Havant made to work hard for county crown

Jonthan Pickett scored twice in the Hampshire Cup final
Jonthan Pickett scored twice in the Hampshire Cup final
  • Havant win back-to-back Hampshire Cups
  • Frantic opening sees four goals in the opening 10 minutes
  • Laurie Bowden plays final match for Havant
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Ady Adams believes Havant rode their luck at times but were worthy winners of the Hampshire Cup.

The Barncroft Way side won the trophy for the second year in a row after beating Trojans 4-1 in the county finals day at Haslemere.

I came here expecting to win and the lads followed through with it so I’m happy

Ady Adams

It wasn’t a dominant performance from the South League premier division one side but three goals inside the opening seven minutes was enough of a cushion to give them the victory.

Havant coach Adams said: ‘I came here expecting to win and the lads followed through with it so I’m happy.

‘I think it was a good performance.

‘We got off to a very good start, we were a bit shaky in the middle but then towards the end we started to dominate possession.

‘It was a bit touch and go for a time and Trojans put us under a lot of pressure but we were expecting them to do that.

‘We rode our luck a little bit.

‘It could easily have been 3-3 at half-time but we stayed strong.

‘Ben Cowling made a couple of vital saves.’

It is the third time Adams has won the trophy and he’s hoping there is more silverware on the cards.

He said: ‘This trophy’s been good to me. This is the third time I’ve won it.

‘I won it as Winchester head coach, once as Havant assistant coach and now I’ve won it as head coach.

‘Hopefully, it’ll be the first of many.’

The match began at breakneck speed, with four goals coming in the opening 10 minutes.

Sam Broadhurst gave Havant the lead in the second minute against his old club, and in the next attack Adams’ men won a penalty corner, which Jonathan Pickett converted a minute later.

Mike Deller-Merricks completed a swift move to make it 3-0 after seven minutes.

And it could have been more but Pickett hit the post from a penalty corner.

Trojans immediately hit back with a superb deflected effort high into the goal by Calum Crichton.

Both sides continued to create chances after the frantic opening but the score remained 3-1 at the break – despite former Havant player Colin French causing plenty of problems going forward.

Trojans took the game to their rivals in the second period and forced some good saves from keeper Cowling.

The Southampton side had a player yellow-carded midway through and Havant took advantage by netting a fourth. Pickett netted a second from a penalty corner after 58 minutes.

Adams was keen to point out the commitment of England youth international Laurie Bowden.

‘I’d like to mention Laurie Bowden, who played in midfield,’ he said.

‘He’s just come back from a two-day camp with England in Lilleshall. Those camps are absolutely gruelling and he was dead on his feet.

‘I offered him the day off but he said he wanted to play in the Hampshire Cup.

‘It’s his last game before he goes to Loughborough University and he’s come in and left with a medal so fair play to him.’

Havant only had 12 fit players and they were so short that Adams and Steve Lawson, the manager, were named in the teamsheet.

The second team’s player-of-the-season, Sam Mallinson, also featured.