Havant see off Henley with lively display

James Speke scores the third goal for Havant against Henley.  Picture: Neil Marshall (170108-23)
James Speke scores the third goal for Havant against Henley. Picture: Neil Marshall (170108-23)
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HAVANT produced some entertaining hockey to earn a 3-1 victory against Henley.

It could have been an even greater margin of victory but for some brilliant saves from the visiting keeper.

Havant celebrate James Speke's goal.  Picture: Neil Marshall (170108-24)

Havant celebrate James Speke's goal. Picture: Neil Marshall (170108-24)

The first chance of the game fell to Havant but the diving James Speke could not get his stick on the ball.

Two minutes later Speke shot wide after Niall Stott found him unmarked in the Henley circle.

Havant took the lead in the seventh minute from their first penalty corner.

Stott once again started a slick move involving Mike Deller-Merricks and Tomek Bruml, who was celebrating his 18th birthday, which resulted in Adam Seccull sending a drag flick under the Henley keeper.

Havant nearly went further ahead in the 16th minute but a Louis Wrenn shot was smothered by the advancing keeper.

The hosts had to repel some Henley pressure but they then added a second.

Bruml moved the ball to Adam Bloomfield who entered the circle and passed to Deller-Merricks who deflected the ball into the Henley goal.

Havant were rocked in the 24th-minute when a high shot at goal was deflected high into the net.

In the last five minutes of the half Havant won two further penalty corners.

The first was deflected wide for a long corner and the second resulted in Stott looping the ball high on his reverse over the keeper, which went just the wrong side of the post.

Havant had a really good chance to make it three when Speke was unmarked in the circle.

But as he turned to shoot he slipped and the chance was gone.

Henley had their moments when they built play well through midfield, but they lacked the penetration to trouble Chris Bristow in the Havant goal.

Havant’s dominance made Henley drop back to half court to get a hold back in the game.

But this allowed the home side to roll up the play bypassing the Henley midfield resulting with chances for Stott, Adam Bloomfield, Speke and Wrenn.

They were all were thwarted by the Henley keeper.

The chances continued to fall to the hosts and Speke hit the outside of the post from a deflected cross in the 60 minute.

But the inevitable happened after such pressure when Speke deflected a cross from Bloomfield into the roof of the net.

Two minutes later Bristow, at the other end, pulled off a good save high to his left and the game closed with two more penalty corners.

The first was for Havant which was not stopped and the other to Henley at the final whistle, which came to nothing.

Meanwhile, Havant Ladies drew 1-1 with Banbury.