Impressive Havant move up to take top spot with success against Cardiff & Met

Matt Cox competing for possession during Havant's win against Cardiff & Met. Picture: Vernon Nash (230219-081)
Matt Cox competing for possession during Havant's win against Cardiff & Met. Picture: Vernon Nash (230219-081)
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A big win against Cardiff & Met saw Havant climb to the top of the National League men’s conference west on Saturday.

It was a high-energy performance from the home side at Barncroft Way and they got a 3-1 success.

They produced some stylish hockey and with three players out of action it was an even more impressive outcome.

Cardiff started strongly and forced an earlier penalty corner in the fifth minute, which did not trouble Maciej Pacanowski in the Havant goal.

Despite early student pressure it was Havant who opened the scoring in the ninth minute when a pass from a long corner found Ethan Hoddle in the circle who made no mistake with a reverse shot past James Fortnam in the Cardiff goal.

A minute later Mike Deller-Merricks had a shot saved but Havant did beat Fortnam again in the 19th minute when Federico Bertoni flicked the ball into the netting from their first penalty corner.

Four minutes later Cardiff won their second penalty corner which was flicked wide of the goal.

Cardiff pulled a goal back when a long corner resulted in a speculative ball fired into the circle where Jack Pritchard deflected the ball past Pacanowski from short range.

Havant wrapped up the win with their third goal after Cardiff felt they should have been given a free hit in their half.

The umpires did not agree and Matt Cox swept forward with the ball through the Cardiff half and into the circle. His reverse shot was deflected past James Fortnam by Miguel Rodrigues.

With three minutes left on the clock Jack Stubbings created a turnover and entered the circle moving the ball to Mike Deller-Merricks who with just the keeper to beat could not get his stick on the ball.