Havant frustrated by GB legend

Bruno Gorrini is denied by Guildford's former international keeper Simon Mason. Picture: Mick Young (124203-08)
Bruno Gorrini is denied by Guildford's former international keeper Simon Mason. Picture: Mick Young (124203-08)
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Matt Cox scored for Havant. Picture: Keith Woodland

Havant unable to halt Olton counter charge

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Simon Mason performed heroics to prevent Havant claiming victory against Guildford on Saturday.

The ex-England and Great Britain goalkeeper produced a series of top-class saves to ensure his Surrey side grabbed a point with a 1-1 draw in the National League conference west clash.

Havant, however, were left to rue two points dropped.

And as Fareham netted a 3-1 win at Whitchurch, the Barncroft Way side are now four points adrift of their south coast rivals in eighth spot.

Havant suffered a double setback ahead of the visit of Guildford.

They were reduced to 14 players as Indy Laly failed to recover from a hamstring injury and Pol Soms Irazola was in action for Canford School.

But despite their absence, the two sides engaged in a very competitive battle.

Craig Duffy was once again named man of the match for a sterling show in the centre of midfield – delivering both in attack and defence.

However, he was unable to prevent the home side going into the interval a goal behind.

Both teams had an early sighter of goal – but neither set of forwards could get a touch on flashing drives across the D.

A hotly-disputed penalty corner then paved the way for Guildford to take the lead.

A slip from the top of the circle found its way to Mike Ribbon, who deflected the ball in front of keeper Andy Isaacs to give the visitors the lead in the ninth minute.

There was little between the two sides for the remainder of the half, with Mason quick to snuff out the best Havant could muster in the final third.

The second half belonged to the home side, though.

Havant almost found an equaliser within seconds of the restart but a fast move ended with the ball flying harmlessly over the top.

Guildford drew a fine save from Isaacs shortly after but it was a rare raid by the visitors.

Even when they were reduced to 10 men – with Maciej Janiszewski shown a yellow card for an off-the-ball challenge – Havant remained on the front foot.

In a superb flowing move, Matthew Boote found Bruno Gorrini, who in turn fed Andy Pett.

But after beating several defenders, he was denied by a brilliant save from Mason’s outstretched leg.

Boote fired narrowly wide as the hosts continued to press for a leveller.

Mason was equal to the increasing threat, though.

He made a fine stop from another set-piece, before denying Pett once again after a fine pass from Jonathan Pickett.

But the forward finally found a way through with six minutes left – as Mason was beaten by a deflected short corner.

Havant had little time to push for a winner, though, and had to settle for a share of the spoils.

Fareham’s triumph in Wales came courtesy of strikes from John Grice, Adam Le Page and Shaun Baker after they fell behind to a second-minute goal from Rhys Welsh.