for 10 minutes in separate incidents.

The visitors pulled a goal back early in the second half, but Ollie Nail restored the three-goal cushion – before two late goals in the final two minutes of the contest suggested the match had been rather closer than the reality.

Head coach van Willigen said: ‘It was a comfortable win. They scored their third goal as the final whistle went, so the result was never in danger.

‘But we lost our way a bit and in the last 20 minutes we got some provocation and didn’t respond how we should have.

‘We picked up some unnecessary yellow cards. We didn’t need to get involved.

‘We got involved in a physical battle when there was no need to do that.

‘When you have time with players not on the pitch, it has an impact.

‘We’ve got to learn. We were up against a more experienced team and they know how to turn it up. We need to be a bit more clever about how we respond to that.’

Soms Irazola got himself into hot water after taking issue with an alleged elbow, while Bhamra was penalised for a sliding tackle – although he claimed he had simply lost his footing.

Van Willigen added: ‘Pol should have walked away but squared up to the guy and ended up getting a yellow card himself.

‘He’s a fiery character but I don’t think he’s a fighter. Sometimes you just lose yourself in the moment but we were 4-1 up so there was no need.

‘I’m sure he has learned his lesson and Gurmukh said he lost his footing but I don’t know. The umpire made his decision.

‘I didn’t have any issues with the cards that were given. I felt they were deserved.’

Havant stormed ahead with three goals in 11 minutes as Laly broke the deadlock after good work from Sam Broadhurst and Nail.

They extended the lead through a farcical own goal by Gymkhana goalkeeper Qays Mir, as he diverted Jon Pickett’s free hit into his own net.

And Havant were in total command when Gough got a connection on another Pickett centre.

With both sides temporarily reduced in numbers after the incident between Soms Irazloa and Tyler Sundeen, Gymkhana pulled a goal back.

But Nail was on hand soon afterwards as Mike Deller-Merricks robbed the defender and rounded the keeper to give his team-mate the chance to dive and get his stick on the ball to turn it home.

While the visitors grabbed their two late goals, there was little chance of a late fightback with so little time left on the clock.