A CRUCIAL late strike from Mike Deller-Merricks earned Havant a 2-1 win against Spencer in South League premier division one.
The decisive goal arrived with just over a minute left on the clock.
It was a get out of jail card for Havant who had not played particularly well on the club’s Sponsors & Patrons Day.
It took 10 minutes before Havant started to work themselves into the game, and they won their first penalty corner in the 16th minute.
Tomek Bruml worked his way into the circle and was fouled.
The resulting drag flick was deflected by the number one runner, leaving the keeper to turn the ball over the bar to safety.
Just as Havant started to grow in confidence the home side went down to 10 men after Adam Bloomfield was awarded a yellow card for an offence off the ball.
In the 18th minute Spencer won their first penalty corner after a rash defensive tackle, which resulted in Tomas Santiago in Havant’s goal pulling off a good save down low to his right.
Havant scored in the 59th minute, from their third penalty corner.
Adam Seccull flicked the ball under the keeper and past the post man.
Within a minute Spencer were back on level terms from a penalty corner, which saw a well-worked deflection level the scores.
But Havant stole the three points with a great attacking goal in the closing stages.
Borja Meissner, who had troubled the visitors defence all afternoon, carved his way past a number of defenders to cross the ball to Connor McLaughlan.
He drove into the right-hand side of the circle along the by-line and centred in front of goal, where three Havant forwards were sprinting at goal.
One of those forwards was Deller-Merricks, who got his stick onto the cross, defecting the ball into the roof of the goal, and giving the away keeper no chance.
Spencer had no time to respond and the three points kept Havant back in the pack.
They are fourth in the table level on points with second-placed London Edwardians and third-placed Oxford Hawks.
Leaders Bromley & Beckenham drew 2-2 with Henley and saw their advantage cut to four points.
Meanwhile, Havant Ladies lost 5-4 at Buckingham seconds in South Clubs’ Women’s League division one.
Havant are third from bottom, two points clear of Buckingham.