Emphatic victory is the perfect response from Havant

Mike Deller-Merricks scored for Havant. Picture: Mick Young
Mike Deller-Merricks scored for Havant. Picture: Mick Young
Havant's Matt Cox. Picture: Keith Woodland

Resolute Havant give Team Bath the sinking feeling

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HAVANT rediscovered their goalscoring touch to rout Henley 9-2 in South League premier division one.

It was the perfect response to last weekend’s disappointing Old Georgians defeat and keeps their goal difference column healthy.

James Speke, Tomasz Nowicki and Mike Deller-Merricks scored in the first half to put Havant 3-2 up.

Then the floodgates opened thanks to Craig Duffy, Ollie Nail, Jonathan Pickett (2) and Tim Davenport (2).

Coach Ady Adams said: ‘We needed to get back to winning ways just to make sure we keep the pressure on Old Georgians in case they do slip up.

‘We’ve improved our goal difference and now they’re only one goal ahead.

‘It was a solid performance throughout.’

Havant opened the scoring with a scrappy goal from Speke after six minutes.

However, Henley levelled within three minutes when their unmarked forward slotted past Ben Cowling.

Another defensive lapse saw the visitors take a 2-1 lead in the 13th minute but that was as good as it got for Henley.

Nowicki slapped in a rebound from Deller-Merricks and Jamie Whitehouse’s efforts and then the former turned goalscorer with a well-placed reverse shot to make it 3-2 at the break.

The Havant players did everything Adams asked of them and more, as they went on a second-half rampage.

In the 41st minute a superb centre by Davenport found Duffy sliding in on the far post to sweep home.

The Henley keeper took out a Havant attacker four minutes later and Nail coolly dispatched the resulting penalty stroke to make it 5-2.

Pickett buried the first of his two penalty corner strikes not long after and then Davenport deflected in the seventh goal from Nowicki’s threaded pass.

Havant went 8-2 up when Pickett converted his second penalty corner in the 57th minute.

Davenport completed the rout by slipping the ball under the keeper.

Adams added: ‘It was good to finally score from a couple of penalty corners, as we’ve been practising them loads.’

Havant travel to Oxford University next Saturday.