Singh on song for Havant

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Ady Adams believes Havant’s goal tally should have gone into double figures during their opening league win of the season against Old Cranleighans.

The Barncroft Way side came from behind to beat their South League premier division one opponents 6-2 at Havant College on Saturday, largely thanks to Sandeep Singh’s four penalty corner flicks.

Mike Deller-Merricks and Ollie Nail added further goals, but Adams felt the scoreline could have been much higher.

The Havant coach said: ‘At half-time I wasn’t very happy. I felt we were slow to react to what the opposition were doing.

‘We talked about closing down spaces and forcing the opposition wide.

‘In the first half we had 11 circle penetrations and only won two short corners and we scored both of them.

‘In the second half we had four other occasions when we were through on goal.

‘We missed three or four open goals. On another day we could have scored 10.’

There were four new faces brought in the Havant side for the league opener.

Adrian Wilkinson and Indipal Laly made their first starts since returning to the club, adding more experience to the forward line, and were joined by Adam Bloomfield and Duncan Marsh.

Due to the increased competition for places, Tomasz Nowicki dropped to the second team.

Meanwhile, Deller-Merricks has forced his way into the first team after having a very good pre-season.

He usually plays on the left but has started at centre-forward in the past two matches and has made an immediate impact by scoring in both of those fixtures.

Havant started Saturday’s match poorly, though, and conceded in just the fourth minute from a goalmouth scramble after a penalty corner.

Singh levelled the score in the 21st minute with his trademark drag-flick, and then put Havant 2-1 up when Nail won a penalty corner before the break.

However, the hosts were guilty of missing a host of golden opportunities, as chances went begging for Wilkinson, Maciej Janiszewski, Nail, Speke and Deller-Merricks.

Then three goals in the space of seven minutes took the game away from Old Cranleighans.

Singh scored twice in quick succession, before Nail added a fifth shortly after the hour mark.

Deller-Merricks then finished the scoring off for the hosts, before a defensive lapse in the last minute allowed Old Cranleighans a second consolation goal.

Adams believes having a fitness coach – Guy Guppy – has already paid dividends in the side’s ability to wrap up matches late on.

‘We really turned the screw in the last 20 minutes,’ said Adams.

‘Against Oxted last week we scored three in the last 10 minutes and again we scored three in the last 20 minutes on Saturday when the opposition were dead on their feet.

‘Not many teams take them (Old Cranleighans) apart, they’re quite a solid team.’

Despite scoring six goals, Havant lie third in the table, behind Old Georgians, who defeated Staines 9-0 and Henley, who were 7-3 winners against Banbury.