Havant denied success in Birmingham thriller

Maciej Janiszewski on the attack for Havant. Picture: Derek Martin Photography.
Maciej Janiszewski on the attack for Havant. Picture: Derek Martin Photography.
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HAVANT played out a thrilling 4-4 with University of Birmingham in front of a big crowd at Barncroft Way.

It was a first home match since being back in the National League conference west and what an entertaining game it turned out to be.

Matt Boote scored for Havant. Picture: Derek Martin Photography.

Matt Boote scored for Havant. Picture: Derek Martin Photography.

The threatening weather did not dampen the enthusiasm as the crowd witnessed an eight goal thriller ending in a draw that was probably a fair result.

Havant started the stronger of the two teams and created the first chance of the game in the third minute wiith Jonathan Pickett stealing the ball in midfield before being denied by the Birmingham keeper.

The opening goal arrived for the home team on six minutes.

Maciej Janiszewski won the ball and placed it neatly into the Birmingham goal.

On nine minutes Havant were down to 10 men after Tomek Bruml was awarded a yellow card for a sliding tackle and during the 10-minute suspension Birmingham scored twice.

They equalised with their second penalty corner of the game in the 17th minute, the first was well saved by Chris Bristow, but he could only parry the drag flick from the second corner into the netting, giving Scott Wall the first of his three goals on the day.

Within two minutes Birmingham students went ahead with the softest of goals. A centre from the left wing was allowed to travel through the whole defence to be touched in on the far post by Edward Whitworth.

Havant were now left chasing the game and could not stop Birmingham going further in front after Wall converted another corner low down to Bristow’s right in the 25th minute.

To Havant’s credit they rallied well and were denied from a penalty corner with a double save from visiting keeper Sam Lloyd.

Janiszewski continued to look dangerous with his forward running, and from one of these he forced another good save from Lloyd.

Havant deservedly pulled a goal back before the break in the 32nd minute when Mike Deller-Merricks robbed a defender and on entering the circle made no mistake placing a shot into the corner of the goal.

The Birmingham students started the second half brightly and Havant’s Raj Laly tracked back to clear one effort off the line in dramatic fashion.

After the 50th minute Havant won their fourth penalty corner and a slick routine saw Matt Boote level the scores.

Havant were pushing on now and won a further penalty corner in the 61st minute. This time Jonathan Pickett sent a powerful shot into the corner of the goal to make it 4-3.

With two minutes to go Birmingham were awarded their fourth penalty corner with Wall firing home for his hat-trick.

Overall it was a good Havant performance.