Late Brigg strikes secures much-needed victory

Sophie Brigg. ''Picture: Allan Hutchings
Sophie Brigg. ''Picture: Allan Hutchings
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Sophie Brigg scored a crucial last-minute winner to give Havant Ladies a 1-0 win over Staines in South Clubs’ Women’s League division one.

The victory lifts Havant up to seventh in the league as they look to pull away from the relegation zone.

The hosts won the midfield battle but still managed to create their own problems, with some excellent attacking raids down both flanks negated by some poor passing.

Player of the match and captain Emma Evans showed the way for Havant with an exemplary display of battling hockey, dominating the midfield with tidy passing and intelligent leadership.

The first half finished goalless, with Havant showing plenty of attacking intent but without the final product.

The second period produced chances for both sides as home goalkeeper Chantelle Lewis-Strudwick was called into action for the first time, advancing forward quickly to snuff out a shot on goal.

The Barncroft Way side kept up the pressure, but once again were the architect of their own problems with inaccurate passing.

One of the bright sparks for Havant was Jo Faulkner, who was imperious at left back.

Not only did she block several attacks, but she also took the ball forward and passed well into the midfield.

Hollie Smith was a thorn in the side for Staines, making clever runs down the right, and looked a threat whenever she had the ball.

Anna Reynolds was in excellent form, defending well and slotting several long passes through to the attack.

For all Havant’s good attacking play, though, they had yet to find the net, and with the game looking like it would end up all square, they forced another penalty corner which produced the all-important winner.

The ball was injected by Brigg who then took up a position to the left of the Staines goal.

The shot was forced away but Brigg took advantage of indecision in the Staines defence and forced home the winner with just one minute to run.

Despite missing some key players, the hosts produced a good team performance and picked up a crucial win.