Hockey world will have noted Havant cup win against Reading

Indy Laly hits the winner against Reading. Picture: Mick Young
Indy Laly hits the winner against Reading. Picture: Mick Young
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Havant are well and truly back on the hockey map after knocking out defending champions Reading in the second round of the England Hockey Cup on Sunday.

Indy Laly came off the bench to score the only goal of the game after 12 minutes.

It was a victory no-one was expecting, given that Havant were without six first-team regulars and playing a side two leagues above them.

But the players all pulled together to produce a gutsy, disciplined display and were deserved winners.

The victory marked a superb weekend for the club, as the team also saw off Henley 5-1 in South League premier division one the previous day.

Havant coach Ady Adams said: ‘I’m really happy, considering both sides had to use the full extent of their squads.

‘It’s fair to say we’ve got a few regulars out injured but you wouldn’t say that was Reading’s best team either.

‘But you play whoever’s put in front of you and they were clearly a competent side.

‘Above all else, the hockey world will look at the result on the England hockey website and see that we’ve beaten the current holders Reading.

‘It’s a good one for the CV.’

Havant skipper Raj Laly had two front teeth knocked loose at Henley so was unavailable to play.

Also missing were Sandeep Singh, Duncan Marsh, Ady Wilkinson, Ollie Nail and Tim Davenport.

So players like Bradley Lock, Will Bond and Jamie Whitehouse were drafted in.

The hosts struck early on when Indy Laly found himself with space and time in the D and rifled the ball home.

Adams said: ‘Indy hasn’t trained for three weeks due to family commitments.

‘It was his first game back and for him to score is fantastic.’

Neither defence was tested for the rest of the half, though.

Reading had their best spell of the game at the start of the second period, winning a penalty corner and then forcing Ben Cowling into making a good save.

Other than that, Havant’s keeper had little to do.

Adams’ side were solid in midfield and defence.

Overall, it was the way in which the Havant players outfought their premier division opponents that was most impressive for the coach.

‘What was brilliant was the work ethic in the team,’ added Adams.

‘It’s great when we beat teams heavily but that was as proud a performance from a squad where probably three or four players were playing out of position because we had no defenders.

‘For them all to gel and work hard like that was outstanding.’

Havant will go to the University of Cambridge in the third round on November 15.