HAVANT crashed to a 4-2 defeat at Olton & West Warwick.
The visitors felt in control of the match for long spells but kept being hit on the counter by the clinical home team.
Havant welcomed James Lester back into the squad. He had been unavailable recently due to work commitments.
The visitors started the match well but then fell behind to Olton’s first attack.
Keeper Chris Bristow couldn’t stop a deflected effort finding the net.
The game restarted with again Havant having good possession.
Matt Boote and Maciej Janiszewski combined well down the left flank but Olton’s defence held firm.
Further attacks by Havant with Matt Cox linking with Craig Duffy and Adam Bloomfield did not trouble the Olton goalkeeper.
Olton countered again in the 13th minute and won their first penalty corner, which was well saved by Bristow.
From the resulting long corner Havant’s defence fell to sleep again and Olton added a second goal.
Havant again had good possession and pushed forward once again.
Davis Taylor-Bargent linked well with Cox, in midfield, who fed Janiszewski but his shot was well saved by the Olton goalkeeper.
Then in the 18th minute Olton countered again and made it three with another clinical finish.
To their credit the Havant players did not give up and continued to try to get a foothold in the game.
Sam Hatherley pushed forward down the left flank and linked with Adam Bloomfield who fed Janiszewski to make it 3-1.
The second half start in a similar way to the first with Havant having good possession but without really threatening.
Havant won a couple of penalty corners in quick succession.
The first effort was well saved, but another was awarded for a lifted ball.
Jonathan Pickett’s strike from the second corner was also well saved.
Then in the 42nd minute Havant won their third penalty corner and this was well converted by Cox, and Havant were now back in the game.
It looked as if Havant had Olton rattled but in the 57th minute Janiszewski was clearly fouled at the top of the Olton circle. The umpire had not seen the offence and decided to give Janiszewski a green card and a two- minute suspension.
With Havant down to 10 players, Olton grabbed their fourth goal which was another counter attack and well finished by Havant old boy Steve Batten.
Havant then lost Adam Bloomfield to a green card and there was no way back for the visitors as the game finished 4-2 to Olton.
The next game for Havant is on February 25 at Clifton Robinsons.