Self-belief key to beating Sevenoaks

James Speke. ''Picture: Allan Hutchings
James Speke. ''Picture: Allan Hutchings
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Havant coach Ady Adams says belief will be the key when his side take on title-chasing Sevenoaks at Barncroft Way tomorrow (1.30pm).

The Kent side are currently second in South League premier division one behind Old Georgians but with a game in hand.

Sevenoaks will be desperate to take all three points to keep in touch with Old Georgians, especially after their 9-0 thumping of Lewes last week.

Meanwhile, Havant also need to 
win to maintain the pressure on the top two and keep alive their slim promotion hopes.

They go into the game on the back of a morale-boosting 8-1 win over Purley Walcountians – their biggest victory since November – and Adams believes that was an important result going into such a big game.

‘We need to stay positive and build on a good result last weekend,’ said the coach.

‘We had a good training session on Tuesday.

‘We know we’ve got goals in us, it’s about being patient.

‘We need to stick to our game plan and put our opportunities away when we get them.

‘We know we are as good as them and it’s just a case of believing in ourselves.’

When Havant played Sevenoaks in November they lost 2-1 in a very close encounter and felt they should have come away with something from the game.

Tomasz Nowicki netted for Adams’ men but they were also guilty of missing two open goals, which they cannot afford to do again.

‘Sevenoaks are a good side but when we played them last time, we were 1-0 up until they had a contentious penalty corner which they scored,’ said Adams.

‘Sandeep Singh was yellow carded in the process and they went and scored a second when he was off the pitch.’

The former National League side have struggled for goals since Sandeep Singh left to play in the Hockey India League in December.

They have not been as dangerous from penalty corners and had failed to score more than three goals in a match until the big win last weekend.

So it is timely that Singh returns to the fold for the crucial encounter at Havant College, as their opponents have the best defensive record in the league.

Singh returned from India this week and was due to train for the first time last night.

He will be in contention tomorrow but that could mean South African Satchi Reddy will be sidelined because only one overseas player can play at a time.

England junior Laurie Bowden keeps his place in the side after another impressive performance against Purley.

However, Havant will be missing the influential James Speke, who sustained two cracked ribs last weekend.

Speke has scored 11 goals this season and is second in the goalscoring charts behind Singh.

Jamie Whitehouse is also out with a suspected chipped bone in his ankle.

Meanwhile, Sam Broadhurst is also a major doubt.

Adams is calling for Havant’s fans to come out in their numbers tomorrow afternoon.

‘We could do with as much support as possible to make things harder for them,’ he added.