Nail nets double as title-chasing Havant turn the screw
HAVANT look set to be in a two-way battle for the South League premier division one title after beating Banbury 6-4.
A battling success ensured the Barncroft Way side continue to push for glory.
Niall Stott got the opening goal with just 12 seconds played.
James Speke made it two and Mike Deller-Merricks got the third.
Crucially in the second half Maciej Janiszewski added the fourth and Oliver Nail struck twice.
Banbury kept battling on throughout the contest.
This game will be remembered for the first and last two minutes of the game.
Havant could not have started better after Deller-Merricks robbed a defender and slipped the ball to Stott who did the rest.
Within a minute Havant were two goals up as Speke finished off a flowing move.
In the eighth minute it was 3-0 when a high ball from Stott found Deller-Merricks, who cleverly flicked the ball over the advancing keeper.
Banbury won their first penalty corner in the 10th minute, which brought out a good save from Chris Bristow.
The Havant keeper had to deny the visitors again a few minutes later with another great save.
Banbury got their first goal in the 21st minute from their second penalty corner.
The next goal was of vital importance and it went to Havant after a minute of the second half when Janiszewski hammered a powerful reverse shot into the net.
Once again Banbury never gave up, but it was Havant who went 5-1 up in the 58th minute.
Speke was fouled in the circle, which resulted in a penalty flick and Nail netted with an unstoppable flick.
Banbury struck one back before Havant scored their sixth goal.
Stott found Nail who flicked the ball past the Banbury keeper.
Bristow made a smart double save in the 62nd minute but then with two minutes left on the clock, Banbury struck with two goals.
Firstly Banbury scored as play continued when Havant stopped after a suspected Banbury foot.
The umpire did not agree and Nail received a yellow card for protesting, which was converted to a red.
Within seconds a Banbury attack saw an over enthusiastic challenge from Bristow, which resulted in a penalty flick, and he joined Nail on the bench with a yellow card
Adam Bloomfield took the helmet but could not prevent Banbury scoring their fourth.
Meanwhile, Bromley & Beckenham defeated London Edwardians 4-1, ending Edwardians title hopes.
It now looks likely to be a two-horse race between Bromley & Beckenham and Havant.