HAVANT picked up a convincing 3-1 win at Clifton Robinsons.
The south-coast side travelled to Coomb Dingle Sports Complex to face the National League men’s conference west strugglers but were without Matthew Boote who had not recovered from his recent foot injury.
It was a very cold day and Havant started the game well with some good possession in the midfield.
Indy Laly linked well with the impressive Matt Cox who fed youngster Ethan Hoddle and his snapshot was well saved by the Clifton GK.
Another attack soon followed with Chris Smith linking well with Maciej Janiszewski but his shot was not on target.
Havant had some good chances in the first half but the forwards’ shots did not trouble the Clifton keeper.
The first penalty corner for the visitors was won by Mike Deller-Merricks who found a defender’s foot in the circle.
The routine was not clean and Clifton’s defence cleared the danger.
Clifton had some breakaway chances and Chris Bristow had to make a smart save down to his right.
Then another Havant youngster Jack Stubbings made a great run along the Clifton base line and he fed Chris Smith in front of goal.
But again the Clifton defence cleared the danger.
Sam Hatherley was then shown a green card for a strong tackle and Clifton again had a couple of chances which were cleared by skipper Raj Laly and keeper Bristow.
Havant took a deserved lead with Mike Deller-Merricks finishing off a great interchange between Maciej Janiszewski and Duncan Marsh.
However, after the half-time break Clifton were soon back on terms with a well-taken finish at the far post that Bristow could do nothing about.
Havant’s midfield took control of the game with Cox, Craig Duffy and Hatherley all creating attacks that led to a number of penalty corners for Havant.
It wasn’t until the 59th minute that Havant regained the lead. Matt Cox smashed the ball into the net after the first shot had been well saved.
Clifton worked hard to get a foothold in the game. They pushed forward again, but were penalised with a 10-minute yellow card suspension when one of their forwards went to ground around the ball and nearly wiped out a Havant defender.
Havant’s man of the match Cox became more influential and linked well with Michal Dawid who found a defender’s foot in the circle.
From the resulting penalty corner Dawid got his first goal for Havant and the game was over.
It was a good 3-1 victory away from home against a team fighting for the National League status.
Havant are home to Isca on Saturday. They then play Cardiff & Met on Sunday.