No video nasty but plenty to work on for Fareham

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Matt Cox scored for Havant. Picture: Keith Woodland

Havant unable to halt Olton counter charge

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Havant are hunting for a confidence-boosting win over Cheltenham in National League conference west on Sunday (2pm).

Merijn van Willigen’s side play host to the Gloucestershire outfit following a 2-0 defeat at Team Bath Buccaneers last weekend.

Cheltenham’s season also got off to a painful start when they went down 4-1 to Cardiff on home turf.

With a clutch of new faces at Barncroft Way this term, head coach van Willigen was not too disappointed by Havant’s opening display.

He is expecting Team Bath to once again be scrapping at the top end of the table – and recognises it will take time for his new-look side to gel.

Havant president Chris Pickett, meanwhile, is looking forward to launching the side’s home campaign.

And he is keen to see Havant get some points on the board.

‘We know from last season a slow start creates pressure at the bottom of the table,’ said Pickett.

‘A win on Sunday will boost confidence.’

The two sides produced a thriller last term as Havant fought back from 3-1 down, netting twice in the final three minutes to grab a share of the spoils.

They are set to hand a debut to James Speke tomorrow.

The University of Portsmouth student was the top scorer in the Midlands Premier last season and will give van Willigen more options in attack.

Elsewhere, Ben Barnes expects Havant’s rivals Fareham to step up on their conference west curtain-raiser.

The Henry Cort outfit travel to Broadwater School in Godalming to take on Guildford on Sunday (midday).

They surrendered a 3-1 lead to draw 4-4 with Indian Gymkhana last weekend in a thrilling clash.

Barnes revealed he has shown his troops the video of the game – and highlighted where they went wrong.

And he is looking for a positive response on the road against the Surrey outfit.

Barnes, who is Fareham’s new performance director, said: ‘Guildford will pose a very different challenge on Sunday.

‘We need to prepare to play against a very fit side that will run all day.

‘Ian Jennings, their performance director, is a very experienced coach and Guildford will be disciplined and very organised. 

‘The squad trained well this week and we reviewed the game against Indian Gymkhana to see where we can improve.

‘A lot came out of the video and the squad understands where we need to be better this week.’

Ben Hibberd scored twice for Fareham last weekend – including a late leveller – and he will want to continue his impressive start to the campaign.

James Seager and Shaun Baker were also on the mark.

Fareham were narrowly beaten 1-0 by Guildford last term.

Sunday’s hosts went on to finish several places higher in the table, so the clash will be a test to see how the Henry Cort side have progressed.